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Wife-sharing for China's 30 million bachelors
« on: December 11, 2015, 10:21:33 PM »
Economist receives heated backlash for wife-sharing proposal to address generation of lonely men
http://www.news.com.au/
OCTOBER 29, 20157:43AM


SHARING is caring.

That’s the message from Chinese economist Xie Zuoshi, who has proposed the idea of wife-sharing for China’s new generation of lonely bachelors.

The men are known as guanggun, meaning bare branches, and by the year 2020, China is expected to have 30 million of them unable to find a partner.

The economics professor at the Zhejing University of Finance and Economics has suggested a system of one-sided polyamory, or as TheNew York Times put it “one wife, many husbands”, to address the growing social problem.

The Asian superpower has become the world’s biggest lonely hearts club due to the country’s one-child policy, coupled with a patriarchal society that leads parents to favour the birth of a son. Sex-selective abortions are illegal in the country but are nonetheless a widespread practice. The result is a gender imbalance that amounts to about 117 men to every 100 women.

Figures from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics show that, as of the end of 2014, the Chinese mainland held 33.76 million more males than females.

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Re: Wife-sharing for China's 30 million bachelors
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2015, 10:22:24 PM »
The unprecedented situation needs a solution, and this economist thinks he has one.

On his blog, which has 2.6 million followers, he outlined his idea, which he stressed is purely an economic argument. Supply and demand is the bedrock of economics, and there is an oversupply of Chinese men, he wrote in his essay entitled “30 million bachelors is a groundless fear”.

According to Professor Xie, wealthy men will be able to afford the “high price” of women as their value increases, while poorer men will miss out on having a partner.

“What about the low-income men? One way is for several men to band together to find a wife,” he wrote.

He believes some rural families are already adopting the idea. “This isn’t some pie-in-the-sky idea of mine. In some remote and poor areas there are cases where brothers jointly marry one wife, and they can live happily and harmoniously,” he wrote.

He worries that the flow-on effects of a generation of lonely men will cause problems as they will not have any offspring to support them in their older age, something that is mandated by Chinese law. The relationship is considered so fundamental that parents are able to sue their children for not visiting enough.


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Re: Wife-sharing for China's 30 million bachelors
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2015, 10:23:27 PM »
Likewise, the cultural importance placed on finding a life partner is extremely overt in Chinese culture. A popular dating game show called If Not Sincere Then Do Not Disturb (known as If You Are the One in Australia) allows a panel of 24 women to choose if they want to date a male contestant. It is the highest rated show on its network.

As it is, many lonesome Chinese men are looking elsewhere for a wife, mainly in the neighbouring countries of Vietnam and Myanmar. However such a scenario has led to greater concerns over human trafficking and online dating scams.

Prof Xie also said if the government legalised same-sex marriage, it would help the situation. Currently, numerous Chinese gay and lesbian couples get together via online forums and services to have fake marriages where they wed one another but live in secret with their homosexual partner.

But it was the novel suggestion of wife-sharing that was picked up by media outlets around the country.

Despite his unemotional approach to the matter, his essay was widely met with derision from the public as countless people criticised it online for being illegal and immoral.

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Re: Wife-sharing for China's 30 million bachelors
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2015, 10:24:24 PM »
On China’s version of Twitter, one user named Superelfjunior chastised Prof Xie writing: “If women are just only meant for producing heirs and have to mate with many men just to solve the population growth issue, how does this make us any different from animals?”

“Is this a human being speaking?” another user wrote of the essay.

A project manager for a woman’s rights group in the country, Jing Xiong, told the BBC that the idea was “extremely ridiculous”.

“Prof Xie’s suggestion ignores the wishes and rights of women, and casts women as tools used to satisfy men’s needs for sex, marriage and reproduction … this suggestion is basically sexual discrimination,” she said.

However Prof Xie rejects the notion and believes legality is beside the point and the moral alternative is far worse.




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