'Chinese men think educated women aren’t as easy to control! Internet chatter about came to a head last March when a young woman called Long Si Yu and 15 of her friends posted an online music video admonishing men for not having their own house or car.
There are currently 118 men to every 100 women in China – that’s an excess of more than 30 million.
Unfortunately for China’s women their new-found confidence has incited a backlash from men, the government and even their own families.
The popular Chinese label (leftover women), regularly perpetuated in state-controlled media and on internet message boards, refers to women who are smart, successful and moneyed but still not married by the age of 28.
'The Chinese family is getting smaller and smaller and so the pressure on young women today is huge,’ says the social historian Simon Gjeroe.
'There’s a very large older population in China that by sheer weight of numbers is winning the pressure war.
But Yu was arguing that the actual reason Chinese men can’t find girlfriends is their laziness, and the fact that they are looking for a breed of subservient woman that no longer exists.
But by then you only have two or three years before you’re branded a shengnu.
If women don’t get married and have a child then in the eyes of their more conservative parents and grandparents they haven’t achieved harmony and they’ve failed.’ It doesn’t help that educated young women are barely given a chance to find a husband until it’s supposedly too late.
'While you’re at university your parents constantly discourage you from having relationships; they tell you to focus on your studies,’ continues Wu Manling.
Meanwhile, their grandparents – many of whom can still remember mass famine – are piling on the expectations, too.
They are keen not only to see their granddaughters marry well (traditionally the only route to financial security) but also, mindful that the country has no social safety net, to have a large family to look after them in old age.