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When she was younger, Ji's requirements for a spouse were focused on practical matters, like income, family background, height, and education. "My parents told me to get married first, and that love can be nurtured later," says Ji.
Marriage based on economic status is normal in China.
They want attraction, and their parents don't know what that is."Wu isn't the only one with that idea.
Last year, Alex Edmunds, a 26-year-old Princeton graduate living in Beijing, founded Coucou8, an online dating site that hosts affordable small group events like dinner, cooking classes, hiking, and afternoon tea for singles over the age of 26.
As a single, educated Chinese woman approaching 30, Nancy Ji felt tremendous stress from her parents to get married.
So at 28, she hastily tied the knot with a boyfriend. They nagged me about being single every day, and it was very annoying.
Leta Hong Fincher, a Ph D candidate in sociology at Tsinghua University and author of a forthcoming book about leftover women and Chinese gender inequality, says that the Chinese government wants "leftover women" to create "quality" babies by scaring the women into marriage.
They are genuinely very afraid that if they don't marry by the time they turn 30, they won't find a husband."According to Joy Chen, however, Chinese culture has played a role in pressing women into marriage long before the arrival of the Communist Party.
Membership has grown by 10 attendees per month since April."China has a very hardworking culture, so there isn't much momentum for people to go to social events and meet people outside of their work environment," Edmunds says, "So what we have to do is bring in a different culture around initial dates and meetings that encourage people to meet based on their personalities and interests."***Both Wu and Edmunds are targeting China's "leftover women," a new term describing educated, urban women over 27 who are disadvantaged not just by society's perception they're "too old" for marriage, but also because their successful careers and economic security intimidate prospective suitors.
The government adopted the term in 2007 and promoted it in the state-run media.
Meanwhile, people are getting married later in life.
As a result, more members of China's "post-80 generation," referring to those born in the 1980s, are opting for love and attraction -- rather than practical considerations -- in finding a partner., says Chinese culture emphasizes honor, duty, and responsibility in relationships -- not love.
In her weekly workshops that have attracted thousands, Wu lectures about how to negotiate with a partner, how to confront parental demand to get married, and even on subjects like sex and birth control.