26
五月

現代中國情婦

作者 : 雅帆   在 國際視野 A Global View

中國政府在本年4月29日舉行的記者會上,頒佈經溫家寶總理簽署制定,並將於本年6月1日開始生效的《行政機關公務員處分條例》。此條例是根據中共中央《關于建立健全教育、制度、監督並重的懲治和預防腐敗體系實施綱要》的要求,經國務院和中央紀委的部署,並由監察部、人事部和國務院法制辦公室聯合起草,亦是第一部全面、有系統地規範行政懲戒工作的專門行政法規。其目的是為了:嚴肅處理行政機關紀律;規範行政機關公務員的行為;和保證各級行政機關及其公務員依法履行職責。根據中國監察部官員闡釋,此新條例將有助於:維持中國共產黨的執政地位;維護國家政權;提高政府官員的職業道德水平;勸說這些官員採納一個乾淨、誠實和腳踏實地的工作風氣,更好地為人民服務。

條例中第二十九條包括有關懲處「包養情人」的條款,引起中國內外廣泛討論。情人包括情婦和情夫,但根據實際個案的數量,相信以針對「包養情婦」為主。其條文內容輯錄如下–

“第二十九條 有下列行為之一的,給予警告、記過或者記大過處分;情節較重的,給予降級或者撤職處分;情節嚴重的,給予開除處分:
(一)拒不承擔贍養、撫養、扶養義務的;
(二)虐待、遺棄家庭成員的;
(三)包養情人的;
(四)嚴重違反社會公德的行為。
有前款第(三)項行為的,給予撤職或者開除處分。”

近年來,中國查處了一系列的貪污腐敗案件,其中有不少官員受賄與他們「包養情婦」有直接聯繫;甚至有傳媒報導,在中國各地被查處的貪官污吏中,95%都有「包養情婦」。故此,中國政府制定上述條文的目的非常明顯。公衆討論此條例大多聚焦於執行的困難,例如情婦的定義、何謂包養等。筆者無意涉足於這方面的爭辯,卻希望透過認識「現代中國情婦」的行為表現和角色,嘗試瞭解及探究其所反映現時中國人民的核心價值和意識形態。

英國星期日泰晤士報周刋 (Sunday Times Magazine) 在去年10月22日刋載美國女作家杜瑞秋(Rachel Dewoskin)一篇題為“Wife sentence”的特稿文章,內容是根據作者在中國生活的接觸和觀察,詳細闡述有關「現代中國情婦」 — 亦稱二奶 (ernai) — 的行為表現和心理狀態。全文能直接並深入剖析這項社會現象,頗值細讀(見星期日泰晤士報網址:www.timesonline.co.uk),其重點撮錄引述如下–

“China’s economic boom has turned the ancient role of the concubine into a lucrative career option. ……”

“The master primarily wants the second wife to provide him with sex and face. The second wife primarily wants the master to provide her with a luxurious lifestyle. Both sides have an obligation to behave with decorum toward each other in public places, so as to win the respect of other people.”

“Sometimes the ernai’s clothing should be extremely provocative sexually, and sometimes it should be refined and elegant, in order to make other men jealous of the master. The ernai must wear high-class, well-known designer clothing and shoes. She is not permitted to use fake luxury goods.”

“The ernai will provide the master all varieties of sex. …… No ernai should ever employ any behaviour that would damage a man’s self-esteem, ……”

“But everyone who has ever lived in China knows the expression for “second wife”. And most people know at least one ernai personally. Ernai are a modern version of concubines, as common as colds. They are women kept in luxury apartments and goods by married lovers – mostly overseas businessmen and officials but, increasingly, by men at every level of society. The most successful kept women represent entrepreneurs of a sort, floating in a sink-or-swim economy and providing enticing models for what the new China can offer: genuine Prada stilettos, diamonds, iPods and sprawling villas. They work out in the swankiest health clubs, drive Minis, BMWs and Audis, and carry lapdogs in Gucci handbags. ……”

“And yet, like women everywhere who trade sex for money, ernai are vulnerable to abuse, unprotected by degrees, careers, or backup plans, and often deserted in their thirties. An increasing number of notable ernai now lead lives complicated by corruption and scandal. They are forbidden by law but flaunted in practice, socially both celebrated and condemned, just as concubines have always been.”

