Zhang Lijia

A growing group of well-educated Chinese women have a hard time to find a husband. Shengnu or “leftover” women they are called and author Zhang Lijia explains in The Telegraph why that is a highly insulting description.

The Telegraph:

The author and social commentator Zhang Lijia knows exactly what she thinks about the term shengnu. ‘[It’s] extremely insulting! It’s a ridiculous term! There are many countries where men don’t like strong women,’ she points out, ‘but Chinese men particularly so. If a Chinese man is successful he will be looking for a woman who is young and beautiful, not someone who is well educated.’ She pauses before laughing heartily. ‘Chinese men think educated women aren’t as easy to control!’

She may have a point. Internet chatter about shengnu came to a head last March when a young woman called Long Si Yu and 15 of her friends posted an online music video admonishing men for not having their own house or car…

So are Chinese women showing a worryingly shallow attitude towards love? Zhang Lijia says that it’s not that simple. ‘China’s rapid economic reform has certainly brought lots of opportunities,’ she explains. ‘But the income gap between men and women has increased as a result of that reform. It’s no wonder that women want to marry a rich man when so many resources are still not equally available to them.’

More in The Telegraph.

Zhang Lijia is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need her at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

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