why do women become mail order brides
By now most of us have seen the 1950 s " " the one that tells women that a "Good Wife" is one who acknowledges her husband as master of the house and never questions his authority. The guide is probably a fake that was intended to mock the household dynamics of the post-war generation by imagining a (fictional) era of submissive wives. Did you know, though, that in recent years "The Good Wife's Guide" has taken on a whole new purpose? It is being used as a manifesto for international marriage brokers aiming to convince American men that they deserve obedient wives and that the (again, fictional) 1950s wife can be found in a foreign country. It must be working. Each year international marriage brokers assist with the importation of tens of thousands of foreign spouses and fianc es into the U. S. It s big business too; the more than 500 brokers generate an estimated 34 million dollars in revenue from hopeful grooms. The market size is not why it is an interesting economic problem not to me at least. Economists are interested in intra-household bargaining the way that couples decide how resources are allocated within the household. For example, how much time each individual dedicates to paid labor is usually determined through intra-household bargaining. The decision about how many children will be born, and the share of household resources allocated to children, is also determined though intra-household bargaining. Intra-household bargaining determines the division of household chores and time each parent spends on child-rearing. Finally, but importantly, bargaining determines whether or not a couple is having sex and what sex acts are performed. In other words, most of the decisions that will ultimately determine the welfare of everyone within the household are made through household bargaining.
On the surface, at least, international marriage brokers promote the idea that the advantage of a foreign wife, as opposed to a domestic wife, is that the husband will hold the balance of household decision making power. They sell the idea that foreign brides come from societies in which the social norm is one of male dominance and, as a result, are more willing to accept that arrangement. Don t take my word for it, consider the following quote from the marriage broker web site www. goodwife. com:
We, as men, are more and more wanting to step back from the types of women we meet now. With many women taking on the "me first" feminist agenda and the man continuing to take a back seat to her desire for power and control many men are turned off by this and look back to having a more traditional woman as our partner. They also, perhaps less explicitly, promote the notion that women from economically disadvantaged countries will be more grateful for the privileges their western husband can provide and, as a result, be less likely to make demands on his resources. Do foreign-born wives arrive with any of these expectations? Probably not. In fact, many are sold on the idea that a western husband means more opportunities for decision making within the household not less. If this is true, then both parties enter the marriage with very different ideas as to how the power within the household will be allocated. I don t doubt that when two people marry who having very different ideas of how decisions will be made, that conflict is created. It is perhaps that conflict that is contributing to the high level of abuse documented in these relationships. * Despite a vast economic literature on household bargaining and well-being, there has been nothing done, to my knowledge, on bargaining within households in which the wife is a mail-order bride.
If that changes which I hope it does you can be certain that I will let you know. *Kim, Jane (2011). Trafficked: Domestic Violence, Exploitation in Marriage, and the Foreign-Bride Industry. Virginia Journal of International Law Vol 51(2): p 443 March 28, 2014 Gone are the days when going out to a bar or club was the most popular way to find romance. In this day and age, it's not surprising that one-third of couples getting married in America meet online. On Match. com, for example, love seekers can sort through the profiles of hundreds of singles in their area, detailed with photos, stats, hobbies, and more, and if a mutual connection is made, arrangements are coordinated for a date. But what if you could employ the same concept of online dating to marriage? In fact, you can. International dating websites such as RoseBrides. com offer their services to help men find wives from all over the world, or in other words, modern-day mail-order brides. The term "mail-order bride" was coined in the 19th century during the California Gold Rush. While men found financial success working out West, most women remained living back East, leaving the men yearning for the company of a wife. As an attempt to attract women, the men wrote letters to churches and published personal advertisements in magazines and newspapers. Women would respond to the personal ads by sending photographs, and correspondence was carried out by letter until a woman agreed to marry a man she had never met. Many of the women wanted to escape their daily lives for financial security while others sought marriage to combat loneliness. Mail-order brides of the West were considered heroes for making marriage possible for frontier men and ensuring the survival and success of the community.
Although the practice sometimes produced horror stories, many mail-order brides lived happy lives and the West evolved into a landscape of towns with homes, churches, and schools. Asian men who worked overseas in America during the 1800s also found marriage through the mail-order bride system as a result of anti-interracial marriage laws of the time. Believe it or not, mail-order brides still exist today, but the rules have changed a bit to keep up with modern times. Most modern mail-order brides are from Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia, while the men are typically from Western Europe and North America. There are a few ways a woman can go about becoming a modern mail-order bride. When a woman seeks to marry a foreigner, she can provide an international matchmaking agency or dating website with photos, measurements, personal information, and a description of what she wants in a husband to be published to a database. Men are charged a membership fee and sort through the women's profiles while searching for a potential bride. The men are then able to correspond with the women of their choosing, and the women may respond if they feel it is a good match. Another way a woman can become a mail-order bride is by attending an event for such a purpose. Women dress up in their finest dresses and ball gowns to mingle with men who have travelled to a foreign country to find a wife. When a mutual match is finally made, the couple-to-be usually meet a number of times before actually getting married, and when the time comes, the bride relocates to live with her new husband. But it's not all fairy tale endings for mail-order brides.
While some end up happy in their new lives, others may end up in abusive marriages. Some men, who make themselves out to be like Prince Charming in the beginning, turn out to be cold and distant after the marriage is finalized. Ukrainian mail-order bride Oksana Makarova had one of those experiences. Makarova's husband, a doctor from Florida, became controlling once she moved to America with her son. She was only allowed to call her family once a month for 10 minutes at a time and her e-mails were controlled by him. Makarova's husband wouldn't let her get a driver's license and he didn't even let her leave the house on her own. When she tried to get out of the marriage, he would threaten to deport her son. Makarova has since escaped the nightmare and is now living happily in Kentucky with another man, but not everyone is as lucky. The mail-order bride industry today, which is unregulated, has been criticized for its exploitation of women, creation of immigration problems, and its tendency to foster domestic violence. Women who wish to become mail-order brides are cautioned to be careful about whom they are meeting, as most matchmaking organizations do not screen their male clients. History of mail-order brides. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill website. I am a mail order bride. Love Collision website. January 6, 2012. Lloyd KA. Wives for sale: the modern international mail-order bride industry. Nw J Intl L 20(2). Makarova O, Zalan K. My life as a mail-order bride. Marie Clair website. October 6, 2010. One-third of married couples in U. S. meet online: study. New York Daily News website. June 4, 2013. Valladares C. From Russia, with love: what of modern mail-order brides? Newd Magazine website. July 13, 2011.
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