“In the US, a mistress should be a well-kept secret. In most of Europe, she should be kept with discretion. In China, the keepers of ernai get not only the service but also the face (maintaining face, or an unchallenged public persona, is seen as hugely significant). In a second wife’s lifestyle is a reflection of her master’s capacity to spend. Her beauty is a testament to his taste, her role both public and private.”

“…… there have been costs associated with China’s breakneck economic, social and ideological change. The critically widening income gap is one such cost; and like many of globalisation’s side effects, one that puts women in particularly vulnerable positions. …… ”

“…… China’s sex industry is a complex hierarchy – one that borrows from tradition but also mirrors modern Chinese society – with its own class system. There are the street workers, at the bottom, and then the factory girls, who have other jobs, but sometimes act as prostitutes to make some extra money. Then there are the low-level massage-parlour hostesses, then karaoke ones, big, fancy bar hostesses, and at the very top are the ernai. Ernai are the pinnacle. Sometimes their work is a little bit related to love, but they also get gifts and get paid.”

“In other words, ernai are both the objects of free-choice attraction, and yet are still engaged in a transactional relationship. If a woman gets only gifts, she may just be a mistress, but if those gifts are given immediately after service, she’s halfway to being an ernai. If actual cash changes hands, she’s formally an ernai. Perhaps predictably, the lines are not always clearly drawn. Some women do it just for money, others for love, and most for a combination of the two.”

“…… that ernai from Shanghai are ……“expensive” and “high maintenance”. Girls from the countryside ……could be “had cheap”, holed up in flophouses by Shanghai’s Suzhou Creek for 100 yuan a week (£6) – exactly the cost of a manicure and pedicure.”

“In fact, some contemporary Chinese second wives satisfy elements of practicality in addition to luxury, depending on the master’s income level. Many of Greater China’s male business travellers keep more modest ernai in cities like Guangzhou or Shenzhen, in part because being hosted and serviced by an ernai is cheaper than living in hotels, or renting an apartment and hiring help. In Chinese cities, where cash is king, ernai can provide arms and legs for simple daily chores, like paying mobile-phone bills, buying airline tickets or buying business gifts.”

“I once asked a Chinese friend of mine why he stayed married when he admitted to preferring his mistress to his wife. “For the sake of convenience,” he said kindly and without rancour. Their parents were made happy by the marriage; he and his wife both found security and comfort in it. They just sought romance elsewhere.”

“Marriage in China has historically been a family matter, and there have been many variations on successful matrimony, some more contractual than emotional. China has a rich history and literature of multiple wives ……”

“For centuries, concubines were the ultimate status symbols and playthings of the wealthy. Then, in 1949, the communists recast the practice of keeping ernai as a decadent and corrupt vice. Good party cadres were not supposed to indulge in feudal frivolities. ……”

“The return of ernai has occasioned a new society of righteous legitimate wives, who now can and increasingly do sue philandering husbands. Divorce rates have skyrocketed in the past decade. According to the China civil-administration department, 341,000 married couples divorced in 1980, 800,000 in 1990, 1,210,000 in 2000, and 1,331,000 in 2005. Even though it is widely acknowledged that Chinese officialdom is well provided with ernai, the government has criticised adultery, suggesting connections between infidelity, corruption and divorce. ……”

“…… In China, having an ernai is part and parcel of being a corrupt official – the same way that having sex with your secretary is a cliché of corrupt politicians in the West. There’s a Chinese saying that works anywhere: men only go bad once they’re rich; women have to go bad to get rich.”

