Highly educated, high-income, young women in their twenties who have not married yet, such a group of women are called "leftover women" in China. Many Chinese men reject them because of their age, income, and education. As a last resort, they emigrated to a foreign country in search of love.
In 2007, the All-China Women's Federation used the term "leftover women" for the first time to refer to unmarried women over 27.
Another more devastating word might be "female doctor". In China, "female doctors" not only refer to women who have obtained doctoral degrees, but also have a sense of criticism and irony: in order to seek the most advanced academic qualifications, even the spirit and charm of sacrifice for the family that women should have are gone. find a partner?
The real society of weak men and strong women
"Men are very afraid of me, both emotionally and economically," said 31-year-old Xu Liang. At 10 o'clock in the evening, she finished her work day and went home from get off work-her home is located in the center of downtown Shanghai, a clean and beautiful apartment.
Although she is over 30, she is still confident and charming, and her monthly income discourages many men: 35000 RMB. She represents the new image of modern Chinese women: well-educated and very successful in her career. However, like many single women of the same age, Xu Liang found the other half of his life under the "indiscriminate bombardment" of his family and the media, and the pressure to get married as soon as possible was increasing.
Although men are also under pressure to find a partner to marry, women receive far more unfair treatment than men. Countless surveys, articles, cartoons, and media reports use the term "leftover women" to describe older single women. Articles such as "Nine Bad Habits Make You Can't Find a Good Man" and "Eight Kinds of Women, Men Run at the First Seen" are often seen in the newspapers.
Achieving women are not just the targets of criticism by the provocative media, but in reality, they are also the most sought after – although last year’s statistics show that there are 3400 million more Chinese men than women . A recent survey conducted by a research institute in Hong Kong showed that it is not easy for women to find a stable partner in China, a still relatively conservative patriarchal society. Moreover, because many men cannot compare with these successful women in terms of education, achievement, and income, they still cannot take off the hat of "older leftover women".
"My mother arranges blind dates for me all day long," said 29-year-old Yang Fei (she is a university professor who is still single), "but six out of ten people immediately rejected me when they heard that I was a PhD."
It seems that for at least some Chinese men, the old Chinese saying is still true: a woman's ignorance is virtue. But in the same way, men who cannot make money to support their families are also looked down upon.
"Traditional concepts put a lot of pressure on men and make them feel that they should support their families, even though some women don't mind that their partner is'weak' than themselves," said Sandy To Sin-chi, a Hong Kong sociologist .
Many men agree with Sandy. Kevin, a marketing consultant working in Shanghai, said, "If I earn less than my female colleagues, I will feel very ashamed, unconfident, and faceless."
Is it lowering your standards?
"Women should lower their standards and learn to tolerate the shortcomings of men," said Zhou Juemin, the chief of the Shanghai Women's Activity Center. She said that the demands of women are too high, and reminded them that the chances of finding men who are as handsome as Andy Lau, who owns a car and a house, and who share their own interests and hobbies, are too low.
However, many women said that some "shortcomings" are really intolerable. They stated that if the men they meet are "careful", "insecure" and "mind behind", they cannot tolerate them. A girl said that a man who had dated her once gave her a “vaccination” in advance and said that if they got married, she could only meet with a good friend twice a year. And some other girls also said that men have too much control.
"Undoubtedly, the concept of women has improved, and men are still sticking to those backward concepts," said Hong Fincher, author of "Leftover Women: The Recovery of Gender Inequality in China".
Last year, a study published in the journal Science found that compared with those born before the implementation of the one-child policy (implemented in 1979), those born after the implementation of the policy are more risk-averse, less likely to trust others, and more It is not worthy of belief, and at the same time more pessimistic and uncompetitive. Lata Gangadharan, a professor at Monash University in Australia, said these characteristics are more pronounced in men. "This is probably due to the preference for boys over girls in Chinese society," she said.
Regardless of the reason for the lack of good men in mainland China, for women, finding a partner is a very tangled matter: on the one hand, society puts a lot of pressure on them, because in this society, people generally think that marriage is not For women, it is still very important: On the other hand, if you can't find a "like-minded" partner, what should you do? Under the dilemma, they have to go to other places, even abroad, to find true love.
