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Matchmaking in China
April 13, 2013 7:03 PM   Subscribe

"For Ms. Yang, Joy City is not so much a consumer mecca as an urban Serengeti that she prowls for potential wives for some of China’s richest bachelors."

On the other hand, Grandma Long of rural Hunan is also on the hunt for eligible singles, but on an entirely different level.
posted by cyml (15 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
The attitude of the "clients" is so poisonous, I work with some Chinese postdocs (both male and female), I worry about how their culture will treat them if they return (i.e. will they be overeducated leftovers).
posted by 445supermag at 7:37 PM on April 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


“If I accepted that situation,” he asked me, “what kind of man would I be?”

Uh, a rich, married one, you imbecile?
posted by 1adam12 at 8:11 PM on April 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


Her life suddenly had a new purpose. “I decided that I will not go home until I find a wife for my son,” she told me. “It’s the only thing left unfinished in my life.”....Her elder two sons had found wives in traditional ways...but Mr. Zhao, her youngest, had not. After losing his job in an electronics factory in Harbin, he followed his hometown sweetheart to Beijing. They were in love and planned to marry. But her family demanded a bride price — a sort of dowry used in rural China — of $15,000. His family could not afford it, and the relationship ended.

....

The marriage candidates on offer in the parks, she discovered, were often a mismatch of shengnu (“leftover women”) and shengnan (“leftover men”), two groups from opposite ends of the social scale. Shengnan, like her son, are mostly poor rural men left behind as female counterparts marry up in age and social status. The phenomenon is exacerbated by China’s warped demographics, as the bubble of excess men starts to reach marrying age.


This situation is toxic on many different levels, not just on the "rich guy wants supermodel" one.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 8:26 PM on April 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's saddening that this attitude prevails. The culture has become so materialistic that the social fabric is disintegrating.
posted by arcticseal at 8:27 PM on April 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


The story of the woman whose proposal Mr. Zhao rejected makes me think that there's a market for mail-order American husbands. Take some liberal-arts educated younger men who have lousy job prospects and student debt, and who are willing to relocate...
posted by alexei at 9:55 PM on April 13, 2013 [13 favorites]


The old social fabric there, like most places in the world, was not exactly kind to women--or, really, to men who had any respect for women as human beings. So, I don't really have a lot of sadness for it going away.
posted by Sequence at 11:30 PM on April 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


The culture has become so materialistic that the social fabric is disintegrating.

Or being seen as threadbare to begin with.
posted by three blind mice at 12:22 AM on April 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


When it's not replaced with something better, that's the problem. People have stopped caring about what you do and how you behave, it's soley about how much money you have.
posted by arcticseal at 6:38 AM on April 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


In the other, Ms. Yang’s richest client at Diamond Love deployed dozens of love hunters to find the most exquisite fair-skinned beauty in the land, even as he fretted about being conned by a bai jin nu, or gold digger.
Well buddy, you get what you pay for.
posted by smirkette at 7:23 AM on April 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


There's not a single thing about this whole story that isn't heartbreaking in one way or another :-(
posted by Lucien Dark at 9:02 AM on April 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


"She had just spent an hour with a rich Chinese businesswoman in her late 30s. The woman proposed spending $100,000 on a campaign to find a husband who matched her status.
“I had to tell her we couldn’t take her case,” Ms. Yang said. “No wealthy Chinese man would ever marry her. They always want somebody younger, with less power.”
We sat in silence a minute before Ms. Yang spoke again. “It’s depressing to think about these ‘leftover women,’ ” she said. “Do you have them in America, too?” "

I'm so glad I'm not Chinese. I'm already Christmas cake as is in America, but we still don't point it out so much here.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:02 AM on April 14, 2013


I wouldn't be too quick to judge any of the people in this article; there's a whole matrix of pressures at work here that I don't even begin to understand. The woman who breaks up with her highschool sweetheart because his family can't afford her dowry. Or the dude who won't marry a rich woman in her 30s, even though he works two jobs and his prospects are poor. These are not decisions I understand.

Certainly seems like a situation where everybody winds up unhappy, though. Even the millionaire who gets "the perfect woman"; how long until she farts in bed or something and he realizes she's not perfect? You think he's gonna be happy for long?
posted by Afroblanco at 11:03 AM on April 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I bet a lot of people wish they hadn't buried their unwanted daughters right after birth now don't they?
posted by Renoroc at 12:18 PM on April 14, 2013


The story of the woman whose proposal Mr. Zhao rejected makes me think that there's a market for mail-order American husbands. Take some liberal-arts educated younger men who have lousy job prospects and student debt, and who are willing to relocate...

I sent this to a friend of mine who graduated from undergrad in 2011 who majored in philosophy and studied abroad in China; his response was exactly along these lines, except I think he might actually be serious about it. I see the temptation, honestly. I love my job, but it would be hard to turn that offer down.
posted by protocoach at 12:54 PM on April 14, 2013


Absolutely heartbreaking, but I wonder if this is exclusive to China. I feel like I saw an article a year or two ago about how women were getting increasingly more educated than men, and thus often face an education gap in potential partners.
posted by corb at 11:32 PM on April 14, 2013


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