This week on Sinica, Kaiser and Jeremy are delighted to be joined by Joy Chen, former deputy mayor of Los Angeles, and now high-profile author of the book Do Not Marry Before Age 30, a look at the state of gender issues in China that's finding traction among a generation of women facing frustrations with their careers, marriages and life prospects in general. Join us as we look into the state of things for women in China.

Like Sinica? If you'd like to subscribe via iTunes, just open the software and click on the "Subscribe to Podcast" option from the main File menu. When prompted copy the URL http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica into the box provided and you're done. We also encourage all listeners to download and share this show as a standalone mp3 file. Enjoy!
 said on
April 20, 2013
Links

Pertinent work from Sinica alum Leta Hong Fincher:

Women’s Rights at Risk, for Dissent - Spring 2013

http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/womens-rights-at-risk

China's 'Leftover' Women, op-ed for The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/12/opinion/global/chinas-leftover-women.html?_r=1&

Recommendations

Jeremy:

Pathlight: New Chinese Writing 2013, Issue 2 (Sci-Fi), edited by Alice Xin Liu

(Update - Pathlight is now available for digital download!: http://paper-republic.org/ericabrahamsen/pathlight-digital-publication/)

Joy:

Tuanjiehu Park

http://bit.ly/179n41T

Kaiser:

China Personified

http://chinapersonified.com/
 said on
April 21, 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed this discussion.

I couldn't help but feel that I had somehow failed as a man because I was unable to become super rich within a couple of years after graduating so I could marry my (now ex) girlfriend. With pressure from her family to marry before she was 30, we were forced to call it off so she could find someone more financially ready. Though we aren't Chinese, our parents are of Chinese descent so apparently this problem isn't restricted to mainland China.

This episode really helped me put things into perspective.
 said on
April 23, 2013
The "whooshing" noise every time someone speaks or ques their mic is incredibly annoying. I could barely listen.
 said on
April 23, 2013
Great interview and conversation. I greatly enjoy Sinica. I confess, though, that I feel a sort of tension between your obviously sincere concern for the dignity of women and the strange photo you have chosen as your cover art for the Popup podcasts. Help me out: what is that photo meant to convey?

 said on
April 23, 2013
I really enjoyed this interview. The recommendations also kicked several varieties of ass. You touched on a feature of Culture (marriage for practicality) that seems to be at the beginning stages of change. As an American I grew up thinking that marriage was purely an indulgence of one's emotions which we often refer to as love. Perhaps America and China can meet each other in the middle on that one.

@david.clotfelter

I think the photo simply exemplifies Joy Chen as a married mother since that is the subject that she is treating in this interview as it pertains to Chinese women. I'm kind of at a loss as to what tension you are referring to. Could you elaborate?
 said on
April 23, 2013
Great podcast. Jeremy and Kaiser, here's a link to that article by Christopher Hitchens article that was was alluded to. In spite of its deliberately provocative and occasionally crude language, it does make a lot of sound arguments. Anyone who's familiar with Hitchens knows that a lot of his seemingly insensitive comments are not without irony, or at least a tad tongue-in-cheek. It's an intersting read either way.

http://m.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2007/01/hitchens200701
 said on
April 23, 2013
Not the lovely picture of Joy Chen. The cover picture for the podcasts.

 said on
April 23, 2013
@david.clotfelter,

Just to chime in, the Sinica-specific podcast image is a stylized black Sinica logo. If you're talking about the Popup Chinese iTunes image from our overall lesson feed, the photo comes from a friend of ours who is a model. Back when we started out she offered it to us gratis, and we choose it because we felt it reflected a different aesthetic.

I don't consider it the least exploitative, but we get this sort of thing once or twice a year from people complaining about it and are looking at changing it. That said, we don't want to switch to stock photos of China, so have been waiting for something equally special. If you have anything you think would be better and want to share in order to help us speed things up, please do send them our way.

Best,

--david

 said on
April 24, 2013
@Jeremy

Do you have links to any of 木子美 blog posts, articles, or podcasts? I tried following those you posted in the description of the segment you did in 2006 for Danwei TV but they are broken now.
 said on
April 24, 2013
nice discussion that covered lots of bases: thanks. is it possible for us to have a list of the key phrases? lots of them in this cast, which seemed topical and which i would like to know, but they flew past...

thanks.
 said on
April 24, 2013
The audio file is fixed. There shouldn't be much recognizable noise when people start talking.
 said on
April 25, 2013
Interesting article from NPR on marriage for Chinese women just posted yesterday in the year of the Bronze Age diety 4/23/13:

http://www.npr.org/2013/04/23/176326713/for-chinese-women-marriage-depends-on-right-bride-price

Let it be known that Sinica has scooped NPR.
 said on
April 26, 2013
What do you guys think about the Chinese Marriage Law? The new one? I'm very curious.

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
April 26, 2013
@Echo

What is the new marriage law? is Chinese marriage law very different from those in the U.S.? All the articles I've read have been about the customs but I haven't found anything that talks about the actual Chinese law around marriage.

 said on
April 26, 2013
@尼古拉斯桑,

http://www.china-gad.org/Infor/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=11180

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
April 30, 2013
@Echo

That's almost the opposite of American divorce law, where property is split down the middle in a divorce.

It seems that Chinese society, despite all its advances, is still very patriarchal. In the U.S. you hear alot about men getting screwed financially in divorce. However, it's even worse for women in China where they could have paid for the entire house, yet lose everything because it was in their husband's name.

I find it especially sad that some men are using this new interpretation of Chinese law to coerce their wives into granting them custody of their children. This will compel women to stay in marriages even if they are abusive because divorce could mean a huge financial hardship. Is this causing women in China to remain unmarried?

 said on
April 30, 2013
@尼古拉斯桑,

Yes, exactly as you said. We hear so many voices criticizing Chinese women being materialistic, but this marriage law does a big part of it. I heard real stories around me that an engaged couple broke up because of the conflicts of buying an apartment.

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
May 1, 2013
 said on
May 21, 2013
I feel like I can really sympathize with 听不见自己的心 because I am married to an all-American (white) boy whom I married when I was 21. When we first started going out I was a freshman in college and finding my way, he was a senior. I took my chance and studied abroad in Taiwan within our first year, but afterwards I transferred school to FIU in Miami to stay with him, which wasn't as good as Purdue, but I was dedicated. Our agreement was that after I graduated, we would go to China for me. However, 实际情况跟梦想不同 and when I got a job in Guangdong I went alone and came back after a year instead of pursuing my personal goals. I feel the pressure of family because "he is such a good guy" and I am my parents' hope for grandchildren since my elder sister is still unmarried. I also receive pressure from my in-laws "if you ever decide to have children" and I can't do that and pursue my own goals. I wish I could use my skills and experience here in the US (currently in CT), but there is not real practical use and I don't feel my goals supported by anyone, much less society. So I feel that the US is really not any better than China in supporting women in their careers.
 said on
September 25, 2013
Interesting name for the book. Somewhat knowing the gender issue in China, I would have titled the book: "Be fast to marry before you turn age thirty". This book is a good read nevertheless!

http://artinchina.blog.com

--Will Art
Mark Lesson Studied