Unfortunately for China’s women their new-found confidence has incited a backlash from men, the government and even their own families.
The popular Chinese label (leftover women), regularly perpetuated in state-controlled media and on internet message boards, refers to women who are smart, successful and moneyed but still not married by the age of 28.
Yet when Yu’s three-decade-long marriage broke up because of her husband’s infidelity and new fatherhood, she was the one who initiated the divorce. With the increase of “leftover” men in China, the tides seem to have turned, empowering Chinese women who seek marriage partners.
After obtaining the doctorate degree, he stays in China and works as a professor in Yunnan Minzu University.
Fang Jing, a travel enthusiast, fell in love with Xin Renjie during her trip in India in 2012. Xin decided to hold a traditional Indian wedding in Kunming, as he wanted more Chinese to know about Indian culture.
Transgender talk-show host dubbed Chinese Oprah, Jin Xing, is the MC of hugely popular reality TV show “Chinese Dating” because of its aggressive and unique style with young people bringing their parents and relatives on the stage to participate in the selection of their date.
Critics have labeled it sexist and a step backward similar to the outdated custom of an arranged marriage, but the show partly reflects today’s Chinese marriage ecosystem where “leftovers” and their parents hit the panic buttons when festive events must be attended such as family gatherings during Lunar New Year, the Lantern Festival or Chinese Valentine’s Day (February 11).
There are not many cultures where it would be acceptable for a parent to choose one’s girlfriend, but in mainland China there is a multitude of options from television dating shows with unusual Chinese characteristics, mobile apps and blind dates.
“People are either blind dating or on the way to blind dating” is a popular saying, so dating shows have become popular but one stands out like a tall poppy in a field.
Attitudes are changing,” said Yong Cai, a sociologist and population expert at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Cai also said that it has become acceptable to marry someone whose earnings are less than your own.
In China, the one-child policy forced the abortions and in India, increasing availability of prenatal screening and a preference for boys contributed to the imbalance.
And as data collected by the Economist shows, the imbalance is getting even more extreme: • From 2010 to 2015, China's birth ratio was 116 boys to 100 girls, India's was 111 to 100. • If births rates were normal, China would have 66 million more girls born in 2010. • In 2050, India will have an estimated 30% more men looking to marry than single women. • In China in 2050, there will be an estimated 186 single men looking to marry for every 100 single women.
That’s right: in China, if you're 30, female and single, you’re considered well and truly on the shelf.