Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Chinese Women's Fight to Stay Unmarried and Rich

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Chinese Women's Fight to Stay Unmarried and Rich

Article excerpt

Chinese Women's Fight to Stay Unmarried and Rich Leta Hong Fincher. Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China. London: Zed Books, September 2016. ISBN: 978-1-78360-789-1. Current Affairs. 215pp. $15.95.

When I asked my students this semester who had experienced sexist discrimination in the workplace, the only student to volunteer her own experience was a student who finished a degree and worked as a nurse in China before moving to the States to re-start her education at URGV. She explained that all of the female nurses were paid less than the male nurses in her ER unit. Managers told her that the pay difference was due to the strength of the men, which allowed them to lift patients more easily and to perform other physical tasks. She said that there was a woman in charge of the nurses, but that the order to vary the pay ranges for the genders came from the top administrators, wherein the female manager was only there to make it seem as if there was a chance for progress. This inequality was one of the reasons she chose the harder road of moving the to the US, marrying here, and re-starting her education from scratch. This was the reason this book about sexism in China struck me as very true. As China is a bigger economy than the US, the discrimination there affects a lot more women and hits their wallets harder, so it is definitely a problem that all feminists around the world should be concerned about.

The main areas discussed are the discrimination against women in the real-estate market, the gender wealth gap, and abuse of wives. The "Introduction" explains that the term "leftover" in the title refers to women who might be 31 and an "executive at a multinational company" but who still have not married and do not have children, and therefore are shunned and denigrated by Chinese society (2). This term is used in nationally sponsored propagandistic campaigns that work to stress the importance of marriage and family for women (6). Women are discriminated against in the real-estate front because houses are written in the name of the husband, even if the wife or her side of the family paid the bulk of the price, so the husband gets the real-estate in a divorce. …

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