OPINION> Commentary
Writer's knotty belief
(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-04-10 07:43

The sensational criticism of China's current marriage system is probably meant to boost the sales of a newly-published book, says an article on the website www.qianlong.com. Following is an excerpt:

Woman Writer Su Qin has caused outrage by saying -- in her newest book -- that the marriage certificate as it stands is not fair (to women); and, that marriage should be recognized on the basis of a contract.

Su believes that the current marriage system is problematic and the marriage that lasts a lifetime is no longer suited to present-day society. Many women would rather drag themselves through the agony of a marriage than choose to divorce for fear of being blamed by others as a "remarried woman".

However, is Su right in believing what she holds to be true for all married women? Not really.

Our laws on family and marriage clearly rule that marriage is a free choice for people and so is divorce. Women are not forced to keep an already miserable marriage going for life. Therefore, it's ridiculous to claim that women suffer from the yoke of an indissoluble lifelong marriage.

Statistics show that of late more women than men chose to end marriages. For example, among the 300 divorce cases accepted by a local court in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, 87 percent were moved by women. Similarly, 74 percent of the divorce cases in Beijing were sought by women, according to a survey.

It's clear that Su underestimates the capacity of women to bravely face divorce and live a decent life thereafter.

Yet Su must have had her reasons for the sensational criticism of China's marriage system. One reason may be that it's a shortcut to overnight fame as many so-called intellectuals disregard social reality and tend to speak whatever they believe can make headlines. Another reason could be to boost sales of her new book in a market where sensationalism sells.

(China Daily 04/10/2009 page8)