Chinese billionaire Yu Minhong has come under fire over “sexist” remarks he made during an education forum.
The founder of New Oriental Education & Technology Group said on Sunday that “If women only care about money rather than a man’s conscience, all men will become conscienceless and focus on earning more money, which is the case in today’s China.”
He then went on to say that “the moral degeneration of Chinese women led to the degeneration of the country.”
The remarks quickly went viral and drew a flood of criticism from women.
Following the backlash, Yu apologized on his Weibo account Sunday night.
“To explain how evaluation standards can determine the direction of education, I cited the analogy of females choosing their spouses. Regretfully, I failed to express myself clearly and misled the audience,” he wrote.
That said, his previous comments that suggested that men would alter their priorities to keep up with the demands of women are worth pondering. Best-selling author Han Han has, in fact, said something similar.
Han wrote in a magazine in 2010 that “I was passionate about literature when I was in college, and I wanted to be a journalist or writer. [In those days], we could easily attract girls if we could write a poem or play guitar. But now the world has changed. Girls want something else. Women change the way men look at this world.”
Yu’s comments may appear a bit excessive, but they bear some truth.
The hottest topic this year in Zhihu, a Chinese question-and-answer website like Quora, was “why boys do not chase girls anymore?”
One group argues that girls may still fall for romantic stuff like poems and guitar or flowers, but when it comes to marriage, it’s a decent home and car that matters most.
Most men are now smart enough to know that and would therefore devote their energy to meeting such “requirements” first.
The full article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov 20
Translation by Julie Zhu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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