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As We See It

Rent-a-boyfriends are all the rage in China

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I don’t know how I missed the fact that back in 2007, China’s state “feminist” agency officially defined single women older than 27 as sheng nu, or “leftover.” Or that an industry formed around the idea that it’s more mortifying to be seen in public without a boyfriend than it is to rent one. For my fellow pathetic spinsters, Chinese shopping site Taobao.com offers dudes ready to go to the movies, for $8 an hour, and pretend not to be miserable. Tempting, but as a liberated American woman, I reserve the right to watch movies alone and awkwardly date for free.

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Erin Ryan

Erin got her first newspaper job in 2002 thanks to a campfire story about Bigfoot. In her award-winning work for ...

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