Today I read a Bloomberg article on China’s women entrepreneurs. I was super happy and inspired and decided to click the link to glance over the Forbe’s Self-Made Women Billionaires Of 2013.
The sad news is – only 1.7% of all billionaires are self-made women. Most women billionaires still inherited from their husbands. (More and more inherited from their ex-husbands…) Moreover, out of the 24 self-made women billionaires, 15 co-founded companies with their husbands or siblings.
The encouraging news is – these figures only tell us about women entrepreneurs who started business around two decades ago. I am very certain that after a couple of decades, there will be a lot more women billionaires uprising. My hope is at that time, most of them are “self-made women entrepreneurs” instead of “rich widows with inheritance”.
A few days ago, I had a chat with a successful entrepreneur. He told me that it would be very difficult for me to succeed in the United States. “You are not only a woman, but also a minority woman. To be precise, a foreign minority woman. That changes the whole situation. ” I wonder quite often if my situation would be much better if I move back to China. But just by looking at the fundamental values of the Chinese society, I hesitated. Below are some of my reasons.
1. China has 8 of the top 21 self-made female billionaires, right after the United States, which has 10. For a male-dominated society like China, this is a break-through. Although the most successful politicians and entrepreneurs in China are still men, and successful women generally keep a low profile, it was quite an achievement. What I did not like though, is the notion that women should play supportive roles to their husbands’ careers.
My ex-boyfriend’s mom had told me that it is a culture norm for women to play supportive roles to their husbands’ career. I clearly told her, “This cultural norm is bound to change. It’s a different era now. Couples need to support each other in terms of career development. If the woman is more successful, a confident man could consider putting more efforts in the family.” She was unhappy when I said that, and right away argued, “well, see. The majority of successful politicians and entrepreneurs are men.” I told her that this is only for today, not for tomorrow. And this is one of the reasons why my ex-boyfriend is my ex-boyfriend. I cannot tolerate a family with a deep shit traditional feudalism mindset.
2. This mindset reflects in Chinese dating shows, which the general public enjoys watching. I used to find them entertaining because of their stupidity, but I have grown very tired of them. Those dating shows reflect some twisted social values in the Chinese society:
a) Women have to get married by the age of 28. Age and beauty are the only important measurements when it comes to judging women.
b) The women on the shows are generally very shallow. Most of them want money falling down from the sky instead of working with their husbands to earn a good living. They often ask questions such as, “do you have a house and a car in Shanghai?” to determine if they save the light for the man or not. Seriously, a house in Shanghai cost as much as a house in New York City now. If the man is smart, he would not buy a house! (There are exceptions.)
c) Many women/men go on those shows just to get famous. They will keep standing there, rejecting people until they reach a certain number of followers on their blogs. A man was on this dating show for 2 and a half years. And a woman was on a show for 2 years. This reflects the society’s sole purpose of “get famous, get rich”.
d) The family members like getting involved in the show and make ridiculous comments. One of the bachelor’s mom was looking at 12 girls’ pictures and picked 3 very beautiful women. But when she saw that one of the woman was 29, she immediately said, “I wouldn’t consider her. She’s so old!” People usually laugh at this type of scenes. It proves how pathetic some of the audiences are.
4. I have also seen some of the girls I went to middle school or high school with became trophy girlfriends of some second-generation wealthy boys. They love showing off pictures of them wearing slutty dresses eating in expensive restaurants, staying in 5-start hotels or sitting in luxurious cars. Sometimes I wonder why they think people would like to see those pictures, as they only prove how useless they are themselves, having to rely on rich men on everything.
5. Some Chinese women idolize Wendi Deng. They view her story as a story of success. Wendi Deng?! For what reason? Honestly, I felt she damaged the Yale brand! I feel very shameful going to the same school as her. Wendi Deng is a bitch. A woman with no real contribution to the world, no real contribution to the development of human society. A woman who set a horrible example and built a terrible image of Chinese women oversea. A woman who kept using people to achieve her materialistic goals and dump them afterwards.
I am confident that there are still very strong, entrepreneurial women out there in China, doing amazing things, leading their employees, achieving superior statuses. My hope is the number of those outweigh the number of ridiculously shallow/useless women there. As of today, I don’t think I will join the “returning to China” league. North America is a much more comfortable place for me to live.