Enjoying the spoils of a Chinese marriage? With this Op-Ed in the Global Times, I think it should read as “Spoiled a Chinese marriage” instead.
The illustration said it all. There’s a white foreign man lounging emperor-like in a gigantic bowl of noodles, with a
morning-after “I’m high on carbs” smirk on his face. Beside him is a Chinese woman who looks like every guy’s teenage wet dream, dressed in a qipao that leaves nothing to the imagination. She leans on the bowl and stares at him as if to say, “What else can I get you, honey? More noodles? Me?”
The commentary seems more benign than the headline or illustration. Yet with a closer read, it strikes me as hopelessly naive. A Chinese green card, if you’re even lucky enough to eventually get one, won’t necessarily save you from long lines for good. Not every Chinese woman will be a “super-chef” or an outstanding mathematician, and for that matter, not every Chinese family will love you with open arms. But really, it’s hard to take the whole thing seriously when he frames the entire article in terms of “spoils” — casting his marriage to a Chinese woman as the treasure conceded to him, the “conquering foreign man” who went to China.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never thought of my marriage to John in terms of “spoils.” Benefits or perks — yeah, sometimes…maybe when I’m talking about, say, the ability to get an L-visa through him. But not “spoils,” which conjures up the synonyms of plunder, loot, and stolen goods. If I ever used such words to describe a relationship, I would probably be writing about a rape or human trafficking, not a marriage. Nor would I illustrate a marriage by suggesting the wife is nothing more than a qipao-clad professional call girl in stilettos, waiting on his every need — while he can slobber all over himself in a gluttonous mess of noodles.
Is this what some foreign men really think of marriage to a Chinese woman? Or was it just an off-day for the Global Times? Let’s hope the latter.