Pity China’s ‘bare branches’: unmarried men stuck between tradition and capitalism


Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Xuan Li, NYU Shanghai

Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival, is a highlight in Chinese society. But for many young people, the joy of vacation and family reunion is mixed with questions from parents and relatives about their achievements in the past year, including about their relationships.

This is a particularly stressful occasion for single men who – unless they choose to rent a fake partner or have a stroke of luck at the local marriage “market” – are forced to face the miserable fate of singlehood.

These involuntary bachelors, who fail to add fruit to their family tree are often referred to as “bare branches”, or guanggun. And the Chinese state has recently started to worry about the dire demographic trend posed by the growing number of bare branches.

The 2010 national census data suggests that 24.7% Chinese men above the age of 15 have never been married, while 18.5% of women in the same age group remain unwed.

The disparity in marital status between the sexes is particularly large in younger age groups. According to the same data source, 82.44% of Chinese men between 20 and 29 years of age have never been married, which is 15% more than women of the same age. The gap is approximately 6% among those in their 30s and less than 4% for those in their 40s or older.

Hiding in plain sight?

China’s surplus of men is attributed, at least in part, to the family planning policy implemented in the country since 1979. The One Child Policy, coupled with the patriarchal tradition of son preference, has led many families to give up on their daughters. This has happened through gender-selective abortion, infanticide or by giving away girl children.

The bitter fruit of the preference for sons is a female deficit of 20 million people in the coming decades for men of marrying age.

But there is an argument that the sex birth ratio might not be as skewed as all that. It points out that many of the “missing” girls were unregistered at birth in official records. By examining multiple waves of census data, for example, researchers have found that millions of “hidden girls” turned up in later statistics.

That being said, the extreme 118:100 sex birth ratio still points to huge pools of bachelors in China in the decades to come.

What alarms the state is not the singleton status of these men, but their socioeconomic characteristics. China’s wealth is unequally distributed across the population, with particularly huge income gaps between urban and rural populations.

As in most countries, men are expected to be the head and main provider for the family, and women are allowed and encouraged to “marry up” to males with resources. Caught between the patriarchal tradition and the widening social gap, Chinese men on the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder have a particularly hard time attracting brides.

The “marriage squeeze” would not be so devastating for these bachelors had the Chinese government been thorough and persistent with its gender equality policy. Gender equality has been written in the constitution since 1954 and has been proudly promoted by the socialist state.

New generations of Chinese women, who now make up 45% of the country’s workforce and are almost on par with their male compatriots in education enrolments, no longer need to be financially dependent on future husbands. They have the potential to shake rigid gender roles that require men to shoulder the economic burden alone.

But the translation from educational attainment to earning power and equal status is not at all straightforward. The labour market in China has become increasingly hostile towards women in recent years and the gender gap in employment rate and income have expanded.

Many young women – especially those without promising career prospects – are looking again to marriage as their once-in-a-lifetime chance for upward social mobility. This is reflected in the increasing dating costs and rocketing “bride wealth” that women request from their male partners, which further disadvantage impoverished men.

Young men – economically disadvantaged and sexually frustrated – might eventually vent their anger through violence against others, thereby threatening public security and social stability. At least, that’s what the Chinese government fears.

The conviction is not ungrounded. Social scientists argue that long-term bachelorhood not only compromises men’s well-being, but also puts hormone-fuelled, underprivileged men at risk of gravitating towards aggression, as already observed in historical China and contemporary India.

Easy targets

Social gaps are so difficult to close that the Chinese authorities are firing at the easier target: women.

Over the years, the Chinese state has tolerated sexist representations of women in high-profile media outlets, put derogatory labels on unmarried women by calling them “leftover” and describing them as “emotional” and “extreme”, and
curtailed women’s rights after divorce.

But little is discussed in official channels about abandoned girls, domestic and international human trafficking, and supporting women in workplaces.

Of course, not all “bare branches” are disadvantaged because of socioeconomic reasons. Homosexuality was formally decriminalised in China as recently as 1997 and removed from the list of mental illness in 2001.

