The title of this book comes from a story told by cadres of the local Women’s Federation of Jiaocheng County, Shanxi Province, during the fi rst part of fi eldwork conducted in 2003. In the poor mountain areas of this county, it was diffi - cult for a girl to fi nd a husband who could provide her with a comparatively well-off life. As a result, some mountain girls left their home for the lower and more fertile ground at the centre of the county, to look for a husband for themselves. However, these girls ended up, instead of marrying a rich husband, setting up their own business and becoming entrepreneurs. For centuries, women from this region had passively waited for their parents or matchmakers to choose the husband for them, so these girls’ initiative was very impressive. Cadres of the local Women’s Federation referred to these girls as ‘the tiger girls who had come down from the hills’. As the conversation fl owed, the cadres then talked about themselves. Being government cadres, and married women, they also played major roles at home by tending the families and doing household works. They started to joke with each other by calling themselves ‘tiger girls’ as well.