Posted by Grace Feng on January 11, 2013
I randomly landed on an interesting survey conducted six years ago by a Chinese men’s magazine 男人装 [For Him Magazine]. The survey is called 中国城市单身女性排行榜 [Chinese City Single Women Scoreboard]. Usually I’m not keen on reading those tabloid space-filler stuff, especially a survey with a typical name like that. But this one caught my eyes with a humorous opening and a claim that the survey took 7 months to complete based on 8962 single women from 24 different cities in China.
OK then, if there was serious work behind the survey, then it should worth a read. It’s actually a pretty long survey and in fact the complete survey results had been published as a book! In this post, I’d like to share with you my thoughts on the shortened version of results that were published on the magazine. We’ll learn some new vocabulary along the reading too.
The first indicator is 自信度 [confidence level]. To be more specific, the question being asked for our single women surveyed were how confident they were on their “look” and “body”. Among all the 24 cities (capital cities and other major cities), 香港 Hongkong women are among the most confident ones. 92.13% thought they were “绝色” [the most fairest of all]. I’m not sure whether they were told by the “magic mirror” or they did think that way but I do admire their confidence.
On the contrary, mainland women were much more modest (or, lack of confidence?). Only 10% on average thought they were very beautiful. (17.95% in 北京 Beijing, 11.11% in 上海 Shanghai and 3.13% in 广州 Guangzhou) Compared to Hongkong women, their performance on this quiz seemingly reflected the deep influence from confucius – modesty is a virtue. Isn’t it? :-)
Regarding 社会地位 [social standing], both Beijing and Shanghai girls seized the top spots of the list. This is no surprise since generally speaking, those two major cities have more opportunities for women to grow their career or social connections than anywhere else. They probably also attracts educated women from other areas to strive for a better future.
深圳 Shenzhen girls, though living in a similar first-tier city, gave out quite opposite feedback. 34.27% of them closed themselves up at home with very little social life. 35.73% of them felt that their opinions were often not taken seriously. Is it because the dramatically skewed ratio between men and women population left the value of women in that area diluted? It is said that 男女比例 [the ratio of men and women] was 1:7 in Shenzhen at one time in the past 15 years! However, since 2011, the ratio finally reverted back due to the growth of high tech companies in the area, which attracted a lot more male employees than female.
The next question on the scoreboard is “Who are the richest?”
Shanghai girls topped the list as the richest of all. 17.16% of them owned personal assets that valued more than 100,0000 RMB (roughly $16,0000). 沈阳 Shenyang girls were at the bottom of the list as the poorest. That is seemingly related to the slow economy and high unemployment rate in that northern area. 西安 Xian、东莞 Dongguan and 郑州 Zhenzhou girls were also financially challenged.
Beijing girls came second to the top of the list.
However, the ones that earned the most aren’t necessarily the ones spend the most. 大连 Dalian girls spend more than 2000 RMB monthly on average and topped the list of “谁消费能力最高” [“Who spend the most?”]
About 10% of girls in 成都 Chengdu and 重庆 Chongqing, two major cities in 四川 Sichuan province, spend more than they earned. Either they had other financial sources, or they didn’t mind to be on debt. Mind you, in traditional Chinese thinking, living on debt is very undesirable.
Speaking of earnings, it is also important to know 谁工作压力最大? [Who gets the most pressure from work?”]. Remember Shanghai girls topped the rich list? It all makes sense that they topped this “work pressure ” list too. The more you earn, the more work pressure you got – not always true, but can’t be wrong under most circumstances, isn’t it? 57.37% of single Shanghai women work longer than 8 hours per day!
On the contrary, single women in 济南 Jinan, 郑州 Zhenzhou and 苏州 Suzhou are much more relaxed at work. None of them worked more than 8 hours per day! It proved the above-mentioned rule from a different angle: the less you earn, the less demanding of your work.
The next indicator is 谁性开放度最高 [“Who are most open to s e x?”] 重庆 Chongqing, 武汉 Wuhan and 大连 Dalian women looked like quite ahead of the other women in that regard. Questions like “For a new date, how long do you wait before you ‘do it’?”, “How long it takes you to use up a whole pack of condoms?” were being asked to get this result.
Single women in 沈阳 Shenyang, 长沙 Changsha and 西安 Xian were very conservative in this respect according to the survey.
Now, it comes to women’s 婚姻观念 [attitude toward marriage]. The dominant reason (62.12%) that those single women stayed single was “not able to meet Mr. Right yet”. The second popular reason was “due to better life quality being single” (14.78%) – well, somewhat understood. :-)
However, the interesting part is that about 25% 重庆 Chongqing and 南京 Nanjing women admitted that they proposed to their boyfriends at least once! Because of that, they were called as “结婚狂” [marriage maniac] in the magazine. That caught me off guard. I know in this fast-changing, unpredictable world it’s really unnecessary to raise eyebrows on anything unconventional. But to see “reverse proposal” happening in China is quite a shock, a nice shock to be specific. Kudos to those brave girls! Still, that got me thinking, how do you exactly do to propose to a man? You can’t bent your knees, can you? You can’t surprise him with a sparkling ring, can you? Instead of scaring him away, what exactly you can do to propose to a man that is probably not ready?! I don’t have answers to this. I’ll leave that thoughts to you…
On the other side, the results showed that single women in 大连 Dalian didn’t care much about marriage. 1/3 of them said “to raise a child without a man is their dream”. :-)
The last but not the least. According to the survey, the magazine discovered that the ideal wife, in terms of who’s best in running a family, can be easily found in one occupation. Can you guess what it is?
出纳 [cashier] !!!
Category: Chinese culture and history
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