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New Chinese Marriage Law Protects Men’s Assets, Angers Women

A man and woman fight over a house in a new interpretation of China's Marriage Law.

A man and woman fight over a house in a new interpretation of China's Marriage Law.

From PCbaby:

Marriage Law’s latest judicial interpretation controversy, accused of favoring the already advantaged

Guide: “Whoever paid the down payment is whoever the house should belong to following a divorce”, “The other party has shall have no right to divide up a house purchased and given by one’s parents following marriage”… The publishing of the Supreme People’s Court’s judicial interpretation of the latest Marriage Law immediately ignited fierce arguments between men and women online. Many netizens believe the new Marriage law is “good news” for men, protecting their advantageous position in a marriage, and damaging the interests of the weaker party.

The new Marriage Law that “encourages completely ‘going Dutch‘” has also been made fun as “delighting real estate developers and pissing off mother-in-laws”. However, there are also netizens who believe that the new interpretation of the Marriage Law may change young people’s ideas on how to choose partners, going from preferring “wealthy second generation” [children of wealthy parents] to preferring mutually compatible “people with future potential”.

Oppose:

“Favors” men, protects the more powerful party

“How can the new Marriage Law be this harsh towards women? The male chauvinism is too serious!” Netizen Chen Di expressed her view through her microblog, and the number of netizens who shared her opinion were not the minority, with many female netizens believing “this sweeps aside the last obstacle against men being unfaithful” and “will cause the divorce rate to go up”. Netizen “Ling Mei” says: “I’ve always believe that there are more unfaithful men than women who cheat men out of their assets, and women devote more than men in the family. (The new Marriage Law) might as well add another article: Whoever the house belongs to is whoever should clean it!” Netizen “寞 香” was even more realistic and blunt: “What woman who doesn’t already have a house will now dare to give birth to a child? After giving birth, if the man cheats on her, wouldn’t she end up sleeping in the streets with her child!” The new Marriage Law has not only enraged women, some male netizens have also expressed “a lot of pressure”. Netizen Yuan Datuo believes: The new Marriage Law may actually lead to — if the house isn’t put under the woman’s name, the woman will refuse to get married, and as a result the man must pay an even higher price for marriage. “If you look at it from the other side, if the parents-in-law buy a house, then the son-in-law also won’t have a stake/claim, right?”

Approve:

Fights marriages by fraud [deceiving someone into marriage], encourages independence

In comparison to the swelling voices of condemnation, some supporting viewpoints believe the new Marriage Law strongly combats the phenomenon of “deceiving someone into marriage” [for their assets], and at the same time also gives the young men of ordinary families a chance to compete with the “wealthy second generation” [children of rich parents]. Netizen LuvJen expressed: “Isn’t the new Marriage Law a good thing? The man paying money to buy the house while the woman gets to marry and then sit idly enjoying the fruits of his labors was always unfair. Is marriage just for obtaining a house?” Netizen “小之与麦田” was very satisfied: For those of us poor and blank youth, this is a good policy. “索男型birt号” says: “If the New Marriage Law can curb the twisted ‘finding a sugar daddy/gold-digging’ view of love, I think it’s good!” There were also female netizens who expressed that the new Marriage Law lets women see clearly that “men are unreliable, one can only rely on oneself”, and “Women of the new age definitely should be able to buy houses by themselves, buy cars by themselves, and become more and more independent and strong.

Jokes:

Delights real estate developers, pisses off mother-in-laws

Some more neutral netizens seemed to be rather pessimistic/cynical, believing that men and women don’t mind believing the worst of each other in fights these days.

“When people are so calculating both before and after marriage, is there still any point to marriage at all?” This reporter discovered that most of the dispute over the new Marriage Law still revolved around “the house” and, because of this, many people believe this is good news for real estate developers, as there will be even more single people willing to buy houses. One female netizen sighed that she’s pregnant and now no matter whether she gives birth to a boy or a girl, they [as parents] will still have to prepare to buy another house [for their child].”

A house and wedding ring rest on a scale.
"The house dad and mom buy their son, the daughter-in-law has no part (claim to)."