Or go overseas to find true love?
Zhang Yalin, who has been a professional matchmaker for 18 years, said that she has recently discovered that more and more women want to find partners abroad, and 30% of her female clients now think that finding a foreigner as a partner is the best choice.
"Before I always thought that there were cultural differences between the East and the West, so foreigners were not suitable to be partners," Xu Liang said. "But now I find that it is easier for foreigners to have common values with me. (With foreign partners) I will There is more freedom."
Shanghai Yali Wedding Merchants Club has more and more members. Here, the price of the courses ranges from 2800 yuan to 40000 yuan, and these courses teach women how to capture "foreign elite men."
These courses are mainly for divorced women or older leftover women over 30 years old. The club’s founder Liang Yali said that after taking their courses, female customers have a 60% chance of successfully finding "foreign elite men". She said that the club will teach women some important skills, such as how to build self-confidence and understand themselves better. ,and many more.
Transnational marriage is nothing new in China, and what these older leftover women worry about is not cultural differences, but the authenticity of these so-called "foreign elites" status.
"The Chinese environment has polluted these foreigners living in China," Xu Liang said. "The money they make is not clean. They evade taxes, corrupt and accept bribes, and they also have ambiguities with many girls at the same time."
Perhaps this also explains why Chinese girls' enthusiasm for getting foreigners to marry has gradually calmed down. A 2009 survey report showed that 49% of young women surveyed chose to find Chinese men as their husbands.
Some experts also pointed out why girls are becoming more and more cautious when looking for foreign husbands. According to them, a girl who wants to marry a foreigner will be questioned by friends and neighbors to a large extent, and will be regarded as "too casual", "too open", "spoiled by foreign devils", and so on.
Although Chinese girls are becoming more and more cautious about choosing foreigners as their husbands, there are still more and more people traveling abroad to pursue true love. Statistics show that about 30 Chinese citizens immigrate abroad every year. Women use this as a way to escape the pressure of "forced marriage" from family and society.
Although still living with her family, Yang Fei said that she did not feel warm at all. "In China, if you are single, no one will be interested in your career or other achievements. Marriage is the only measure of happiness and success. I feel desperate to live in this environment, which is why I want to escape abroad. Reason," she said.
"In China, I have to hide my wisdom and abilities, especially in front of my boyfriend's friends, but here I never have to consider that my boyfriend will lose face," said Ting Yun, the petite sales director , She immigrated to Rotterdam, the Netherlands last year.
Foreign countries are not paradise
Of course, it is not easy to immigrate abroad and find true love.
"It was difficult to overcome cultural differences at first," said Zhou Jin, who moved to London three years ago. "I also hope that European men will be like Chinese men, who love others and have a strong desire to control. But they never seem to be jealous. , Don’t cling to people. This makes me miserable because they look cold and not involved at all."
“Most foreigners just want to have a relationship with me rather than really fall in love. Deng Mei said that she immigrated to Australia after breaking up with her boyfriend who had been in love for 5 years last year.” I think sex should be based on a relationship. Yes, but here, casual sexual relations are normal. "
It is not easy to change foreigners' stereotypes of Chinese women. Zhou Jin said, "Some foreign men I know think that all women should be the same, they have to be gentle, obedient, and dependent on men. I think they must be disappointed when they see me."
Although immigrating abroad can free them from the constraints of their parents, many Chinese women still cannot escape the pressure from their parents. After all, they have to take responsibility for the family. No matter where you flee, this kind of responsibility cannot be escaped.
"Every time I call, my mother cries on the other side of the phone, which makes me feel very depressed," said 30-year-old Deng Mei. "If I marry a local, they will feel that they have an extra son," she explained, "and if I marry a foreigner, they will feel that they have lost their only daughter."
In any case, in the current Chinese society, it is not easy for women to balance love and career, married life and personal development, and the phenomenon of "leftover women" will continue to exist.