Through decades of advertising, the phrase “mail order bride” has turned into a meme. Most memes are harmless and in reality facilitate more colorful communication. Some common examples are “shop ’til you drop”, or “clean as a whistle”, or “talk the talk and walk the walk”, and one more, uh, oh yes, “senior moment.” Nevertheless the term “mail order bride” carries connotations from a century ago which are no longer true and which render usage of the term harmful in today’s world. Discontinued use of the term can lead to much happier intercultural marriages by way of a resetting of expectations.
But the term is widely used including application of its negative connotations; the primary one being the concept of investing in a woman from a catalog. Further, you will find implications, produced from its original application to Asian women, that define the sort of women available from a catalog.
Even though term was not invented on the Internet, “mail order brides” has definitely found traction being a useful and profitable term. It’s an undeniable fact that about 100 years ago there actually were mail order brides, wherein a catalog of women’s biographical info and photos could be viewed, selections made, and brides purchased. These first catalogs were for “picture brides” to be joined in marriage to Japanese and Korean labor men who had previously been imported to Hawaii and California throughout the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
The image bride phenomenon died out as a result of modifications in U.S. immigration laws in 1924. But the legacy of bridal catalogs lived on. As well as the target audience changed from immigrant Japanese and Korean laborers to Caucasian men. The catalogs were still focused mainly on Asian women however they promoted an ages old take a look at Asian women for being meek, submissive, obedient, and sexually compliant, who, by the way, had great family values.
How this came into existence descriptive of Asian women is actually a mystery. Possibly it was an idea brought back by Marco Polo on his return from his epic journey to the Orient. Or possibly it’s affiliated with chinese people practice of foot binding women. It’s also likely that the two factors together with the Japanese geisha girl mystique contributed to formation of the description.
However this characterization of Asian women started, it “stuck” and was widely promoted in bride catalogs. The catalogs evolved over decades to include slick color graphics and were mass marketed, on newsstands, by paid subscription, and eventually on the Internet.
Thus we have a stereotypical description coupled with the business style of mail order, and also the end result is “Mail Order Bride”, a mechanism whereby a man could browse a catalog and choose a woman who interests him. He could supposedly “buy” her and possess her perform her wifely duties for him depending on his media created expectations.
Through the effectiveness of advertising and mass distribution, a meme has been given that mixes a flawed look at women using a real business design. Bride catalogs are helpful vehicles for folks for connecting with potential mates. There are lots of countless them available, both online and in printed form. And mail order is really a useful, respectable business model. However, there is no such thing being a “mail order bride.” You can’t purchase a women with the mail. Period.
An additional alternation in the bride catalogs which has happened is they are now increasingly multicultural. Yes you may still find many Asian women within the catalogs. But there are also many Latinas. With the breakup of the Soviet Union, there are many women of Russian heritage. Since these women are in a catalog, each of them have the same derogatory “mail order bride” label slapped on them.
In fact, it’s becoming almost chic to make use of the term. You can find no less than three seriously intentioned Internet articles that known as the English women taken to Jamestown, Virginia in 1619 as “mail order brides.” Perhaps these casual varieties of usage are a natural process whereby the meme gradually loses its negative stigma. It will be nice in the event the commercial interests did their part and quit pushing a 100 year-old social poison being a coveted antidote for loneliness.
The term “mail order bride” has a sad history due to factors associated with its origin. Thankfully instances which cause its creation no longer exist. But precisely what does yet exist is promotion from the term for commercial purposes. This brings about its application in totally inappropriate ways with resultant social harm. It creates resentment and a feeling of aykchm for foreign women. In addition it increases the problem of marital adjustment for intercultural marriages because of false expectations going to the relationship.
Foreign women know of this term. But for the most part, as a result of language challenges and cultural differences, they know from it only in a literal sense. Their reaction is disgust at their being considered a commodity to become bought like a prostitute. And there is absolutely no faster way to learn about the “Russian bear” than to relate to a Russian woman as though she is bought and paid for, or by expecting her to get meek or submissive.
False expectations strongly play a role in discord in every relationship. There are many than enough hurdles to function through in constructing a successful intercultural marriage. Adding to them expectations of behavior according to a demeaning stereotype is actually a recipe for disaster.
If a man will accept his foreign bride for who she is really as opposed to exactly what the man wants her to get according to what he’s “heard”, then intercultural marriage can truly be joyous. It’s your choice, men. If you are over a search for a foreign bride, forget the “mail order bride” stuff. It’s a loaded term and can pave the way for failure. Rather, stretch to have an enlightened perspective and you should not label the ladies within the catalogs in any way. Refer to them instead as “women looking for husbands.” This will make it easier and more fun to get the one you’re trying to find; so when she marries you, your life together is going to be a lot more fulfilling.