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Chinese “Leftovers” More Than Enough For American Appetites
July 1, 2014
12:57 am
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1stworldview
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June 18, 2014
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       The authors of the original
bilateral trade agreements between the Peoples Republic of China and the
Unites States never saw this coming: A Chinese export so tantalizing,
American men would spend thousands of dollars to acquire it.  And
yet it’s popularity is only now catching on.  It’s known as “Sheng
Nu”.  Leftovers.  

       Specifically: Chinese “leftover”
women.

 

       Despite a surplus of over 20 million
men in Chinese society, Chinese women in their late 20’s and above are
finding it difficult to find a husband.  This, despite being
attractive, professionally employed, and eager to settle down. 
China’s women have abundant opportunities to find work and earn a good
living.  What is it, then, that prevents so many from finding their
way to the alter?  In fact, it’s the very culture they thrive
in.

 

       For years, the Chinese government
sponsored Women’s Federation has been pushing fast-tracking females to
let go of professional pursuits in exchange for life as a stay-at-home
wife and mother.  “If you’re still unwed by age 27,” the widely-read
Federation website says, “You’ll be ‘leftover’ and unwanted.”  The
negative connotation of the “Sheng Nu” label is so strong, many observers
say, it renders a stigma that scares away potential suitors.  And
Chinese men, according to the South China Morning Post, are deeply
obsessed with finding a less accomplished, more submissive women to
marry.

 

Sociologist and author Leta Hong Fincher, writing for the New York Times
Opinion pages, accuses China’s government of fomenting chauvinism by
sponsoring tabloid articles like “Do Leftover Women Really Deserve Our
Sympathy?”  “Eight Moves to Escape the Leftover Women Trap.” 
And then there’s the article, published on – of all days – International
Womens Day, which accuses single, independent women of having poor
morals:

 

       “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 search for
a life partner.”

 

       Is a smear campaign, designed to
demean China’s most independent-minded women into marriage, the
government’s answer to China’s staggering sex-ratio imbalance? Leta Hong
Fincher thinks so.  “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?” The chauvinist campaigns don’t stop at
marriage.  Post-nuptial relationship advice is also given. “When
you find out 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 him ‘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.”

 

 

 

       A Foreign Affair, a.k.a.
http://www.loveme.com, is planning to
capitalize on the sudden availability of China’s best natural
resource.  The Phoenix, Arizona-based international marriage agency
organizes group singles excursions, called ‘romance tours,” where
love-hungry American men travel abroad to satisfy their appetites for
exotic wives.  AFA has established offices in Shenzhen and Chonqing,
with possible expansion cities in development.  “The whole concept
of international romance tours has been around for almost twenty years,”
says CEO John Adams. “What started in Russia, Ukraine and the Philippines
in the mid 1990’s, has now expanded to China, Thailand and Latin America.
Thousands of American men travel abroad to meet future wives every
year.”   Adams says the appeal of his China tours started out a
bit slow but has started to catch on in the past year.  “Our last
tour to Shenzhen, for example, had 30 guys traveling with us.”

 

       Why are so many American men looking
overseas for wives?  And do the women rejected by their Chinese
counterparts hold the qualities American men are willing to spend
thousands of dollars and travel half way around the world to find? 
Although the success of international marriage agencies like A Foreign
Affair have been 20 years in the making, more and more singles are using
the technology available to them to find love.  American men
complain of a lack of available, attractive women over age 30 who are
interested in marriage.  “I’ve used several local dating sites,”
says Michael, a retired college professor from Detroit, “but few of the
ladies I found attractive were even remotely interested in
marriage.  A lot of desirable women over 40 are looking for casual
relationships with younger men.  I’m a little too old for clubs and
bars and I’ve always been fascinated by Chinese culture, so I figured why
not take a singles vacation and see what happens.”

 

       Cities like Shanghai, popular among
expatriates and tourists, are seeing record numbers of women applying to
agencies in hopes of finding a foreign husband.  Unlike Latin or
European women, Chinese women often pay fees to submit their
profile.  “It’s also fair to say,” says Adams, “that Chinese women
are looking for men who are somewhat educated, professional and
financially stable as they are.  They believe such American men will
be less insecure and more supportive of their values.”  The
stereotypical desperate loner who travels to Asia to meet simple,
unsophisticated girls need not apply.  Chinese ladies bring it all
and have above average expectations.

 

       But are Chinese women marrying
American men merely exchanging one harsh stigma for another?  For
years, tabloid media reports have accused opportunistic
“mail-order-brides” of making their way to America on the backs of
American men, only to then dodge their husbands for the precarious life
of an illegal immigrant on the lam. There’s virtually no evidence any
such trend, in fact, AFA claims most international couples go on to be
very happy.  How, then, will the cultural misperceptions of
international marriage impact Chinese ladies who follow their husbands to
a new home? John Adams points out “There are millions of
Chinese-Americans and a well developed Chinese subculture in America.
There will be plenty of opportunities to make friends, find work and
adjust to life in America over time.” Traveling back and forth from the
USA to China has never been easier, so family ties needn’t be affected
either.  And besides, for the fine women of China, this experience
is all about the end result: a loving husband and family.”

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