Gender Inequality in Chinese Society
“How do you balance your role as a wife and your role as an employee?” This is a typical question women face during a job interview in China. Interestingly, there is never the same question for men asking the balance between being a husband and being an employee. Under the harmony claiming women and men are standing in an equal position, society implicitly presses women to do a multiple-choice question related to their desired role. Ironically, although it is called multiple choice, there is never an “s” following behind the word “choice”, simply meaning that women only are allowed to choose one and give up the rest.
Being a wife or a mother becomes a disadvantage or even a defect, making women less competitive in current society. Just because women possess the ability to be pregnant and have children, it does not indicate that they lose the ability to fulfill their works successfully. However, many people tend to wear monocular glasses for seeing only one side of the matter, and then use that one side to generalize. Therefore, as time goes on, this ideology has planted a seed in everyone’s heart. People acquiesce in its existence and admit its correctness. The transformation from responsibility to liability boosts fear among women, especially for those younger ones. They are willing to shelve their special ability for exchanging a better opportunity in their career path. This phenomenon does not merely reveal current gender inequality problems, but also carries imbalances in more social aspects such as population ageing and corresponding measures forcing gender inequality to fall into a worse status.
Undeniably, there are still a great amount of excellent wives and mothers working diligently in their workplaces. Nevertheless, the phenomenon of women suffering from unequal treatment when applying for jobs will not be erased by these cases. Disapproving voices may come out saying that women make their own choices. Yes, women are ostensibly free to make their own choices under the hint of society. Let’s take a step back, should this unsettling multiple choice really need to exist? Instead of focusing on “how to balance women’s roles”, what is the so-called balance and is there a true balance? Or is it just employers finding an excuse for refusing women or seeking a promise claiming their “loyalty” towards job positions? Innumerable problems that are pulled out by one single problem are worth pondering.

Yaxin Chen