23 February 2013 4:09 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Why do we demonise women for putting their career before having a family?

I've been amusing myself thinking up a blurb for a Chinese dating site.

"Are you a 'leftover' woman? Old! Rotting! Disgusting! Left on the side of the plate of romance. Your destiny, like all other leftovers, to be scraped straight into the bin of life or fed to the pigs… We have the man for you!"

As employed by the All-China Women's Federation website, "leftover women" (sheng nu) is a term for educated, moneyed, professional females still single at 27. Sometimes, these hideous hags are given until 30, but that's deemed to be pushing it.

"Leftovers" shame their families and horrify the Chinese government, which needs them married, so that single men won't cause "social havoc" and to mop up the surplus of males (20 million more) born after 1979's one-child rule, when selective abortions were endemic.

After many complaints, »

- Barbara Ellen

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