This Woman Carried Her Boyfriend Through Flood Waters To Keep His Shoes Dry

I would do just about anything for love, but I’m not sure I would carry a grown man through flood waters on my back just because he didn’t want to get his Jordans wet. But maybe I’m a jerk. On Facebook, photos of a Chinese woman who carried her boyfriend over flood waters so he didn’t get his leather shoes wet have been making the rounds, and people are pissed off by the image. The woman, from Wuhan in China’s Hubei province (which has experienced severe flooding in the past week), was quoted in a local newspaper saying, “I am wearing sandals so it doesn’t matter that I cross the waterlogged area. He was wearing leather shoes, which have to be washed laboriously [if they are soaked]. So it was easier that I carry him to cross the water.” Good for them for saying “fuck it” to strict gender roles that say men should always carry women and not vice versa.

In the picture, the water is just above her ankles and he seems to be laughing, so it’s probably all in good fun. But some on CCTV’s Facebook page, the outlet that has been circulating the photos, think the dude should have just taken his shoes off and let the woman cary them while he chivalrously slung her over his own broad, manly shoulders.

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CREDIT: CCTV/Facebook

But that’s bullshit because it’s entirely possible that she was better suited to carry that poor man than he was her. (I only say “poor” because he is taking a lot of heat for not putting on his Prince Charming suit and carrying the woman, acting out antiquated gender roles in the face of flooded streets.)

I would have made my boyfriend, or even a male drinking buddy, take off those goddamn shoes. I’m just not strong enough to carry a man on my back — not because I’m a woman, but because I consider working out running to the wine store ten minutes before it closes or running down two flights of stairs to open the door for the delivery guy. (That totally counts as cardio, because I get out of breath on the way back up. Don’t fight me on this.)

But that doesn’t mean that we should bash this poor man or assume the woman is being used and abused. Maybe she’s more hardcore than he is. Maybe they were spending some QT time and thought it was hysterical to switch positions, in which case, I’m happy to see such a blatant disregard for what’s “proper” behavior for a couple.

Then again, there is the possibility that her carrying her beau has some more insidious meaning since China isn’t exactly known for women’s rights. According to The Guardian, centers that provide legal services for women who are divorced because they fail to give birth to a son and other blatant abuses of human rights are being closed one by one by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Because of the way women are often treated in China, it’s valid to question whether the pictured woman felt it was her duty to protect her boyfriend’s shoes, lest she have to clean them, “laboriously” as she put it, afterwards. Of course, that would be shitty.

Wether this woman was ignoring feminine and masculine stereotypes or being forced to comply to them in a subservient manner, she shouldn’t be the focus of people’s outrage. If she was just being nice, more power to her. If her boyfriend made her carry him over the murky waters, everyone’s time would be better spent learning about women’s rights in China instead of cracking down on this one woman.