Are Chinese men good enough for Chinese women?
Zhao Lingmin, a media professional, sparked an online furor when she posted that Chinese men look like "college students newly enrolled from rural China".
She said they do not care much about how they look or dress. Some have long fingernails and others have their hair totally disheveled. Personal hygiene is another area ripe for complaint. Zhao contends that it is easy to tell Chinese male students apart from those coming from the rest of Asia, and those who have stayed a long time overseas dress smarter and have better manners than their counterparts inside China.
This cuts across all social strata or age groups, she says.
In a related post, a group of photos show several young couples on Shanghai streets. The women were immaculately dressed while the men next to them looked, well, like their servants.
When they reach middle age, argues Zhao, Chinese men seem to completely stop paying any attention to their appearance. They are either gaunt or overweight, often with oily hair or receding hairlines.
According to Zhao, the main reason for the discrepancy in gender appearance is the fast pace of urbanization in China. Most Chinese have retained traces of rural living, including all the attention given to male heirs in the family. Women, she says, are less moored to the lifestyle of the countryside and quicker to adapt to city life.
Another reason is the role model set by those in power, who tend to be male.
They are often arrogant, believing power or wealth can buy everything, Zhao asserts. The rudeness in manners is often reflected in the crudeness in demeanour. Zhao essentially sees the male deficiency in savoir faire as a sign of gender inequality because men do not have to actively court females, but rather use the accumulation of power or money as a surrogate.