The Phenomenon Of Mail Order Brides


The Phenomenon Of Mail Order Brides Essay, Research Paper

United States, nineteen hundred ninety eight, is known for its vast and bountiful opportunities. Opportunities for choices, wealth, happiness, stability, etc. Citizens have the right to choose their mate, whether it be for a night or for a lifetime. With the many avenues a male can choose a mate, a certain phenomenon is taking place. A phenomenon known as choosing a mail order bride. Mail order brides are available from several areas of the world such as Russia, Africa, Latin America, Asia, China, Phillipines, Dominican Republic, and Japan. A potential groom can log on to the Internet, and search Yahoo (an Internet search engine), and see the different sites where he can view his potential brides. Upon the search, performed on October 27, 1998, Yahoo discovered 578 sites for a groom to view. Upon the search, the ages of the brides have ranged from 19 years old up to, but not limited to, 45 years old. This was discovered at Another site,, pictured almost 2000 potential brides from Russia. Based upon writing pieces by Rousseau, Emma Goldman, Heidi Hartmann and Simone de Beauvoir, the growing trend can helped to be explained by asking why men would choose this avenue, discussing potential bride s oppression in their home countries, and by proving this phenomenon is a form of prostitution .

Men choose mail order brides because of their desire for the idea of a traditional wife. The idea encompasses the idea of woman to be weak and passive. It also includes the idea that woman is in complete submission to man. Men want women to use their soft nature to stimulate their strength and thus massage their ego. Rousseau discusses this idea through his explanation of the law of nature . He describes woman as using her strength in her charms to arouse his strength by offering some resistance (Rousseau 322). This law of nature, is the origin of the attack and defense (Rousseau 322). Men want a woman, who is completely dependent upon him. Rousseau explains this by saying that …man is dependent on woman through his desires; woman is dependent on man through her desires and also through her needs; he could do without her better than she can do without him. She cannot fulfill her purpose in life without his aid, without his goodwill, without his respect…..Nature herself has decreed that woman, both for herself and her children, should be at the mercy of man s judgment (Rousseau 328). Men want a woman, who from birth is raised for marriage, in other words, a woman who is willing to fully submit to man. Emma Goldman, in The Traffic in Women and Marriage and Love, mentions From infancy, almost, the average girl is told that marriage is her ultimate goal; therefore her training and education must be directed towards that end (Goldman 206). This passage also reinforces the concept of woman s complete submission to man. Men, in their definition of traditional , want a woman who is simple in dress, needs and wants. Men want a woman who can express their beauty and personality simply and naturally. Rousseau goes on to explain the idea of simplicity by saying, The toilet may attract notice, but it is the person that wins our hearts (Rousseau 335). He emphasizes this by saying, A genuine desire to dress becomingly does not require an elaborate toilet (Rousseau 336). To the men who choose to meet their wife through this service, women in the United States don t meet their criteria, based on the ideas above. These ideas are what motivate men to choose their brides through mail.

Many of the nations where the brides originate may be nations where females are considered as second class citizens. Religious and cultural sanctions oppress women directly in many of those nations. Men achieve the sense of patriarchy. This idea is shared by Heidi Hartmann in Women and Revolution. She mentions, men have a material interest in women s continued oppression (Hartmann 9). Simone de Beauvoir explains this ideology in The Second Sex. She expresses the idea as woman as the other sex. She emphasizes the idea when she asks, But does the word woman, then, have no specific content? (de Beauvoir xx) Society, men, according to de Beauvoir, imply that because of the sex organs women carry, she has limits of her own nature (de Beauvoir xxi). Her body is a hindrance, a prison, weighed down by everything peculiar to it (de Beauvoir xxii). In the countries where the brides originate, society is typically male dominated, more so than the United States. Women are distinguished in regards to man. de Beauvoir specifies that she is the incidental, the inessential as opposed to the essential (de Beauvoir xxii). The essential sakes reference to men. de Beauvoir asks the question, Why is it that women do not dispute male sovereignty? (de Beauvoir xxiv) Fear of punishment. To escape the dispute, they allow themselves to be picked and ordered by men in the United States.

The phenomenon of mail order brides, indirectly, is prostitution. Though the benefits are far more expendable than money. Brides place themselves on sale to have the endless opportunities available here in the United States. Freedom may be the only opportunity they seek. Brides, upon arrival, have freedom, all the freedoms you and I have. Education and multiple children may be opportunities never dreamed about in their home country. Some may be blinded by the idea of the American Dream . Some women may be orphans, seeking an American man as a person to care and nurture them. Emma Goldman s The Traffic in Women and Marriage and Love explains the idea of marriage as a form of prostition. She says that marriage guarantees woman a home only by the grace of her husband (Goldman 208). Some may be scorned from a previous marriage. She mentions that the economic and social inferiority of woman is responsible for prostitution (Goldman 202). Most brides come from central Europe and east Asia, both of which are economically unstable. She goes on to emphasize that marriage for monetary considerations is perfectly legitimate, sanctified by law and public opinions (Goldman 204). Goldman continues to say that marriage is primarily an economic arrangement (Goldman 205). This phenomenon is a refuge for insecurity. Security is sought after through marriage and its opportunities. Marriage awards the woman with a sense of necessity.

In conclusion, this phenomenon is growing because men want a traditional wife, brides-to-be want to leave oppression in this indirect form of prostitution. The idea of mail order brides, to my surprise, is defenitely a growing phenomenon. Upon further research on the Internet, I encountered a news group posting with comments on the phenomenon. The first one I read was from a girl, Nicole Simons, who writes, I have just completed a thesis on men who mail order brides (Filipinas) and in my opinion many of them do seem successful because the women are traditional and men want a traditional wife ( Another person, Peter Sullivan writes, My Thai wife and I originally met through correspondence. We have now been happily married for over ten years…I highly recommend this approach ( Also, upon my search, I did not encounter any negatory comments regarding this phenomenon. All the web sites I saw were clean, respectable, and attractively oriented.


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