Still excluded from the institution of marriage or any civil union, many Chinese gay men either have to stay legally single or form a sham union – often with lesbians who have the same problem. But some choose to or have had to marry straight women, causing tremendous distress to both parties.

No longer wanting to spend their lives alone or to deceive innocent straight women, Chinese gay men are starting on the long, hard fight for marriage equality. Victory is still a long way away; China abstained from voting on the UN resolution on the rights of LGBT people in 2011. And in June 2016, a Chinese court dismissed a gay couple’s lawsuit for their right to marriage.

Despite the conservative stance of the government and the dominating power of capital, there are signs of progress. In a recent survey on relationship values conducted by Tencent.com, – one of the leading internet companies in China – both male and female respondents listed “individual space” (32.8%) and “real connections” (24.6%) as their top requirements for starting a marriage. Only 9.3% males and 16.6% females put “house and car” as a requirement, suggesting a rejection of the purely materialistic model of marriage.

Similarly, in study on dating attitudes and expectations among Chinese college students, both sexes put “kind”, “loving”, “considerate” as the most desirable qualities in a romantic partner.

If they play nice and work with women to push for gender equality, perhaps there’s hope for the bare branches yet.

The Conversation

Xuan Li, Assistant Professor of Psychology, NYU Shanghai

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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Study finds them living with smokers, mold, rodent and cockroach infestations, and few support systems
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Wedded Couple Stuck In Traffic Take First Dance On Highway

The road to love isn’t always smooth, as Jeff and Rebecca Payne found out this week.

The couple were married in Dayton, Ohio, Saturday night, only to get stuck in a huge traffic jam on the way to their reception.

The bride and groom ― and everyone else ― were stalled for an hour before another motorist spotted the bride’s wedding dress and suggested they do their first dance right there on U.S. Route 35, according to local station WLWT.

“It was actually some strangers from Kansas,” the couple’s videographer, Levi Curby, told CNN. “They noticed the wedding dress and asked what (the newlyweds) would be doing if they weren’t stuck in traffic.”

The motorists suggested the couple take that first dance then and there.

Although “Life Is A Highway” may have been apropos, the couple instead danced to Alison Krauss’ “When You Say Nothing At All,” which one of the bystanders found on Spotify.

Others watched from their vehicles while Curby filmed the whole thing, according to “Inside Edition.”

“I think there were some tears at first, but no meltdowns,” Curby told “Inside Edition.” “They were two sports. They handled the whole thing so well. They did great. The dance turned it into a party.”

The couple were finally rescued from their gridlocked reception when a friend of the groom’s father pulled up in the opposite lane, so the Paynes could hop over a guardrail, get into the car and start the rest of their life.

Here’s a video of the rescue:

 

The Paynes are now reportedly vacationing in an undisclosed location. Hopefully, it has little or no traffic.

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Horny Dog Chases Potential Mate, Gets Stuck In Cat Door

A horny dog had to be freed by fire crews after she got her head stuck in a cat door while chasing down a potential mate.

Keeta was looking out the window of her owners’ home in Leicester, England, on Monday morning when she spotted a male dog in the garden. 

The 5-year-old American Bulldog, who was in season, decided to hook up with the other canine and raced for the tiny door designed for felines. Alas, her head fit through the cat door and her body didn’t.

She was trapped.

Determined to free herself, Keeta then ripped out the surrounding panel, but the frame remained lodged around her head.

The other dog — believed to be a smaller terrier — spotted the gap in the door, and took advantage of the moment to sneak inside, reports the Leicester Mercury.

Homeowner Nigel Page heard the commotion, and walked into his kitchen to spot the pair of pups together. When he opened the door, the male dog sprinted off.

Unable to remove the panel, Page called Leicestershire Fire Service; the firefighters then spent 20 minutes maneuvering the plastic panel safely off Keeta’s head.

