‘True Love Waits’… with Chinese characteristics

Normally this kind of thing goes in the sidebar, but this story is incredible. This is part of a translated report from one of China’s most politically liberal newspapers, about chastity confusion in contemporary China. Unlike America, where popular sexual mores and ethics such as those of the True Love Waits campaign often ultimately hang on appeals to right-or-wrong moral absolutes (or the lack thereof), China is historically oriented toward moral relativism; right and wrong are more utilitarian and dependent on specific circumstances. In the current ideological and spiritual vacuum that is today’s China, chastity – at least for women – still matters greatly, but the reasons are depressing. From the article, “Avoid sex to get a better husband”:

‘My parents believe that the most important thing for a woman is to marry into a good family, and losing virginity before marriage is losing competitiveness, which may lead to losing an opportunity of a good marriage,’ said Shen Fan. ‘When my parents got married, my mother was a virgin, which made her morally confident, especially when quarreling with father.’

‘They would be very happy to hear that my boyfriend loves me more than the other way around. The most ideal scenario to them is that he has fallen deeply in love, while I still keep my cool,’ said Shen Fan, ‘they want tangible benefit.’

I encourage you to read the whole article (it’s not long). They link to the Chinese version as well.

2 thoughts on “‘True Love Waits’… with Chinese characteristics”

  1. Interesting read, but I swear all parents want their daughters to get an education first and not get bogged down with making babies ;)

    I was wondering if you could help me? Can you tell how much do some things cost in china (Beijing/Tianjin) right now? Like maybe a simple meal at an inexpensive restaurant, or milk, rice and eggs? I would probably take into account that some people would gauge me since I’m foreigner :)

    I’ll be moving to Tianjin in a few weeks, so this would really be interesting for me to know!


  2. I thought it was sad to see such an unapologetically low, cynical view of sexuality and marriage.

    Beijing is more expensive than Tianjin, that’s a big reason why we chose Tianjin over Beijing for language school. The cheapest meals, which you’d buy from a first floor window or a street vendor, cost as little as 50 cents (noodle soup, fried bing, fried noodles, baozi, chicken bings, etc.) You can’t live on that stuff, but it’s great for a quick lunch, and you’ll be full. I just paid 70 cents for a bowl of mixed veggies that I can’t finish. Restaurants are different because Chinese-style eating makes eating with a group cheaper than eating by yourself or with just one or two others. An average dish in an average restaurant is $2-$3; eating in a group we usually pay a little over $2 each. Of course, you can easily pay Western prices and higher if you go to nicer restaurants. In season fruit and vegetables are cheaper here; I just bought a big bag of peaches for a dollar. Milk, yogurt, eggs, and rice are all cheaper here than in North America, but cheese is really expensive. You can get lots of imported stuff in Tianjin, but you’ll pay for it.

    We pay $160/month for rent in a nice but older Chinese neighbourhood. All the foreigners we know live in nicer and more expensive neighbourhoods than ours, except for maybe the single guys who get Chinese roommates and split rent. Hope that helps!

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