Leftover Women

The genius of Communism just keeps on pouring out one failed social engineering experiment after another. Next on deck: “Leftover women” whose shot at marriage is vanishing. Of course, western feminists think this is all Sex and the City cool, so you never hear about it, as you never hear about the downside of any ideas thought cool and trendy by our Ruling Class and Manufacturers of Culture. (Remember when the propagandists for “choice” also advocated for China’s One Child Forced Abortion policies? Good times. Good times.)

If you are looking for the key graph in the piece, here it is:

The goal is not only to improve the gene pool, believes Fincher, but to get as many men paired off and tied down in marriage as possible – to reduce, as far as possible, the army of restless, single men who could cause social havoc.

Yes, there’s that winning Communist trait: if force fails, use more force! Since the one child policy has resulted in a massive population of restless, sex-deprived males who pose a threat to the state, what we need is *more* social engineering to improve the gene pool, all while freezing out perfectly good women who don’t fit some bureaucrat’s Five Year Plan.

Have I mentioned how much I hate Communism? I’m not too keen on the Western ninnies who perpetually have squeals of excitement for these “visionaries” either.

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  • Dustin

    Nothing could be less feminist than this (well, a few things, but anyway.) The problem is patriarchal culture that only sees women as potential breeding stock and teaches its men to fetishize youth and demand submissiveness. It acknowledges no role in public life for women who aren’t married. It doesn’t even see the point of their existence. This:
    “[Chen is] single and enjoying life in Beijing, far away from parents in a conservative southern city who, she says, are ashamed that they have an unmarried 38-year-old daughter.”
    and the fact that her father threatened to disown her for not marrying, is heartbreaking.

    “Pretty girls do not need a lot of education to marry into a rich and powerful family. But girls with an average or ugly appearance will find it difficult. These girls hope to further their education in order to increase their competitiveness. The tragedy is, they don’t realise that as women age, they are worth less and less. So by the time they get their MA or PhD, they are already old – like yellowed pearls.”
    What a perfect motto for patriarchal condescension. And that’s from the All-China Federation of Women. Basically, “you serve no other purpose than to breed. Why would you even think of trying to live a life of your own?”

    • Karen

      This. The overwhelming majority of problems Shea attributes to feminism are rally caused by its opposite. If Chinese culture valued the contributions of women’s minds, there would be no “leftover” women. Sadly, the cure tradionalists propose — a return to patriarchy — only makes the problem worse. Improve the position of women in society and this problem will disappear.

      • Karen

        Ugh. REALLY caused. How much do I hate autocorrect?

      • http://soulsagabooks.blogspot.com/ Brian Niemeier

        I grant that China’s dilemma is what happens when totalitarianism meets a historically male-dominated culture. Most traditionalists oppose the excesses of feminism: treating the sexes as interchangeable; and of sexism: treating the members of one sex as inherently superior to members of the other. The solution is to acknowledge the fundamental differences between the sexes while respecting their complementarity.

    • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

      This is not about patriarchy, at all. It’s about somebody with sufficient influence finally doing the numbers at the CCP and figuring out that they’ve slit their own demographic throat and even if they pull out all the stops they’re still likely to face a neck stretching party complete with mobs and torches in the unpredictable future.

  • The Deuce

    Remember when the propagandists for “choice” also advocated for China’s One Child Forced Abortion policies? Good times. Good times

    I remember it. I just don’t remember it being in the past tense.

  • kara

    No, no, no. When the Catholic church opposes abortion and contraception as vuiolations of human dignity, that’s “patriarchal” and “oppressive”. When the Chinese government and media reduces women to breeding stock, it’s “progressive”.

    • Dustin

      No, Kara, just . . . argh, I’m pulling my hair out, wondering where these crazy ideas about feminism come from. See my comment above. Those who characterize themselves as progressives and feminists don’t support gender essentialism in the slightest. Treating unmarried, childless women as societally useless is a pretty good mark of a patriarchal culture. Telling women that they’d better get with it or they’ll end up dried-out hags? Classic patriarchy. Telling young women that, if they get an education and a good career, no man will want them? That’s how a misogynist culture clips your wings. Nothing remotely progressive about the Chinese cultural model.

      Not that ours is drastically healthier, but women in the States are, to an extent, freer. Our gender toxicity is more cultural than it is legal, though there are still legal barriers to overcome (hooray for the VAWA!)

      • kara

        Dustin, it was a joke. Obviously no true feminist is going to look at that societal model and say “hot damn, that’s what we should be aiming for!” However there do exist folks who think China is on the right track… Granted they are probably mostly combox trolls, but they do exist. I was riffing on the fact that many, many non- Catholics or even poorly catechized Catholics think that the Church actively promotes a lifestyle that sees women as second class citizens who need to be married, barefoot, and pregnant to be of any value to society. The reality is, Catholics love educated women (like my doctor, like my college professors, like some of my favorite authors, etc.), married or not, mothers or not. I’m absolutely certain that China likes to see itself as “progressive” while the Catholic Church does not characterize itself as progressive. See?

        (Btw, sorry for the spelling and grammar errors… My phone is small anf my eyesight is getting bad, so I don’t see the errors until I’ve posted my comment)

      • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

        Treating anybody who is not acting as you wish them to at this particular moment as useless is a hallmark of totalitarianism. Again, this is not about patriarchy. It’s about the party figuring out that they’ve hurt China massively with their prior social engineering so they need to go massively in the other direction, right now.

