I’m reading Lata Mani’s Contentious Tradition: The Debates Around Sati, wherein she quotes a missionary, William Ward, who talks about the caste system in India by analogy with Chinese shoes: “like all other attempts to cramp the human intellect, and forcibly to restrain men within the bonds that nature scorns to keep, this [caste] system, however specious in theory, has operated like the Chinese national shoe, it has rendered the whole nation cripples” (Qtd. in Mani 133)