Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Marriage and Women in Taiwan

The Taipei Times had a short article today arguing that females in Taiwan remain unconvinced by marriage. Unhappy marriages abound, apparently, and Taiwan leads industrialized Asia in divorce, despite everyone in Taiwan getting married on a lucky day....
Of the females, 50.1 percent said they would not be happier if they were married, while only 39.5 percent thought married people are happier than those who stay single.
The phenomenon of women not getting married is in fact an issue all over East and SE Asia. Taiwan is manifesting a region-wide phenomenon.

I ran some searches in Google Scholar today and it is actually surprising how little interest there appears to be in this topic; I think people treat it as something that is easily understood. Hopefully there's a lot out there and I just missed it. One thing that I would like to see more research on is mother's attitude -- many of my female students have told me privately that their mothers have told them either they don't care whether their daughters marry, or have discouraged it.

This paper on the marriage market observed:
In recent years, the discussion on marriage issues, especially the research about the foreign brides, mainly focuses on foreign brides’ adaptation (Hsia, 2002), transnational or interethnic marriages, and the domestic labor market (Wang, 2002). These studies have concentrated on the issue of marriage market and discussion on “the supply” of foreign brides. However, they neglect problems of “the demand” in Taiwan’s marriage market. Due to the immigration of foreign brides to Taiwan, the number of men who face the marriage squeeze problem has greatly declined, and for them, the problem appears ‘solved.’ But this has placed women in a similar predicament which appears to be worsening, especially for women with lower education, living in rural areas, or belonging to the lower classes, with less opportunity for upward mobility. We argue that this problem will get worse if the foreign brides keep entering Taiwan. In the near future, Taiwanese males will have better spousal availability in the marriage market as the situation unexpectedly changes to a surplus of marriageable women. This will affect females’ possibility of finding a marriage partner in the Taiwan marriage market.
In many of the articles I have read the unmarried young woman is typically portrayed as a sort of Taipei Career Girl independent, with her own income. However, authors above note that the reality is more prosaic -- the epidemic of non-marriage is silent and rural, the class that doesn't appear interviewed by researchers or in the media. Foreign brides aren't filling a gap but displacing Taiwanese women at the bottom of the ladder.

The article notes that the government is implementing a pre-marriage education policy, among its many other policies to encourage marriage and fertility.

I think all these papers miss a key point: the really serious problem of having hordes of unmarried young women around is the demand for the obnoxious, should-be-shot-on-sight poodle lapdog rat-things that they like to keep as pets, Canis familiaris only by a technicality. Surely the government can do something about that.
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21 comments:

Anonymous said...

SHOT ON SIGHT POODLE LAPDOGS! YES! TURTON YOU ARE THE F**CKING MAN! FINALLY SOMEONE FEELS MY PAIN!

David said...

With regards to the lack of material on Google Scholar I will relate a small anecdote. A certain sociology lecturer at NCCU spent an entire semester presenting graphs and tables about marriage rates, fertility rates and female participation in the workforce. Yet she failed to offer a single theory or explanation for any of the trends. It's easy to draw the graphs and identify the trends, but not so easy to understand exactly why.

Anonymous said...

The US and Japanese naval exercise is really clearly aimed at China.

It's obvious that Chinese Naval Forces will never match the US naval superiority even in a hundred years.

But if there is a conflict between these three forces in this particular area it'll not be far fetched to see that Japan will suffer the most due to its proximity not only from PRC ballistic missiles but also from the latest North Korean Scuds which maybe are already nuclear-tipped .

The peaceful Japanese people of today really don't deserve another Hiroshima nor any Nagasaki.

We hope and pray that the Japanese government will not be misguided.

Peace to All.

Michael Turton said...

It's easy to draw the graphs and identify the trends, but not so easy to understand exactly why
++++++++++++++++

Yes, I have a hunch that it is more complex than "men aren't keeping up." That's why I'd sure like to see data and modeling that includes family life, father-daughter and mother-daughter relationships, and father's cheating, etc.

Michael Turton said...

We hope and pray that the Japanese government will not be misguided.

I hope and pray that China will give up its insane expansionism, which can only result in long-term war that will hurt it badly.

Anonymous said...

"I hope and pray that China will give up its insane expansionism, which can only result in long-term war that will hurt it badly"

China will be in ruins and there might be another revolution.

Japan will be radioactive for decades like Bikini Islands.

Only the USA will remain unscathed and victorious again!

Show the Flag

Anonymous said...

"Unhappy marriages abound, ... despite everyone in Taiwan getting married on a lucky day...."

Michael you're so damn funny! HAHAHA!

Reminds me of those politicians registeering on a choiced auspicious day and still lost badly!

Jeff

mx said...

1. Many women of marriage age lived in family situations where they saw their father move to the PRC for business. Once the father is in Princess Club Land, he inevitably finds a Xiao TaiTai which ends up destroying the family back home in Taiwan.

When a young girl see her mother crying every night it has to leave deep physiological scars in head. Worse, is that the young son is not given moral guidance by their father and he ends up doing the same thing to their future wife.

