Monday, March 28, 2011

Daily Links, March 28, 2011

What's being collected out there on the blogs today?

Is winter ever going to give up its grip on Taiwan? CWB says yes, finally. This winter has been tenacious and I am thoroughly sick of it.

Don't miss my next run of Pingtung trip photos to be appearing under this post shortly (now up!). Apologies for the light blogging recently, I've spending much time off the net.....

SPECIAL: Photos from a lost Taiwan: 1973 in Hualien. Way cool: India has stone tools 1.5 mya.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


Anonymous said...

Mike, now that...ahem... you're officialy a Pingtung Government employee/spokesman/representative/ agent ... , can you please elaborate more on that site where ID's are needed to enter a mountain hiking/climbing area?

Thanks and congratulations!


OzSoapbox said...

Hear you loud and clear on winter...

Bring on global freaking warming already!

Anonymous said...

Dismissing marriage as simply a bad institution is a cop-out. There have been serious structural changes to Taiwanese society, economic in particular, that are not necessarily desirable. No, no marriage for marriage's sake, but we should think about what's changed rather than be so politically correctly dismissive. The decline of marriage, I think many will find, is a reflection of harsh realities for the generation coming of age and in its early adulthood. And the 1 year+ military draft on males just makes things worse (in a more traditional society, military draft didn't make as big of an impact, but today, that means women make more than men, at least early in their careers).

Anonymous said...

When bicyclists, yes, serious cyclists, discover flashing lights and use them both daytime and nighttime, then I will take their moaning about commuting seriously. This is in Taiwan, land of a gazillion motor scooters, in addition to highly maneuverable mini-trucks! And people ride without lights?!

les said...

I don't think women are rejecting marriage itself. Most the single women I know want to get married. They just aren't satisfied with the men that are in the market, and certainly not willing to accept the traditional roles those men seem to want them to submit to.

Jenna Cody said...

Ahem, ideally it wouldn't (and shouldn't) make a difference if women earn more than men. I fail to see why this impacts marriage generally, or at least why it should. The era of the "provider male" is ending, and Taiwan - as everyone else - needs to get used to a more equal society where it is possible for a woman to (gasp!) out-earn her husband and NOT have it be a source of shame.

Michael Turton said...

@Richa, I am just a low-level functionary. They don't tell me stuff like that!

Anonymous said...

@Richa, I am just a low-level functionary. They don't tell me stuff like that!

3:23 PM

C'on Michael! Please, Please, Please!

OK then I'd settle for the name of the mountain!

Thanks a zillion Pingtung Tourism Bureau Chairman Turton!


les said...

.. and since when was it a Confucian virtue to show initiative? If anything the whole education system and work environment here is designed to beat anything like that out of people...

b said...


Does this count?


John S said...

In the past 15 years or so, it has become more socially acceptable for women to be more independent—that is, from their parents. They are not controlled by parents to the same degree as women a generation ago. They have more freedom of choice in terms of what and where to study, where to work and live. They don't have to live at home. They can live on their own and have more fun, a more-active social life.

Parents are more tolerant of independent daughters nowadays, especially if the daughter has a good job, and (very importantly) if she dutifully remits the monthly allowance into her mother's bank account each month.

If the daughter doesn't have a good job, then she will surely come under more pressure to marry.

Anonymous said...

"Ahem, ideally it wouldn't (and shouldn't) make a difference if women earn more than men."

Sure it does. Well, at least most women make it a difference. Even high-earning women want their potential husband to make more than them.

The way I see it is that many of the eligible young women throw their youth into a career and by the time the biological urges tell them to find a reliable dude and have some kids, they are 40 and most men don't want them anymore.

Society as a whole needs to decide that it's okay to slow down for marriage earlier on in your life when it's not so costly, because the alternative is that you've traded your youth for a nominal amount of wealth and no amount of money will get back that prime period for dating and marrying and having kids.

Michael Turton said...

Yes, what we need are marital and social institutions that have a ton more flexibility.

Jenna Cody said...

"because even high earning women want their husband to make more"...err, you are generalizing quite a bit. I earn a pretty good wage and couldn't give a rat's pimply bottom if my husband makes more than me (he doesn't). Perhaps you should talk to more women.

Also, in case you haven't noticed, both men AND women work too hard in Taiwan - way longer than they really ought to for health and a happy life, and for far less money than they deserve for their efforts. It's not just women, and the entire working system needs to change for both genders.

I've covered this before on my own blog - it's not that women are delaying marriage because they would rather work long hours. Let's face it, most jobs are kinda boring, not exactly "Life purpose fulfilling" and pay crap, in Taiwan and abroad. In order to even get into the local employment market in Taiwan you have to sign on for punishing hours and very little respect - that goes for both genders. The alternative is to be unemployed and living with your parents (I suppose many do the latter anyway).

And if women do slow down - I notice you're not suggesting the same for men - we'll go right back to a society where a woman's place is in the home and only the home, where she has little or no hope of an actual satisfying career that she enjoys or any sort of professional accomplishment, and where the "payoff positions" - the better jobs one gets after years of working as a peon in a little cube - all go to men, because the women "slowed down".

So basically right back where we started when we started fighting for women's equality.

I'd like to see a system in which both men and women have more free time and more options professionally so that they could pursue leisure activities in their young adulthood that would be both enriching and give better leads towards finding a potential mate.

But anyway. I think you're entirely wrong about why women in Taiwan are choosing not to marry, so it's kind of a moot point. I do think it's because they a.) work hours that are too long, just as men do (and not because they want to as you imply) and b.) they are disappointed in the gendered roles expected of them as women if they become wives. They don't want to work *and* keep an apartment clean *and* raise a child *and* care for their in-laws without much help, and yet this is what Taiwanese society still expects of them. It's thoroughly ridiculous and I don't blame them for not wanting that. If I were Taiwanese and that was what the future looked like, I'd probably choose not to marry, as well.

I'd also like to see a society in which a woman's age is not a reason to say "nobody wants her", in which people look for love and not youth/looks/money, and in which the two sexes respected each other as equals (and therefore marriage for Taiwanese women would be a better deal than it is). I guess that's just pipe dreams.

Jenna Cody said...

And, by the way, I don't think women "make it a difference" in Taiwan.

I do suspect that if this is a problem that it's the men who have an issue with marrying a woman who earns more than he does.

Not all men, certainly.

Either way, it SHOULDN'T be an issue. I don't really think you're right that it is. I think you're overlooking some far more obvious answers, and you're looking at young Taiwanese women in the workforce with a bit of tunnel vision.

Anonymous said...


I've never met an unmarried Taiwanese woman that didn't take the man's earning potential into account. Not one. Seriously, you've never heard an unmarried Taiwanese woman say,
"What will happen when I'm pregnant and need time off work?" Never?

Back when I was a part-time English teacher I heard the saying about "marrying a rich woman can save 20 years of hard work" at least 100 times. From both men and women.

After marriage opinions often change.

But to claim it's only the men who have a problem with a woman earning more than her spouse does not tally at all with my experience here over the past 18 years or so.

My two cents.