Women hate distorted media depictions

By Wu Jiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-07-05 06:50

Businesses touting their products' magic in helping a woman win back the heart of an unfaithful partner are in for a shock - it won't work.

Women hate betrayal the most and don't consider themselves subordinate to men.

These are the findings of a major online survey on women's attitudes toward the media. It received 40,000 responses and was conducted by the All-China Women's Federation in March-April. It is the largest ever by sociologists to gain an insight into Chinese women's attitudes on gender perceptions.

It finds that media depictions of women as pathetic subordinates to men, sex objects and a "third person" between a couple are hated most.

They also dislike overused sensational media catch phrases that stereotype some types of women with sexy images and judge women based only on their appearance.

According to Rong Weiyi, an expert on gender studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and a consultant to the survey, the media have helped spread the distorted image of women to please men.

For instance, media reports often emphasize a sensational angle in reporting tragic stories concerning women, instead of finding a solution to root out social injustice, she said.

The survey also finds that independence, self-worth and intelligence are the top three qualities sought by respondents, who are mainly aged 20-30 and have college degrees.

But confronted with reality, about half said they would not be a woman if they had a choice. Social discrimination and physical pain caused by pregnancy and childbirth are the major reasons they gave.

An overwhelming majority said love is the single source of their happiness.

They rate a sense of responsibility and personal integrity as the most important traits in a partner, and 67 percent said they don't mind their other half "earning a smaller salary".

Only 10 percent of the respondents see sex as a way of self-fulfillment. The majority regard it as vital to facilitate and consolidate love and marriage.

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours