China Love Report: 'Leftover women' look for younger men
In a country where thing changes rapidly, even a concept as simple as love isn’t static. The recently published China Love Report 2009 in New Weekly Magazine China reports that love is no longer the same thing as sung about in the romancic Song Dynasty Ci poems (see our piece on the Shanghai Marriage Market).
The New Weekly Magazine story breaks romantic relationships in China into several categories, the most startling being the existence of the shengnu (剩女).
Shengnu (剩女) and the younger men
In China, with a little help from the Internet and Chinese netizens, single women over 28 years old are now creatively called “shengnu.” With exactly the same sound as the Chinese word for “saint woman” (圣女), shengnu actually means “leftover women.”
And we thought the terms “pumas” and “cougars” were bad.
A study carried out by the Marriage Department of the Chinese Women's Union on the gender of those who were set up on dates in several Chinese cities in 2009 reveals that the ratios of men to women over the age of 28 were not in favor of the fairer sex. It showed one man to two women in Changsha, one to three in Tianjin, one to six in Guangzhou, and a startling one to 10 in Shanghai. So it seems Shengnu (剩女) probably are looking for men, it's just that all they find is more women. Also looking for men.
The explanation? “While [women] are busy filling in the information on the dating websites, they realize most men around them are old, married or sexually confused,” states Sun Linlin, author of China Love Report 2009.
With ideal men in their own age bracket few and far between, Chinese shengnu (剩女) are looking to a new market: younger men.
While it's not news that many middle-aged Chinese men often believe that they can always marry girls under 25 if their current marriage ends in divorce, what’s new from the China Love Report is now that their wives feel similarly. Looks like everyone’s now on the prowl.
Love is a luxury
With a new take on relationship norms and expectations comes a new view of love for many shengnu (剩女) in China. “Love is a luxury, not a necessity,” says netizen Gougou Bie Ku. “That's very cruel,” responds user Gu Ningyu, “but it's the reality.”
With some responses agreeing that at their age (read: over 28 years old) love is not the first thing they consider anymore, some shengnu (剩女) are still hanging in there. “We don't want to compromise,” says Qing Shui in her post, “but we will fall hard if we are unlucky.”