Feminism with Chinese Characteristics

July 11, 2011

So the other day my very wealthy friend invites me to dinner with her two very wealthy friends. I’m asking them what they do for fun and one woman was telling me about a bar for women. I was really curious about this so I told her that next time she went to give me a call and she thought this was a good idea so that’s what she did. Two nights later, the phone rang.

Upon arrival I walked past a room full of young boys (18-25) sitting playing games on their iPhones, chatting and looking bored as hell. They were waiting for something. Somehow I knew what they were waiting for. They were waiting for the cougars but I was surprised at the way it happened.

Sitting in the dimly lit room with menthol smoke swirling in the air. One of the women in the group barked at the waiter to “work quickly!” This meant that she wanted him to bring in the boys.

I sat and watched from the shiny black leather U-shaped sofa with about twelve cougar-esque women (married, dating and single alike) as groups of five came in the room and posed for about a minute as the girls examined them from head to toe. It was weird seeing women do this. I mean, I’ve conceptualized men doing this but not women.

Watching these boys being subjugated to the scrupulous eye of women is a strange thing. Your stomach turns when you see actual people being reduced in this way. In a way, I felt sorry for these young boys. At the most I was embarrassed for them but hey I enjoyed seeing the roles reversed as any guy would. I mean after all I was on the safe side of the sofa. They were the cattle, they were the meat they were being told yes or no based on height, weight, fashion choices, hairstyles, underarm fragrances etc… they would leave and the next batch would arrive. Tall and handsome wearing designer t’s and jeans some were buff others were slim and sleek. All were wearing numbers on their hip.

One of the women (the leader) was giving her choices to the worker as he was pointing his finger asking, “like? don’t like?” The boys were voiceless. They could only smile, suck-in and flex hoping that their number would be called. After about four or five groups of boys left the room the leader had made her choices and compiled her list with a few pointed suggestions from her friends and like that the worker left the room with the good and bad news for the boys.

I’m sure the conversation in the other room went like this: “77, 96, 88, 68, 53 come with me.” While 41 a tad bit disappointed at the news began playing yet another round of Angry Birds on his iPhone.

I curiously watched as the boys entered the room timid and scared wondering which woman to sit by. Who chose me? Which woman paid for me? Can I sit down here or not? Was I really chosen or will I get sent away because my numbers 68 and not 86. A mistake that would be devastating to any young boys ego.

Kat, one of the women in the group was asking me what this place would be called in America and I laughingly had to say that this place didn’t exist in America. I’ve never seen this before and that’s why I’m writing about it.

Kat later joked that I could get a job here and so I asked her how much money I could make in a month and she unflinchingly said 30,000 RMB plus tips. I currently work 40 hours a week for 10,000 RMB with no tips. I’m seriously considering this. I’m tall, I’m white I’m relatively handsome from the Chinese perspective. I mean it would be an easy way to pay off my debt while also doing the good deed of reversing the gender roles. And these women seem nice enough I don’t think they are going to grab my precious ham-chops or follow me home at night.

I need to go do some push-ups and sit-ups first. I’ll have to go shopping . . . get a haircut. You know, I’m a little insecure . . . should I shave my armpits?

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