The following post was sent to us by a lovely Chinese girl who lives in Shanghai. She is in her late 20s, enjoys a successful career with an international brand company, has traveled the world and is perhaps typical of the “modern Chinese girl” :
Chinese culture is a very traditional culture. Sometimes, I don’t like this culture very much, but as a Chinese, I can’t fight against the entire society and the general law.
I’m probably what you would call a super “sheng nu”, or “leftover woman”. I am almost 30. But I honestly really don’t like this name. I think it’s not fair – why people never call men “sheng nan” or “leftover men”?In China this is only applied to single women.
You can see some examples for this situation in Shanghai. In Shanghai, every weekend lots of mothers go to People’s Square to look for a match for their daughter. In SH, there are millions single and professional women who do not have a boyfriend. Parents’ only hopes is to see their daughter marry and build a family. My parents are the same.
I believe 50% or more of the Chinese people would want to find a rich man for their daughters. University students usually say “I’d rather cry in a BMW than laugh on the back seat of a bicycle”. This is also a very hot topic on the Chinese net right now, as people discuss the social implications of this phenomenon.
But not all Chinese women are like that, it depends on what kind of family the girl grew up in. For example, in my family my parents are very 老实，本分, have a good heart and are quite liberal. My sisters have all found boyfriends and husbands themselves with out my parents ever pushing or forcing them. When my sisters wanted to get married they just informed my parents. There was no need for ” blind dates” with parents’ help.
Same goes for me. My parents never asked me to find a rich man to get married. They always encouraged me to find a honest, kind, and nice man, so that we would be able to build a family together. Many years ago, when I had my first boyfriend in university, they didn’t approve so much. They argued that i should study hard, and I didn’t listen. After 5 years, when I told them that I broke up with my boyfriend my mother was very sad. She said that he was a good man and that I should have married him. I felt as though she blamed me for not being a a responsible girl and that I have wasted five years on the wrong man. When she asked me why I dumped him, I didn’t know how to respond so I just found an excuse and I said it was because he had no house because I thought this will convince her to give up. But instead she said: “House is not that important, you two can make money together, can get married and live in a rented house , then buy a house together when you have enough money”.
Of course the reason we broke up was not about the house, but i was very surprised that my mother didn’t care about that so much. My parents never thought i should find a man just for his house and car. I do realize that I am very lucky to grow up in this kind of family. I have never listened to my parents, and they have always respected my decisions. I don’t care if my husband is rich or poor, i don’t care much for the concept of money even though I am definitely not a rich girl. I am self-respecting and independent.All my friends are jealous of me because I can always do as I wish, my parents won’t stop me.
Things are even tougher in Shanghai. In Shanghai, a house is very expensive, and so it’s harder for guys to find a house. Another problem is that society gives women a lot of pressure, and women are becoming more independent and much stronger, taking responsibilities for themselves and depending less on men. Men are also becoming more selfish and can not always be trusted. They lie to their wives, they cheat. There are so many liars in China. Most of male friends I know – colleagues, friends, business partners, they always tell me stories about how they lied and cheated on their wives. Like when they say they go out to meet customers but in fact they go to meet friends, or to a KTV to order girls, or to clubs to try to pick up girls. Everytime I listen to these, I wonder – Will my future boyfriend lie to me? Most think there’s no need to tell women everything as to avoid hurt, so might as well just lie to them.So this is why in Shanghai, there are so many single women who can’t find a trusted good man, and their parents worry about that a lot. For “Sheng nu” it is especially not easy to find a boyfriend. Men don’t want to 30 years old women. They would prefer a 25 years or younger girl. For me, its very hard to find a husband if I am over 30 or over 32, so I expect it will be harder and harder for me in the future.
She would love to hear your opinions on her dilemma and thoughts.