She take my money…

In my procrastination efforts before attempting to begin any serious homework, I stumbled across this article on MSNBC.com. The headline is unfortunately neither shocking nor a new idea: “In China, Matchmaking Means Gold Digging.” To briefly summarize the article, it discusses a banquet held in Shanghai with the purpose of finding mates for wealthy men (men worth at least $1.4 million). The women in attendance who were looking for husbands were largely described as being bored and of showing little sign of affection or possible attraction. Obviously, there would be no matches made in heaven as a result of this awkward get together.

There are all kinds of reasons for getting married, but journalism society at large paint women as gold diggers who go for income over love and companionship. This article reports that most women working in larger Chinese cities make only about $300 to $450 a month, which is hardly enough to live on for a week or two. With this number in mind, it seems that these women strive to marry rich men as a method of survival and not so they can go on ridiculous shopping sprees or live off of hubby’s spoils.

Historically, low incomes for women were justified (and still are) by the assumption that a father, brother or husband is providing a larger and more stable income for his female counterpart. This renders women a secondary work force. In China particularly, baby boys are much more valued than baby daughters and women tend to have been raised by their families only out of duty, and are expected to pay back their parents for essentially giving birth to them as soon as they are able to begin to work. So many television shows and movies have roles where portraying women as gold diggers, with a one track mind for material goods and shopping. These shows are a great disservice to women for obvious reasons but affect men as well since they perpetuate this stereotype that if a woman does not love them, it must be because they don’t make enough money.

There is no quick easy fix for this imbalance—since it affects marriage, perceptions of women, and income—but there has to be a way to start to change the status quo, which seems to be a bit static. Sometimes when someone finds out I’m an English major, I get jokes about marrying rich in able to make a living. I think it is safe to say that the vast majority of women do not choose careers that will yield a lower pay because they plan on marrying rich, or that they don’t have high-powered jobs because they are lazy. There are so many more factors that go into this gold digger image, and we don’t need it perpetuated among individuals when the media is doing a fine job just by itself.

 

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2 thoughts on “She take my money…

  1. Now, I absolutely love the topic of gold diggers. I also love Kanye West. The second item is neither here nor there.

    I’m pro-gold digging. 100%. But that’s because my culture isn’t 100% Americanized (shocking THAT’S the reason). It’s also because I know what it’s like to eat out of garbage cans.

    I love this blog post, but I feel as though there’s a crossing of wires going on. You seem to be confusing Chinese culture with American culture. Now, I know you’ve got the distinction down pat – it’s obvious – but it’s much more difficult to draw parallels between what MSNBC is describing and what goes on in our own nation. We have completely different situations and cultures going on, here.

    In many “Old World”-style marriages, love is rarely a factor. Money is the main motivator, as is power, as is security. That is the goal of life: to be secure, to have enough resources, to push out kids. (Ew to the last one.) If you live in a society with a very large safety net – even though we have a recession, we still have a large safety net compared to, say, China – and the resources are available to you, you can afford to think of “frivolities” like love, happiness, compatibility, and whether or not your baby daddy can remember to properly use the toilet seat.

    Reading the MSNBC article, there’s an obvious Western bias, I feel. It’s looking at a practice through our own lens; this sort of thinking needs to be tossed out completely. Feminism looks different in different countries; honestly, I feel that human rights movements are the byproducts of wealth and free time. (History supports this – when most of the population is peasantry that toils in the fields most of the day and barely eats, you don’t see people contemplating the worth of a human being. Once the bourgeoisie came to resources and recreation, these issues became much more important.)

    I think I would love to have a back and forth about this, whether it be via comments or blog posts. 😀 I’ve already several blog posts planned about multicultural feminism, and it’s a topic that’s very difficult to wrap my mind around.

    Thanks for pointing out this article, too! 😀 I think it could generate some really awesome discussion.

  2. Yes, the article was very Westernized and for that reason I found it parallel to a lot of social media instances of gold digging we deal with here. The differences between Chinese and American cultures are vast, as you pointed out, especially for women. This article caught my eye as a motivator to write about gold digging in general and the stigmas and stereotypes, etc, that go along with it. The luncheon described in the article was so similar to shows like “The Bachelor” and everything else that is on prime time US tv that I couldn’t ignore it. Multicultural feminism is a whole different arena from what I wrote about… and I probably would’ve written a novel had I said everything I wanted to since as you pointed out, there is a TON to say about it 😛
    Multicultural feminism is so relevant to us– I think the article may have mentioned Chinese women in New York still searching for wealthy mates– and the fact that this is a cultural thing goes misunderstood by so many people, generating further stigmas– and warrants further debate and information!

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