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Thread: Forcing Your Child to be a Eunuch vs. Starving to Death

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    Default Forcing Your Child to be a Eunuch vs. Starving to Death

    Quote Originally Posted by Ace High View Post
    Families often encouraged their sons to become eunuchs as a means of pulling the family out of poverty and gaining admittance into the imperial court. Many parents even organized their sons' castration at an early age in hopes that they would become imperial eunuchs.
    Fckk, how could they sacrifice their loved ones for money? I never heard of this before. I often heard family encourage their sons to go to the capital to take the imperial exam to become a politician. Sometimes family sends their son(s) to martial art school to learn martial art as a young age so they can become a general or at least bodyguard for the kingdom. I rather die of hunger than sending my son to become a eunuch.

    Still believe the best way to get out of poverty is by working hard and live below the means.

    Many eunuchs were orphans or sons of prisoners. In her book on the famous eunuch Zheng He, Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne, Louise Levathes wrote: “As was the custom, young sons of prisoners were castrated. Thousands of young boys—some no more than 9 or 10 years of age—were stripped naked, subjected to one brutal stroke of a curved knife... Hundreds never recovered, dying of infection and exposure. Those who did were taken to the capital to serve as court eunuchs.”
    Fckk, this is so inhumane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    Still believe the best way to get out of poverty is by working hard and live below the means.
    That was harder (much, much harder) to do in traditional societies in which social class (into which people were born; they didn't earn their class) pretty much determined one's lot in life. Upward social mobility as we know it today is a relatively new concept.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    I often heard family encourage their sons to go to the capital to take the imperial exam to become a politician. Sometimes family sends their son(s) to martial art school to learn martial art as a young age so they can become a general or at least bodyguard for the kingdom.
    Hey, they can’t even feed their children, let alone to send them to any school to learn anything. The schools aren’t free.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    I rather die of hunger than sending my son to become a eunuch.
    And your entire family died of starvation together with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    Still believe the best way to get out of poverty is by working hard and live below the means.
    They are working hard and living below the means.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    Fckk, this is so inhumane.
    Prisoners of war were normally treated very harshly.
    You plant a garden and the flowers do not bloom, you poke a stick in the mud and it grows into a tree

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    I'm sure sending a child to be eunuch or maid in the court or rich people's family is much better alternative than sending them to be a slave/prostitute. At least there is a chance to be literate, food, and bed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smurf120 View Post
    I'm sure sending a child to be eunuch or maid in the court or rich people's family is much better alternative than sending them to be a slave/prostitute. At least there is a chance to be literate, food, and bed.
    The best way is if you don't have the means to put food on the table and basic education, then don't create children. It's better not creating them than create them and let them suffer in poverty with pretty much no hope of better life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace High View Post
    Hey, they can’t even feed their children, let alone to send them to any school to learn anything. The schools aren’t free.
    Don't create them in first place

    And your entire family died of starvation together with you.
    Don't create them in first place

    They are working hard and living below the means.
    If that is the case and their situation is still bad, then don't create any children.

    Prisoners of war were normally treated very harshly.
    Yeah, I wonder which dynasty in history does this to the family of prisoners of war.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    Yeah, I wonder which dynasty in history does this to the family of prisoners of war.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castration

    CHINA
    According to legend, during the reign of the legendary Emperor Shun and Yu in China, in 2281 BC castration was passed into law as a punishment, which remained so until the reign of Gaozu of Tang (589–600 AD). However, it was still practiced after his reign.[6] According to historians, it was incorporated into Chinese law during the Zhou Dynasty.[7] It was one of the five physical punishments that could be legally inflicted on criminals in China.[8]

    Records of castrations in China date to the Shang dynasty, when the Shang Kings castrated prisoners of war.[9][10] During the reign of King Mu of Zhou the Minister of Crime, Marquis Lu, reformed the law in 950 BC to make it easier for people to be sentenced to castration instead of death.[11] In China, castration included penis removal as well as removal of the testicles. Both organs were cut off with a knife at the same time.[12]

    In Han dynasty China castration continued to be used as a punishment for various offences.[13][14] Sima Qian, the famous Chinese historian, was castrated by order of the Han Emperor of China for dissent.[15] In another incident multiple people, including a chief scribe and his underlings, were subjected to castration.[16]

    Some legends say that Genghis Khan was castrated by a Tangut princess using a knife, who wanted revenge against his treatment of the Tanguts and to stop him from raping her.[17][18][19][20][21][22][23]

    When the Chinese overthrew Mongol rule and established the Ming dynasty, many Mongols were castrated and turned into eunuchs.[24]

    During the Miao Rebellions (Ming Dynasty), Chinese commanders castrated thousands of Miao boys when their tribes revolted, and then distributed them as eunuch slaves as gifts to various officials.[25]

    The sons and grandsons of the rebel Yaqub Beg in China were all castrated. Surviving members of Yaqub Beg's family included his 4 sons, 4 grandchildren (2 grandsons and 2 granddaughters), and 4 wives. They either died in prison in Lanzhou, Gansu, or were killed by the Chinese. His sons Yima Kuli, K'ati Kuli, Maiti Kuli, and grandson Aisan Ahung were the only survivors in 1879. They were all underage children, and put on trial, sentenced to an agonizing death if they were complicit in their father's rebellious "sedition", or if they were innocent of their fathers crimes, were to be sentenced to castration and serving as a eunuch slave to Chinese troops, when they reached 11 years old, and handed over to the Imperial Household to be executed or castrated.[26][27][28] In 1879, it was confirmed that the sentence of castration was carried out, Yaqub Beg's son and grandsons were castrated by the Chinese court in 1879 and turned into eunuchs to work in the Imperial Palace.[29]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    Don't create them in first place



    Don't create them in first place



    If that is the case and their situation is still bad, then don't create any children.



    Yeah, I wonder which dynasty in history does this to the family of prisoners of war.
    We are biologically inclined to produce children. There were no contraceptives back then, so unless you think poor people should just never find love/get married and just toil away miserably with no upside in life, children are inevitable. People had no security at the time; if you were in a decent situation (i.e. your crops were able to feed your family and maybe had a little extra) you decide to have children. The next year a storm/earthquake/drought hits and suddenly you're completely screwed. Things aren't as black and white, and especially not as easy as you think it was back then.

    You have to realize that for a majority of people to act or think a certain way, there was likely a reason for them to do so. Whether it was a lack of education that was out of their control or a difference in morals at the time, it is generally very reasonable for people to do what they have done. For us, it is very reasonable to have family planning and the resources are generally available for people to do so. In ages past, that was not reasonable or available to expect most people to do so. While it's usually amusing to question and learn about weird practices as times change, it's important to not judge them too harshly because there generally was a very good reason for the majority to have done that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smurf120 View Post
    Some legends say that Genghis Khan was castrated by a Tangut princess using a knife, who wanted revenge against his treatment of the Tanguts and to stop him from raping her.
    I am against all the castrations as it's so inhumane except this one. If this was true, Genghis Khan deserved it. Good job Tangut princess. You are a hero of your people. Genghis Khan is as bad as Hitler and the Mongolians considered him as a national hero. This is f-up.
    Last edited by Trien Chieu; 08-13-15 at 04:36 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tape View Post
    We are biologically inclined to produce children. There were no contraceptives back then, so unless you think poor people should just never find love/get married and just toil away miserably with no upside in life, children are inevitable. People had no security at the time; if you were in a decent situation (i.e. your crops were able to feed your family and maybe had a little extra) you decide to have children. The next year a storm/earthquake/drought hits and suddenly you're completely screwed. Things aren't as black and white, and especially not as easy as you think it was back then.

    You have to realize that for a majority of people to act or think a certain way, there was likely a reason for them to do so. Whether it was a lack of education that was out of their control or a difference in morals at the time, it is generally very reasonable for people to do what they have done. For us, it is very reasonable to have family planning and the resources are generally available for people to do so. In ages past, that was not reasonable or available to expect most people to do so. While it's usually amusing to question and learn about weird practices as times change, it's important to not judge them too harshly because there generally was a very good reason for the majority to have done that.
    Sure, life back then was much tougher than now but I still against the idea of parents selling their sons to become an eunuch and selling their daughters to become a maid. Life is not all about you, you and you. The sons and daughters are human being too. Again, if you can't provide, then don't create them. Yes, I think people who are unable to raise a family should not get married at all. It's better to stay single for the rest of their life and then done. Don't create the children and give them a miserable life. I am pretty sure the children rather not exist than being an eunuch or a maid.
    Last edited by Trien Chieu; 09-08-13 at 01:01 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    Sure, life back then was much tougher than now but I still against the idea of parents selling their sons to become an eunuch and selling their daughters to become a maid. Life is not all about you, you and you. The sons and daughters are human being too. Again, if you can't provide, then don't create them. Yes, I think people who are unable to raise a family should not get married at all. It's better to stay single for the rest of their life and then done. Don't create the children and give them a miserable life. I am pretty sure the children rather not exist than being an eunuch or a maid.
    How do you propose to prevent people who are unable to raise a family from getting married at all?
    You plant a garden and the flowers do not bloom, you poke a stick in the mud and it grows into a tree

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    Sure, life back then was much tougher than now but I still against the idea of parents selling their sons to become an eunuch and selling their daughters to become a maid. Life is not all about you, you and you. The sons and daughters are human being too. Again, if you can't provide, then don't create them. Yes, I think people who are unable to raise a family should not get married at all. It's better to stay single for the rest of their life and then done. Don't create the children and give them a miserable life. I am pretty sure the children rather not exist than being an eunuch or a maid.
    I think you're not understanding that security is a recent concept. You can be a "successful" farmer for decades and one or two bad seasons will wipe you out completely. You might then be forced to do things you don't want to do.

