剩女(Shèngnǚ, leftover woman which describes females who’s over 27 and not married yet.)
单身女性(Dānshēn nǚxìng, single woman)
高学历(Gāo xuélì, highly educated)
高收入(Gāo shōurù, high income)
独生子女政策(Dúshēngzǐ nǚ zhèngcè ,One child policy)
In urban China, a demographic of young career women has emerged. These are white-collar professional women, often in management positions, and with great looks to boot. But they are considered dangerously close to “being beyond marriageable age”.
They are called the “leftover women”，a term describing single women over the age of 27 that has been widely used in China over the last few years.
In 1950, the average age for urban Chinese women to marry for the first time was just under 20. By the 1980s it was 25, and now it’s… about 27.
For most Chinese people, marriage is still a “must”. This has led to a nationwide craze for matchmaking reality shows on TV, and matchmaking events in public parks in almost every Chinese city, where parents advertise their daughters’ physical and economic attributes on billboards.
“For the sake of security, many parents pressure their daughters to hurry up and marry just to marry. Out of filial piety, many daughters rush into relationships which result in loveless marriages, extramarital affairs and nasty divorces,” Joy Chen, a columnist for Wall Street Journal China, wrote in an open letter to parents of leftover women. “In this way, parents’ pressure to marry just to marry leads women into lives of financial, emotional and spiritual insecurity, which is precisely the outcome that parents are trying to avoid in pressuring their daughters to marry.”
And in the last few months, “leftover women” the expression remains widely used elsewhere. “It’s caught on like a fad, but it belittles older, unmarried women – so the media should stop using this term, and should instead respect women’s human rights,” says Fan Aiguo, secretary general of the China Association of Marriage and Family Studies, an independent group that is part of the All-China Federation of Women.
So do not push them any more please! Being single at 27, 37, or any age is a choice, a choice that Chinese women nowadays, educated and financially independent, can finally afford to make. For the most part, leftover women, as they are labeled, despite the barrage of pleas from their families, pressure from society, and the occasional unnecessary pitying looks from their married peers, are really just enjoying life. Who really cares what everyone else wants to call them? Even iconic single girls like Bridget Jones and Carrie Bradshaw bemoan the prejudices they must face by not settling, but that doesn’t mean they are not having great fun.