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Shanghai's "Guy Tai" trend


10:09, November 23, 2012

(file photo)

In China, we call a housewife "Tai Tai". But here’s some new vocab for you - "Guy Tai". A "Guy Tai" refers to a stay-at-home dad. The name mixes the English word guy and the Chinese expression tai tai, and is proving to be quite the trend. In Shanghai, there is a Guy Tai club whose members are from all over the world.

Devin Silloway has been a stay-at-home dad for many years. He thinks of himself as Shanghai’s original ’Guy Tai’.

He said, "That’s a word that I invented 10 years ago because I hated being called a house husband. So instead of a Tai Tai I said I’m a guy tai."

From a few stay-at-home dads 10 years ago, members of Shanghai guy tai club has expanded to more than 100. Eric Johnson is one of them.

Eric Johnson, Shanghai "Guy Tai", said, "A guy tai’s signature event is visiting factories. So we’ve been to the ABB robotics factory, the General Motors factory, Baosteel. We usually get 15 to 20 guys together and get a tour and then go to a micro brewery afterwards."

Like the tai tais, these dads are also busy themselves with activities. As more and more husbands join the club, people are wondering what’s fueling the trend of guy tais in Shanghai.

Lorna Doucet, Associate Prof. of Management, CEIBS, said, "There’s some reports that men have lost two and a half more times jobs in the US recession than women have. So we would expect that women executives when they’re offered to relocate to China for a career that they’re going to be more likely to take advantage of that opportunity."

Staying home for the family when you think you’re supposed to be the breadwinner isn’t always easy. But some, like Devin, are proud. Many guy tais like him still work from home for part-time or freelancing jobs, as well as volunteer at schools or orphanages. They stand ready to help others slip into their new Guy Tai shoes, and find new adventures in China.

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