Lessons for taming couples in China

As gender equality has become an issue of increasing importance in Chinese society in recent years, the administrations of three cities, namely Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu, announced in mid-August that they would begin admitting male husbands to schools to train them to “submit to women” and help her. in household chores.
This comes years after the emergence of schools of “feminine virtues” that aimed to “train women to listen to men, focus only on family, accept hard work and accept the idea that they are inferior to men”, which caused outrage from society.
Those in charge of the new project explain that these schools will “teach men how to be good husbands by playing games, such as experiencing labor, sharing life stories with each other, watching movies and exchanging ideas.”
Unlike schools for “female virtues,” a series of lectures in three Chinese cities attempt to teach men to be equal, not superior, in their relationships with women. This may be in response to the furor caused earlier by the “feminine virtue” schools.
Many men show great interest in enrolling in this type of school, as they see it as a way to improve their relationships with their wives and children.
Wang Yuan, an employee of the Shenzhen Post Office, told The New Arab: “I will not hesitate to join the men’s school, because every man should take this golden opportunity to learn the basics of dealing with a woman and managing marriage problems.”
He explains that during the five years of his marriage, he faced many challenges and difficulties, which affected his relationship with his wife, which is why they thought about divorce, but when he reconsidered his actions and behavior, he realized that he was wrong and realized that he did not appreciate the work that his wife does at home, even though she is also a working woman.
He says, “I used to deal with my wife with a masculine logic that involved a lot of arrogant behavior, while refraining from doing any tasks to help my wife, like packing clothes and washing dishes after meals. I learned some of these tasks accidentally watching a TV series that depicted the happiness of a rural family based on the foundation of understanding and harmony between a simple couple.


The goal of the program is to strengthen the partnership between spouses (Hector Retamal/AFP)

On the other hand, Mu Dong, a cafe owner in the city of Shantou (south), told The New Arab: “It’s ironic, because women have become more rebellious against men because of their education and financial independence, so men need schools that teach women about the importance marriage and formation.” Families, in light of their unprecedented reluctance to marry and be related.
He adds: “There is a lot of abuse of a man, he works all day, and he is not appreciated. On the other hand, there are voices that call for gender equality, and women are portrayed as oppressed, and they are the party that refuses to marry a man only because they are financially independent and prefer the environment.” Work at the expense of building a family and having children. In the light of these facts, it is pointless to talk about the taming of men, at a time when attention should be focused on how to adapt women and encourage them to obey the traditional concepts of marriage and childbirth, away from excessive selfishness that can destroy society in the long run. .
A study conducted last summer by the National Statistics Center in China revealed that 70 percent of educated women surveyed did not want to have children.
This high percentage has caused fierce debates on social networks about the role of education in women rebelling against social traditions, and about the consequences of this on society’s fertility due to giving priority to work and the style of emancipation over the idea of ​​​family and union with a husband.

Washing mother-in-law's feet is an ancient tradition (Getty)

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Observers have attributed this trend to China’s transformation in one form or another from a socialist system to a capitalist system and society’s retreat from communist values.
Li Wan Ding, a gender equality activist, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed: “Schools that train men to listen to women primarily aim to strengthen partnerships between husbands based on justice, equality and social responsibility, and to address the negative stereotype that puts men in a position of inferiority.” Alia prevents them from getting involved in married life, and even from simply sharing with women their daily worries and troubles.

Many years ago, private schools and centers appeared that sought to promote ideas that were biased against women, such as teaching that they are of lesser status than men and that working women’s lives do not end well. Many of these distorted ideas were intended to reinforce their dependence in a patriarchal society, but they received widespread media attention at the time and then quickly disappeared after causing public displeasure.
It is important to note that the schools for male education will not be limited to only three cities. Those in charge say that, “when the first group graduates early next year, those who have the desire and ability will be employed as teachers in new schools to be opened in other cities, including the capital Beijing and the city of Quanzhou. There is a strategic plan to leave to the countryside, where manifestations of discrimination against women are widespread.”

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