Unmarried ‘guilty’ girls

ChinaTwo years after graduating from university, returning to his hometown to live with his parents, Zhao Junru’s relationship with them deteriorated because of “the crime of being single at the age of 27”.

“My parents and I are no longer close. They act like I’ve made a big mistake when I’m not married, which makes me extremely stressed,” said the girl from Ha Nam.

In the eyes of her parents, the daughter is very stubborn, selfish because she refuses to get married and often refuses blind dates. But Zhao insists the problem is not with her attitude to marriage, but just not finding the right man. “They (the matchmaker) wanted to find a wife, and I was looking for love,” she sighed.

The 2021 survey by dating app Tantan also clearly shows the difference between men and women in marriage attitudes. 65% of women say that they only get married when there is a real relationship (love), while 60% of men accept marriage when they come of age and find the right person.

Two women check the personal information of men attending a matchmaking event in Dongguan, Guangdong province, 2017. Photo: VCG

Millions of young Chinese women are in a similar situation to Zhao. This is the reason why the country’s marriage rate has dropped to a record, but often overlooked. Many people blame the decline in marriages on a shift in values. Millennials, especially women, are often told that they value themselves more than previous generations. They are mentioned as people who only know how to spend their youth to focus on self-improvement and career development instead of getting married.

Zhao is a teacher, graduated from college, enjoys composing poetry and making jewelry in her spare time. She wants a husband with similar characteristics, who makes her strongly attracted, but it is difficult to find such a role model in Henan province, because those with university degrees all live and work in the city. . This has led to an increase in the number of women choosing to stay single, despite social stigma.

But the word “choice” can be misleading, it hides the fact that many Chinese women, especially those living outside the big cities, have limited options for marriage. This stems from the unequal distribution of sex between urban and rural areas.

Zhao almost gave up. “There aren’t any men my age at the place where I work. And the boys from my hometown I’ve dated aren’t good,” she said.

In fact, many rural areas in China have a shortage of men with university degrees. The gender imbalance stems from the conservative social attitudes of each family: When their children graduate from college, parents tend to encourage their sons to seek opportunities in big cities; while girls are often pressured to go home, to secure state work.

There is little data on this trend, but several studies in the country of billions of people show similar migration patterns, with more young women moving back to their hometowns after graduation than men. Research by Ouyang Jing, a professor at Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, has found a severe gender imbalance in the workplaces of office workers in rural areas, such as schools. At district level, there are almost no young male teachers.

“I only have one daughter. I feel safe if she’s with me. And if I have a son, don’t worry, men should go out and do something big,” said the director of a government office. local told Ouyang.

The story of “can’t find a husband” gained more and more attention when recently a 25-year-old girl from Yushan County, Jiangxi Province posted a video complaining about the unpleasant sighting. In the video, she complains that she couldn’t find an educated, right-minded, open-minded, good-looking man to match someone who had attended a top school in China, after That study in England like her. The reason is that there are 500,000 people in the whole district where she lives, but only 20,000 men have bachelor’s degrees, many of whom are married.

Even at a recent dating event, the 25-year-old girl was paired with two men, one in her 40s, while the other was a teenager still in middle school. In particular, she knew two. this person before being matched.

Parents search for potential partners for their children at an informal marriage market inside a park in Neijiang, Sichuan province, June 2022.  Photo: Tang Mingrun / VCG

Parents search for potential partners for their children at an informal “marriage market” inside a park in Neijiang, Sichuan province, June 2022. Image: Tang Mingrun / VCG

This gives matchmakers a headache. Zhang, 56, a matchmaker in Thuong Thai district, Ha Nam province, said that 70% of her clients are female, often employees at local schools and state-owned companies, looking for friends. life in the public sector, education and pleasant personality. While the male customers are from rural areas, it is difficult to find a life partner because they do not have a good job or come from poor families.

Liu, a matchmaker in Jiangxi province, also struggled to meet client requests. The matchmaker said that young girls with a university degree want their husbands to be the state, and then consider factors such as appearance, salary, family background, and finally whether they own a house or a car. “Girls are asking too much,” Liu said. This view is shared by many parents.

Hu, 26, from Jiangsu province was also under great pressure when her parents urged her to get married after graduating from university. She has been continuously matched for the past two years, but most of the men she meets are odd, forcing Hu to refuse and be condemned. The young girl is constantly complained and criticized by her parents: “What do you have better than others”, “What qualifications do you have to choose”, “You should be lucky to have someone like you”… Conclusion As a result, Hu tries to stay out later to avoid arguments.

“I don’t think I have to get married, but my family doesn’t accept it. They think that if I don’t push and pressure, I will never get married,” she shared.

In August of this year, Hu was introduced to two objects that were rated as “normal”. Not knowing who to choose, she wrote a description of both of them on social media. The first is 24 years old, has little hair, and is a bit egotistical. The second is 27 years old, perhaps attracted by the wealth of his girlfriend’s family.

The post received hundreds of comments within hours. Many people suggested that she should choose both. But one of the most liked commenters wrote: “Just don’t get married, okay?”. In the end, Hu did not choose anyone and insisted: “I will continue to fight and calmly see what happens.”

Minh Phuong (According to Sixth Tone)


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