Parent Tinder

September 19, 2017

I talked previously about town square matchmaking. There’s another story to tell.

My parents were taking a walk by their Shenzhen apartment when they notice a fair amount of commotion in a square nearby. They decided to go check it out.

Posted on bulletin boards in the square are 8.5 by 11 pieces of paper with titles like “Looking for female”. The body of the ad is a description of height, some important personal characteristics ( “good posture”), and whether the person is equipped with a house, car, and job.

A man approaches my dad as he walks in, asking abruptly: “male or female?” My dad takes a second to register that the man was asking about his child, not himself. Understanding that it would be awkward to say “I have four children”, he says he has a daughter.

The man proceeds to give an elevator pitch on his son. 173 cm, stable job, an apartment, good character, studying for a PhD.

My sister is studying for a PhD as well, so dad pipes in: “my daughter is studying for a PhD, too!”

“Then what are you looking for??”

The implication here is that women who are highly educated in China are seen as particularly undesirable. There are three genders in China: male, female, and highly-educated females. Unfortunately for my sister, she falls in the third category.

There’s not a lot to say about this, except that it is obvious that feminism has not yet gained a strong foothold in China. Despite Mao’s declaration that “women hold up half the sky” and deserve equal representation in the workforce, societal ideas about women in the workplace have changed little from traditional Confucian ideas.

Fortunately for my sister, she’s not looking for men who see education as undesirable.

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