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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Mail-order brides.

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Author Topic: Mail-order brides.
-Lauren-
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Member # 25983

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What do you guys all think about mail-order brides from foreign countries?

It's really sad to me that some women are so desperate to get out of their situation that they would agree to marry a stranger, though I understand that is sometimes near the norm in some cultures.

However, what about cases in which they're mistreated? Men who seek mail-order brides are often looking for women with more "traditional" values than modern women; a woman who will hold more "respect" for a man and how hard he has to work. I think we can imagine what this entails for a woman. Moreover, if they ARE mistreated, it's possible they won't seek help, due to either cultural differences in the ideas of ways a wife should be treated, or language barriers.

Also, while this may be an unfair generalization; are the men these women go to possibly dangerous? It seems to me that a man who goes so far as to buy a wife really has trouble socializing with women, and may have little idea of how to interact with them.

What are your thoughts on this? Feel free to correct me; I've wanted an intelligent discussion on this subject for some time.

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
likewhoa19
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well, i have to say i have one uncle who's definitely got some loose screws and definitely not a nice guy, and for awhile he was thinking of getting a mail-order bride. yes, i guess generally i think that's pretty creepy. but getting married for purposes of moving to the US isn't all that uncommon. a lot of men in other countries will pretend to fall in love with an american woman so that he can get a greencard. (it was what happened in real life to the couple in "How Stella Got Her Groove Back'', I've heard other stories, plus me and friends have been proposed to when we've visited other countries). So, if men are willing to do this I can also understand the mail-order bride's rational. On the other hand, since men are the ones who must do the wooing in most cultures, it would probably be a lot tougher for women to pick up american tourist men and come back to the US with them. Thus, the selling-themselves bit. i'm sure not every man who gets a mail-order bride is controlling, but perhaps a significant % of them are. Also, some men don't necessarily have trouble socializing with women, but do want a woman from his particular cultural background and is having trouble finding them in the US (this may or may not be for reasons of wanting a more subservient woman). Unfortunately, whenever you have major economic disparity, women (ie mail-order brides) will be willing to make some sacrifices in hopes of attaining a better standard of living.
Posts: 193 | From: Massachusetts | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Lauren-
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Thanks for the input, likewhoa19.

What you said about your uncle is the reason I'm so concerned. I mean obviously, women do have the choice to (subscribe?) to services that offer them as brides to men in wealthier countries. I know that this is a practice as old as the hills, and that really, marrying a wealthier stranger is the norm in some cultures.

But there ARE men who have screws loose, as you said, and even if a woman is able to see a photo before agreeing to the arrangement, nothing can prepare her for what she might have in store. It's like meeting somebody on the internet, I think I'd compare it to; except instead of simply meeting face-to-face (which carries dangers in of itself), but moving in with, and marrying, a stranger.

If I may be blunt, it really seems to me that men who order wives are single for a reason. True, there may be cases of men who are mentally stable, happy people who are simply very lonely, but I don't feel that is often the case. Like I said, many of these men are looking for subservient women from other cultures; they'd be harder-pressed to find them here!

I think what makes my blood boil is the name. "Mail-order". Like these women are just objects that can be shipped like meat, and then handed over to a stranger. Something about it doesn't sit right with me, for some reason.

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
likewhoa19
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well not that this changes most of what you said, but i've actually gotten the impression a majority of mail-order brides go to men who are immigrants in the US and looking for a woman from his particular culture background, which may or may not be for reasons that she's more subserviant.

as to the: ''they'd be harder-pressed to find them here!''

You may not mean this in a generalizing way, but I'd just like to point out that american women, especially women from certain backgrounds are often much more subserviant than pop culture would have us believe. Also, there are many cultures where the average woman is arguably more assertive than-is the average american woman. stranger or no, many people get married for economic reasons. and many people get married to someone and then learn he's not who they thought he was/has abusive tendencies. 8 states in the US allow husbands to rape their wife without considering it a crime. Also, there are industries in the US like pornography and prostitution where often the women are controlled and treated very poorly. SO I guess my point is, while mail-order brides might be considered a problem evidence of mysoginistic culture, it is not just about other cultures, and it does not seem much more horrible to me than a number of other common practices.

Posts: 193 | From: Massachusetts | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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