Chinese Women, Asian Women, Online Dating & Things Chinese and Asian
Peter lived for nearly a half-decade in China, including two as a Peace Corps volunteer, and is the author of Socrates in Sichuan: Chinese Students Search for Truth, Justice and the (Chinese) Way. It is the intention of his blog to foster the sort of intercultural understanding necessary for long term relationships.
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Interview with a Beautiful Chinese Woman, Part 2    

By Peter V
3342 Views | 6 Comments | 5/16/2010 1:03:00 PM

This is the second part of an interview with one of the many twenty-somethings on the website. I'd encourage you to read the first part of this interview before starting in here, but no points will be deducted from your score if you fail to do so. With that warning, here is part deux:

We then transitioned to the topic of traditional Chinese women. I told her that many women on the CLM website described themselves in this manner and that I thought one woman had summed it up quite nicely when she explained the term with the simple claim: “love family, love children.” How would Z define a traditional Chinese woman? And is she one of them? “Maybe seventy percent,” she said and laughed. I was wondering if the laugh was because of the claim that is often made in reference to Mao, that he was seventy percent right.

In any case, Z went on to explain that a true traditional Chinese woman would stay at home all the time and have nothing to do—“like many women today in Japan and Korea,” she added. “This is boring, stupid.” The traditional Chinese woman also accepts a long standing belief in Chinese culture. At this point, Z stopped and looked at me. “Do you know about the history of China?” she asked “Well, the basics,” I replied. She ran her hand down her legs and rested it on her shoe, appearing to be searching for the right word. “You mean footbinding,” I said. “Yes.” “The traditional Chinese woman believed she was made for man. This is why we had footbinding.”

As for herself, Z added that in addition to not planning to stay at home she is not good at cooking, so she could never be a true one hundred percent traditional Chinese woman. “Then,” I asked, “in what way are you seventy percent traditional.” “I believe home is most important and will always put my family first,” she replied. What about her mother, I asked. “She is maybe ninety percent.” “And the other ten percent?” “Well,” said Z, “she does not put her foot down about me going out with a foreigner. A one hundred percent traditional Chinese woman would.”

At this point I pulled out my list of traditional Chinese virtues, characteristics that women who have placed their profiles on CLM have put as constituting their ideal partner. If you haven’t done so, you should definitely take a close look at this part of the profile. Don’t be put off by the Chinese, as there is an excellent translation tool. (And if you have any questions, feel free to post them and I will respond). From a random sampling of fifty or so profiles from the CLM website, the following constitutes a top twelve list: a) mature, b) steady, c) kind, d) successful, e) compassionate, f) responsible, g) romantic, h) humorous, i) intelligent, j) considerate, k) makes one feel safe and l) healthy/active.

When I asked Z to rank these traits as either 1-very important, 2-somewhat important and 3-not that important, her replies coalesced around a single set of interrelated traits that I found typical of other Chinese women I showed the list to. Anyone searching for differences between Chinese and American women might point out that twenty different women on American online dating sites will somehow manage to provide somewhere between twenty-one and twenty-three different descriptions of their ideal partner

For Z, being ‘mature’, ‘steady’, ‘successful’, ‘responsible’ and 'makes one feel safe’ were all very important; ‘compassionate’,’ romantic’, ‘humorous’, ‘intelligent’ and ‘considerate’ were somewhat important; and being ‘compassionate’ and ‘romantic’ were not important. Rather than the resulting ideal as materialistic and cynical, one recognizes its connection to that beating heart of Chinese life, the family: a healthy family requires a mature, steady man at its head, one who will feel a strong sense of responsibility for his family and as a result want and be able to make a sufficient income to care for them. By contrast (this is Z’s example), romantic gestures such as extravagant dinners or trips often involve the spending of a large amount of money and thus do not demonstrate foresight or responsibility.

I concluded with one question. What advice would she give to members of the website who want to find a Chinese woman. “Honesty is enough,” she replied. “If they are honest, they will be able to make a connection with someone. And if they establish a connection, anything is possible.”

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
(Showing 1 to 6 of 6) 1
#2010-05-16 23:41:12 by iamzoe @iamzoe

Yes, of course, honesty is the basic rule.

#2010-05-19 10:42:10 by woaizhongguo @woaizhongguo

A couple of clarifications from Z:
1. Z wanted me to make clear her friend does not regularly go out to bars
2. Z's definition of traditional Chinese woman is “family oriented.”
3. More on the traditional Chinese woman: "Her main responsibility is to take care of her family member and support her husband's career, we call them 'xian qi liang mu' in Chinese, literally a understanding wife and devoted mother. We can see it from both old and modern ways: In old china especially feudal society, women are often acted 'staying indoors' role and they are restrained by different routines and disciplines. This is the good wife and mother standard in Ancient China. Nowadays, when we talk about traditional Chinese woman that means the woman who still keeps the old thinking way, the same mind."

#2010-05-19 10:42:26 by woaizhongguo @woaizhongguo

4. On footbinding: “Footbinding limited women's movements to satisfy men's desires in a patriarchal society when women didn't have an equal status.”
5. Final advice: “Communication is built on mutual trust, mutual respect, so honesty is absolutely important in this virtual world, nationality, age, distance, culture, race doesn't mean anything. Once there is a connection, impossible is nothing.”

#2010-06-07 01:50:07 by goldsilhair99 @goldsilhair99

I am not sure why Z thinks compassion or romance is not something important in a relationship. From a Western way of thinking, I want a wife who is compassionate and romantic. Expressions of romance do not require extravagance. Many little things done for the woman you love adds up to alot of romance and they can be as simple as doing things that she considers her chores. As for Z not knowing how to cook; cooking is learned and Chinese cooking is very easy to learn. One of the things that I think is different between Chinese and foreign men is that foreign men are more likely to see things that he can do that help his wife. This is a generalization because I have some Chinese friends that are decidedly very western in their day-to-day dealings with their wives.

#2011-10-02 05:38:26 by danruble @danruble

I still don't know why no one has taken the author to task for the making the clarification perfectly unclear. ... He should be raked over the coals, if not horse whipped... Making me read that darn thing five times to see if it was me... For shame...Question, is compasionate and romantic "somewhat important" to Z , or not important at all? Peter I am just messin' with ya. nice blogs.. just that one paragraph has me a tad baffled..Look forward to your continued blogizations...

#2013-03-16 22:45:47 by sandy339 @sandy339

A one hundred percent traditional Chinese woman? The notion has been changing all the time. At my class once I asked a question to my students( they are in their early 20s) what do they think about house work if in the future when they are married? To my surprise, almost all of them said they would share the house work with their future spouse, and what is important is they didn’t think it is the sole responsility of wife, wow, this generation is more liberal, isn’t. So I think what is a one hundred percent traditional Chinese woman all depends on education, age and place?

What advice would she give to members of the website who want to find a Chinese woman. “Honesty is enough,” I think honesty is far from enough. A good heart + some skillful communication ways might work a lot in the relationship.

(Showing 1 to 6 of 6) 1
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