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