Women have been discriminated on ever since time immemorial and divorce was never a common thing for women to initiate.In Chinese history divorce was a non-starter in the royal family.The empiror was never to be embarrased by divorce.However,there were women who stood against that discrimination and refused to play second fiddle despite the consequences. One such woman was Consort Shu,Erdet Wenxiu born on the 20th of December 1909 in Mongol.She was the concubine of the last Empiror of China,the final ruler of Qing Dynasty ,Henry Puyi.
Puyi was about to turn 3 years old when he ascended the Qing Dynasty empiror's throne after the death of his uncle.He chose the reign title Xuantong.In 1922 at age 16 Puyi was to get married.As was the custom,he had to find a wife.Under normal circumstances young girls would have been assembled and asked to dance before him and other royals and they would pick the one they thought was suitable.However,in the case of Puyi,no girls were gathered rather photographs of different girls were collected and Puyi was to choose one.He chose Wenxiu pictured below.
His choice was not approved by members of the royal family who had a different choice.A conflict arose as to who Puyi should marry.Wenxiu was considered not beautiful enough to be an empiror’s wife and came from a relatively poor background.But love is something that grows in the heart so Puyi was adamant on marrying Wenxiu.They convinced him to marry the other woman Wanrong pictured below.
Wenxiu was made the concubine.
In 1924 the Empiror and his two wives Wanrong and Wenxiu left the Forbidden City and settled in Zhong Garden in Tianjian .Wenxiu was not happy with being a second wife.There was always competition between the two women.It is recorded that they both were very materialistic,each time another get a gift,the other would demand the same gift.Despite getting the gifts and everything,Wenxiu was never satisfied.She had maids and status but all these was not what she wanted.She didn't was to play second fiddle and so she filed for divorce.This was something that was unheard of.It could lead to so much trouble but Wenxiu was ready to fight for her happiness and freedom.
The court case went on for a long time with so much opposition.Piyu loved Wenxiu,he didn’t want her to go but Wenxiu wasn't happy.She demonstrated courage during the divorce proceedings.It was a first for a woman to divorve an empiror.Piyu was heart broken.After a long battle in 1931 divorce was granted and Wenxiu left.She paved way for women to stand up and voice.She was stripped-off of her imperial rights and became a commoner.She took back her life and later became a teacher.She married Major Liu Zhendong in 1947 and she never told him who she was before.In 1953 Wenxiu died at the age of 43.
There is a television program on this story.
THE LAST CONCUBINE …2003 TV SERIES.
THERE IS A MOVIE CALLED THE LAST EMPIROR.
researched and written by Zekey
photos from internet
sources of information internet and history books
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