Please join us this Friday, March 3rd at 3 pm. in the Hatfield Room for our fifth Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.
Huike Wen, Associate Professor of Chinese and Women and Gender Studies
Title: Radical or Conventional–Portrayal in Chinese Media of the Relationship between an Older Woman and a Younger Man
The opinion that a husband should be a few years older than his wife is commonly accepted, although it is not rigid in reality and there are stories that tell otherwise in different cultures. The belief is supported by biological, sociological, economics, and psychological studies and by individuals’ reflections on experiences.
Contrary to the belief, in China, recently the romantic relationship between an older woman and a younger man has been a popular topic in the Chinese media landscape. Despite the increase in the number of such marriages and media attention on the older woman–younger man relationship, very little serious and in-depth academic work has focused on this relationship. As a myth, this type of relationship is basically represented as something new, modern, and radical, engaged in by many celebrities as well as creating media celebrities out of some ordinary people. The media portrayals seem to add another alternative in the discourse of heterosexual relationships, especially conventional heterosexual marriage. Focusing on recent popular Chinese television dramas, I examine how the media portrayals signal and celebrate a new form of relationship and marriage, yet still strongly reinforce the male-dominant status in romantic relationships.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators