I had to say that this was a question confused me a lot since I was in middle school. My mom told me that she was introduced to me dad because their family background was very familiar and that was one of the main reasons my dad and mom married. In China, traditional thoughts of hierarchy roots so deep in people’s mind, especially people live in countrysides. However, when I came to America for me master degree, I felt so curious about people’ concepts of marriage here. American insist on relations of freedom, which are influenced by its culture and history.
I am interested in this topic even though it is not a hot one, so I do some research for this difference.
Both China and America were nations controlled by men because men were the hunter of human beings since over 2,000 years ago. However, the human process and history became so different after that. After the American Revolutionary War in 1783, American began to build up a formal capital political structure whose main ideas were freedom and equality. Actually, before the American Revolutionary War, the idea of equality had bloomed in some American’s mind. Equality was in the blood of American since a while ago.
If we checked the history of China, there was only one revolution in 1911, planned by Sun Yet-sen, tried to create a free and equal community, but failed in the end. Before the revolution, all dynasties in China were absolute monarchy. All officers in national and local governments were men, while women could only stayed at home and fed children. Education system only allowed men to join in the examinations. It seemed that Chinese had adjusted in this kind of social system. The situation did not changed until western ideas came into China in 1898. As a matter of fact, the situation was only changed but not changed a lot. Such a long history of hierarchy caused a deep-rooted thought of male chauvinism in China, even after the republic of China was set up.
The difference of marriage concepts between China and America seems to be a more complex topic, and is becoming more interesting now.