American men like to marry Chinese women

My Germany: Made for each other

When Jiny Lan, who lives in Germany, is not painting, she ponders German and Chinese men and which Chinese women are suitable for marrying German men. Here are some thoughts from her:

The ones who have a slightly idiosyncratic look. Chinese men judge a woman's appearance according to common Chinese criteria. In China, a woman is only considered beautiful if she has big eyes, a high nose and a cherry mouth. The German man applies his own individual standards and can also take a liking to slit eyes or snub noses.

The "remaining women" should also marry a German. These are Chinese women who have passed the threshold of 30 years and still haven't gotten under the hood. This iron law also applies to women who otherwise conform to all ideals of beauty in China. The reason is that for men of all ages, only Chinese women under 30 are eligible.

Preferably one step below the man

Single mothers have no chance with their compatriots. Germans, on the other hand, see no disadvantage in this.

DW editor Zhang Danhong

Doctorate women are also hopeless cases. There is an evil saying circulating among Chinese men: "There are men, women and doctors on earth." With the achievement of the doctorate, a woman is deprived of virtually all femininity. For German men - with or without a title - the prefix in front of the name does not usually matter.

Extroverted Chinese women are perceived as too dominant or uneducated in their home country. German men tend to perceive them as lively or self-confident - that is, positively.

In other words: an army of educated, experienced, strong character and very attractive Chinese women is ready to entrust themselves to a suitable German man. No wonder that Sino-German marriages are springing up like mushrooms.

Feudal remains

With her German husband, who is almost ten years her junior, Jiny Lan now has three children - that's not typically Chinese either. The artist likes to provoke with her pictures and texts. She wanted to annoy her compatriots through exaggeration and generalization and thereby initiate a discussion about the position of women in China. Because even 66 years after the founding of the People's Republic, feudal patterns of thought and behavior are by no means eradicated. Disparaging remarks about the female gender can be heard in everyday life or on television without anyone getting upset.

Jiny Lan with her husband Moritz

Before the communists came to power, it was customary in wealthy circles to get one or more concubines. The main wife was responsible for the proper representation of the house to the outside world, the secondary wife for the erotic. The German sinologist Eduard Erkes, who was known in the first half of the last century, saw this as a stabilizing correlate for marriage that the monogamous system in Europe lacks.

Today, even Chinese men have to be content with a single woman. It is therefore understandable that this one should unite all the virtues of the former main and secondary wife: In terms of class and education, she should suit him, but in no way be more educated and talented than her husband. Otherwise he would be deprived of the idea that he was the greatest. She also has to withstand the public beauty criteria and also fulfill his erotic dreams.

Are German men that great?

The artist Jiny Lan hates this behavior like the plague. She simply considers the German man to be the better husband. For him, the inner values ​​of a woman weigh more heavily than looks. And if he has decided on a woman, then for him she is the most beautiful and best in the world anyway. For the Chinese man, only their own child counts. He secretly mourns polygamy and sees in every pretty young woman a potential concubine.

Of course, every general judgment should be treated with caution. Here as there are superficial men a dime a dozen. But I tend to agree with Jiny Lan. Especially when she says that a Chinese man socialized in Germany is a thousand times more reliable than a German who has lived in China for a long time and has internalized the gender roles there.

After studying at the China Academy of Fine Arts, Jiny Lan came to Germany in 1995. Today she lives in Bochum and has her studio in Düsseldorf. Her works will be on show at the end of September Art Fair to see in Cologne.

Zhang Danhong was born in Beijing and has lived in Germany for over 20 years.