Chinese women are fast developing a reputation for being materialistic. If they were only to be judged by the popular dating show in China, “If You Were the One,” where many of the Chinese women searching for a mate often state in no unclear terms that they want a husband with a well-paying job, then it would indeed seem that the aforementioned reputation is well-deserved.
Judging them from such a very limited perspective would be similar to the tale of the six, blind men who tried to describe an elephant. According to the parable (which originated in India), six blind men were asked to describe an elephant by feeling the different parts of its body.
In the case of the first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said "This being is like a drain pipe." For another one whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, said, "I perceive the shape of the elephant to be like a pillar." And in the case of the one who placed his hand upon its back said, "Indeed, this elephant is like a throne." (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anekantavada#Parable_of_the_blind_men_and_elephant)
In the case of the blind men, each described an incomplete truth, but each was a truth all the same. In the case of people judging Chinese women as materialistic, they are also merely observing an incomplete truth, if not misjudging these women completely.
Answering this question, “What does a man with a well-paying job have to offer in a marriage?” will shed light on the bigger picture that depicts a Chinese woman.
In the context of marriage, a man with a well-paying job means he is responsible, mature, hard-working, steadfast, and dependable. A man with these traits is the epitome of a good, family man. What woman would not want a partner who would make her feel safe and secure? What woman would not want to give her future children a father whose priorities revolve around his family?
For Chinese women, marriage is not only about having a man who will support them financially and give them a comfortable life; it is not only about being with the man they love for the rest of their life. Marriage, for most women of China, means having a healthy family.
If there is anything that can be said about a Chinese lady’s attitude toward marriage and family, it is that she is pragmatic. She wants to make sure that the man she will marry is steady, responsible, and mature – a man who does not only have the financial means to take care of his family, but also one who possesses the proper mindset and one who has the right priorities and family values. It is simply that women of China realize that a man’s financial status/stability is a fair measure of his integrity and suitability as a husband and family man.
It must also be said that pragmatic Chinese women may come in two groups: one group includes women who still consider themselves traditional, and the second group includes women with more westernized attitudes. Traditional women still believe that the role of a wife and mother is to devote her entire life to her husband and children. More westernized women are still very devoted wives and mothers but, at the same time, they do not believe that their role should be limited to the home; so they also maintain careers, or even run their own businesses.
Is one group of women less pragmatic than the other when it comes to choosing a mate? One group may have higher or lower standards with regards to a man’s capability as a provider; it often depends on the woman’s own educational and/or professional achievements and how these compare with a potential husband’s own achievements. Of course, there will be a marked difference on how the women in either group would be contributing to the security of the marriage and the family.In any case, their underlying motivation is the same, and that is to find a partner that they can rely on.
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