Zhí Nán ái (直男癌)
Zhí Nán means straight guy, and ái literally translates into cancer, but the phrase means being a dominant male who wants to protect women and always be right.
Zhí Nán ái lack a sense of fashion, and they don’t care about how they look. They think women should stick to their traditional roles, such as cooking, housekeeping and raising children.
If Zhí Nán ái don’t know or understand something, they will say it’s wrong because they are the sole keepers of the truth. Their only soft spot is their mothers, and they love to use the phrase, “my mom says.” They always listen to their mothers and set them as examples for their wives.
Shào Nǚ ái(少女癌)
Shào Nǚ means young girl, but Shào Nǚ ái is an expression that describes women of all ages. Shào Nǚ ái dream of tall, rich, handsome and romantic lovers who come pick them up on a white horse (or a fast car). When those daydreams don’t materialize, they pour their passion into TV dramas such as the popular Silent Separation.
Compared to girls who think they are princesses, Shào Nǚ ái may be less fussy and aggressive. But diehard Shào Nǚ ái may find it difficult to get married because their ideal lover only exists in books or on screens.
Mǎ Lì Sū (玛丽苏)
Mǎ Lì Sū, also called Mary Sue, is the object of writers’ desires. In books or TV dramas, they are the girls who are kind, smart and beautiful. In other words, Mǎ Lì Sū is a perfect girl who is loved by everyone. They can be either rich or poor but are certain to end up in a happy romantic relationship. Female characters in Taiwanese novelist Qiongyao’s books are like that. As for the perfect men in books, they are called Tom Sue or Jack Sue.