Ever seen a mistress going to work this early?

Ernai: 二奶 [èrnǎi] – kept woman; second wife; mistress
Xiaosan: 小三 [xiǎosān]: Another name for kept woman, mistress. Literally “little three”, three being the third person in the relationship. Interchangeable with Ernai.

From Creaders:


On the micro blogs I saw this story: going to work, riding in coworker’s car in early morning, when waiting for a red light, there was a “Cayenne” next to us. It was a beautiful girl, so I rolled down the window and took a look. My coworker said it confidently “must be an Ernai (二奶: [èrnǎi] – kept woman; mistress)”. Maybe it was too loud the girl heard us and looked a little annoyed. Green light, we hurried and took off, but the Cayenne gassed and caught up on us, rolling down her window, shouted at us “Ever seen an Ernai going to work this early? Fuck!”

I laughed hard but felt a strong emotion and relied: yesterday, when got off work and going home, I was sitting on the passenger’s seat and my husband was driving. A driver of GG deliberately rolled down his windows and looked at me, and spoke loudly to the person next to him, “look, this Ernai is actually pretty.” My husband was very depressed and said “I turned out to be your driver.”

My colleagues comforted me “being called Ernai proves that you are still young, beautiful and charismatic.” I was ashamed; it was not the first or second time I am called an Ernai. Yes, I carry a LV bag, drive a BMW X6 and wear Cartier on my hand, but does that mean I am an Ernai?

Of course there are colleagues asking me, why are you still working? Isn’t this bullying other people? I felt strange, why can’t I go to work? Who did I bother being a person with a job and useful to the society?

What depresses me the most is that even the bosses have such thinking. One day I wore newly purchased Prada, with a CHANEL pearl necklace, showing off to my boss and asked him if I looked like a star or a model. He said seriously, “like a Xiaosan (小三 [xiǎosān]: Another name for kept woman, mistress. Literally “little three”, three being the third person in the relationship. Interchangeable with Ernai)”.

I thought of one of my female friends, she used to work for an IPO company and got a lot of stocks, then she switched to work for a media company. She drove a Mercedes Benz to work every day, early morning shift that needs her to be at work at 7 am, but her coworkers all talk behind her back, saying she often changes her Hermes, LV Gucci purses, must be a kept Xiaosan.

She felt helpless, and said “people don’t see my hard work every day; only see my purses and car?” I comforted her, “I am even worse than you”. Once at an event, a coal boss asked me directly if I was interested to be his Ernai, before this there were countless men said they want to “keep” me, and asked me seriously “how about 500,000 a year?” Should we all think it over, is it that we look like Ernai? or should all the pretty girls become Ernai and not to work?

Pretty MM deserve to be called Ernai, no matter how hard you work, how you prove your abilities, we are only Ernai in other people’s eyes? Do all this bother anyone? We are not able to buy the LV, CHANEL, Hermes and BMW on our own? It is only possible if someone else’s husband bought them for us?

Our conditions may be quite superior in the eyes of others, but we are the same as all white-collar workers. We also have to work nine to five, and even morning shifts and night shifts. We also have to eat lunch, and often go to work hungry; we also care about work. The purpose of the work is no more than supporting the family and achieving our personal values and respect. All of these intentions are the same; we also have our goals and ideals!

Our money is hard-earned with our own hands. I have a friend doing SP business, running around meeting business clients day and night, her loses her voice all year around. Her annual income is hundreds of thousands, but her family was suspicious and asked her if she was kept buy some old man.

Another girlfriend works for an advertising business. She accompanies clients drinking every day, runs all over the country, until too much drinking caused her to vomit blood and she almost had an abortion. She worked so hard, a six-figure monthly income should be normal!  However when she was driving a newly purchased MINI cooper home, her boyfriend asked her which of her lovers gave her the car.

When a young girl has a little money, they will be labeled as Ernai or Xiaosan, I do not know if our society is too twisted or people are too marrow-mined to accept some facts. Is it true only if you have rich and power parents, then the money in your hands is your own money? Or maybe hang a picture of your husband on my face, to prove that I have an identity? Not an Ernai or Xiaosan? Your husband better be young and handsome, or else if he looks older, people will think I was a mistress and later became the wife!

We can’t make our own money? Do we only know how to spend men’s money? Finally, quoting the story in the beginning, “Have you ever seen an Ernai going to work this early? Fuck!”

  1. COuch biozi.

    yeah well its sad when the typical kept women of china is considered a misstress. Maybe these ladies should play the part and keep denying it. Being a misstress is hard work too. You have to do things you wouldn’t normally do for capital gains. Unfortunately these women live a 1 track minded society that is built by men. Become your own boss and this wouldn’t happen at work but these women still have to hear jealous rants from men who don’t know what they are all about.