Page, who adopted Keeta from a rescue center after she was abused as a puppy, said he was now waiting to see whether she would end up having offspring of her own.

“We don’t know whether they’ve done anything or not,” he told the BBC. “The other dog was smaller, a little terrier, but you don’t know. She had that thing stuck on her head so she might not have been in a good mood.”

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Video Of A Mole Stuck In A Hole Makes Us Feel Some Type Of Way

Holey moley is right!

A tiny mole seeking sweet, sweet above-ground freedom was almost denied that liberty when it got stuck between two slabs of pavement. 

The mole, reportedly Dutch, was recently filmed by a woman walking her dog in the city of Gorinchem, Holland. The footage shows the tiny subterranean animal throwing its paws in the air as it struggles emerge from the ground.

But don’t fret — the little dude wasn’t stuck there for long. The mole eventually broke free from the concrete and scampered into a nearby bush, according to Yahoo UK. Score one for the moles, yet again. 

Anyway, this is what a mole looks like up close, for those who are interested (Note: NOT the same mole that was stuck in the hole):

And here’s another mole cheezin’ for the camera, because why not:

(Again, not the same mole that was stuck in the hole):

Watch the entire video of the fiasco below:

H/T Daily Mail

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3 Reasons You Stay Stuck in a Job You Hate Instead of Pursuing Your Dream

Are you doing work you love? If not, what’s stopping you? If you are like the majority of people, you are probably doing work that pays your bills but that you don’t have a passion for. Even if you are working in the field of your college major, you have likely changed and gained more life experiences, new interests, and are not the same person you were when you chose your career path. That’s okay and far more common than you may imagine. In fact, most people are unsatisfied with their jobs.

According to Gallup, there are twice as many people who dislike their jobs as there are people who love their jobs. As a matter of fact, only 13 percent of all the people studied are happy with their jobs; 63 percent are not engaged in their work and simply go through the motions day in day out. And there are 24 percent who actually hate their jobs. These studies are alarming, but true.

So, why are people resigned to stay unhappy in a job they hate instead of doing work that feeds them and that they are passionate about? It boils down to three main reasons.

1. Fear — that four-letter word that has so many people living a mediocre, passionless life. Fear can be all-encompassing, especially when it means change is involved. So, what are we afraid of?

Fear of failure. This is what I call the “what if” fear. What if I try and do something I am passionate about and fail — what will people think, and what will it say about me? What if I don’t make any money, go bankrupt, lose my house, and end up on the street? We are so afraid to step out because we are worried about failing. It’s been said that Edison failed 1,000 times before he succeeded in creating the lightbulb. Had he been afraid of failure, we may still be living in the dark. Success is never guaranteed, but failure is certain if you fail to try.

Fear of success. At first thought, this may seem illogical because isn’t success what we all want? The answer is no. Many people hold this deep seated fear. They fear that if they are successful, they can no longer be the same person they are today, and that they will have to change. Or, deep down they don’t feel worthy of success. Some feel that if they do achieve success, they may be unable to maintain it, so there is no use in trying. And, there are those who think being successful will take up too much time and energy. Here’s something to consider — isn’t doing work you don’t like already taking up massive amounts of your precious time and energy?

Fear of the unknown. That comfort zone of ours can be quite a motivator to stay where we are. But when we live in that space, we do not expand, grow, learn, or experience all that life has to offer. This is living a life of muted mediocrity, and who wants to live like that? When I worked as a hospice social worker, I had the privilege of being able to experience with people their final days and weeks. I found that one of the top regrets expressed by my dying patients was that they wished they had not been so afraid to take risks along the way, realizing that they could have lived fuller lives if they had not lived so cautiously and played it safe. Who wants to get to the end of their life with regrets of not having lived life to the fullest? Doing just one thing each day to move out of our comfort zone can expand that comfort zone dramatically and make the unknown less scary.

