Society

Nought to flirty in six seconds

It’s true, women really do prefer men with fast cars

A model sits inside a Lamborghini car modified by Mansory luxury car tuning company during a media preview day at the Frankfurt Motor Show

Step inside my Lamborghini

It is one of the unspoken promises that has underpinned the allure of flashy sports cars since they were first invented.

Buy an expensive, high performance two-seater – their manufacturers promise male clients – and then watch how the women swoon.

And as a recent experiment in China shows, these supercars actually do make their owners more attractive to the opposite sex.

The experiment, filmed for the video-sharing website Tudou, shows a man driving round central Beijing in a Rmb5 million ($812,666) convertible Lamborghini at night, asking random women if they are alone and if they would like to join him for something to eat. Out of the seven women the man approaches, five of them get into the car, with no questions asked.

Later the same man repeats the experiment in a small domestically-made SUV. Not a single woman chooses to join him.

The experiment, which has now been viewed more than 3.8 million times, has sparked a huge debate about values as well as the corrosive role of money in modern Chinese society.

The conversations that the driver has with the women once they get into the car are also telling.

“Would you have got in if I was driving a QQ,” he asks, referring to the much smaller and cheaper Chinese car that he drives later in the experiment. “No, I have long legs and prefer to stretch them out,” one of the female companions demurs.

Another answers: “Yes, but I would assume that you were a taxi driver.”

When asked why they thought it was safe to get into a car with a stranger, one woman answers: “People who drive nice cars like these can’t be bad people.”

Another justifies her decision somewhat oddly, by saying: “Your car is more expensive than me.”

The reaction online has seen many people directing criticism at the women. “Money is the only standard Chinese girls use to evaluate people now. They aren’t interested in love and kindness,” one disheartened man lamented on Tudou.

Another wrote: “This doesn’t surprise me at all. Women all want an easy life these days.”

But others suggested that these weaknesses in character weren’t limited to China’s female population. “Shallowness goes both way,” wrote one women, “Men prefer women who are beautiful.”

Another man wrote: “In a male- dominated world you can’t blame women for choosing partners with better resources.”

Others suggested that the test was hardly representative, as the driver was cruising around an area known for its nightlife. “The two girls who refused to get into the car with this guy are the normal ones,” insisted an indignant female contributor, adding that “people who go to nightclubs are vain and stupid by nature.”

Even the People’s Daily felt it necessary to weigh in on the debate, “The result of putting money above all else is a reduction in happiness,” it declared sanctimoniously.“More money but less satisfaction is the sadness of the Chinese people and the tragedy of our generation.”

Rather surprisingly it also suggested that a distorting obsession with wealth is more common to Asian societies – an odd take for a newspaper whose preferred line is normally that ‘if it’s bad in China, it’s probably just as bad elsewhere’.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that China has been confronted with suggestions that many of its women would choose financial security over romantic happiness. In 2010 a female participant on a television game show told a male contestant that she couldn’t choose him as her boyfriend because he was a cyclist. Although she rather liked him, his economic status was a more pressing concern. Rather than feeling happy riding tandem on his bike, she would rather cry in “the back of a BMW,” the woman announced, in a response that soon became famous.

Last year a finishing school in Beijing also made the headlines for teaching a course for women who want to snare rich men. “Previously we just taught a basic housekeeping course, but as soon as we changed the title and syllabus, we were inundated with applicants,” the school’s administrator told the Beijing Times.


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