The options of yuppie women in China: “strong woman”, housewife or “fox”

The NYT outlines the tough choices faced by China’s yuppie women, all of which I see among my Chinese coworkers and students, and all of which my wife, thankfully, takes issue with (“Who says stay-at-home moms can’t be strong and foxy?!”):

“The main issue we face is confusion, about who we are and what we should be,” said Qin Liwen, a magazine columnist. “Should I be a ‘strong woman’ (女强人) and make money and have a career, maybe grow rich, but risk not finding a husband or having a child? Or should I marry and be a stay-at-home housewife (全职太太), support my husband and educate my child? Or, should I be a ‘fox’ (狐狸精) — the kind of woman who marries a rich man, drives around in a BMW but has to put up with his concubines (二奶)?”

China’s more well-to-do women, she said, are expected to tolerate a husband’s multiple mistresses. Concubinage, outlawed by the Communists after they took power in 1949, has re-emerged. “Most women just assume that sooner or later it will happen,” she said. “Men have power. Women are weak, and they have too much to lose.”

See: For China’s Women, More Opportunities, More Pitfalls

In another recent anecdote, female job applicants literally have to strut their stuff on a catwalk for their potential future bosses.

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