Ah, this is a hot topic for many …… what prompted me to write on this was a newspaper article that appeared today. 😆
During the imperial times in China, a large number of concubines was a symbol of power. One emperor was even reputed to have 3,600 concubines, and he had to resort to drawing lots to see which lucky concubine will have the blessings to stay the night with him. Even for the lay people, when they have lots of wealth, they would take on a few wives so that they will have more sons to carry down the family name and carry on their businesses.
This practice is thought to have been stamped out after the Communists took power in 1949 in China, although Chairman Mao had many lovers, including his physician. But in recent years, the keeping of mistresses and “ernai” (second wives) appears to be making a comeback.
The Guardian in UK reported last month that a corrupt senior official in Shaanxu province hs been brought down by his 11 mistresses. According to a report in The Beijing News, China is suffering from a plaque of corruption and it was found that corruption and concubines go hand in hand. The highest ranking official to fall from grace in the past year was Chiang Liangyu, who was accused of keeping 2 mistresses and embezzling 3.4 billion yuan (US$480 million). According to a widely-circulated report on the Rednet website, there are 5 motives for China officials to keep a mistress =
1) using their power to play with women
2) showing off
3) addiction to sex
5) a desire to have more children (China has a one-child policy per couple to control their overpopulation).
On the local front in Malaysia, the government at one time suggested allowing girls from China to come and work as domestic maids, like those from Indonesia and Philippines. However, the proposal got shot down by the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) Women’s Party because of a lot of negative feedback from their members – there were many cases of young girls who are visiting here on a social pass becoming the mistresses of local married men, especially older men who are pensioners. Most of the times, these men are enticed into draining their pensions and life savings and when this happens, then the girls will move on to their next cash rich target. The oldest age of this male victims was 80 whose mistress was only 24. These girls are now known as “little dragon ladies.”
The Star newspaper here has reported that Wanita MCA chief Datuk Ng as saying that unless clear guidelines on the recruitment for Chinese maids are laid out and the interests of local women protected, the political party wing is against the move for these maids. Ng, however, stressed that the party was in no way showing disrespect to women in China, but was rather taking a realistic stand in looking after the well being and happiness of the local women and ensuring family values were safeguarded. Of course, there were the usual brickbats from wives and husbands who thought their marriage was not susceptible to these little dragon ladies!
Here is a mistress’s account as written by Jonathan Watts and Huang Lisha from Guardian Newspaper Ltd –
Azhen, a 24-year old from Jiangsu province in China has a blog about her life as a concubine in Shenzhen, a city close to Hong Kong. For 3 years, she has been the mistress of a man who is old enough to be her father.
“Society calls us ernai. It is not a job that any of us would have aspired to do as children. Some do it for money. Others for love. Many, like me, do it because they have suffered some cruelty and feel desperate and alone.” Azhen said that she was neglected as a child and her father left her mother before she was born. Although reluctant to reveal how much money he gives her and what kind of apartment he pays for, she says her life has improved.
“He comes to see me if he has the time. If he is busy, he calls me. As long as he is nice to me, he doesn’t need to seduce me with too much money because I am not materialistic.”
But it doesn’t take the little dragon ladies for affairs to happen. I have heard 2 real life experiences from 2 of my friends –
At the funeral
This friend’s father passed away many years ago. During the wake which was held at his home, suddenly a woman turned up with 2 teenaged sons to pay respects to his late father. This woman was sobbing away in front of the coffin and to the family’s shock, it turned out that she was his late father’s mistress. For her to have borne 2 sons who were already in their teens, the affair has been kept a closely guarded secret that came out in the open during the funeral!! Last I heard was that my friend’s family has accepted this “addition” to the family tree as their relatives.
In the next street
This was related to me by my friend 10 years ago. Her neighbour’s husband would come back from work around 5pm every day. Then he would walk his dog for one hour as well as spend some time in the nearby park until 7pm, when he would be back for dinner. Somehow later, it was found out that he has been keeping a mistress in a house in the next street, and he would go visit her everyday! Not sure if they had any children or not……. 🙄
With peace and harmony,