Women work and relationships

    Recently I’ve seen some stuff about the changing place of women in Chinese society. Most interesting were the essays my students wrote. I found the quiet girls were the ones with the most ‘modern’ attitudes! They wanted to not stop working, have their own business, and arrange for care of their children. The louder girls were more conservative, many wanting to give up work after having children for at least a time.

    The boys thought women should give up working after having children, or have a less stressful job - so that they didn’t get bored. They also felt that couples should make sure they communicate enough and share some of the responsibilities with the children.

    A common train of thought was that if the man loved the woman enough, then he wouldn’t want her to work too much, because he could look after her (assuming economic demands didn’t require that she work). Another important factor in the reasoning process was the very high value given to children, and the welfare and happiness of the children. There was significant belief that children must be brought up by a parent/grandparent/close family member to ensure that they recieve enough love and don’t grow up rude and/or maladjusted.

    One idea written off by everyone upon hearing it was the idea of a husband giving up work to look after children. This appeared to be simply a stupid suggestion - the first question from everyone was - but then how would he provide for the family?

    Maggie Ad