“In Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen ……, ernai cun or “second-wife villages” have risen in the past decade. These neighbourhoods, often close to airports, are lined with karaoke bars, beauty salons, and apartment compounds in which ernai primp, work out, play mahjong and occasionally dabble entrepreneurially in beauty, real estate or interior decorating.”

“Shanghai’s Gubei district, near Hongqiao airport, features a horizon of sky-rise apartments with aspirational names like Vienna Plaza. Most have plaques declaring them “model compounds”, wrought-iron gates, glittering fountains, and an average of three beauty parlours and one massage spa per block. On a short walk near the giant Carrefour Gubei shopping centre, I passed six beauty parlours, a two-storey Starbucks and four massage parlours. It was afternoon, and in Starbucks seven groups of women sat separately, sipping from green-tea frappuccinos, gossiping and giggling about men, apartments and travel. In the Carrefour mall’s Sephora make-up store, two dazzling twenty-something girls picked through a rack of whitening lotions. One was wearing shorts and stiletto heels, carrying an umbrella to protect her already whitened skin from the sun. The other was clutching a Coach Signature purse and clump of shopping bags.”

“A 29-year-old American woman who dated a married Chinese man while living in Shanghai explained to me the logic of the ernai lifestyle: “If he buys you one Louis Vuitton bag, that’s worth more money than you can make in a month. If you’re young and pretty and you can go out with an older guy, he can help with your business ideas, even fund them. There’s no economic reason to be moral.””

“One of the most famous ernai stories in Shanghai suggests a cheerful synthesis of the two themes: a Chinese woman in her early twenties was the mistress of a married French diplomat. She remained his ernai for the duration of his three-year stint in Shanghai, and then he “passed” her to his replacement. When that replacement left, he too afforded a new agent the same courtesy, and so the woman became Shanghai’s “French embassy ernai”, a personal position turned institutional. She worked successfully for the embassy for more than 11 years this way, until her late thirties. When the fourth replacement arrived, he wasn’t interested. So, according to local lore, still beautiful, she found an online mail-order-bride website, and ended up marrying an Australian farmer. She now lives in the outback, a startling if successful arrangement for an urban ernai.”

“…… a 26-year-old international tour guide from Beijing, who …… lives in her own apartment, a situation difficult to manage without some kind of outside funding. Every facet of her life, including her job (leading retired businessmen on trips to Korea, Australia and the US), is evidence of how Beijing has changed in the past 10 years. She talks with utter practicality and directness about sex, love and the lives of kept women. Her parents …… apparently accept “all of it”.”

“It’s an interesting variation on the second-wife tradition, since older ernai used to stack up and live together in increasing numbers. China’s polygamous society allowed wives to live together, if not in harmony at least in relative security. But the pace of modern life, and the cost of keeping an ernai in an urban setting, require them to be discarded. …… since even though her lover did end up divorcing his first wife, he still chose not to marry her. ……”

“…… There are two kinds of ernai, the ones who do it solely for money – they’re like, ‘You can use my body for sex and I’ll use your money and apartment and car for a luxurious life.’ …… Then there’s the other kind, who love the money but also love the man. They get left with nothing. By the time an ernai turns 30, she needs to have secured either a lot of love or a lot of money. ……”

“Perhaps most revealing are the numerous online “contracts” that come up with a simple Chinese internet search for ernai. …… there are also online application forms that require full disclosure by would-be ernai on matters ranging from breast augmentation to disabilities. There are also hundreds of newspaper reports about local court cases where various ernai-related disputes were adjudicated; generally the courts hold that ernai contracts, written or verbal, are not binding.”

“…… Concubines had low social status, even if they lived luxuriously. Considered the chattel of their masters, they were often given as gifts, bought and traded. …… ”

綜合來說,上文所撮錄引述是一名美籍女性以外國人的觀點,對在中國「包養情婦」這項社會現象作出深入的剖析。至於中國人民身處其中,他們的觀察和看法,未知可有相同相異之處?

