Mail order brides
Looks like the mail order bride industry is finally getting looked at by the Senate. The interesting thing about the mail order bride industry is the the "in" woman to ship over for marriage is no longer Asian, but now Russian. Apparently, the fall of the Soviet Union has left alot of women really desperate to find a way to out of their situation, and since desperation is the desirable trait in your mail order bride, the more desperate the better.
Here in Austin, as that article says, we have one of the biggest Russian women brokers in the country. It's a lovely site, and one that will make your heart leap with joy at the opportunities these men are offering Russian women--American citizenship in exchange for doleful subservience.
The guy who runs the site has a fairly typical testimonial. His story begins when Our Hero, Luckless in Love, tries to go out and find a wife. He triedall the avenues for meeting women in our sorry society, bars, friends, grocery stores, whatever, but all he meets with is rejection. But there is no reason for women to reject him whatsoever, as he Doesn't Smoke. The problem must be American women and their overly high standards, what with the wanting a man who has more to offer than Doesn't Smoke. Our Hero will refrain from calling American women Bitches, but you get his meaning. I'm sure that Our Hero was never one to call a woman a Cock Tease either.
Our Hero is not one to despair, however. Instead, he decides that he will go to a part of the world where there are not as many men to compete with, and better yet, where poverty has lowered women's standards in a mate as long as he has a job and an ability to get her a greencard. But where, oh where could that magical place be? Ideally, there would be a country in the world where recent political turmoil has caused the entire government and economic infrastructure to collapse.....
Russia! But of course!
The selling point of these sites is that Russian women are better than American women. But better how? Luckily, Our Hero has a handy list of traits that women should have, Russian women do have, but American women don't have.
They are not spoiled or greedy.
They do not give up when life is hard.
They have strong traditional family values.
They appreciate even the smallest amount of kindness.
They will love you with all their heart and soul if you are good to them.
My favorite is #4. American women really do need to learn to fall on the floor, wiggling with gratitude at the smallest amount of kindness. I realize that this is an issue--creepy men in bars who send drinks to me and then expect me to go home with them are often willing to remind me.
I sincerely doubt, however, that the majority of Russian women feel much differently about things like small amounts of kindness than American women do. This site charges men quite a bit of money to give out lists of slavishly grateful Russian women, so it's in their interest to, shall we say, exaggerate the slavishness of the gratitude that women will show. Nonetheless, there are women who meet and marry men through these services and the entire situation is one that should be troubling.
While not all men who meet women through these services are necessarily abusive, the set-up is problematic. A man, who likely has come to this service because he has issues with women who assert themselves, and is reinforced by this site and culture around it pushing forward the message that yes, there is something terribly wrong with women who assert themselves and that he deserves a woman who won't. If he does meet and marry a woman through this service, he takes her back to the U.S., where she has no friends and no family, and no place to turn to for support other than her husband. If things sour between them, she literally has nowhere to go. No marriage is without conflict, but that's a perfect situation for conflict to escalate into abuse and quickly.
It's a good thing that the Senate is looking into this. As the women are consenting adults, it's tempting to just blow the whole thing off, but on the other hand, a situation that's so clearly explotative going on right under our noses is nothing to ignore.