China's knack for grouping socially similar people has grown recently with the arrival of the "3S lady". Referring to "single", "seventies" and "stuck", the phrase identifies independent and educated women, around the expected age of marriage but who are still single. They are too easily blamed for the phenomenon. But I have to disagree.
First, I find fault in the notion that well-educated, well-paid and independent single women have excessively high requirements for their Mr Rights. I have a friend who holds a master's degree, works for a famous IT company and has a great personality.
But she has been rejected twice because the men in her life believed she was too good for them. Should she be blamed because those guys lack confidence?
Second, it is much harder to look for a new relationship than look for the first. Analysts say most 3S ladies have had disappointing relationship and the negative emotions put them off trying a second time. Another friend of mine was dumped by her fianc on her 29th birthday last year. She has to start again and with the "3S lady" label, life is tougher.
Finally, analysts say 3S ladies often value career success above personal lives. This is a catch-22 situation because slowing down in a city like Beijing makes them fall behind, and this weakens their image to potential husbands.
Society labels women as a weaker group but fails to lower the requirements and the pressures on them.
Surely the fair thing to do now is to note that men are allowed to start their love lives in their 30s, and change the 3S definition to a more radical, "smart", "smoker" and "stunner". Does anyone have a light?
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