Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Buying a Wife in China- Progress or Inflation?

Posted by w_thames_the_d on June 29, 2011

Chinese were a twitter with the news that in Wuhan China, affluent men were in essence buying their future wives. The story goes that in Wuhan China, a collection of desperate/rich men had to pony up 99,999.99 RMB or about 15,000 human dollars, for the right to attend this event and ‘buy a wife’. The men invited were to have either 30 million communist dollars in the bank or a yearly income of over one million. The photo below is from the net. and shows one contestant to the event.


while some might call this exploitation and objectification of women, I’d say, well it is China. For a place that forced women to walk a runway before corporate officers in China (I blogged this earlier) just to get a secretary’s position, what would you expect?
In addition, this notion of buying a wife in China is firmly rooted in her misogynistic past. In Nicholas Kristoff’s book China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power(1994), which he co-wrote with his wife, he showed a photo from the late 80’s to early 90’s of women being sold as brides in China (towards the middle of the book). Although at that time the price of a woman was only 1500 to 2000 rmb or nearly 300U$, it would appear that the inflation killing the price of pork and veggies has also struck the ‘wife purchasing venue’ as well.
I could go on and on, but you probably get my point. Some might call this rant ethnocentric and complain that my upbringing in the land of clean water has impeded my ability to understand the plight of the poverty stricken or other economic realities, but I would beg to differ. I have lived and worked in countries where practices such as the veiled purchase of a wife have taken place, but I consider that a bit different…. damn I began this rant and got interrupted and just returned, but am bored now so I am going to eat some ji dan chao bin … end of rant

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