During just two months, the buzzword “diaosi” has invaded China.  An article on Hello Nanjing explains more about the origin of the term “diaosi”, but its essence, and hence its popularity, has to do with one particular problem in China:


The word diaosi was coined first by single, young men who feel they have dead-end lives. Generally, men in this category earn little, are not good looking, and have difficulty winning promotion. Unlike their upper-class contemporaries, they lack influential families, useful social networks for their careers, and most importantly, suitable women to marry.

“I’m just a diaosi; poor and plain-looking, who will marry me?” is a common sentiment uttered by many; half self-mockery, half reality. Many young men call themselves diaosi because they feel they are among the lowest echelons of society. They suffer low self-esteem and have stopped trying to improve their lives. (Emphasis added, Source)


There are several issues, but what young men really want, what they also want a promotion for, is women:


“The pressure of marriage intensifies anxiety among this group,” Ke discussed on Sohu.com. “Many of those young men claim to be diaosi, since they can’t find a proper woman to marry. It reflects a deep sense of loss.” Source


This is important for foreigners in China.  We are no longer the rare, intriguing alien.  In university cities like Nanjing, our numbers increased strongly, and especially the males have also become to be seen as a nuisance, as a competition that saps an already scarce resource: Females.



I am married to a Chinese, and we sporadically get to feel the hostility – she for picking a “foreign devil” although the Chinese population already has a strong male surplus, and me, how dare I come here and steal “their” women?  Over-patriotic Germans feel similar if they see a German woman with a Turkish boyfriend, but neither are German women seen as especially scarce nor are Turks seen as undeservedly rich.  Chinese still largely think that foreigners are all rich, which is annoying, because I am relatively poor but am supposed to pay high prices because perhaps dollars grow out of my armpits.  Many of those who think I am rich also think that money is all there is to "honey".

屌丝 = Diao (3) si (1) = (male organ) + (a thread like thing, a tiny bit)

Resentments don’t make a harmonious society, so let me address this issue head-on by first telling how it is and then giving some advice to you “diaosi” of the world, how you get a sweetheart to marry!


Chinese women are not a scarce resource!  There is an endless supply of Chinese women that are not wanted by Chinese men, say because the women are “old” (above 26) or “tall” or whatever silly reason.  Armies of nice, educated women seek foreigners because they gave up finding Chinese.  Do foreigners give them money?  Some do of course and often regret the women they get that way, but most of the Chinese women that I dated had more money than me.  My wife has to work, and if only to keep her sanity and stay independent, able to leave me whenever she may want; I made that clear from day one.


Dear Chinese men, if you feel the urge to blame, after blaming yourselves, blame your parents* for having preferred sons.  If you were a daughter, this most important issue would be easier for you in today’s China.  But guess what, many Chinese STILL TODAY, and that is really quite stupid, want sons, as if in this modern information technological, service oriented business world, a daughter cannot make money or find a husband easily (especially with the male surplus, or perhaps a foreigner), and so on all the way to supporting the parents in old age.


I could offer more targets to blame that are neither foreigners nor the women who date them, but let us get to solutions.  Dear individual “diaosi”:  There are gazillions of Chinese women who crave a loving heart!  Two aspects you need to consider apart from the question of whether you have a loving heart (which may be the problem in case you find hate for me or my wife in your heart):


1)  You do not want to date the “BMW Lady” anyway! Let me explain:  Ma Nuo is a 22-year-old model from Beijing who appeared on China's most popular dating show, If You Are the One, famously exclaiming “I'd rather cry in a BMW car than laugh on the backseat of a bicycle”, after which the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) issued stricter rules for matchmaking programs in order to stop the further spread of money worship and suchlike (about time but nowhere close to sufficient).  A large fraction of women is like Ma Nuo, but they will make you cry, regardless BMW or walking!


2)  I emphasized the quote “Many young men call themselves diaosi … They suffer low self-esteem and have stopped trying to improve their lives.  You may think that this is too easily said by somebody who you may think will never grasp the hopelessness of your situation; you may not grasp the deeper truth of this; but just trust me with the following:  There is only one thing that you need to change in order to almost automatically end up with a loving wife:  The part about having given up to improve.  She is waiting for you all over.  You are on the internet already, a few clicks away from her.  Toss the cigarettes and improve yourself, because she smells “has given up” a mile against the wind.


Don’t get me wrong:  Western individualism teaches that everybody of billions must try to be special, which makes billion’s of depressed consumers.  Do not try to become extraordinary or “great” – that is all a ruse to further exploit your almost guarantied failure.  Merely start to improve, then never stop to improve your heart, to find a little bit of something that grows you a little, and do it for *yourself*, never to impress her, say play a small musical instrument, or organize a self-teaching meditation group, whatever, something that you enjoy and that increases your own self-worth, and if you do that from your heart, one day when you least expect it, there she is!  Works like magic, is science though.


Is this advice wrong because it cannot work for all “diaosi” collectively given the surplus of men?  No, because more women are born every day and the waiting period for “diaosi” buffers it - see - you "diaosi" are useful after all.  I am not going to explain this population dynamics math here, because, dear individual “diaosi”, you don’t need to care about all “diaosi”.  And if you two then cannot resist the urge to increase overpopulation, make it a daughter for crying out loud!  How is it that men supposedly rule the world but we still have not got two girls for every guy?  Gee, don’t you worry about too many girls in China – your foreign friends can help you with that.

* Vanishing females is in almost all cultures a problem (e.g. see here, especially Lecture 1).  If the previous generation were responsible for my remaining sexually frustrated and lonely in order to ensure that they are somewhat better fed in old age, perhaps I would feed them a kick in the butt?  Anyway - things need to change at the problems' roots.