Leta Hong Fincher at NYT shows us how the All-China Women’s Federation, which was founded in 1949 by the Communist Party to “protect women’s rights and interests,” is trying to scare single young women into lowering their standards. They really do not mince words.
Pretty girls don’t need a lot of education to marry into a rich and powerful family, but girls with an average or ugly appearance will find it difficult. These kinds of girls hope to further their education in order to increase their competitiveness. The tragedy is, they don’t realize that as women age, they are worth less and less, so by the time they get their M.A. or Ph.D., they are already old, like yellowed pearls.
How many bullshit misogynist beliefs can you pack into a short paragraph?
Is it really so unlikely that many young women are pursuing higher education because they want to be highly educated and have ambitious careers? Is it possible that some women want to be professors, attorneys, physicians, historians, or otherwise noted experts in their fields? Do you really think they go to all that trouble just to make themselves more interesting for potential husbands? Does it take an M.A. or Ph.D. to get an MRS?
Many highly educated “leftover women” are very progressive in their thinking and enjoy going to nightclubs to search for a one-night stand, or they become the mistress of a high official or rich man. It is only when they have lost their youth and are kicked out by the man, that they decide to look for a life partner. Therefore, most “leftover women” do not deserve our sympathy.
Don’t sleep around, ladies! Don’t spend your 20s having fun and fucking all the dudes you want! You need to marry the first guy who shows an interest, or else you’ll be old and single. And by “old” we mean over 27.
The main reason many girls become “leftover women” is that their standards for a partner are too high … As girls are not too picky, finding a partner should be as easy as blowing away a speck of dust.
Can you find the contradiction in this statement?
When holding out for a man, if you say he must be rich and brilliant, romantic and hardworking … this is just being willful. Does this kind of perfect man exist? Maybe he does exist, but why on earth would he want to marry you?
So, how are single men supposed to set their standards for potential mates? There are actually more men under a certain age in China than women, so what kind of advice are men getting to make themselves more appealing to eligible young women?
This is possibly the best part:
When you find out that he is having an affair, you may be in a towering rage, but you must know that if you make a fuss, you are denying the man “face” … No man is capable of spending a lifetime being loyal to an outmoded wife who never changes … Try changing your hairstyle or your fashion. Women must constantly change for the better.
*blogger pours herself some more vodka*
What the effing shit.
Ms. Hong Fincher explains the agency’s motivation:
Curious, I searched the Women’s Federation Web site and found that it posted its first article on “leftover” women in 2007, shortly after China’s State Council issued an edict on strengthening the Population and Family Planning program to address “unprecedented population pressures.” These pressures include the sex-ratio imbalance — which “causes a threat to social stability” — and the “low quality of the general population, which makes it hard to meet the requirements of fierce competition for national strength,” according to the State Council. The State Council names “upgrading population quality (suzhi)” as one of its key goals, and appoints the Women’s Federation as a primary implementer of its population planning policy.
What better way to upgrade population quality than to frighten “high-quality” women into marrying and having a child for the good of the nation?
Let’s get this much out of the way: Eugenics is SO 1930s. We see through your “population quality” nonsense, China.
The sex-ratio imbalance is significant. The agency’s scare-mongering of single women makes it sound like their country is suffering a serious shortage of single men.
It is a well-documented fact that, due to the combined pressures of their one-child policy and the cultural preference for sons, there are significantly more men than women in the Chinese population of marriageable age. A man shortage is the very opposite of China’s problem in “population pressures.”
They’re not worried about women being unable to find men who want to marry them. The All-China Women’s Federation is really looking out for the interests of “leftover” men. They’re trying to minimize the number of men who can’t have families by convincing women that their time is running out. They could try giving men advice on how to make themselves more attractive to women, because, let’s face it, women in China can afford to be choosy in ways that men can’t, but that would require the government to acknowledge that men are not superior to women in every way.
I understand that there is a healthy rate of population decline, and it is possible to go beyond it, but perhaps the Chinese government should have thought about that before they instituted a one-child policy in a culture that views daughters as dead weight. If the problem really is a matter of women having expectations that men can’t meet, then there should be a campaign of teaching men how to be better partners so that women will be more likely to have their one baby apiece. There would still be some men left out, unless they also decide to encourage polyandry, but if the emphasis were on teaching men how to improve themselves, it might actually achieve the goal of persuading more women to get married.
That is, of course, assuming that China suffers from legions of women holding out for the man who is “rich and brilliant, romantic and hard-working,” which I doubt. I think it’s more likely that some Chinese women just don’t want to get married or raise a kid. They want to be highly educated, have interesting jobs, and spend their younger years having a good time. They’re not looking for Mr. Right because they don’t need him. Perhaps China is a victim of its own success in population control. Many young women see that the population density is too damn high, and they figure they’re doing their country a favor by not adding one more human being per couple to the country’s already-limited real estate. Or perhaps marriage is unappealing to them because men have been taught to believe that they can sleep around and then blame it on the wife for not keeping her hairstyle up to date.
I will offer a reality check: if a man in a population with China’s sex-ratio imbalance cheats on his wife, it’s not because his wife isn’t keeping up his interest, it’s because HE’S A FUCKING MORON.
I tell you, China is pissing me off. I gave them a uniquely varied approach to gender roles in the post-Plague world of Charlinder’s Walk, and the All-China Women’s Federation is partying like it’s 1955. They target highly educated women and treat them like they have peanut shells for brains. It’s safe to assume that a woman with an M.A. or higher knows how to count, and understands what her country’s ratio of females to males implies.
Message to the Chinese government: “high-quality” women do not owe their vaginas to your men, or their uteri to your tax rolls. You would make far better use of their training and qualifications if you appreciated them for their brains.