In a ranking of cities currently going viral on the Chinese web, Shanghai comes out top for having the ‘most henpecked’ husbands in China.
Shanghai-based newspaper the Jiefang Daily, seeking perhaps to defend the city’s macho-cred, points out that the ranking is at least a few years old. The paper also pointed out (correctly in my opinion) that what many people view as ‘henpecking’ is just a more equal, less patriarchal relationship between the husband and wife.
Over at the SCMP, Patrick Boehler explains why this old ranking found such popularity online:
[P]reconceptions about regional differences are deep-rooted and not likely to go away. A study published in 1965, before the Cultural Revolution, by Berkeley sinologist Wolfram Eberhard, found that some perceived regional traits he recorded in a survey go back to antiquity.
He identified three broad “types of Chinese”. The “Northern type”, centred in Shandong and Hebei provinces, is perceived as being “straight and honest, simple and enduring.”
The second type. the “Yangtze valley type”, centred around Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, is “clever and sharp” and “cunning businessmen”.
The third, the “Southwestern type”, was centred in Mao Zedong’s home-province Hunan, where people are perceived to be “emotional with a violent temperament”.
Shanghai’s male population bucks their stereotype occasionally however, the Shanghai Daily reported in 2009 that Shanghai men are less likely to wash their wife’s underwear than other Chinese husbands (whatever that means).
[Image credit: @iceninejon]