Comments from Tianya:

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马甲青青百合:

That’s why I say the balance has been upset. For thousands of years, the men contribute more financially while the women have children who take the father’s surname.
Now the law uses the attitude of upholding justice to announce the women that the man doesn’t have to contribute more financially and even what he does will always remain his. What more, all of the rights to the house are always given to the man (I’m talking about ordinary circumstances, so don’t tell me how women can also make money and buy houses).
Which is to say, what men were originally supposed to provide in a marriage they can now perfectly legitimately not provide.
But the contributions of women must be contributed as before. You want to change that Then you go work hard on your own, go consult on your own, because the law is definitely not going to put women first. The discrimination is too obvious.

Let me reiterate, if the finances/assets are split too clearly, it will only upset the balance. No one is stupid, no one is willing to contribute [to a marriage] for nothing.

那一抹陌上的尘:

Feelings are the most important factor in a marriage, not a house or anything else…

蝶舞仙草20070731:

This new judicial interpretation is what those brainless old government officials do when they have so much time on their hands that their balls ache to dick with the rabble. Are you guys the ones who have nothing better to do every day than to keep your eyes on them? So now they throw this kind of 2B regulation at you guys. Go ahead and argue against each other……… Whoever believes is also a 2B………

马甲青青百合:

Just looking at the number of women in China’s highest levels of government
you will now that things can never be equal. It [government] is a man’s game.
It would be ridiculous to expect the things drafted by men to be equal/fair, were there any women in the drafting process for this marriage law?
In all my years, I know I have the citizen’s right to vote, but do I have the opportunity to vote?
Don’t talk to me about whatever “people’s representative”, have I ever agreed to have him represent me?
The country’s government is all appointed, not elected. They make the rules of the game for themselves to play, without being embarrassed at all.

丁超1998:

So just why are we getting married for?

张打醋1:

The new Marriage Law is simply taking another step towards realizing the basic concepts of “male and female equality” and private property, and the poor Chinese women who have gotten used to depending on men are already unable to bear it [thus complaining].

abc1235188:

Why is this policy being issued now? Of those who made this law, which one of them doesn’t have several houses? They are simply protecting their own assets from being split away by outsiders (daughters-in-law and sons-in-law) and this is the simple truth.

饭煮糊了:

It really isn’t necessary to argue back and forth like this, so tiring.
If women don’t like it, you really can just not get married. Instead, make a living, buy a house, and buy a car by yourselves. When you want to have children, you can even use donated sperm, have the child and have it take your own surname with no arguments. Why do you have to get married? If you have feelings, can’t you just cohabitate? After marriage, women have to take on a lot of duties, such as supporting her husband, raising her children, and being filial to her parents-in-law. All you get is the title of being Mrs. So and So.
The women who willingly devote themselves to their families, willingly give up and invest themselves into their families, if you find yourselves homeless on the streets later, it too isn’t forced upon you by men, okay? It was your own choice, you can’t blame men.
So, the law has its regulations, and women have their choice.

第三账号:

What’s wrong with China’s women, where even having a child is a bargaining chip in the transaction with men. Truly very sad.

yzsss2010:

Hahaha…the more I think about it, the more ridiculous this is… Truly a national joke…

In my opinion, hard times are upon men. Have children but can’t watch them go uncared for, so go take care of them yourselves. Housework must have someone to do them, so go learn how to do them yourselves. What is even more frightening is that one’s parents have to have someone to take care of them in their old age, so go take care of them yourselves…because it is difficult enough for women to survive in an environment where they have neither guarantees nor sense of security. Freely accommodating you by giving you a child is enough of a contribution, there’s no reason to force her to bear the these other burdens, right?

It looks like a law protecting male citizens, but actually it is pushing us male comrades into the abyss. Truly it is too damaging and sinister…

The age of the national joke is upon us…truly TM something a bunch of pig-brains thought up.
╭︿︿︿╮
{/ o o /}
( (oo) ) Idea!!!!
︶ ︶︶

装死的小强:

If you guys truly love each other, would you really be afraid of the Marriage Law not being fair? Would you still care about what surname the child takes or who contributes more? If your feelings aren’t deep enough, why are you getting married at all? Isn’t that just being irresponsible to yourself?

