With this bride price, I thee wed

by Aman Singh Das | June 05, 2009

  • My Vault

For centuries, China has been known for its male dominant society and the preference for male babies. Today, pointing out an ironical twist that threatens to change the traditional mindset, the Wall Street Journal published a story about brides scamming their betrothed and running away with the “bride price.”

For instance: “China’s population-planning policy and preference for the male gender has led the country to a surplus of bachelors”.  In traditional rural China, couples are encouraged to meet and get hitched within a week’s time -- not exactly meeting the more loose wedding standards of the average American.  “Several days after the ceremony, the bride flees with no indication of where she has vanished to, and leaves behind her clothes and identity papers.  She does not however leave behind her bride price…”  

The piece talks about the town of Hanzhong as an example, where this “scam” has left quite a few men alone. “During the first two months of this year, the town of Hanzhong witnessed a record number of 11 scams that were devised to withdraw high bride prices in this area with the oversupply of available men.  This local rarity has brought about much suspicion among officials”.  Officials feel that these runaway brides are part of a larger criminal alliance.

Here in America, though, where women are finally reaching the 50% mark for making up the workforce, it seems like in certain fields, they continue to face inequalities. The New York Times discussed this today, saying, “women continue to face inequalities in salary and access to some other resources”, but, “In recent years, men and women have enjoyed comparable opportunities”.  A study was conducted by the National Assessment of Educational Progress stating that there increasingly the difference in academic performance between boys and girls was getting thinner.

Keeping in mind these flipsides, I ask you this – Are these so-called scams conducted to prove a point?  Are Chinese women tired of living in a society where men have for long been the preferred race and hence are afforded better opportunities for higher education, success and chances for suitable work? Are they ready to take on a better life and work equally alongside men in countries such as America that provides such opportunities?  Does this hint at a bigger picture of migration for equality?

Maybe, just maybe, with or without a recession, America still remains the land of dreams for many….

-Posted by Danielle Correa, Vault Diversity Project Asst.

Filed Under: CSR

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