December 17, 2007

Patriarchy, China style

This is a very interesting article about the new generation of women in China.

Christine Yu is single, sophisticated and successful. A senior internal auditor with a large company, Yu spends her free time practicing English at a language club and dancing, often with a paid instructor.

She does not spend her free time trying to find the right man.

“I’m very picky, I think,” Yu said.

At 29, Yu is part of a new generation of young urban Chinese women who say they have more choices than their mothers did when it comes to education, careers and, especially, marriage.

Of course, the reason she does is China's one-child (and forced abortion) policy, which I in no way agree with. However, the results definitely fall under the Banner of Unintended Consequences.

In a 2004 report, sociologists at China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission traced the new attitude to the one family-one child policies of the 1980s. The traditional Chinese preference for sons over daughters led to an epidemic of illegal gender-related abortion, creating a significant imbalance among young adults today. In some parts of the country, men outnumber women by as much as 20 percent.

As a result, China now boasts a generation of educated career women in great demand by suitors. But that interest isn’t always reciprocated.

What's interesting here is the way Chinese men still cling to the old patriarchal ideals, even when it's becoming increasingly clear that such outmoded roles only hurt them. Yes, I'm talking about you, the Hard Worker, the Provider! You've been brainwashed to believe a man's power and prestige lies only in what he can provide for his family...and what are you going to do when your wife doesn't need a Provider any more, because she can provide quite well for herself??

Sorry if that came across as snarky. But I think this is Exhibit #1 in the assertion, "Patriarchy hurts men too," and not for any stupid Mens' Rights reasons.

Money and security aren’t what attract the new generation of successful, busy young women, the All-China Women’s Federation survey found. Instead, they rate a sense of responsibility and personal integrity as the most important traits in a partner. Two-thirds, in fact, said they wouldn’t mind if their husbands brought home less money than they did.

See, it's being a good Person, not being a good Provider (and certainly not being a Wallet, despite what some MRAs assert). Of course, this wouldn't give said good Person free license to lay around on the couch and do nothing, but then again someone with a sense of "responsibility and personal integrity" wouldn't do that anyway.

Those numbers should put men on notice, Hung said.

“What Chinese men need is a good slap in the face and a wake-up call.”

Chinese men? Ha ha. I'm sure they do...but the red-blooded American male needs it twice as much.

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