Leftover Chinese women in youtube video

In these years, there’s a new,specific and sexist term for unmarried women in China--leftover women (Shengnu). It refers to urban, professional women whose age over 27 still being single. The irony is male population is larger than female population. These highly educated women has high requirements when seeking for boyfriend. The most popular and “basic” requirement is : “Men should have their own car and own house”. As China is not yet a welfare state with wide wealth gap, this requirement is hardly archived.

In traditional Chinese society, women are supposed to be weak, dependent and most importantly to be a wife and mother. However, with the wide spread of education and equality, women in China becomes highly educated and highly financial independent. They can live alone without men, without marriage. But still, they face great pressure from the older generation and even from the whole society. They will be labeled as spinsters and as well as I mentioned–“leftover women”. As a result, they seeks for high standard men and not willing to be with men who has less social status and wealth. They are facing the conflict of tradition and modern values. They are more independent now while still want to find a stronger man to rely on.

Upon this problem, wide discussion was held throughout the society. A men made a video with his own song stating his wish to have a girlfriend even though he has no cars and no house. Here is the video with English subtitle below. This raised wide concerns and most people give sympathy to this young guy. Soon after, a defensing video made by a group of “Golden leftover women” uploaded.  This video restates their requirements for a boyfriend and urges boys to be stronger.This video raised even more discussions, mostly are criticizes from male netizens. As long as they are anonymous, most comments are mean ,rude and even sexist. However, these comments truly reflect men’ s opinions.

In the defensing video and its comments, we can see both femininity and masculinity built strongly. In the lyric, they stated that if men do not have money, car and house then they are not qualified to have a beautiful and high quality girl to be their wives. Also, they criticize some boys are even weaker than girls. In the video, the most interesting scene is a tom-boy teasing on some “real men”  who is weaker than her. And in the comments, we can see there are tons of men criticize these girls are too material-minded and some even criticize the appearances of these girls in the video. Some say that true love should not be built upon money. Some even say that rich men will only seek for young girls but not these “leftover women”.  At the same time, there are some female netizens defensing that men should have enough wealth to maintain a family and this video is truly reflecting the reality.

After watching the video and comments, I feel sad that even modern Chinese women are higher educated and having higher social status then before, they still stick in the tradition values’ frame. They objectize themselves as a commercial good and sell their bodies when there’s somebody having enough wealth. As long as they have certain minds, men can build up their ideas of “Wealth can buy women” among the society. However, I feel grateful that the widespread of internet and media let people speak their voice out and raise discussions. I believe these discussion can make the society and women’ s mind move forward.

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2 Responses to Leftover Chinese women in youtube video

  1. Roselien says:

    I think you have found an interesting topic to blog about. Indeed, it is quite ironic that, while there is a shortage of women in China, these highly educated women are alone and can’t find a suitable partner.
    Your blog made me think of this news article I read a while ago. It stated that highly educated women have more trouble in finding a suitable partner than highly educated men. Reasons for this are that highly educated women want someone who is equally educated, while men though it was less of an issue when their partner was lower educated. Another argument for was that men would be unconsiously afraid of educated women who are able to provide for themselves and have their own opinions.
    This argument might even be more relevant in China because of the cultural characteristics you described.

  2. apalmgre says:

    An interesting topic indeed. In a way this is something that is happening offline, but when it is made into videos posted online and the comment sector is open, the online isn’t only online and the offline isn’t only offline.

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