In an ancient and sexist society that is plagued by some traditions, women are beginning to reflect. Now, being a wife and mother is no longer their sole aim. Society is undergoing fast changes and rapid economic development.
As elegant and interesting as they may be, it is very difficult for a Chinese woman to get married after the age of 30, whilst at 35 it is almost impossible and after the age of 40 all hope is lost.
According to the Beijing Municipal Statistics Bureau, there was a notable increase in the capital of unmarried women following a 2015 inquest of 1% of the city’s population. The survey showed that in Beijing, 4% of the single people interviewed between the ages of 30 and 44 were women, a rise of 40% compared to the last national consensus of the population which was carried out five years ago.
Around 92.5% of these single women live in urban areas, and 81.1% of them had university degrees or higher qualifications than married women.
Nonetheless, the majority of single men live in rural areas and more than half of them only received high school education.
In addition to the growth of their cities, the overpopulation that China suffers is another problem that affects this population group.
Cultural reasons or the prevailing machismo in this society means that men consider it very late for a woman to not have found her Prince Charming by the age of 30.
This preference for younger women condemns many thirty-somethings to be seen as ‘loners’, without mentioning the enormous family pressure to get married and have children.
Such is the case that parents and relatives often seek suitors for their daughters and arrange blind dates between friends and acquaintances.
Other times they meet in parks with photos of their children to try to pair them up with neighbours’ children.
As a last and more complex resort, the singles sign up to one of the many agencies in the country that organize parties for couples to meet.
The older generations in China, influenced by a Confucian ideology that considers it a dishonour to parents not to provide an heir, still see marriage as a fundamental base for the family. This need also arises from the necessity to take care of future grandparents as they age.
Nonetheless and with the aim of making their parents happy even temporarily, there have recently appeared virtual shops to rent a partner, something which grew 88.4% between 2012 and 2013, and despite the fact that girlfriends can be rented, most of the partners are men. The price of these so called ‘other halves’ range between 1,000 and 10,000 yen a day ($160 to $600US), and can even charge more for romantic gestures such as stroking, kissing, holding hands, and chatting with the supposed in-laws, however in most cases do not offer sexual services.
This crossroads facing the new generations, who choose mostly to study at university of travel abroad in search of knowledge rather than a partner, proves the real confrontation between tradition and modernity.
(Photos from Pixabay)
(Translated by Amber Dhabalia – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)