ATG Quirkies: Nüshu: A Script Only Women Could Read & Write

Here is the fascinating story of a 19th-Century Chinese script only women could read and writeUnfortunately is fading with time. And what makes its decline even more regrettable is that while there are thousands of scripts that are gender-specific to men, Nüshu is a rare script “that we know is gender-specific to women.”

Nüshu is also unique in that it has its origins in a rural setting. It was first practiced by women in the southwestern Hunan Province county of Jiangyong  and allowed these rural women to keep “autobiographies, write poetry and stories, and communicate with each other.”

Thankfully, this unique script is actively being studied by academics like Cathy Silber, a professor at Skidmore College in the hope that it is not totally lost to history.

(Thanks to John Riley of Gabriel Books for providing ATG Quirkies)

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