Through decades of advertising, the phrase “mail order bride” has become a meme. Most memes are harmless and in reality facilitate more colorful communication. Some common examples are “shop ’til you drop”, or “clean as being a whistle”, or “talk the talk and walk the walk”, and one more, uh, oh yes, “senior moment.” But the term “mail order bride” carries connotations from a century ago which can be will no longer true and which render utilization of the word harmful in today’s world. Discontinued utilisation of the term can lead to much happier intercultural marriages by way of a resetting of expectations.
Nevertheless the term is widely used including application of its negative connotations; the key one being the thought of investing in a woman from the catalog. Further, you will find implications, produced from its original application to Asian women, that define the sort of women offered by a catalog.
Even though term was not invented on the Internet, “mail order brides” has definitely found traction as being a useful and profitable term. It’s a fact that about a century 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 get joined in marriage to Japanese and Korean labor men who had been imported to Hawaii and California throughout the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
The picture bride phenomenon died out because of modifications in U.S. immigration laws in 1924. Nevertheless the legacy of bridal catalogs lived on. And the target market changed from immigrant Japanese and Korean laborers to Caucasian men. The catalogs were focused mainly on Asian women however they promoted an ages old take a look at Asian women as being meek, submissive, obedient, and sexually compliant, who, anyway, had great family values.
How this came into existence descriptive of Asian women is a mystery. Possibly it was a concept brought back by Marco Polo on his return from his epic journey to the Orient. Or perhaps it’s affiliated with chinese people practice of foot binding women. It’s also likely that the two factors combined 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 in the end on the Internet.
Thus there exists a stereotypical description along with the organization model of mail order, and also the result is “Mail Order Bride”, a mechanism through which a man could browse a catalog and choose a woman who attracts 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 view of women with a real business structure. Bride catalogs are of help vehicles for individuals for connecting with potential mates. There are numerous hundreds of them available, both online and in printed form. And mail order is actually a useful, respectable business structure. There is however no such thing as a “mail order bride.” You can’t purchase a women with the mail. Period.
An additional change in the bride catalogs that has happened is because they are now increasingly multicultural. Yes you can still find many Asian women inside the catalogs. But there are also many Latinas. And with the breakup from the Soviet Union, there are numerous women of Russian heritage. As these women are in a catalog, each of them have the same derogatory “mail order bride” label slapped to them.
In fact, it’s becoming almost chic to use the term. You can find a minimum of three seriously intentioned Internet articles that known as the English women delivered 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 might be nice when the commercial interests did their part and quit pushing a 100 years old social poison being a coveted antidote for loneliness.
The term “mail order bride” features a sad history due to factors involved in its origin. Thankfully the conditions which cause its creation will no longer exist. But precisely what does yet exist is promotion in the term for commercial purposes. This leads to its application in totally inappropriate ways with resultant social harm. It creates resentment and feelings of aykchm for foreign women. Furthermore it increases the issue of marital adjustment for intercultural marriages as a result of false expectations going to the marriage.
Foreign women are conscious of this term. But typically, because of language challenges and cultural differences, they are fully aware from it only in a literal sense. Their reaction is disgust at their being viewed as a commodity to become bought like a prostitute. And there is no faster way to discover the “Russian bear” rather than relate to a Russian woman as if she actually is bought and purchased, or by expecting her to become meek or submissive.
False expectations strongly play a role in discord in any relationship. There are more than enough hurdles to operate through in building a successful intercultural marriage. Adding to them expectations of behavior based upon a demeaning stereotype is a recipe for disaster.
If a man will accept his foreign bride for who she is really rather than just what the man wants her to get based on what he’s “heard”, then intercultural marriage can truly be joyous. It’s your decision, men. Should you be on a quest for an overseas bride, ignore 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 never label the ladies in the catalogs in any way. Reference them instead as “women trying to find husbands.” This will make it easier and much more fun to get the one you’re searching for; and once she marries you, your lifestyle together will likely be far more fulfilling.