Lessons for Women outlines the four virtues a woman must abide by, proper virtue, proper speech, proper countenance, and proper conduct. The book itself describes the status and position of women in society. It is a small book and many women had the sections memorized. The book contains only 7 chapters as outlined below. Most are relatively obvious from their titles.
|Humility defined the relative natural positions between the male and female sexes. Accordingly, the female was deemed to be the more diminutive of the two and naturally, the more humble.|
Husband and Wife
|The sole role of a woman as a wife was to serve her husband.|
Respect and Caution
|As defined by the yin and yang duality, in yang whereas in yin , husband and wife should mutually respect each other.|
| Simply the qualifications deemed necessary for the ideal woman whether in her virtue, her type of work, or the words she |
|This was usually depicted by the woman's devotion to the husband. For example, if the husband were to die, there would be no re-marriage for the widow. This was deemed to be the most virtuous task |
in later dynasties.
|A section that is dedicated to obedience towards the mother and father in law.|
Harmony Between Younger In-laws
Precepts for Women
Ban Zhao also wrote on the four desired "Precepts for Women" which were intended to guide women in society. These precepts were ■ womanly virtue, womanly speech, womanly manner and womanly merit.