    If they dont like it stop looking the part.

  2. Showing off their money like this, these women don’t deserve better. What is LV, CHANEL, Hermes and BMW for? She “vomited blood and almost had an abortion” because she was drinking? She was drinking while pregnant? And we are supposed to feel sorry for her?

    These are sad women.

    Don’t worry, I don’t feel much better about men in China either, who know nothing else to do when they make a little money, but to get a 小三 and shower her with LV, CHANEL, Hermes and BMW. Pathetic.

    I must say I have a renewed respect for the 小三s. They are smartest of the bunch.

    1. In China there are business “dinners” and “drinking parties” and sometimes you can’t avoid them if you want to respect your business partners. They’re usually forced to drink a lot in those parties or else it’s considered impolite. It’s not limited to women, men have to do it too and not surprisingly, a lot of people don’t actually like it.

      Plus, if they have the ability to earn the money, I don’t mind the women indulging themselves in some material comfort, especially when it’s much harder for women to gain any status in any company at all comparing to men. To tell the truth, if they’re not outrageous (changing handbags everyday or what not), the people who said they’re “filthy rich” or something are probably just crying sour grapes.

      1. I guess politeness is more important the health of an inncocent person (the baby). The business i.e. money is more important than the child? If this is true China is a sick society!
        If not only you and your friends are sick (arguing that is normal in business)!

        I have Chinese friends who being pragnant didnt even drink onb their own wedding… but I guess they arent rich, because they have standards.

  3. Well a car is just a car. YOU Don’t need a BMW to flaunt it (China has no autobahn) A Bag is just a bag – to carry stuff, clothes too – so long you look ok. If you don’t want such viewpoints being cast on you, then live simple!

  4. what’s the difference between Ernai and Xiaosan? Or Ernai is professional Xiaosan?
    or Xiaosan first, then Ernai?……..

    1. Ernai: Generally are women other than their wives kept by rich or powerful men use material things. The kept woman does not use dirty tricks to gain anything else; they do not care about status (the title of being legit wife).

      Xiaosan: Generally is the person involve herself in a marriage, therefore called “the third person” Xiaosan’s motive is not money or material things, but to uses “dirty tricks” and “skills” to replace the original wife, and to win over the title and status.

      However the use of term of Ernai and Xiaosan are interchangeable because they can easily involve themselves into the other trait, or both. Ernai can want the title of the wife too, Xiaosan can demand for money as well, and obviously many kept women want both.

  5. Whether they are Ernais or successful businesswomen, here in China common people generally have strong feeling against them, the new richs. they have lots of characteristics that people find offending: mean, flashing and dirty rich.

    So watch your behavior, rich bitch!

  6. Though it’s very sad they get talked about behind their backs just because others are jealous, it’s also true it wouldn’t happen nearly as much if they weren’t so ostentatious with their wealth.

  7. The problem is not with the women showing off their money but with the whole ‘nouveau riche’ class who cannot resist showing their money when the majority is of the population of their own country is so poor (yes they are better off then 20 years ago but they are still very poor).

    The new middle and upper class of china does not seem to understand that their prosperity would have never happened without that pool of cheap and obedient workers (about 800 millions of them). These nouveaux riches cheat all they can on tax, never leave a tip and show their wealth shamelessly (using generally western brands which is funny given they are generally quite nationalist).

    China still has to show the world that harmonious societe its leaders are talking about. May be it should start taxing the rich a bit more seriously and spread the wealth a bit better.

  8. I wonder whether one day, the chinese new riches will raise enough conciousness to understand that all those so-called luxury brands are, in the western world, more a display of bad taste and low-level wealth than anything. At least so is it here in France.

  9. Every country, every culture has social norms that most people follow but every now and then there are people who look a certain way but their lives don’t parallel those who look/act like them. It sucks to be put down or lumped together with people you try to set yourself apart from, but this is life, and everyone does it. I’m a heavily-tattooed young-looking dude and most people assume I’m a hard-rocking playboy student, but I’m actually a married, father-to-be university teacher. I get a lot of sideways glances in China but it’s really no big deal. I see a hottie driving a sweet ride and my first thought is “probably an 二乃” but I wouldn’t say it out loud, and if that’s her ride that she paid for, then rock and roll. If not, then no surprise.

  10. The things you possess will not grieve your passing away. It seems that in this story there are no “good guys”, there are no “bad guys” in this story. There are only those who think about the meaning of “things”. Some think they own things when instead the things possess own [and by owning, define] the possessor. The “what” is owning the “who” here? But the “who” can change. “Things” are dead things. Amusing this modern materialism but ultimately a dead end as the Americans.

