For Chinese men there are still plenty of fish in the sea, if they are just willing to share.
China’s gender gap is widening and bachelors all across the country are nervously trying to find out where to find a wife and when exactly will there not be enough for everyone to go around.
One solution to the looming crisis has been put forward by Zhejiang University economics professor Xie Zuoshi, who suggests that “sharing is caring” for low-income Chinese men, as women become a hot commodity.
According to the BBC, Professor Xie proposes making a marriage a matter of wealth and desire, allowing high-income men to earn their wives, while low-income men simply share the wives left over. He writes:
Men with high incomes will have an advantage in finding women, because they can afford the high price.
And what about the low income men? One way is for several men to band together to find a wife. 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.
Obviously, not everybody is cool with Xie’s proposal. His ideas have created an uproar among feminists who think his proposal is unfair and morally repugnant.
However, Professor Xie couldn’t be bothered with this level of trivial debate:
Please don’t talk to me about morals. If we don’t let the 30 million bachelors have women, their lives would have no hope and then they may go around raping, killing, setting off bombs… (let me emphasize that this is a possibility, I’m not saying they would definitely do that). Don’t tell me that is your morality?
Along with polyandry, Professor Xie puts forward a few more solutions including a wider acceptance of homosexuality and importing wives from other neighboring countries.
The National Bureau of Statistics believes that by 2020, China will have between 30 and 40 million bachelors looking for wives, due to the shortage of women caused by the one-child policy and Chinese couples’ desire for a male offspring.
However, Professor Xie’s modest proposal actually has a historical basis. Earlier this month, Quartz published an article explaining how in the 18th and 19th centuries in rural China, women took two (or sometimes more) husbands. This was practiced in every province of China, and for the most part, it was tolerated by the local communities.
Anyway, guys in China had better get on Tantan or get on making some dough.
By Emily Lam