Opinion: The Unspeakable Pain of China’s Leftover LadiesLinfang Yuan
Nov 28, 2014
We’ve all heard of leftover foods. But what about leftover ladies?
In China, “leftover lady” or “Sheng nu” refers to women who have reached or passed the age of marriage, about 27 years old, and are still single.
Nowadays, this group of females is receiving more attention, and in some instances, and unwelcomed comments from the public. Many women feel this term is derogatory and most unmarried women above the age feel pressured to settle down. What is so bad about staying single?
A large portion of these unmarried women actually have a high education, income and intelligence. It is difficult for them to find Mr. Right after returning from overseas or studying abroad.
Why is it hard to find a partner with such great qualifications? According to some people, these women are too independent. They don’t need a boyfriend or husband to support them and/or they have high standards.
As an oversea student myself, I do understand their difficulties and have heard similar complaints from my friends.
One friend reported that during her late teens and early 20s, her parents strongly disapproved of her involvement in any romantic relationships. Now, after she has graduated, they want her to get married as soon as possible.
According to another friend who is earning her PhD, it is hard to find men who are interested in dating women with a high education. She hates the saying: there are three kinds of people in the world: men, women and doctoral female students and said she is a normal girl in need of love.
However, despite the pressure from their family, not all women are racing to get married. Another friend of mine believes that Mr. Right is out there and she will continue to look for him. In the meantime, she will enjoy being single.
Like my friends, I won’t be discouraged by this label and will keep an open mind as I meet new people. I will treasure every encounter and know that love is not far away. The leftover ladies around the world will meet her Mr. Right.