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Courtesy of The Angry Asian Man, I came across this awful and yet hilarious story on a Chinese school which teaches women how to snag themselves a billionaire husband.

I have to admit, my knowledge of Chinese culture is marginal compared to my wide breadth of knowledge of Japanese culture, and is limited to several semesters’ worth of classes, so I normally wouldn’t comment on this story, but it caught my eye because of the premise, and this paragraph:

She (The centre’s founder) said the school was encouraging women to become the best they can be by giving them a goal that many in this rapidly developing country, with a huge increasingly affluent and aspiring middle class, strive for.

It makes me genuinely sad that, in this environment of a burgeoning middle class and increased economic clout in China, there’s still this idea that the best way for a woman to enrich herself economically is through marriage. There are many ways to encourage a woman to be the very best she can be, and most of them don’t involve her being “the best” according to the standards of another person, namely, that theoretical billionaire future husband, or pouring tea.

Quite frankly, the idea that being “the best you can be” is not only tied to marrying a rich man, but tied to the idea of having obscene amounts of money period, makes me ill. How we measure personal fulfilment being tied to wealth and status will not be doing anybody any favours, whether that’s the environment, children who will inherit the mess made from a pursuit of endless extravagance, or our culture as a whole.

Here’s to hoping that that school and others like it are an anomaly, the way that nobody really takes Millionaire Matchmaker seriously in America (I hope) and that more women are finding fulfilment in their own careers because they’re passionate about them, not for the sake of a comfortable upper class lifestyle.