Women Over 27 Are Getting Publicly Shamed for Being Single

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wedding ring setGiven their selective abortions and one-child policy, Chinese culture isn't exactly shy about their sexism. But that doesn't make it burn any less to hear that the Communist government there is now ordering its "feminist All-China Women's Federation" to use the term "leftover" to describe educated, professional, urban, and single -- gasp! -- women aged 27-30 who have "failed" to find husbands and are thus, "undesirable."

In other words, if you're a Bridget Jones or Carrie Bradshaw in China, you're stigmatized and shamed into feeling like you better marry fast -- or else be shunned by society. I know, it sounds like something out of 1984 or Brave New World, right? And it gets worse ...

In one article entitled, "Leftover Women Do Not Deserve Our Sympathy," they write:

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.


It's easy enough to blow off what's going on in China as an extreme example, but unfortunately, single American women in their late 20s and early 30s are occasionally met with a confused or even judgmental attitude. Oh, sure, it could be candy-coated in passive-aggressive comments or easy to blow off because it's coming from some crotchety relative or patronizing married friend. But ask anyone who is unattached as she approaches 30, and she'll tell you she's been made to feel like an outsider more than once.

That's nuts anywhere, being that the year is 2013, but especially here stateside where we're supposed to be well beyond making women feel bad for being independent and single. Hellooo, aren't we post-Sex & the City? Did we learn a loooong time ago that women are strong, perfectly capable, and make amazing contributions to society with or without men, no matter how old they are? You would think so, but sometimes, it's hard to tell.

Then again, we can thank our lucky stars that even if overbearing mothers are, at least the U.S. government isn't guilt-tripping single ladies over 27! What. A. Nightmare.

What do you make of what's going on in China? Do you feel like our society is still biased against single women over 30?


Image via pengrin/Flickr

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schlis schlis

Oh please, EVERYONE is made to feel like an outsider for SOMETHING. Get over it.

nekoy... nekoyukidoll

Wow, and I thought my ex's new lady-friend was catty when she commented I wasn't "women enough to handle my man."  And yes, I do feel a stigma attached to women who are nearing or over thirty and not married, I get it all the time.  It's like we're "dried up" and "worthless", really irks me.   

nonmember avatar momma2J

I just turned 30 this week actually! I am a proud mommy to a 3 year old boy, and have been with his father for 6 years. If it was up to him we would have been married years ago. We are only still dating now because of me. I certainly do not feel "leftover" or "desirable." It is my choice.

Kzint... KzintiFeline

Ummm...because Communist China.  Do you think the Chinese government is sane?  They believe that their restrictive, repressive, oppressive, sexist, communist way of life is the best in the world and that they should spread their beliefs throughout the world, which is why they have been flexing their muscles for the last several years.

As to the concept of single women who are in their late 20's or early 30's being viewed as leftovers or undesireable, those women were termed "spinsters" for many years here in America.  Thankfully, we have gotten past that and women who wait for the right person to marry are considered more intelligent and discerning here, rather than desperate.

tuffy... tuffymama

It's always something somewhere, isn't it? Here, you can be stigmatized for marrying "too early." It's all about perspective, if you're not actually being persecuted and punished. Having hurt feelings over someone else's opinion of you is really more about you and your reaction. Suffering job loss, persecution, and real abuse because of being single is actual damage. I think I would be inclined to laugh at the "leftover" designation, and even find a way to display it on my person.

PonyC... PonyChaser

You're comparing what women must endure in China with someone looking askance at women in the U.S.?? Get a grip. Learn what REALLY happens in China, and then you'll understand just how illogical that entire concept is.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

It doesn't matter when you marry, someone won't like it. I know I would have hated still being single in my late twenties, I know people who are around thirty and still not married and I would hate to be in their shoes. On the other hand, I know people who think I'm nuts because I married at 21.

Not sure why China is getting upset about the single women however. They want to control the population and if women aren't getting married they're not producing babies.

Robo Kitty Davis

JUat another one of your more STUPID articles. Women in the USA are NOT shamed for being single. Fat, poor, uneducated = shame in this country, but even then, there are so many special interest groups, no one is left feeling unwanted here. 

The Chinese are and have always been assholes. Dont seem so shocked, it just makes you look dumb. 

Eddie... EddiesMama83

Now here is an article I acutally agree with. I personally rather be single for the rest of my life than bounding from man to man every three years. There are so many women who think that marriage will complete them and that couldn't be further from the truth. People(women and men) fall in love with the idea of "love", decide that getting married is the most romanti thing in the world, but give it a year later and that novelty wears off. Why are there so many divorces and infidelity stories? A person can't make you happy only you can make yourself happy. 

nonmember avatar George

It's a major ooops moment for China. Several decades of their one-child policy and gender-selective abortions are cutting back the gender that can maintain the population. Their population is rapidly aging with a growing surplus of men which will have huge societal repercussions.

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