    Of course you are right that some people that shouldn't have children do have children (which is still the case now), but you are judging the common person much too harshly. You are likely doing incorrect things from an objective outsider's perspective as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace High View Post
    How do you propose to prevent people who are unable to raise a family from getting married at all?
    I am not a dictator and do not want to be one either. I believe in freedom but freedom comes with responsibilities and actions have consequences. It's up to individual to decide but I am strongly against the idea of parents selling their children to become eunuch or maid. I would rather be alone for the rest of my life. At least, the misery will end the moment I die. I do not want to create many many children and let them live in misery with little hope. I think they would rather be not existed than being a eunuch or maid.

    Quote Originally Posted by tape View Post
    I think you're not understanding that security is a recent concept. You can be a "successful" farmer for decades and one or two bad seasons will wipe you out completely. You might then be forced to do things you don't want to do.
    I disagree. Security is not a recent concept. The concept is there for millenniums. If one or two bad seasons will wipe you out completely, then you are not prepare.

    Of course you are right that some people that shouldn't have children do have children (which is still the case now), but you are judging the common person much too harshly. You are likely doing incorrect things from an objective outsider's perspective as well.
    Yep. Lot of people out there should not have children at all. If you watch the reality show "THE FIRST 48", then you will know what I am talking about. Most people from those neighborhoods should not have any children at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    I am not a dictator and do not want to be one either. I believe in freedom but freedom comes with responsibilities and actions have consequences. It's up to individual to decide but I am strongly against the idea of parents selling their children to become eunuch or maid. I would rather be alone for the rest of my life. At least, the misery will end the moment I die. I do not want to create many many children and let them live in misery with little hope. I think they would rather be not existed than being a eunuch or maid.
    In short, you offer no feasible solution what so ever except for ‘freedom of choices’.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    I disagree. Security is not a recent concept. The concept is there for millenniums. If one or two bad seasons will wipe you out completely, then you are not prepare.
    During bad seasons, even rich families have to sell their land just to survive. A bad season was not a local problem, but a country wide problem. If we compare to the famine scales, it would be a Category E (Catastrophic famine) with mortality range of 1,000,000 and over.
    You plant a garden and the flowers do not bloom, you poke a stick in the mud and it grows into a tree

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    Fckk, how could they sacrifice their loved ones for money? I never heard of this before. I often heard family encourage their sons to go to the capital to take the imperial exam to become a politician. Sometimes family sends their son(s) to martial art school to learn martial art as a young age so they can become a general or at least bodyguard for the kingdom. I rather die of hunger than sending my son to become a eunuch.

    Still believe the best way to get out of poverty is by working hard and live below the means.
    The China you describe is like no historical China that I know. The first time that the aspirational future that you describe was possible for Chinese people was when the socially mobile west, notably the US, became open. Prior to that, social mobility was measured in hundreds of years.

    Here's a correction for you. Like most societies, the best way of getting out of poverty was through social connections. Know people in powerful places, and you and yours stand a better chance of moving up. The imperial court was the most powerful place of all. It's why younger children were sent into imperial service, aka eunuchdom, so that the rest of the family wouldn't have to feed them whilst gaining from their placement. The same phenomenon was seen in other empires with similarly powerful eunuch bureaucracies. In Europe, where there weren't eunuchs but there was a powerful Catholic church, younger children were sent into the church instead. Same principle. Take off your modern westernised specs and try to see Chinese history from a historcial Chinese perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace High View Post
    In short, you offer no feasible solution what so ever except for ‘freedom of choices’.
    I am not a dictator. I can't force people follow my way. However, I would love to share my values to others and explain to them that it's better not to create children than creating them and put them in misery with little hope.

    During bad seasons, even rich families have to sell their land just to survive. A bad season was not a local problem, but a country wide problem. If we compare to the famine scales, it would be a Category E (Catastrophic famine) with mortality range of 1,000,000 and over.
    Life is tough but I still against the ideas of selling children for survival. In addition, even if you are in a not bad situation and decide to have children, then only have a few. Don't have to many.

