Sunday, March 10, 2013

Business of Marriage in China

So in today's New York Times there was an interesting article about the business of marriage in China. The article followed two different women searching for the perfect match, for someone else. One was part of an official match-making business searching for a mate for a very wealthy perfectionist with a very particular taste.

The other was a woman from rural China trying to find a mate for her aging son. Apparently it is hard to pair a male up who does not own property, etc. Equally hard to pair up is a successful woman, which to me is ridiculous.

The woman from the match-making business earns quite a living for herself, with something like $30,000 bonuses once the deal has been sealed. Her clients pay $500,000 upwards just for the service.

The one voice that was not represented in this story was the voice of women in China. I realize that is a completely different topic that opens a whole new can of worms, but what must it feel like to be walked up to while shopping in the mall and propositioned by a match-maker. And this is apparently not uncommon in China, as there is a big business to be gained to find the perfect mate.

And the women they are searching for are the ones who don't go to graduate school, who are willing to be less successful and be the shadow to the man's success. Just made me ill to read. I was so disappointed that I didn't hear what the women of China have to say about this practice.

At one point in the story, the mother searching for a wife for her son, matched him up with a very successful woman in China. She met with him, said "we get married and you'll never have to work again." And he turned it down because of his manhood.

What do the adolescent girls in China feel about this for their future? In western culture success for women is celebrated, I am somewhat shocked to see that this sexist thinking still exists in the world.

All I have to say is I am glad I live in the United States and was able to pick my husband based on love, not on success, money and artificial, sexist, class-system match-making.

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