There are certain qualities that are characteristic of behaving in a lady-like manner. This story will showcase the traditional virtues attributed to women according to Chinese millenary culture.
Xiao Yixin is known in Chinese history as the epitome of femininity and the embodiment of a lady’s traditional virtue: softness, decorum, and loyalty among others.
Her husband was a senior official who was exiled due to a false accusation. As Xiao Yixin was of noble blood, the emperor wanted her to divorce her husband.
In response, Xiao Yixin stated: “Your Majesty, you consider me as a member of your family and want to save me from a life of exile and suffering with my husband. This is an act of great kindness.”
“However, a husband and wife must comply with our culture’s moral principles,” she continued. “The couple must remain together for better or for worse until death do them part.”
“If I left my husband while he is facing problems and difficulties in his life, it would be contrary to our basic moral principles. How would that be different from the behavior of an animal? I hope that your Majesty shows mercy by allowing me to accompany my husband in exile.”
Moved by her prayer, the emperor gave his consent.
During the exile, Xiao Yixin and her husband worked and endured hardships every day, however, she did not express any complaints and was unwaveringly friendly and respectful towards him.