“Personal Issues” of Outstanding Women
In China, we call those unmarried men or women who are at the age of getting married as people with “personal issues”.
Superiority at work does not imply superiority in personal life, and vice versa. Women with high educational credentials, qualities and incomes usually find it difficult to find their Mr. Right and many of them do have such “personal issues”. They may have pursued post graduate or PhD degrees and now they are in their thirties. Sometimes, they don’t dare to mention the academic degrees they earned for fear of appearing too outstanding to attract a man.
Female graduate students have even been described as the “third sex” on university campuses, after both male and female students. The reason is that intelligent females who know what they want put tremendous pressures on males. It is also noted that there is an asymmetry in the situation: it is alright for an intelligent male to marry an uneducated, pretty-looking female and that is presumably fine for the female; but it is not alright for an intelligent female to marry an uneducated male, good-looking or not. That is partly because men do not like women who are better than them. The deep and hidden cultural attitudes that actually drive our behaviors and choices still contain the traditional belief about how to select our mates. The core of this belief is that of the “strong male and weak female”, and this is also intimately connected with the belief that “the male deals with the outside and the female deals with the inside”. The cultural belief on gender inequality restricts our standards and role expectations in choosing our mates.
Among those female graduate students with “personal issues”, many do want to find a mate on their own or through friends; only a few would permit their parents to arrange “dates”. The social circle of graduate students typically consists of current and former fellow students and people who originate from the same city. These years, there are more females than males in many disciplines (like humanities). The marriage problem emerges under these circumstances. With an ever growing number of female graduate students, the problem is going for worse. Moreover, some of the female graduate students are so devoted to their studies that they are naive in romance and have never been in love, to think we are in a time when love is the No.1 theme on television, movies and even advertisements, and even junior high school students are dating openly in the streets.
The new social environment has made women focus more on job competition. Today, they plan to have their own career before getting married. However, due to social conventions, men, even older men, have more choices than women. It was said that women in seven job categories have the greatest difficulties addressing their “personal issues”: teachers, lawyers, office ladies with foreign-invested companies, medical staff, accountants, translators and statisticians. They are usually too busy to date.
Many believe it is preferable for young women to marry better than be educated. Those young ladies will be rewarded a great success if they plan their lives well, and get married and have babies at the right age.