Statue of seated Buddha that the Empress Wu Zetian had carved into the 1000 Buddha Caves at Luoyang, China. The face is suppose to resemble the empress.
Wu Zetian was the only empress in the Chinese history. There is an introduction about the Wu Zetian.
The Tang dynasty (618-906 AD) was a time of relative freedom for women. They did not bind their feet nor lead submissive lives. It was a time in which a number of exceptional women contributed in the areas of culture and politics. So it is no surprise that Wu, born into a rich and noble family, was taught to play music, write, and read the Chinese classics. By thirteen years of age she was known for her wit, intelligence, and beauty, and was recruited to the court of Emperor Tai Tsung. She soon became his favorite concubine. But she also had eyes for his son, Kao Tsung.
When the emperor died and Kao Tsung took over, Wu was now twenty seven years old. In time she became a favorite concubine of the new emperor, giving birth to the sons he wanted. As mother of the future emperor of China, she grew in power. She managed to eliminate Kao Tsung's wife, Empress Wang, by accusing her of killing Wu's newborn daughter. Kao Tsung believed Wu, and replaced Empress Wang to marry the up and coming Wu Zetian.
In the Chinese history, there was only one female empress in the history. It showed that women were less important than men. In the past, when a woman was pregnant, everyone wanted to have a son rather than daughter. They thought that having a daughter just like help other people to rear their daughter because woman will get married and go to husband's house to live. They will think son was much better than daughter. Woman and man did not have the equal status in the past. Women did not need to study, go to school and also recognize words, they just needed to do housework, needless work and take care of children. Hence, there is a proverb:" Mediocrity is a woman's virtue." This proverb means that woman does not know anything is much better. In my opinion, it is difficult to have an female empress in the past because woman is not equal than man and most of women do not learn anything. If we say that she is a kind of dragon lady, no one will be doubt. When I first time knew there was a female empress in the history, I was surprised at it and also curious why she could become the only female empress and how could she do it. She was helping her son to control, it ruled in place of the emperor. She also collected all of power and authority to herself and then she became the only one female empress in the history. She broke the female stereotype in the past such as she learned everything and became a female empress. She is a perfect example of dragon lady and people must be respect her and follow her rules. It is not an easy work, but she did it and let me feel she was successful and make me admire.
There is a film about Wu Zetian:
"Empress Wu Zetian." Female Hero: (Women in World History Curriculum). N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2013.