It is a truth universally acknowledged that [those who assume] a man in good fortune must be in want of a wife. Bullshit, I say, as I try to purge my mind from the insidious exposure I have had to the online charlatan presenting herself as a paragon of women’s equality, Joy Chen. Her pedantic bi-lingual blog and book Do Not Marry Before Age 30, which has been available worldwide in Chinese, are both an egregious offense to good taste, decency, intelligence, Chinese culture, and women’s equality.
Do not marry until you are successful in your career, happy with yourself, and confident enough to pick the right mate. It’s an overly-broad platitude that can be said for either a man or a woman, and the advice itself isn’t the problem, it’s the reasoning behind it. The whole line about wanting it all has one fundamental flaw: wanting, without giving. Reciprocity is a fundamental foundation for any relationship, but when you have a country with a growing social problem with only-children being spoiled by two sets of grandparents and their parents, this is a recipe for entitlement and expectation.
Her argument that marriage should be treated like a business relationship and explores “problems” with potential partners is that it encourages women to look for problems that aren’t there, and in their absence, to create those problems in their minds. It’s almost as if she projected her own situation onto an entire society as one big band-aid to solve the problems of patriarchy by telling women that they should want it all. The real question is why didn’t she or anyone else actually talk to Chinese women and ask them what they themselves want?
Her husband’s testimony is exceptionally dubious. Though there are men who are happy to be the submissive partners with women as the dominant ones in a relationship, it is a flaw in reasoning to project both Joy Chen and her husband’s personalities and preferences as universal for all. They obviously do not know that not every man is going to want to be submissive, or that Joy Chen is only one type of (hideously unattractive) personality.
One person had a very elegant observation on her own blog:
First, she failed to take into account these traditional Chinese cultural values when writing her book. So maybe it worked out for her to get married at age 38 after achieving incredible success as the Deputy Mayor of LA, but what about Chinese society, which views women past 30 as ‘old maids’ and less desirable? What about Chinese men who see successful, ladder-climbing women as ‘too aggressive’ and also undesirable? What about the fact that Chinese society view too successful women as 剩女 (sheng nu, or ‘leftover women’) because men do not want them? Second, she failed to conduct any of her research in China and did not speak to any Chinese women or men, instead relying on what she calls ‘science’ and ‘psychology’ to form her arguments. Third, she fails to recognize that her case is quite unique and is still not commonplace in the U.S. or China, so for her to generalize based on her experience is flawed. What I found the most interesting were the questions after her talk, where a few Chinese women spoke to these points. “I’m 39 and I’ve followed the exact same path you describe, and yet I can’t find my Mr. Right and my parents and friends only introduce me to men 50 or 60 years old …”
The typical response from shysters is that those who claim to be following their advice but not getting the promised success is that they aren’t following their teachings to the letter. A flaw with this reasoning is, Joy Chen’s got a unique situation, and that’s as absurd as a seven-foot tall basketball player saying that anyone can play, without realizing that not everyone will get to be that height or have those skills. Not everyone can have what Joy Chen has, and she is pushing her situation as the status quo. It’s a bit absurd that her book is aimed at Chinese mainland women–her experience is of a Chinese-American, which is not the same.
The lies and shameless self-promotion are equal only to the asinine and anecdotal “advice” given by fellow scammer, Robert Kiyosaki with Rich Dad, Poor Dad. And no, even Amy Chua, the infamous Tiger Mom does not match the lunacy of Joy Chen’s bizarre vaginal hubris.
To grade her book and blog, I fail her with a D. Why not an F? Because an F at times equates with “fuck” and Joy Chen and her work are definitely not worth a fuck.
(Image Credit: Do Not Marry Before Age 30)