Sheng Nv (Leftover Women)

“Leftover Women” is more a fact, an issue, a phenomenon that happens on a personal and social level, rather than propelled by the government through propaganda .

“To marry or not to marry”should be a personal choice rather than something pushed by other people, especially from a western-world point of view. However, this is an idea that doesn’t fit in the traditional family value of most Chinese parents, who believe that young woman, due to biological reasons, should get married  before a certain age to fulfil the role and expectation of  a wife and a mother. Therefore “leftover women”, most of whom grown up in urban settings different from their parents’ age, have to bear the burden of being called “selfish”, “unattractive”, “career-oriented”, or even feeling discriminated among the public.

Leta Hong Fincher (@LetaHong) attributed “Leftover Women” to the result of a big propaganda campaign focusing on urban educated women orchestrated by the Chinese government.

However, to my view, the existence of this label of “leftover women” is more a fact, an issue, a phenomenon that happens on a personal and social level, rather than propelled by the government through propaganda . The pressure faced by “leftover women” would mostly be from their parents and friends, while being a problem for “China’s population planning strategy” would probably be their least concern. With the loosen-up of China’s One-child Policy, the pressure of “having kids”might be felt even more by “leftover women”, as the idea of having more grandchildren are favoured by many Chinese parents. The feeling of “being left” is already there once these women reach their “age of starting a family” perceived by their family and peers, no matter whether the government decides to spread the idea on the state media or not.

 

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