Surplus women and their stigma in China

who are the leftover women in China? China is a very particular country. It is the country with the largest population in the world and has a culture that is very different from Western cultures. Although, for a long time, women in China have had a problem, that of getting married before the age of 27.

surplus women in China

Surplus women in China are over 27 years old

Those young women who have not been able to marry before that age are considered “leftover women”. A documentary called “The Takeover of the Marriage Market”, which went viral in that country, shows the stigma that it means for Chinese women not to get married.

The big problem is that, for Chinese society, marriage and motherhood are prioritized as the standard for women. In addition, respect for parents is very important. Not being married is considered as an unforgivable disrespect to parents.

Even, the Chinese government itself, on its Women’s Federation website categorizes them as surplus women. Years ago, the government itself warned of a certain gender imbalance that was occurring. The “only child” policy caused selective abortions.

Couples, when it came to having a single child, chose boys. When it was detected that it was a girl, an abortion was performed. Although this policy ended in 2015, the Chinese government pressured young women to marry.

Marriage markets

According to Leta Hong Fincher, author of The Surplus Woman, Chinese women have already begun to rebel. Young Chinese women are at a turning point and many have begun to live an individual and free lifestyle. Many young Chinese women are gaining the self-confidence to defy the government’s “mandate” to marry. Because of the great commercial power that the country is today, women are much more educated.

It is one of the reasons they resist marriage, they can live off their own labor. In the documentary “The Marriage Market Takeover”, young women relate the difficulties women have in not getting married. The so-called marriage markets are a current option. Chinese parents seek to find husbands for their daughters.

The documentary shows the procedure of parents taking their daughters to a marriage market. Generally, in these places, parents leave posters with the characteristics of their daughters to find interested in them. In these marriage markets, parents leave their daughters’ resumes. They display a photo of the girl, if she has a job, house, car and how much she earns annually. In addition, on the posters they put their body measurements, in order to find a partner for them.

marriage in China

In a totally patriarchal state, for women, being single is an affront. Young Chinese girls need to see themselves as independent women and that being single is not an embarrassment. According to Hong Fincher, it will take a while to achieve that independence. The current trend of free and independent women is on the rise.

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