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She's single and enjoying life in Beijing, far away from parents in a conservative southern city who, she says, are ashamed that they have an unmarried 38-year-old daughter。她单身,独自一人在北京生活得还不错,父母则远在家乡,一个传统保守的南方城市。她说父母为有一个38岁的未婚女儿而觉得丢人。 (来源:英语麦当劳www.EnglishCN.com)

"They don't want to take me with them to gatherings, because they don't want others to know they have a daughter so old but still not married," she says。她说:“他们不愿意带我去参加聚会活动,因为他们不想让别人知道自己有个这么大年纪却没嫁出去的女儿。”

"They're afraid their friends and neighbours will regard me as abnormal. And my parents would also feel they were totally losing face, when their friends all have grandkids already."“他们害怕朋友和邻居觉得我不正常,他们也会觉得丢脸,因为他们的朋友现在都抱孙子了。”

Chen's parents have tried setting her up on blind dates. At one point her father threatened to disown her if she wasn't married before the end of the year。陈小姐的父母也曾经帮她安排过相亲,她的父亲还曾威胁过她必须在那年年底嫁出去,否则就跟她脱离父女关系。

Now they say if she's not going to find a man, she should come back home and live with them. Chen knows what she wants - someone who is "honest and responsible", and good company, or no-one at all。现在他们的说法是,如果她不打算找个男人结婚,那就应该回老家跟他们一起住。陈小姐说她很清楚自己想找的是什么样的人:诚实、有责任心,一位志趣相投的好伙伴。如果找不到这样的,她宁愿一个人单着。

Meanwhile, the state-run media keep up a barrage of messages aimed at just this sort of "picky" educated woman。而同时,各大媒体也开始通过各种信息方式,朝这些挑剔的知识女性“发起攻击”。

"Pretty girls do not need a lot of education to marry into a rich and powerful family. But girls with an average or ugly appearance will find it difficult," reads an excerpt from an article titled, Leftover Women Do Not Deserve Our Sympathy, posted on the website of the All-China Federation of Women in March 2011.2011年3月,中国妇联的官方网站上发表了一篇题为《有多少剩女值得我们同情?》的文章,文章中这样写到:“长相靓丽的女孩子不需要太高的学历,照样可以嫁入豪门,但长相普通和丑的女孩子则很难”。

It continues: "These girls hope to further their education in order to increase their competitiveness. The tragedy is, they don't realise that as women age, they are worth less and less. So by the time they get their MA or PhD, they are already old - like yellowed pearls."文章还指出:“所以,这样的女孩子就希望能够通过提高学历来增强自己的竞争力。悲哀的是,她们不知道女人是越老越不值钱,等到自己拿到硕士、博士毕业证的时候,不料自己已经人老珠黄。”

Ouch。这话太伤人。

The All-China Federation of Women used to have more than 15 articles on its website on the subject of "leftover women" - offering tips on how to stand out from a crowd, matchmaking advice, and even a psychological analysis of why a woman would want to marry late.中国妇联的网站上曾有过多达15篇文章讨论“剩女”的话题,为剩女们出谋划策如何脱颖而出,提供相亲建议,甚至就“为什么女性想要晚婚”进行心理分析。

If it sounds odd to call women "leftover" at 27 or 30, China has a long tradition of women marrying young. But the age of marriage has been rising, as it often does in places where women become more educated.27岁或30岁没结婚就被称为“剩下的”,也许听起来有些怪异,但中国女性一向有早婚的传统。不过婚姻年龄一直在推迟,就像在很多地方女性受教育程度越来越高的情况一样。

In 1950, the average age for urban Chinese women to marry for the first time was just under 20. By the 1980s it was 25, and now it's... about 27.1950年,中国城市女性初婚平均年龄不到20岁。到了20世纪80年代这一年龄是25岁,而现在这一年龄也许是27岁左右。

A 29-year-old marketing executive, who uses the English name Elissa, says being single at her age isn't half bad。现年29岁的销售主管艾丽莎(英文名)表示,在她这个年纪还单身其实还挺不错。

"Living alone, I can do whatever I like. I can hang out with my good friends whenever I like," she says. "I love my job, and I can do a lot of stuff all by myself - like reading, like going to theatres. I have many single friends around me, so we can spend a lot of time together."“我一个人过,想做什么做什么,只要我喜欢,想什么时候跟好朋友出去玩都行。我喜欢我的工作,我一个人可以做很多事儿,看看书,看看电影。我身边有很多单身的朋友,大家经常一起玩。”

Sure, she says, during a hurried lunch break, her parents would like her to find someone, and she has gone on a few blind dates, for their sake. But, she says, they've been a "disaster"。艾丽莎是在匆忙的午饭时间接受我们的采访。她说当然父母还是希望她能找到一个合适的对象,为了父母她要去参加过几次相亲,不过她表示相亲就是“灾难”。

"I didn't do these things because I wanted to, but because my parents wanted it, and I wanted them to stop worrying. But I don't believe in the blind dates. How can you get to know a person in this way?"“我不是因为我想相亲才去的,我完全是为了我父母,我不想让他们担心,不过我不相信相亲,怎么可能通过这种方式就了解一个人?”

 
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