    Quote Originally Posted by pannonian View Post
    The China you describe is like no historical China that I know. The first time that the aspirational future that you describe was possible for Chinese people was when the socially mobile west, notably the US, became open. Prior to that, social mobility was measured in hundreds of years.
    Life was tougher back then but if you willing to work hard, survival wouldn't be a problem.

    Here's a correction for you. Like most societies, the best way of getting out of poverty was through social connections. Know people in powerful places, and you and yours stand a better chance of moving up. The imperial court was the most powerful place of all.
    For sure this is the easiest way but not the only way for success. If you go for the hard working way, you may not get rich but I doubt you have problem just to put basic food on the table.

    It's why younger children were sent into imperial service, aka eunuchdom, so that the rest of the family wouldn't have to feed them whilst gaining from their placement. The same phenomenon was seen in other empires with similarly powerful eunuch bureaucracies. In Europe, where there weren't eunuchs but there was a powerful Catholic church, younger children were sent into the church instead. Same principle. Take off your modern westernised specs and try to see Chinese history from a historcial Chinese perspective.
    I still against these types of actions. This is inhumane and cruel. Again, if they don't have the resource to feed them, the best way is not creating them in first place. These children did not asked to be created and did not have a choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    I am not a dictator. I can't force people follow my way. However, I would love to share my values to others and explain to them that it's better not to create children than creating them and put them in misery with little hope.



    Life is tough but I still against the ideas of selling children for survival. In addition, even if you are in a not bad situation and decide to have children, then only have a few. Don't have to many.



    Life was tougher back then but if you willing to work hard, survival wouldn't be a problem.



    For sure this is the easiest way but not the only way for success. If you go for the hard working way, you may not get rich but I doubt you have problem just to put basic food on the table.



    I still against these types of actions. This is inhumane and cruel. Again, if they don't have the resource to feed them, the best way is not creating them in first place. These children did not asked to be created and did not have a choice.

    You're pretty much disrespecting the billions and billions of people in history that have died of starvation and famine. None of them worked hard? You think they rather sit on their butts and starve than to work and be able to feed themselves?

    "I doubt you have problem to put basic food on the table". That is so ridiculous. Even in poor nations now it's a problem. Go back a few decades in China and you will find plenty of people who can't put "basic food" on the table even if they're toiling all day. A combination of natural disasters and inefficient governments almost ensure that a huge portion of the peasant class in poorer countries would starve in the pre-modern age.

    I don't even know many Chinese people, but almost every family I know has an older parent or grandparent speaking of people walking 10 miles one way just for a CHANCE to sell some goods or get a good deal on food during freezing winter times when they were young. Life for peasants really, really sucked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    I am not a dictator. I can't force people follow my way. However, I would love to share my values to others and explain to them that it's better not to create children than creating them and put them in misery with little hope.
    Proposing a feasible and practical solution does not make you a dictator.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    Life is tough but I still against the ideas of selling children for survival. In addition, even if you are in a not bad situation and decide to have children, then only have a few. Don't have to many.
    Again, how do you propose to control the number of children each family have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    Life was tougher back then but if you willing to work hard, survival wouldn't be a problem.
    Keyword: wide spread famine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    For sure this is the easiest way but not the only way for success. If you go for the hard working way, you may not get rich but I doubt you have problem just to put basic food on the table.
    Again, wide spread famine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    I still against these types of actions. This is inhumane and cruel. Again, if they don't have the resource to feed them, the best way is not creating them in first place. These children did not asked to be created and did not have a choice.
    Again and again. How do you propose to prevent this from happening?
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    You have to be aware that in the ancient times, it was almost an obligation to the family duty to have children to pass on the family name. This is not exclusive to just the rich. Even the poor people were encouraged to have more kids so they could grow up and earn money to help out the family. With the high mortality rate back in the times where there were little hygiene and no vaccinations, people had to have more kids because most of them would not survive. People got married at 14 back in the old times (some at 12 depending where your ancestry was) so they had a high fertility rate unless they had some illness or not interested in sex. Contraception or celibacy did not suit well with traditional Chinese teachings where not having an heir was a greater fault than being disrespectful to your parents. There are some ways of contraception passed down like using fish intestines/gills (???) like a condom but hey, if even latex breaks, so how effective could fish skin be? And don't think that they had the money to pay for contraceptive herbs.

    As for people being poor, I do not think people would choose to be poor if they had the choice. Being poor meant that they had low education, limited health services and were limited to jobs that had little pay and oppression from the rich. You could sweat day and night and still get pay deducted by your heartless boss (not to mention effects of war, famine, natural disasters, plundering bandits/armies, etc..)