  11. I guess the narrow minded caused by the masculinity mindset of the Chinese man. They still think they are always greater than female. sad…

  12. There is one thing that I don’t understand.
    Someone sees a woman in a luxurious car and with expensive bag.
    “There is a man behind her status”, – is an immediate thought of a passer-by.
    Okay, until here I can understand the logics (even still somewhat flawed).
    But how exactly does someone jump to a conclusion that she is MISTRESS? Why not suppose that she is WIFE?

    My own answer is simple.
    People are just envious – and choose the easiest way to protect their own “ego” – humiliating others 🙂

    1. Even if she is wife, in most cases she would still be considered evil. That would cast her into the “gold digger” status. But I guess in China regular wed locked wives are automatically unattractive. In many cases that is very true, but this is 1 issue successful young beautiful women should take advantage of. This is the gift fathers who wanted a son have been hoping for. Beautiful women are more marketable. Even if they didn’t have any credentials like a college degree or past work experience, the minute they step into the work force in china, they are trainable employees for what ever position the bosses need them for. With ambition, and talent they combined with skills they ladies can rise to the top with out slaving half their lives like the average women over qualified women.

      So yes when people say things cruel like “xiao san” “Er Nai” well tough titty.

    2. Here’s a (slightly) logical explanation:

      most very rich guys in China would have to be at least 40 years old
      most Chinese people marry fairly young (early 20s)
      not many people get divorced

      …so most rich wives would be at least 40 years old. Rich ernais are visibly younger.

  13. Yea it is really sad to hear a successful women can’t be given credit for something she has worked hard for. This is undoubtedly a double standard as well. I’ve never been to China but my stay in Japan’s culture sure showed me that women’s rights as well as their status in society is not the same as that of North America. Even if they are kept women, think about it as if it were yourself, I’m sure even a man wouldn’t mind getting everything paid for and to be glorified for their looks, people are just jealous.

  14. This post is so obviously FAKE

    Honestly, I know of a couple of enormously rich people, and the more money they have the less they like to show it off. Showing off how rich you are by buying a bunch of crazy overpriced name brands is just TACKY. When you have that much money, you tend to REINVEST it!!!!!! That’s why Bill Gates never owns any name brand shit. Showing off how much money you got with flashy clothing/cars is such a chinese concept borrowed from fake hollywood trashy star lifestyles.

  15. boo hoo, people think I didn’t work for my Prada handbag or Mini.

    Woe is me.
    If only the world understood the plight of the rich 30-something business woman.

  16. ….and it only took ya a month to come up with that zinger?

    That DaShan-sponsored pocket translator really pays for itself.

  17. “Yes, I carry a LV bag, drive a BMW X6 and wear Cartier on my hand, but does that mean I am an Ernai?”

    That’s the assumption. If you were independently wealthy, you wouldn’t care about crap like that. It’s just for show, and people who worked their way into wealth really don’t care about showing off like that. They are successful enough in themselves to not need that sort of obvious show of status.

    On the other hand, girls with a rich sugar daddy do care about that sort of thing. They can show off how loved they are.

    Take my wife for instance. She was independently wealthy when I met her (we both were). When she bought a car, she got a cheap Toyota. When she bought clothes, she went to a mid-range store (good quality, decent price). Her handbag is from a market stall, and looks nice.

    However, she wears some very fancy jewellery. Because I buy it for her. She wouldn’t spend that sort of money on herself – she knows how hard she worked for her money, and knows our fortunes could change at any moment, so she’s frugal. However, she’s happy that I occasionally buy her something nice.

    The whole point of name brands is as presents. To show off to people and say “look what my loving husband/wife/sugar daddy got me”. Nobody in their right mind buys them using their own cash.

  18. Drinking while being pregnant is a crime. It endangers the baby. Being a mistress for a filthy guy is way better than risking somebody elses health. This woman should have had an abortion, because the baby probably already will have defects… more she should not even be allowed to have a child, since her greed is unimaginable high!
    the writer looks down on mistresses, but her friends are the biggest whores!

  19. I’ve been mistaken for an ernai here in the STATES before from recent Chinese immigrants. I don’t think I’m all that maybe except I’m in my twenties, no ring on ringer and I wear a dress once in a while. Earlier this week, a waiter said I should find myself a wealthier one since I have no obvious brand name or designer looking items on me when I’m eating with my male cousin. The other waiter said maybe I’m putting out for free.

    And all this time, I’m working two jobs and I probably have cobwebs between my legs and where the heck is that old geezer?

  20. My historical analysis reveals how the poem fits within the early modern conversation about women’s reproductive power and artificial birth. More like this

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