Inside the Mind of a Chinese Woman
I was having dinner with my old classmate yesterday (that’s not her pictured above, but meh, might as well be the same) and she basically poured out her soul to me.
Now usually when opens their heart to you, really, just spills their guts; you discover new things about people you never knew before. You start to question your own life, your own goals, this world, the universe, why life and death exist. Nothing is the same for you, for your friend–for anyone.
When my friend finally poured her heart and soul onto our dinner table, I had to feign shock.
Oh goodness, I gasped, this can’t be so. Chinese women are all the same?
But they are my dear reader. It’s not just her heart and soul, but all 5 million women in China have THE EXACT SAME THOUGHTS. It actually blows my mind how everyone in China can actually think the same, but I guess I shouldn’t be that shocked–I mean, it is a communist country. Still, this girl was an English major that dreamed of living abroad. I was expecting something at least slightly different.
Exactly what did she say? Basically the dogma for every woman in this country. The exact same thought pattern and process that every Chinese person has floating through their brain. I mean, I hate to generalize but this is the god honest truth. I’ve met hundreds of Chinese people, especially women, and they all tell me the same story–thus I can’t even distinguish who is who anymore.
When I first came to China, I treated these stories like research. How can we be so different? How can they think this way? This requires study, data, statistics!!
But after a while, I figured everyone in China was basically like my classmate so no research was necessary. Just a smile and a nod. You’re good.
Oh, what did she say? Are you curious? Well, let me repeat her conversation word for word (she literally spoke for 10 minutes); I’m going to retell it just for you–so you can understand China in all its great glory.
The Mental Thought Pattern of a 22-28 Year Old Chinese Woman
“Mary, it was my dream to become an interpreter. Really. I thought I couldn’t fail in this area, I was so confident. My English was so good, I got into this famous masters program, and everyone told me that simultaneous interpreters make a ton of money.
But then I came to Shanghai from my rural village and saw that everyone speaks English and has degrees from Columbia and UCLA. I feel so overwhelmed. Everyone in the class is talented at interpreting. I looked at the alumni list of our schools and almost half of them were without jobs, or were doing freelance. I’m really starting to doubt my career choice.
There’s too much competition in China, especially in China. I’m afraid I won’t find a good paying job because there’s too many people just like me. No, there’s people that are much better than me. Shanghai is too full of successful people.
Plus, buying a house in Shanghai is too expensive. There is absolutely no way I could ever afford to buy a house here (*note: small apartments in Shanghai will literally sell for 1 million USD), and my parents can’t help me to buy one either.
And why would I rent a house? I would just pay a ton of money to rent a house for so many years when I could just own one and have property. That’s a much better investment. All Chinese women need their own house. The Chinese man should already have a house to provide for his wife, don’t you think so?
That’s another thing, finding a man. That’s one reason I want to go back home. I want my mom to introduce me to a good man. I trust my mom in her decision to find a husband for me, more importantly, she has better connections. My parents both worked for the government so they know all of these high up people, thus having connections to their kids that are my age. For example, my mom’s friend has a son with over 4 houses in Sichuan, a really high paying government job, plus a super rich family. This lady introduced her son to another classmate of mine, and now they’re dating. I mean, it’s hard to find this kind of guy.
This is another worry of mine in Shanghai. I don’t have this connection, so I won’t be able to find a man with a good background like this in Shanghai. How am I going to meet a good man here? Maybe after graduating I’ll just go back home and get married.
Buying a house in Sichuan will be much less inexpensive. Of course, it’d be more ideal to marry a man with a house, but if we both had to purchase one for some reason, at least in Sichuan it would kind of be possible.
I thought I wanted to work abroad and have new experiences, which is one reason I came to Shanghai, but here I am and I feel overwhelmed. Maybe I can’t make it abroad. But I’d be ok to go back to Sichuan, get married, and have a house.
Either way, this is what I’m worrying about. i really hope I can find a good guy, have a house, and maybe if I’m lucky have a car.”
Let’s not forget…
This classmate is 23. These are the everyday woes of a 22-28 year old Chinese woman. It gets way worse after 25. When you pass 25 you’re almost doomed to being single forever, and once you pass 30 you can never go back. You might as well die alone.
Are Chinese Women That Shallow?
I won’t say they are all that shallow. That’s not true. But I will say AT LEAST 80% of the story can apply to about 90% of the female population in China. They have a one track mind when it comes to life, and that’s graduate-job-marriage-buyhouse-haveyourownkid-theend. That’s basically all there is to the Chinese life, but they enjoy it that way, so hey, I’m not going to tell the how to live.
How do I feel about this?
At this point, when I hear this story I literally just blink and say, “you don’t say.”
I think the emphasis on a house is ridiculous, which has also lead to a severe amount of pressure on the men and a large quantity of single young men that can’t get a woman. Unless your parents saved their brains out to buy you a 1 million dollar apartment in Shanghai, I just don’t think your 700 USD/monthly salary is going to pay the mortgage.
China is far too materialistic, and Chinese people are way too caught up in their own personal world. Of course, it’s important for people to have a family and be happy–but it’s also important to believe in a greater cause. When Chinese women tell me about their goals, it’s never: “I want to speak English so that I can help bring the world together, meet foreigners, or teach English to others.” Or, “I want to study engineering so I can invent a new engine that runs without gasoline and help the environment.”
All goals usually end in money. I’m an engineer because my mom told me to do it and the pay is good. I studied English because I want to meet a foreign man, marry him and get US citizenship. Whatever their goal may be, that ultimate goal always ends in m-o-n-e-y.
China needs to re-educate their youth. Hardcore. And I don’t mean up the test scores–I mean to give them a moral kick in the ass. Life isn’t about money, and although there’s probably 100 chengyu that express this phrase, it seems like everyone has suddenly forgotten what it means.