    There were no public schools so using education to get out of the poverty cycle would be a hard tasks unless the kid was a genius or had some financial sponsor. Also, they probably had to go to work when they were still young to get a wage to help with finances so not everyone had the luxury of time to go to school. And you have to pay a sect to send your kid in for martial arts training so that is not a good option.

    Anyway, back to the topic of selling your kid to be a slave, I think it is a last resort. Who on earth would want to part with their own flesh and blood unless they had to? Yes, being a servant meant the risk of abuse and loss of freedom. but it also meant that they would be fed and clothed, and if they were lucky enough to be tipped or get a wage, then it would help the rest of the kids in the family. So rich people even school their servants and they also learn skills/words through work. If you are a girl, you may even get taken as a concubine. It is definitely better than getting starved to death.

    Being an eunuch is horrible and it ruins their emotional life forever. But of a similar reason as selling your kid to be a servant, at least this kid won't die of starvation. It may be cruel but sacrificing one kid to save the other ten may be the more preferable option than having all thirteen people die of starvation together. Why should ten children suffer death and hunger so the parents can selfishly hold on to their "morals"? The world is realistically dark and cruel. When you have no other option, you really don't. There is no room for idealism and morals when you have a room full of screaming/crying hungry kids.

    Survival is the core of human instinct. Eat first, then plan your path later.
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    Quote Originally Posted by charbydis View Post
    You have to be aware that in the ancient times, it was almost an obligation to the family duty to have children to pass on the family name. This is not exclusive to just the rich. Even the poor people were encouraged to have more kids so they could grow up and earn money to help out the family. With the high mortality rate back in the times where there were little hygiene and no vaccinations, people had to have more kids because most of them would not survive. People got married at 14 back in the old times (some at 12 depending where your ancestry was) so they had a high fertility rate unless they had some illness or not interested in sex. Contraception or celibacy did not suit well with traditional Chinese teachings where not having an heir was a greater fault than being disrespectful to your parents. There are some ways of contraception passed down like using fish intestines/gills (???) like a condom but hey, if even latex breaks, so how effective could fish skin be? And don't think that they had the money to pay for contraceptive herbs.

    As for people being poor, I do not think people would choose to be poor if they had the choice. Being poor meant that they had low education, limited health services and were limited to jobs that had little pay and oppression from the rich. You could sweat day and night and still get pay deducted by your heartless boss (not to mention effects of war, famine, natural disasters, plundering bandits/armies, etc..)

    There were no public schools so using education to get out of the poverty cycle would be a hard tasks unless the kid was a genius or had some financial sponsor. Also, they probably had to go to work when they were still young to get a wage to help with finances so not everyone had the luxury of time to go to school. And you have to pay a sect to send your kid in for martial arts training so that is not a good option.

    Anyway, back to the topic of selling your kid to be a slave, I think it is a last resort. Who on earth would want to part with their own flesh and blood unless they had to? Yes, being a servant meant the risk of abuse and loss of freedom. but it also meant that they would be fed and clothed, and if they were lucky enough to be tipped or get a wage, then it would help the rest of the kids in the family. So rich people even school their servants and they also learn skills/words through work. If you are a girl, you may even get taken as a concubine. It is definitely better than getting starved to death.

    Being an eunuch is horrible and it ruins their emotional life forever. But of a similar reason as selling your kid to be a servant, at least this kid won't die of starvation. It may be cruel but sacrificing one kid to save the other ten may be the more preferable option than having all thirteen people die of starvation together. Why should ten children suffer death and hunger so the parents can selfishly hold on to their "morals"? The world is realistically dark and cruel. When you have no other option, you really don't. There is no room for idealism and morals when you have a room full of screaming/crying hungry kids.

    Survival is the core of human instinct. Eat first, then plan your path later
    .

    Life is very very tough back then, but if I was in that situation then I would decide not to have any kid at all. I would not want to create children and let them live a life full of miseries with little hope. At least, when I die, my misery ends. I can rest in peace with nothing to worry about. What is great about having children to pass on the family name if they have to live in misery with little hope.

    Life does not need to be full of luxury, but you must have all the basic needs. It's better not to have children if you can't provide things like: roof over the head in a safe neighborhood, decent food on the table, public education (it's free) then some college/university, basic healthcare (it's free), basic phone, basic cable, basic internet and at least one decent (can be secondhanded and not luxury) car in a family. I think that is all the requirements. Things like million dollar house, luxury car (Ferrari, Mecedes, BMW, ect.), iphone, Ipad, Macbook are not required.
    Last edited by Trien Chieu; 09-14-13 at 12:33 PM.

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