The World of Chinese - - Ed­i­tor’s Let­ter - Robert Foyle Hun­wick Man­ag­ing Ed­i­tor


The Mas­culin­ity Is­sue—it sounds like some­thing you might find at the back of an oily garage, un­der­neath plen­ti­ful thumbed copies of Au­to­car, Play­boy, and Bridal mag­a­zines.

We’re not jok­ing about the last part. Thanks partly to their par­ents, Chi­nese men are usu­ally ea­ger to get mar­ried, of­ten as soon as pos­si­ble, ide­ally once they’ve grad­u­ated and be­gun a lu­cra­tive ca­reer. Some are even keener than their fe­male coun­ter­parts (a sit­u­a­tion which may be at­trib­ut­able to a long­stand­ing sur­plus of males in Chi­nese so­ci­ety; see p.40).

One might ask why. Af­ter all, so­ci­ety rigidly ex­pects that a groom will pro­vide his bride with a home and car (not a lease, by the way), a son (or two, to make the govern­ment happy), and a sta­ble fu­ture. Once he takes her up the aisle, the pres­sures don’t let off from there, which might be why di­vorce rates are spi­ralling, along with in­fi­delity cases. Our cover story (p.26) looks at the trou­bles with men, from school—where boys are said to be un­der­go­ing a “mas­culin­ity cri­sis”—to work, mar­riage, and be­yond.

In other news, we play mahjong (p.54), look at Crazy Rich Asians from a sober Chi­nese per­spec­tive (p.88), visit China’s Korean mi­nor­ity (p.66), try hot­pot alone (p.82), re­mem­ber the Dixie Mis­sion (p.84), and have a night on the town in the Song dy­nasty (p.12).

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