Nationalizing Chinese women
Chinese blogger Hwang Zhangjin is advocating on the Internet for the “nationalization of women.” He claims that all women should be managed by the government. But women are not property, so why is he making such an absurd argument? Let’s look at what he’s written online.
“I break out in a cold sweat when I receive a call from my parents in my hometown. The conversation always begins with a question, ‘Will you be able to get married this year?’ and ends with their lament. It is really hard for me to repeatedly tell my old parents, ‘I am not ready yet.’ But it is not my fault. There are six million more men than women in China. Moreover, corrupt civil servants have concubines. They all have beautiful girlfriends of marriageable age, often more than one. When stocking up on certain products or market monopolization is controlled by the government, why is the state not controlling the monopolization of women? The challenge of marriage is a serious social problem, not a personal problem. So I advocate the nationalization of female resources. When women reach a marriageable age, the government arranges marital unions, and when they divorce, second marriages should be arranged. And a monopoly of women by certain people should be strictly prohibited. Families and society would be in harmony, and old bachelors can lessen their anxiety.”
You may think he is exaggerating, but the growing number of old single men is a serious problem indeed. As of the end of 2013, the male-to-female ratio in China was 118 to 100, far more serious than the statistics that Huang based his argument on. The gender ratio in the marriageable age group was 120 men to 100 women. Mathematically, one in five men will have a hard time getting married - especially single men in rural regions with not much money or connections.
Moreover, Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corrupt civil servants revealed that they had extramarital relationships without an exception. They each have not one or two but dozens of girlfriends. So the bachelors are understandably frustrated.
Of course, the Chinese government is making an effort. Recently, 13 ministries, including the Ministry of Public Security, announced a joint measure to reinforce a crackdown on controlling the gender of a child before birth. If left untouched, the traditional male favoritism will lead to a riot of old single men in no time.
However, with the female population so significantly smaller, the government has no clever plan. As the Spring Festival is approaching next month, single men who will visit their families in their hometowns are concerned that their parents will press them about marriage. The time bomb of the old single male is ticking in China.
But what do people think about Huang’s argument? The first reply on the post was, “Well, no wonder you’re still not married!”
The author is the Beijing bureau chief
of the JoongAng Ilbo. JoongAng Ilbo, Jan. 24, Page 30
by CHOI HYUNG-KYU