Through decades of advertising, the term “mail order bride” has developed 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 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 century ago that are no longer true and which render use of the term harmful in today’s world. Discontinued use of the term can lead to much happier intercultural marriages through a resetting of expectations.
But the term is commonly used including application of its negative connotations; the primary one being the thought of buying a woman coming from a catalog. Further, you can find implications, derived from its original application to Asian women, that define the kind of women offered by a catalog.
Even though the term was not invented on the Internet, “mail order brides” has definitely found traction as a useful and profitable term. It’s a fact that about a hundred 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 become 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 picture bride phenomenon died out as a result of modifications in U.S. immigration laws in 1924. However the legacy of bridal catalogs lived on. And the potential audience changed from immigrant Japanese and Korean laborers to Caucasian men. The catalogs were still focused mainly on Asian women but they promoted an ages old take a look at 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 idea brought back by Marco Polo on his return from his epic journey for the Orient. Or maybe it’s connected to chinese people practice of foot binding women. It’s also probable that those two factors combined with Japanese geisha girl mystique contributed to formation in 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 there exists a stereotypical description in conjunction with the organization type of mail order, and also the result is “Mail Order Bride”, a mechanism by which a man could browse a catalog and choose a lady who interests him. He could supposedly “buy” her and possess her perform her wifely duties for him according to his media created expectations.
Through the strength of advertising and mass distribution, a meme has been created that mixes a flawed look at women with a real business model. Bride catalogs are helpful vehicles for people for connecting with potential mates. There are lots of numerous them available, both on the internet and in printed form. And mail order is actually a useful, respectable business structure. However, there is no such thing being a “mail order bride.” You can’t get a women from the mail. Period.
One other improvement in the bride catalogs which includes happened is they are increasingly multicultural. Yes there are still many Asian women inside the catalogs. But additionally, there are many Latinas. Along with the breakup from the Soviet Union, there are many women of Russian heritage. As these women are in a catalog, they all obtain the same derogatory “mail order bride” label slapped to them.
In reality, it’s becoming almost chic to utilize the word. You will find at least three seriously intentioned Internet articles that described the English women delivered to Jamestown, Virginia in 1619 as “mail order brides.” Perhaps these casual varieties of usage certainly are a natural process whereby the meme gradually loses its negative stigma. It might be nice if the commercial interests did their part and quit pushing a 100 year-old social poison as a coveted antidote for loneliness.
The phrase “mail order bride” features a sad history because of factors associated with its origin. Thankfully the circumstances which lead to its creation no longer exist. But what does yet exist is promotion of the term for commercial purposes. This brings about its application in totally inappropriate ways with resultant social harm. It generates resentment and a sense of aykchm for foreign women. Additionally it improves the problem of marital adjustment for intercultural marriages as a result of false expectations going into the relationship.
Foreign women are aware of this term. But for the most part, due to language challenges and cultural differences, they are fully aware of this only in a literal sense. Their reaction is disgust at their being thought of as a commodity to get bought just like a prostitute. And there is not any faster way to learn about the “Russian bear” rather than relate to a Russian woman as though she actually is bought and purchased, or by expecting her to get meek or submissive.
False expectations strongly contribute to discord in every relationship. There are other than enough hurdles to operate through in constructing a successful intercultural marriage. Adding to them expectations of behavior based on a demeaning stereotype is really a recipe for disaster.
When a man will accept his foreign bride for who she is really instead of what the man wants her to become according to what he’s “heard”, then intercultural marriage can truly be joyous. It’s your choice, men. If you are on the search for an international bride, ignore the “mail order bride” stuff. It’s a loaded term and definately will pave the way for failure. Rather, stretch for the enlightened perspective and never label the ladies within the catalogs whatsoever. Make reference to them instead as “women trying to find husbands.” This will make it easier and more fun to find the one you’re trying to find; and once she marries you, your daily life together will likely be much more fulfilling.