  • http://reluctantliberal.wordpress.com Reluctant Liberal


    I’m an actual liberal over here. I, and all of the other liberal bloggers that I follow, would be more opposed to forced abortions as to lack of access for abortion. Maybe we’re not the majority of progressives (I don’t know), but there are definitely a lot of us. And I definitely don’t appreciate being characterized as holding a position I consider morally repugnant.

    Pax tecum

    • kara

      Um, where did Mark mention liberals in conjunction with this? I see “communism”. Are you suggesting they are the same thing?

      • Dustin

        Well, he did accuse “Western feminists” and “propagandists for ‘choice’ ” of supporting coercive reproductive laws. Which, um, no, they don’t support that at all. “Choice” means that reproductive decisions must be made in an environment free of political, as well as social, pressure and coercion (like that girl who won the lawsuit to keep her parents from forcing her to abort. Her choice was to carry to term and should be supported.) Forced abortions and compulsory sterilization certainly don’t clear that bar. Where these caricatures of progressives come from, I don’t know.

        • Mark Shea
          • Karen

            Indeed Google is quite useful. Please note that my link is from the actual Planned Parenthood site itself and not from a biased secondary source.

            • Bill

              Yes, because Planned Parenthood is not a biased source itself.

            • Mark Shea

              The “biased source” links the letter praising the one child policy. There are lefties who support it. I’ve seen the stuff myself.

              • Dustin

                And there are more lefties who don’t. I hate to be all “No true Scotsman . . .” but I’m questioning the commitment to women’s rights of anyone who supports the one-child policy. Even that of weirdos like Fleishman.

                But RE: the IFPP’s involvement with local NGOs in China, many feel (and this obtains on the governmental/diplomatic level as well) that engagement is preferable to condemnation, and that providing education and support to Chinese women is really the best way to help them bear the laws they have to live under, and which outside groups (of which the Chinese government is fanatically paranoid) don’t have any power to alter.

                • Mark Shea

                  And yet you are being No True Scotsman. I never said all lefties have plumped for this. But the reality is that it has not been hard to find lefties jabbering about China’s “enlightened” population policies, usually in the name of reducing the carbon footprint and similar bullshit.

              • Dustin

                Furthermore, Fleishman was retired and not speaking in any institutional capacity. He also appears to be too obscure to have his own Wiki entry. Nor was he ever the president of PPFA or the IPFF, but of some sub-group or regional outfit, Planned Parenthood-World Population, about which I can’t find much information (your Google-fu is clearly stronger than mine.)

                This was meant to be posted with the above. I am writing, and reading, distractedly this morning.

                • Mark Shea

                  Who said he had to be speaking in an institutional capacity? Dude. The point is that there have been and still are voices on the Left cheering for draconian state suppression of “choice” in China. You can pretend it ain’t so all you like, but it remains so nonetheless. Some of them are abortion zealots. Some of them are eco-fascists. Take for instance, this piece: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/26/1173951/-China-s-One-Child-Policy# Notice a burning concern for choice here? And in the comboxes below, not much interest in choice either. The main complaints are that it didn’t work as planned or that the State didn’t force a two child policy instead. “Choice” is a bullshit euphemism for a lot of these people. They have no big problems with the Chinese state crushing choice.

                  • Dustin

                    Thanks for that link. It’s actually one of the most succinct explanations of the history and characteristics of the one-child policy that I’ve read in a while. I don’t consider its dispassionate tone a fault. It’s a good post with good information. Analyzing the policy doesn’t foreclose criticizing it, and the commenter who posited a two-child policy was hardly endorsing it, but pointing out that Chinese officials have no one to blame but themselves for the policy’s consequences, and that a different course might have mitigated them (which may be true, objectionable though it would still be).

                    As for the voices who aren’t troubled by it, I haven’t pretended they don’t exist. I’m quite disturbed by them. But the way you point them out feels almost like nut-picking, like a reporter going to a Tea Party rally and heading straight for the handful of racist signs. Your OP didn’t speak of individual cases, but was, I feel, intended to make broad claims about people you disagree with. In this case, feminists and those who’d prefer that abortion be kept legal (not all of whom are feminists, whence the intra-left discord). The other day you were pretending that there was no criticism of Obama from the left but for Greenwald (who’s more libertarian-ish than lefty). But you’ve been doing what you’re doing for far longer than I’ve been reading you. It’s unsurprising that frustrations with the people we disagree with will, from time to time, arise and find us at moments when we’re less than rigorous. I point out nothing about you that you haven’t already mentioned. You’re one of the more self-aware bloggers I read. You have a hard job, which I don’t envy. But you do good work, and I ‘ll keep reading.

  • IB Bill

    Pax tecum?

    What about the rest of us? Peace for us, or just Mark :)

    • http://reluctantliberal.wordpress.com Reluctant Liberal


      Pax vobiscum

  • dpt

    I recall there is a similar issue in Singapore, where highly educated women (PhD) won’t marry “down” to a less educated man (only a BS degree). I think the above highlights an issue of status/face within the Chinese cultural more so than a by-product of communism.

  • Ed the Roman

    As Jim Treacher of the Daily Caller puts it, “There’s no such thing as a liberal. There is only an authoritarian waiting for his turn.”

  • Mr W

    I can’t help wondering if one solution to China’s demographic problems might be to institute monasticism?