Classes teaching women how to marry a millionaire spark controversy

Updated: 2012-07-20 10:49

By Xinhua in Chengdu (China Daily)

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A school in southwestern China's Sichuan province has attracted cheers and jeers for offering classes that supposedly prepare women to snag husbands with a high net worth.

The Huizhi Female School, based in the provincial capital of Chengdu, was established in May, with eight teachers providing training for 20 clients, said school founder Su Fei.

"We aim at enhancing women's emotional quotient and cultivating their personal character so as to help them seek a happy marriage," Su said, adding that the school offers a wide variety of courses designed to help women find a mate.

The course that brought the school into the spotlight is intended to help women learn how to meet and woo rich men in particular. The "regular" training course costs 12,800 yuan ($2,000), while a special "VIP" training course costs 20,000 yuan.

Several women have signed up for the classes, despite the high fees.

Yang Jie, 28, is participating in one of the school's classes, although she chose to forego the training course for securing a rich husband. After dealing with her own failed marriage, she spent 6,999 yuan on a course designed to teach her how to secure a successful marriage.

"It's been really helpful. After talking with the teachers here, I realized why my last marriage failed. I've learned a lot of new communication skills, which I think will help me be more successful in dating and even in my next relationship," Yang said.

Su said he hoped the public would "adopt an objective attitude toward our school".

As a developing organization, the school needs tolerance. We plan to give public speeches in the future to teach more women how to love and how to seek out happy marriages," Su said.

The Deyu Female Institute, established in Beijing in May 2010 by Shao Tong, a former consultant for a popular Chinese matchmaking website, has brought multiple couples together, including women who are seeking wealthy husbands.

"Girls are eager to be introduced to rich men and are desperate to learn how to date rich people," Shao said.

The courses provided by the Deyu Female Institute range from lessons on legal matters related to marriage to makeup tips and communication skills.

Fu Xiaolu, 22, recently finished her first lesson at the school and decided that it was not for her.

"I didn't agree with the beliefs the teachers advocated. For example, they taught us to turn a blind eye to rich boyfriends' affairs and to cater to their habits and change our images to please them," Fu said. "I didn't agree with their values."

Li Qiang, a sociologist at Tsinghua University, said the schools will remain open and operate smoothly as long as market demand exists.

"If these schools are operating within legal boundaries, we have no right to intervene," Li said, adding that the schools' popularity may be the result of women's desire to obtain financial security.

(China Daily 07/20/2012 page1)