A home ownership certificate separates a man and woman from marriage.
Man: "The house is something my old mother gave me, there's nothing I can do either..." Woman: "Without my name on the home ownership certificate, whether I should marry you or not is something that is very difficult for me to decide."

From Liba:

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With the release of the new Marriage Law, I want to get married even less. On what basis are women supposed to provide children for men??? On what basis? On what basis?!

Right now it isn’t even really about the house. After all, who doesn’t have a house these days anyway? My own family can’t even keep up with all the rent we collect from our house. Still, I’m angry. So women can have children for men and when the men don’t want them anymore, they still have the right to visit them and in fact I can’t even refuse to let them visit, but on what basis [for what reason] is the divorced woman not entitled to splitting up the house? So women are supposed to endure 10 months of hardship, are supposed to be dumped by men, and are supposed to let men find xiaosan?? And in the end when he’s old, has had enough fun with women, and now wants a child, the child I worked hard to raise up has no choice but to acknowledge him [as father], has no choice but to be filial [to him]? I’d have to be insane/stupid! I genuinely don’t want to get married anymore, nor do I want to have children…

Comments from Liba::

oliver1121:

If it is a woman who doesn’t have a house and has been married 10 years and more, then it is indeed too unfair.
Especially if the man is unfaithful and is the party at fault.
Although the woman doesn’t put in any money when buying the house,
she has provided the family with her her youth.
If 10 years later the man has an affair
and like that no longer wants the woman
causing her to lose both her youth and money [lose everything],
that’s really bleak [for her].

saka:

Resign yourselves to it. If a man is good to you, he’ll think of a way to give you security.

nickel2004:

If you don’t want to have a child, then don’t. Making it out as if having a child is only for others~
If it really gets to the point of divorce, just how much security is half a house going to provide anyway?
It’s not like in really rich households, why make such a big deal over small [ordinary] households, this is too much to bear~

lazycat625:

Why is marriage in so many people’s eyes like a transaction, whether they are losing out, whether it is worth it, whether there is security/a guarantee…?
Is the foundation of marriage not the feelings [between two people]? I really don’t understand it…

8888lulu:

I wonder if the person who wrote this law is an idiot.

They obviously did not consider at all that women generally give more of their blood and sweat in a marriage than men, what with there not being any regulations for compensating [the women in the event of divorce].

What is even more deplorable is that there are even some women who support it. CN. There’s nothing for me to say anymore. Everyone remember, it isn’t enough to have your eyes open [clear] before getting married. People change. If we don’t depend on the law and only depend on morality, just how many people are actually that dependable!?

abcd_dcba:

LZ, don’t be so worked up, this just shows that people have to be a little more careful and a little more sensible before getting married in the future. If you really have no confidence [in the other person], then don’t get married and don’t have children. Besides, there are plenty of independent women and DINKs [Double Income No Kids] these days. everyone has their own way of living.

msp:

The marriage laws in other countries all protect the women, where the majority of the assets are given to the women in divorces.

I don’t know what logic China’s marriage law is based on, as it clearly discriminates in favor of men.

Rommel:

There’s no need for so much discussion as it is already law now. All of you women who are worried and resentful of this had better act fast. Those who haven’t yet married or are about to get married better hurry plead and insist on having your name added [to property ownership documents]. Those of you who are already married better quickly think of a way to have the man and his parents’ names removed. Those of you who don’t yet have children better hurry and threaten to not have children, while those of you who have already had children will just have to deal.

小西西大西西:

I don’t get it. If we’re going to be so clear about pre-marriage property and assets, why not also bring [our laws governing] infidelity in marriage or divorce in line with foreign standards by giving us alimony! Are all of men who drew up and enacted this law keeping mistresses?

GiCs–Oasis:

Only when the laws are perfected will people not worry about these things before marriage.
When the laws are not perfect, people will necessarily be forced to protect their own interests before marriage, regardless of whether they are men or women.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with China’s marriage law? What would be the ideal way to protect both the man and woman’s interests in a divorce?

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There are pages upon pages of Chinese netizen discussion and arguments all over the Chinese internet, for example on Mop and Sina if you want to see more.

People arguing online sitting on a split house.

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

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