2. Lack of clarity. This can keep people stuck for years. If you are waiting to wake up one day knowing exactly what you want to be when you grow up, you could be waiting forever. Please do not wait for clarity to just show up. Clarity comes from within, and each of us is responsible for creating our own. There are many exercises and techniques that can help you in getting clearer, but you have to be engaged and do the work required to successfully achieve clarity. It may also take exploring different options to see what fits for you. You may even fail a few times, but it will bring you that much closer to figuring out what work you would love. In essence, clarity is truly an inside job.

3. Not knowing how to make it happen. Suppose you know what you would love to do but just can’t figure out how to make it happen. The first step is to set the intention that no matter what, you will make it happen. Once you do this, you have already done half of the work. Your unwavering decision to find a way will begin to overshadow any doubts you have. When you set the intention to do the work you love, the right people and circumstances just start to show up. When you make your mind up, you cannot help but to start attracting what you need to move forward. To keep the momentum, many people find it helpful to create a vision board of exactly what they want their dream job to look like and focus on the outcome daily, expecting results to happen. In the meanwhile, start taking action toward your dream. Take a small step each day. You will find that those small steps start to add up, and before you realize it, your goal of doing work you love is no longer a dream, but a blossoming reality.

What is keeping you from pursuing your dream? Is it fear, lack of clarity, or not knowing how to make it happen? What can you do to push past that barrier and create work that gives you a strong sense of purpose, passion, and fulfillment?

Are you ready to start doing work you love? If so, please join us at Seeking Increase and get your free video mini-course, which will help you discover your natural talents and passions in order to identify and create the work you were born to do.

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Stuck Outside of Phoenix

Stuck Outside of Phoenix


Josh “Hote” Hotle, twenty-one-year-old bass player, wants to get the hell out of Phoenix. It’s 1990, one year before Seattle’s grunge music scene breaks nationwide, and Hote longs to escape to the rainy Northwest. His car is packed with all of his things, he is ready to go. One easy right turn onto the freeway and Hote’s a free man. But a funny thing happens on the way out of town.

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Santa Got Stuck in the Chimney: 20 Funny Poems Full of Christmas Cheer

Santa Got Stuck in the Chimney: 20 Funny Poems Full of Christmas Cheer


Used – This book contains 20 funny poems full of Christmas cheer by Linda Knaus and Kenn Nesbitt. Knaus and Nesbitt’s poems capture all the things that could go wrong during the Christmas season-including the hunt for a parking spot at the mall on the Friday after Thanksgiving, Santa getting stuck in the chimney, writing a list of the presents Santa forgot to bring (better luck next year), and all the foods at Christmas dinner (how wise you were to pass up the Brussels sprouts).

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Pup Calls Adorable Ceasefire On These Two Dogs Stuck In Serious Gridlock

This pup just wants everyone to give peace a chance.

After watching her mother, Nancy, and brother, Bosco, remain in a deadlocked game of tug-of-war, Casley the dog decided to intervene, shown in the video above.

According to its description, the video was first shared on Facebook where it quickly went viral — and we completely understand why.

Watch as the pair of pups, with noses smooshed together, clutch the tennis ball with no signs of letting go. Casley comes along to break up the little disagreement and sticks her head on the pair’s snouts.

While it doesn’t seem that she really helped solve the problem, we’re happy she tried. If only there were more Casleys in the world.

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zhuaimao cartoons Aktionsspielfigur Hausverzierung Auto Innendekoration Zubehör kreatives Geschenk: Babys (2 Stück)

zhuaimao cartoons Aktionsspielfigur Hausverzierung Auto Innendekoration Zubehör kreatives Geschenk: Babys (2 Stück)


Material:PVC; Maße (cm):865; Gewicht (kg):0.04; Merkmale:UV-beständig,Waschbar,wasserdicht; Applikation:Auto
List Price: 20.99
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All You Need Is a Pencil: The Stuck in a Car, Plane, or Train Activity Book: Games, Doodling, Puzzles, and More!

All You Need Is a Pencil: The Stuck in a Car, Plane, or Train Activity Book: Games, Doodling, Puzzles, and More!