2. Many young women have been corrupted by the skank slut attitudes of western TV shows such as Sex in the City.

3. Some guys in Taiwan are babied by their mothers and can barely tie their own shoes without help. (not meant to be insult to the normal Taiwanese guys, its just the way it is for some people)

4. It seems to be the majority of TV personalities in Taiwan get divorced after the wife has one kid and the guy cheats on his wife. Next Mag, Apple Daily and the TV shows cover this adultery 24hrs and many women do not want to be in the same boat.

5. Many women now-a-days go to school or just travel overseas. When they come back, they write/blog about the experience which plants the seeds in many girl's heads that it may be their destiny not to get tied down too early.

There are more reasons, this is just scratching the surface.

Okami said...

I think the key part they really miss and I get this from talking with lots of Taiwanese women is the total sense of insecurity and lose of control that marriage entails for them. They know how to be single and work over their parents, but that tends to change dramatically when they get married and have kids, which may need to be raised by the grandparents due to financial and time reasons.

Anonymous said...

"It's easy to draw the graphs and identify the trends, but not so easy to understand exactly why."

Not easy to understand why?! It's real easy. Just look at the guys here, and the mating rituatls. Let's see, how about:

1. Guys Smoking, chewing bing lang, getting drunk and beating their women
2. no self confidence or esteem in the men
3. Guy's inability to express one's emotions
4. Men's lack of social skills or much to talk about, and no life experiences to give them any courage or separate them from others.
5. Being babied by mom until the age of 22
6. Old fashioned expectations the women want no part of
7. Lack of income/status having males suitable for picky women
8. Guys' Inability to get alone with the girls in the first place because any time you go out it has to be in big groups rendering the object of your desire completely unattainable
9. A dulled pimp game due to hours and hours spend chatting on line making msn winkey faces
10. no one is good enough for the girl's moms anyways
11. Women that are asexual, totally indifferent, and too busy taking photos of themselves until they are 30, when they panic and then marry the nearest available guy with a job in the science park.

When the standard model foreign english teacher is a better choice than a Taiwanese guy, you know they have issues. Let's be honest about things.

Michael Turton said...

Keep'em coming!

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael! Just wanna know if you also got married on a 'lucky day'
or you're just happy to be a lucky guy getting married to a wonderful and beautiful gal on any day?

Since it's a very personal question
I understand if you won't reply.

Just give us a 'wink' sign ok?

Richa

Anonymous said...

I disagree about the level of maturity claimed. But the women are just as immature as the men. But some foreigners like the whole servile, immature, weak kind of partner thing.

Sean Reilly said...

And those little dog strollers. Are they really necessary?

mx said...

Ah...I totally screwed up the grammar and spelling in my post above. That's what happens when you press the publish button to fast. Sorry about that.


Anyway, speaking about pooches (and going a bit off topic), does anyone else get perturbed by people bringing their dogs into restaurants, bakery shops, the MRT, etc? I don't really care about the MRT, but bringing dogs into restaurants and food shops has to be stopped. It is getting out of hand in Taipei.

Anonymous said...

"Anyway, speaking about pooches (and going a bit off topic), does anyone else get perturbed by people bringing their dogs into restaurants, bakery shops, the MRT, etc? I don't really care about the MRT, but bringing dogs into restaurants and food shops has to be stopped. It is getting out of hand in Taipei."

Hey man I even had my prime steak
dognapped!

Richa

Michael Turton said...

Richa, I don't know if I got married on a lucky day, but it was a lucky day for me.

Michael

Anonymous said...

"Richa, I don't know if I got married on a lucky day, but it was a lucky day for me.

Michael"

Congratulations again Michael!

I'm sure it was also a lucky magical moment for your wonderful-beautiful wife too!

Richa

les said...

I think a good insight can be had from the kind of marketing spiel they put on posters advertising import brides...

'don't run away'
'can live a hard life'
'can do hard work'

... and so on. They seem to sell them as being able and willing to take on a role that Taiwanese women now refuse to, general house slave to pompous husband and overbearing in-laws. Whether this is true or it's just marketing drivel is unknown to me.

Antonio Liao said...

Interesting article:)

I think some fact are changing and put them feel unhappy group.

1. Women power is wake up
The decision maker goes to women in Taiwanese life, you can see even car company target on women on advertising. Break up & disvorce news is happend on news and hollwood movies. For those loss their one time chance on marrange descion feel so bad!!

2. Male & female structure can not be balance.
Connect with my first opinion, cheaper wife coming to Taiwan with "Yes, I do" Maybe 90% are ture love till old, but yes i do full time housewife totally shake freedomstyle young women.

3. Decrease Man power beacuse stress & pressure from family
Making more prince Mami-boy at home, they refuse take any changage reather than play on-line game at home.

For general you and me here, we always try to make her happy, but they always want to stay in young! Nomatter how old are them, they are update as fast as we do...

tainancity said...

It seems divorce is part of modernization. We go from not being able to divorce - these reasons could come out of legality, societal values, and financial dependence - to no longer having restrictions keeping you in a bad marriage. I once asked a class of mostly female South Korean women what they thought of rising divorce rates and they all said it was good. They no longer had to be stuck in a bad marriage.

I think divorce in this case may indeed come from the women's side as men may just stay married but take on lovers and ignore their wife. For women to divorce they need both societal and financial power. I think if you look around Asia, Taiwan probably offers women the highest combination of both.