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CCCI: Leta Hong Fincher scrutinizes the stigmatization of

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So first of all, I want to just define this term "leftover women" or shengnu The term shengnu or "leftover women" was defined by the All China Women's Federation in 2007 to mean an urban-educated woman over the age of 27 who is still single. And that same year, China's Ministry of Education adopted the term as part of its official lexicon. And ever since then, China's official state media, Xinhua News, People's Daily, all sorts of official media have very aggressively pushed the term through news reports and commentaries, columns and cartoons. And I'm going to show you some examples from this very aggressive media campaign. In 2010, the People's Daily ran a story with a headline "Which category of leftover do you belong to?" And not only did they begin to stigmatize women who were over 27 and still single, as you can see here, they actually started their categories with women age 25. And they gave names to these subcategories of so-called "leftover women." So the first subcategories you see here is women age 25 to 27 who were called or I translate that as "leftover fighters." "These women still have the courage to fight for a partner." And the second subcategory of women is called or "The Ones Who Must Triumph." This refers to women age 28 to 30 and the quote I used was "Their careers leave them no time for the hunt." So it's pretty obvious the message that this is sending. Now, this was a column that was actually originally published in 2011 by Xinhua News and then it was reposted on the website of the All China Women's Federation. So clearly, the message is to try to dissuade women from being too serious about their educations because by the time they graduate, there will no men left who want to marry them. So this is the third subcategory of so-called "leftover women" with women age 31 to 35. or "Buddha of Victorious Battles." "High-level 'leftover' women battle to survive in the cruel workplace, but are still single." So this is the final subcategory of so-called "leftover women," women 35 and older And they are called or "Great Sage Equal of Heaven." And these women, they say, she has quote "a luxury apartment, private car and a company, so why did she become a 'leftover' woman?" As you can see, this picture is also a variation of sorts with the woman placed high above the men. But the woman in this case has actually brutally slayed all of these men who lie dead and bloodied at her feet. And if you look at her sword, it's got blood, fresh blood, still dripping of it. Over and over again, a lot of the news reports, that you see, send the message that these women, those so-called "leftover women," have only themselves to blame for their lack of a marriage partner. And, it's really very judgmental, derogatory tone, basically telling these women, you shouldn't be so picky in choosing a marriage partner, you should hurry up and find somebody to marry. So these depictions of women are that they're just, their standards are just too high and if they would simply lower their standards, then they would be able to find a marriage partner.

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Posted by: nmt43 on Jan 17, 2017

Professor Leta Hong Fincher (Mellon Visiting Assistant Professor, East Asian Languages and Culture, Columbia University) - "China's 'Leftover' Women and the End of One-Child Policy"
March 7, 2016
For additional resources: https://eap.einaudi.cornell.edu/ccci-spring-2016

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