A father's public plea for a man — any man, as long as he's "generous and kind-hearted" — to marry his daughter has captivated the Internet.
And it's not just because dowries have been out of fashion around most of the world for many, many years.
As the Telegraph reports, wealthy Hong Kong businessman Cecil Chao Sze-tsung is offering CAD$63-million to any member of the male sex who manages to lure his lesbian daughter, Gigi Chao, away from her female partner of seven years.
"Gigi is a very good woman with both talents and looks," her father tells the South China Morning Post. "She is devoted to her parents, is generous and does volunteer work."
Never mind that the younger Chao, 33, is reported to have entered a civil partnership with longtime girlfriend, Sean Eav, last April. Chao's Facebook page shows dozens of pictures of the pair in various international settings.
And never mind that Chao's père, who never married himself, seems to also enjoy the company of ladies, having boasted of "intimate relations" with around 10,000 of them in his time.
Instead, the 76-year-old property tycoon hopes the financial incentive will appeal to an entrepreneurial man, either "rich or poor" who "has the talent but not the capital to start his own business."
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While there are still many fathers (and mothers) who enter their children into arranged marriages, this attempt has troubled many for its implication that being gay isn't just unacceptable to Chao, but that he believes it can be "fixed" by the right man.
It has also generated much empathy for the woman who must bear the brunt of what many regard as her father's public humiliation.
"How humiliating for this poor girl," writes one reader via the Irish Independent. "Mr. Chao needs to come out of denial."
Of course, the jokes, in this case, also write themselves, with many a sharp tongue cracking wise about making a deal with Chao and splitting the bounty. (There are also other reactions we can't exactly print here, but you can probably figure out what they entail.)
But if the senior Chao was looking for attention, he's succeeded. Miss Chao tells the Telegraph that she's received hundreds of marriage proposals, not to mention a bombardment of nude photos, since the story broke.
"People are contacting me on Facebook, by e-mail, on Twitter. It's ridiculous. I can't sort out the serious proposals from the half-hearted ones. I can't make head or tail of it," she admits.
And don't worry about the Hong Kong resident's feelings. Chao appears to be taking the whole thing with considerably less alarm than anyone else.
"At first I was entertained by it, and then that entertainment turned into the realization and conviction that I am a really lucky girl to have such a loving daddy, because it's really sweet of him to do something like this as an expression of his fatherly love," she says.
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