Through decades of advertising, the term “mail order bride” has developed into a meme. Most memes are harmless and actually 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.” However the term “mail order bride” carries connotations from a hundred years ago which are no more true and which render use of the phrase harmful in today’s world. Discontinued use of the term will lead to much happier intercultural marriages by way of a resetting of expectations.
However the term is commonly used including use of its negative connotations; the primary one being the concept of buying a woman from the catalog. Further, you will find implications, based on its original application to Asian women, that define the kind of women offered by a catalog.
Even though the term had not been 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 hundred years ago there actually were mailorderbrides.reviews, wherein a catalog of women’s biographical info and photos may 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 through the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
The photo bride phenomenon died out due to modifications in U.S. immigration laws in 1924. Nevertheless the legacy of bridal catalogs lived on. And also the potential 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 view of Asian women to be 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 had been an understanding brought back by Marco Polo on his return from his epic journey for the Orient. Or maybe it’s associated with the Chinese practice of foot binding women. It’s also likely that the two factors together with the Japanese geisha girl mystique led to formation from the description.
However this characterization of Asian women started, it “stuck” and was widely promoted in bride catalogs. The catalogs evolved over decades to incorporate slick color graphics and were mass marketed, on newsstands, by paid subscription, and eventually on the Internet.
Thus we have a stereotypical description along with the business model of mail order, as well as the result is “Mail Order Bride”, a mechanism by which a male could browse a catalog and choose a woman who interests him. He could supposedly “buy” her and also have her perform her wifely duties for him depending on his media created expectations.
Through the strength of advertising and mass distribution, a meme has been given that mixes a flawed look at women having a real business structure. Bride catalogs are helpful vehicles for individuals for connecting with potential mates. There are numerous numerous them available, both on the internet and in printed form. And mail order is really a useful, respectable business design. But there is no such thing as a “mail order bride.” You can’t buy a women through the mail. Period.
Another improvement in the bride catalogs which has occurred is that they are actually increasingly multicultural. Yes you can still find many Asian women inside the catalogs. But additionally, there are many Latinas. With the breakup in the Soviet Union, there are numerous women of Russian heritage. Since these women are in a catalog, all of them obtain the same derogatory “mail order bride” label slapped to them.
In fact, it’s becoming almost chic to use the phrase. You will find a minimum of three seriously intentioned Internet articles that known as the English women brought to Jamestown, Virginia in 1619 as “mail order brides.” Perhaps these casual kinds of usage are a natural process whereby the meme gradually loses its negative stigma. It will be nice if the commercial interests did their part and quit pushing a 100 year old social poison as being a coveted antidote for loneliness.
The word “mail order bride” features a sad history due to factors involved in its origin. Thankfully the circumstances which result in its creation no longer exist. But exactly what does yet exist is promotion of the term for commercial purposes. This results in its application in totally inappropriate ways with resultant social harm. It creates resentment and a feeling of aykchm for foreign women. Furthermore it increases the issue of marital adjustment for intercultural marriages due to false expectations entering the marriage.
Foreign women are aware of this term. But typically, because of language challenges and cultural differences, they know of it only in a literal sense. Their reaction is disgust at their being thought of as a commodity to become bought such as a prostitute. And there is no faster way to learn about the “Russian bear” rather than to relate to a Russian woman as if she is bought and bought, or by expecting her to become meek or submissive.
False expectations strongly play a role in discord in every relationship. There are other than enough hurdles to function through in creating a successful intercultural marriage. Adding to them expectations of behavior based on a demeaning stereotype is really a recipe for disaster.
In case a man will accept his foreign bride for who she is really rather than what the man wants her to become based on what he’s “heard”, then intercultural marriage can truly be joyous. It’s your selection, men. If you are over a pursuit of a foreign bride, forget the “mail order bride” stuff. It’s a loaded term and can pave the way for failure. Rather, stretch for an enlightened perspective and never label the ladies inside the catalogs in any way. Refer to them instead as “women searching for husbands.” This makes it easier and much more fun to obtain the one you’re searching for; so when she marries you, your lifestyle together will likely be a lot more fulfilling.