As my readers may know, I lived in China for a short time and I read a lot about issues in China. I came across this article today. It brought a smile to my face. I am not surprised.
When I lived in China in 2008, 2010, and on my recent visits I saw some of the changes. Women, once upon a time, had no education and had no choice but to be “prisoners” to their often abusive husbands. The binding of feet was one way to keep the women at home and prevent them “running away”. I saw how many women were able to make decisions that many years ago would not have been permitted.
The one child policy is responsible for a lot of challenges in China. So many female babies were killed on birth or soon after. A man just had to have a boy child and if he could only have one child it MUST BE a boy. As a result, boys were given extraordinary “powers” even in families where the parents bribed a government official to ignore an extra child – if the first child was a girl, and the parents were unable to kill her.
I remember visiting the home of one of my students – she had a sister and a brother. The older sister was first born. The parents were in business and earned good money. After a few years, they paid an official to ignore the arrival of the second child (my student) – also a girl. A few years went by, and again they paid an official, and their son was born.
The boy was treated almost like royalty. The terminology often used is “little emperor” – they were often arrogant, cruel, spoiled, and unpleasant little fellows.
The terminology often used is “little emperor” – they were often arrogant, cruel, spoiled, and unpleasant little fellows. Little did the boys realise that when they were adults they had difficulty finding a wife. There were so few girls to marry. Many of them, now able to be educated, often chose another life. Many ran businesses of their own, and did not suffer the fools that many men had become. Women now have choices and as the article explains, they are somewhat in a position of power.
Chairman Mao said that “women hold up half the sky”. This article, August 2016, reports on gender issues in China.