A newly married Chinese couple has been making waves on the internet for their unorthodox match- she is a wealthy 38-year-old mother of one, and he is a 23-year-old whose mother is only a year older than his bride.
The wedding, which was filmed on Jan. 10, took place in Qionghai, Hainan, China, where it first went viral and stirred up controversy. The woman apparently fell pregnant after a romance with the younger man, after which she proposed marriage. Initially, the groom’s parents opposed the wedding, citing the 15 year age difference between them, as well as the bride’s 14-year-old child from a previous marriage.
However, the bride – a wealthy real estate businesswoman – offered them a dowry of 660,000 yuan (USD 104,273) in cash, a real estate lot, and a Ferrari sports car, altogether worth an estimated a 5,000,000 yuan (USD 789,950). The parents gave their blessing immediately following the generous offer. They married in an extravagant ceremony, arriving in a red Ferrari with the bride bedecked in gold and other expensive jewelry.
Chinese netizens have had mixed reactions to the union, with many congratulating the pair, but some claiming the young man only married the woman for her money rather than love. “I once again believe in the power of money,” wrote one Weibo user. “Father: Our boy’s bride is loaded, let’s accept the deal to cash in!” wrote another. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the argument, some pointed out that the story going viral only highlights how far China has to go to achieve gender equality.
“A 38-year-old divorced man marrying a 23-year-old single woman would not even be news. This is only making a fuss about women becoming stronger,”commented a Weibo user. In the video footage from the couple’s wedding, they both appear elated and very much in love. The bride is heavily pregnant but looks radiant in her white gown, and her husband is all smiles. In one particularly sweet moment, the groom dedicated a song to his bride, serenading her as she blushed and giggled. The Weibo user pointing out gender equality has a good point, considering that if the roles were reversed in the story, a wealthy divorced older man marrying a younger woman, it wouldn’t have made the news as it happens commonly and frequently.
It is worth noting that the man proposed to the woman, not the reverse, and it was only after the parents disapproved that the dowry came into the picture. That netizens are reacting negatively to an economically powerful woman in such a negative way just goes to show how threatening a woman with power is to a traditionally patriarchal society.