Vacation-no homework, no school, and no more teacher’s dirty looks Unfortunately, it usually begins with the family sitting around somewhere or stuck in a plane, train, or car. BOR-IIIING Fortunately, with these quizzes, puzzles, games, and doodles, the fun doesn’t have to wait, even if you do. And you can do them anywhere-no electricity needed-with just a pencil. Fill in travel quotes, writing in the name of anyone who says one of the phrases on the page-like “I have to go to the bathroom” or “I think we’re lost.” Play gomoku, a two-person game that’s similar to tic-tac-toe. Plan the ultimate vacation-a week anywhere in the world. Draw creepy critters, try tongue-tripping-twisters, and unscramble anagrams. It’s all so entertaining that no one will ask the dreaded question: Are we there yet?

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How to Reboot When You’re Feeling Stuck | Help Desk | Oprah Winfrey Network

Tune in Sundays at noon ET/PT.

Are you unintentionally holding yourself back from a thriving career or a successful relationship? Renowned pastor and best-selling author Rob Bell explains how to get unstuck.

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This ‘Loving’ Dog Found With A Jug Stuck On Her Head Is Waiting For A Family To Call Her Own

Thanks to some kind rescuers, one dog escaped an awful ordeal.

In the video above, Chris Ouwerkerk, of the Michigan Human Society, rescues a dog with a plastic jug stuck on her head, who was found living in an abandoned house. The poor pup, who has been named Olive, was struggling to breath properly as the plastic covered her face.

Olive ran and hid at first, but Ouwerkerk was able to capture her and transport her back to the shelter where they removed the jug with some lubricant. A happy and healthy Olive, sans jug, is now available for adoption!

She is a fun, loving dog,” Ouwerkerk said in the video. “It doesn’t take her very long but she does open up and she warms up to people, and then she is all about that person.”

For more information or to adopt Olive, visit the Michigan Humane Society’s website.

h/t GodVine

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Stuck in the Middle

Stuck in the Middle


Fridays were washday in my house.  It normally took eight five-gallon buckets of water just to fill the washing machine with enough water for one load of clothes.  With eleven children to wash for, this process took several hours.  We owned an old wringer washing machine that would squeeze water out of the clothes when placed between the two rolling pins, which were located at the top of the washing machine.  The washing machine was very dangerous to operate and, therefore, no one was allowed near it except for my mother. One day, while Mom was in the process of doing her weekly washing, my younger brothers, Roosevelt and Jeffery, were fighting in the backyard.  Mom heard the noise and went to break up the fight.  While she was gone, I decided to help her out with the clothes.  I had been warned by Mom to never go near the washing machine. But being the hardheaded child that I was, do you think I listened?  I think not. I took out a blouse that was washing in the water and placed it in-between the two rolling pins.  Lo and behold, my arm got caught in the wringers.  You would think that I would have had enough common sense to let go of the blouse, but no, not me.  All I could think of was that my arm was gonna fall off.  I was too scared to yell for help because I knew I would be in big trouble once Mom caught me meddling with the washing machine.   Luckily, Mom came back into the house just in time to unplug the electric plug from the outlet before by arm was completely under the wringer.  Of course after I was freed I started to cry.  I had to think of something quick in order to save my behind

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An Audio-Visual Explanation of Why the GOP is Stuck in the 1950s

The Lester & Charlie Institute of Forward Thinking has spent the last year sifting through 1950s archives to figure out exactly why the GOP is in love with that decade. We know the Republicans would like to forget how St. Eisenhower’s prosperity was due in part to high corporate tax rates and massive spending on infrastructure.

So what was it?

These clips from the period that they drool over might contain some important clues:

1. Join Ron and Nancy Reagan as they show a 1950s audience just how much they enjoy LSD conserving energy!

2. Women knew their place in the workplace:

3. Ozzie, Harriet and Eastman Kodak let the good times roll!

4. Racial profiling was simple:

5. And of course, it was great to be a poor American on Thanksgiving:

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