I was looking at the Today show yesterday and one of the anchors mentioned a story on "Leftover Women."
Now, I had never heard of this term before so I did a Google search and found this Ms. Magazine article that was published online Nov. 22.
According to the piece, a "leftover woman" is used in China to describe "an urban, professional female over the age of 27 who is still single." The Chinese term is called a shengnu.
The article notes that there are 3 types of "leftover women":
1) The first type are women between the age of 25-27 who "still have the courage to fight for a partner."
2) The second type are women between the age of 28-30 whose careers leave them with limited opportunities for romance.
3) The third type is a woman over age 35 and "has a luxury apartment, private car and a company."
The author states that the derogatory term is the Chinese government's way of "warning women that they will become spinsters if they do not marry by the time they turn 30."
The New York Times wrote about the shengnu last year. Check out the article here.
This piece was a little more positive noting that a shengnu was a woman who was "well-educated, well-paid and independent." The NYT story, however, pointed out that these women were also referred to as 3S women: "single, seventies (most were born in the 70s) and stuck.
The NYT article quotes a 2009 story from the China Economic Net which mentioned that, "A successful woman wants to find a more successful man. While a successful man’s ideal wife is not necessarily successful but gentle and virtuous."
Hmmmm, sounds like America.
I'm not quite sure what to think of this. First of all, I hate the term "leftover" to describe a woman. It reminds me of an old meal nobody wants the next day.
Anyway, thoughts on this?