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从剩女到胜女:单身女性的坚持

发布时间:2015-08-06 10:44 ? 浏览次数:

  春节刚过,休假结束的年轻人纷纷从家乡返回大城市。在不舍的同时他们似乎还有一些庆幸,尤其是年龄稍大一点的女性——因为终于结束了终日被家长安排相亲的日子。不过,正如下面《纽约时报》这篇文章所讲,即使被称为“剩女”也无需那么悲观,让自己变强,变为“胜女”!

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Rejecting the 'Leftover Women' Label

从剩女到胜女:单身女性的坚持

BEIJING — For years, single Chinese women in their mid- to late-20s have endured being called “shengnu,” or “leftover women,” by relatives, by the state-run media and by society. The message is : Marry, ideally by 25, or you’re on the shelf.

北京——多年来,二十五六岁到三十岁之间的中国单身女性都得忍受被亲戚、官方媒体和社会称作“剩女”。背后的讯息是:赶紧结婚,最好在25岁前,否则你就嫁不出去了。

Some are starting to push back.

有些人正开始对此做出反抗。

“I don’t accept that definition,” said Li Yue, 34, who works at a nongovernmental organization in Beijing. “It’s really ridiculous. Who says I’m leftover, and by whom? I don’t feel I’m leftover, I feel I’m living the life I want.”

34岁的李悦(音译)在北京的一家非政府机构工作,她说,“我不接受这种定义。太可笑了。谁说我剩下了,被谁剩了?我不觉得自己是剩女,我觉得在过自己想过的生活。”

“It’s really annoying,” said Wang Man, 31, an employee of a poverty relief N.G.O. in Beijing. “By now though, I don’t care, as I think there’s a plot behind it. It’s an admonishment to women, it’s telling us what to do, where and when. Everyone is trying to get us to sacrifice ourselves, to look after children, husbands, old people.”

31岁的王曼(音译)是北京一家扶贫非政府组织的雇员,她说,“很烦人。不过,到目前为止我不在乎,我觉得这背后有阴谋。这是对女性的警告,规定我们该做什么、什么时候做、在哪里做。每个人都想让我们牺牲自我来照顾小孩、老公和老人。”

China has about 20 million more men under 30 years of age than women, according to official news reports — largely the result of gender selective abortion, with many parents preferring a son to a daughter. So why is the phenomenon of “leftover women” apparently so widespread? Aren’t desperate men snapping up available women?

根据官方的新闻报道,中国30岁以下的男性比女性多出了约2000万,很大程度上是源于许多父母偏爱男孩从而进行选择性别的流产。那么,为什么“剩女”现象看起来如此流行呢?难道不应该是绝望的男性竞相追逐适宜的女性吗?

Not exactly. Traditional attitudes demand that a man earn more than a woman, meaning that as women earn increasingly more they are pricing themselves out of the marriage market.

并不尽然。传统观念要求,男性要比女性挣钱多,这就意味着,女性收入日益增高的同时,她们也就让自己在婚姻市场上无人问津。

But as a result, partly, of the increasingly defiant attitudes of women like Ms. Liu and Ms. Wang toward a term that many still find terribly hurtful, a riposte to “leftover women” has been born — and it’s a clever one. Yes, they’re saying, we’re “shengnu.” But that’s “sheng” as in “victorious,” not “leftover.”

不过,部分由于李悦和王曼这样的女性越来越强烈的抗争态度,针对许多人仍然认为极其伤人的“剩女”字眼,诞生了一个机智的回应。对,她们回答,我们是“胜女”,是“胜利”的胜,而不是“剩下”的剩。

The pun that turns the tables on the prejudicial description is made possible by the fact that “sheng” has different meanings in Chinese depending on the written character: either “leftover” or “victorious” (or “successful,” as some prefer). Chinese is filled with homonyms, making punning a popular pastime.

这样的谐音双关一举改变了这个带有偏见的词的色彩,之所以能做到这一点,是因为在汉语里,“剩”与“胜”同音。而“胜”就可以理解为“胜利”,或者“成功”。汉语有许多同音字,让双关成了大家喜闻乐见的消遣。

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官方媒体曾长期向年轻女人发出悲情的警告,诉说变成“剩女”的危险,现在就连它们也慢慢地加入到新论调中。

The official microblog site of People’s Daily recently displayed a post suggesting that “leftover women” needn’t despair.

《人民日报》的官方微博最近发布的一则帖子暗示,“剩女”无需绝望。

“Leftover women, don’t be tragic,” it said. “There are 20 million more men under 30 than women in China. So how can there be so many ‘leftover women?”’ It provided a common explanation: “Isn’t it because they’re not ‘leftover’ but ‘victorious’, and their requirements for partners are very high?”

“‘剩女’,请别悲观,”这条微博说。“中国30岁以下的男性比女性多2000万人。那么怎么会有那么多‘剩女’呢?”它还提供了一条常见解释:“这未必因为她们是‘剩’的,而是因她们太‘胜’,因而挑选终生伴侣的标准很高。”

But it continued, in a less judgmental vein: “They’re free, and can stand on their own feet. As China modernizes fast, ‘leftover women’ may turn into a positive term.”

微博继续以一种不那么武断的口吻写道,“她们是自由的,能自食其力。随着中国快速现代化,‘剩女’也许会最终演变成一个褒义词。”

It’s better to be “victorious” than “leftover,” said Ms. Liu, the N.G.O. worker. But overall, she’d rather not have to choose.

在非政府组织工作的李悦称,“胜”比“剩”要好。但总的来说,她宁愿不去选择。

“I think it’s a very positive word,” she said. “But it’s also kind of odd because I never thought of this as a victory or some kind of a struggle.”

“我认为这是很积极的一个词,”她说。“但也有点奇怪,因为我从来没想过这是种胜利还是某种困境。”

“We should have the right to choose what we want to do. So do we really need such a power-filled word as ‘victorious’ to describe something so normal?”

“我们应该有权力选择我们想做的事。所以我们真的需要‘胜’这个充满力量的词来形容一件很普通的事吗?”

Ms. Wang agreed. “I’ve heard of it and I think it’s O.K., but I don’t think it’s a question of victory or defeat,” she said. “It’s just a way of life. If I had to choose, though, I’d tend toward ‘victorious’ for sure. Still, it all feels a bit tiring.”

王曼表示同意。“我听到过这种说法,我觉得还行,但我不认为这是关于成败的问题,”她说。“这只是一种生活方式。但如果让我选的话,我当然更倾向于‘胜’。但这都有点让人厌烦。”

Meanwhile, there are still many over-25-year-olds, fretting under strong societal pressure to marry, who have internalized the cultural and social values that they are “on the shelf.” China’s minimum marriage age for women is 20, so the window of opportunity for those who want to escape labeling is small.

与此同时,还是有很多25岁以上的女性在结婚的强大社会压力下挣扎,她们已经内化了自己是“剩女”的文化和社会价值观。中国女性的法定最低结婚年龄是20岁,所以对那些想要逃避被贴上“剩女”标签的女性来说,她们的时间不多。

For them, “shengnu,” with its double meaning, is, at best, neutral.

对她们来说,拥有双重含义的“剩/胜女”一词顶多算中性。

“I’m not completely proud of it,” said Zhou Wen, 27 and unmarried, a secretary at an American marketing company in Beijing, “but it is at least a neutral word. Not bad at all.”

“我对此说不上自豪,”27岁的未婚女性周文(音译)说。她在北京的一家美国市场营销公司担任秘书,“但这至少是一个中性词。没什么不好的。”


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