The Guest Room

A Hong Kong blog that does a lot more than blog

NewChinaHand: Gender (Im)balance

The Guest Room


Female? Aged over 27? Still not married? No boyfriend, even? You probably don’t even want to know what they’d call you in China…

And by ‘they’, I don’t mean gossips, knitting circles or judgemental neighbours: how about the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF), set up in 1949 to ‘protect women’s rights and interests’? Sounds official, right?

And it is, but in recent years some of the statements coming out of this agency we might generously refer to as being ‘interesting’.

In 2007, the ACWF came up with the ultimate catch-all term to describe unmarried ladies: shengnu or ‘leftover women’. There’s an obvious beauty in its simplicity, economy of language and the way it doesn’t so much cut right to the bone as sever the limb, leading to massive trauma and blood loss.

The original threshold for becoming an old, useless hag was set at 27 years of age, so if you’re…

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This entry was posted on January 12, 2015 by in Uncategorized.

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