中國近年來經濟騰飛,物質文明高速發展,帶來人民累積財富及物質生活的改善,並吸引許多外國著名品牌商貨進口傾銷;但亦同時衍生崇尚物質主義和消費主義的生活模式。社會上不同階層的男人,透過「包養情婦」獲取性與面子,用以彰顯其名譽、地位和個人成就;被包養的女人則獲得男人提供奢華揮霍生活,而無須憑藉個人努力去賺取生活;物質和享樂主導的男女關係,威脅並衝擊着一夫一妻 (monogamy) 的婚姻制度和傳統家庭道德觀念。歸根究底,這是「形而下」的物質文明高速發展之同時,缺乏「形而上」的精神文明充實發展去平衡配合之緣故。

中國的經濟開放和物質文明為整體社會發展帶來無限驚喜和榮耀,中國人民到外地消費,特別受當地商人歡迎。筆者見識過法國巴黎著名「老佛爺百貨商店」(Galeries Lafayette),闢設有專門櫃枱和安排懂說普通話的華裔售貨員,方便熱情招待來自中國的豪客,務求達到顧客開懷安心、盡情傾囊消費的目標。中國人民在外國遭受上賓的禮待,能不有飄飄然的光榮和一吐「清朝國弱、列強欺凌」的烏氣感覺?怎能不嚮往物質消費主義?

另一方面,中國的物質文明除了衍生「包養情婦」這個副產品外,可有對整體社會帶來壞影響?根據筆者觀察,當在外國遇見一名女子手持一個名牌手袋在街上或商場閒逛,再觀其貌似亞裔人士,則可推測該女子十之八九應是中國同胞,未知同樣情況可有在中國內地發生?我們面對這項普遍現象,應當為中國物質文明的富足發展感到欣喜?抑或對中國精神文明的仍然匱乏而未能平衡崇尚物質主義和消費主義的生活模式覺得憂慮?除了制定條例去懲處公務員「包養情婦」的違規行為外,當局可會考慮加強培育整體社會的正確核心價值觀,去平衡崇尚物質主義和消費主義的生活模式,以收雙管齊下之效?

「二十一世紀是由中國主導世界」,這已是公認的不爭事實。許多外國學者更進一步意識到中國社會發展正大幅度傾斜於物質文明,而對將由崇尚物質主義而輕視精神主義的中國來主宰世界,他們紛紛發表文章表示憂慮和提出警告。假若中國政府未能及早引進補救措施,以改善國內物質文明與精神文明的失衡發展,相信中國與國際間在環境污染、全球暖化 (Global Warming) 等問題上發生紛爭衝突,勢難避免,亦非全人類所樂見。

物慾是人類與生俱來的本能需要,無法亦無須將其毁滅。廣東有句俗語:「辛苦揾埋自在食。」筆者贊成辛勤工作之餘,應該在適當時候給予自己和家人物質獎勵,關鍵卻在「適度」與「平衡」。常言道:「水能載舟;亦能覆舟。」利器若不善用可以傷人,但我們不會因此而放棄使用利器;要訣在於我們需要一套道德規範去控制怎樣適當使用利器。

筆者期望中國在積極發展物質文明的同時,亦可為培育其精神文明作出努力!

備註:杜瑞秋(Rachel Dewoskin)是美籍作家,哥倫比亞大學英文系畢業。在1994年10月到了北京,認識了一位中國導演,並擔任一部美國荷里活肥皂劇式的中國連續劇《洋妞在北京》的女主角之一。在北京住了五年,杜瑞秋回到美國結婚生女,取得波士頓大學文學碩士。其著作有“Foreign Babes in Beijing –Behind the scene of a new China”。上文撮錄自她在星期日泰晤士報周刋一篇題為 “Wife Sentence” 的文章,版權為泰晤士報及杜瑞秋所擁用,謹此鳴謝。

這篇文章發表 於 星期六, 五月 26th, 2007 6:30 下午 在 國際視野 A Global View. 你可以回應這篇文章透過 RSS 2.0 feed. 你可以 留下回覆, 或 引用 從你的個人網站.

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