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 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 which are no longer true and which render usage of the phrase harmful in today’s world. Discontinued utilization of the term will result in much happier intercultural marriages through a resetting of expectations.
But the term is popular including application of its negative connotations; the main one being the concept of investing in a woman from a catalog. Further, there are implications, derived from its original application to Asian women, that define the type of women provided by a catalog.
Although the term had not been invented on the Internet, “mail order brides” has definitely found traction being a useful and profitable term. It’s a well known 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 become 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 photo bride phenomenon died out due to changes in U.S. immigration laws in 1924. However the legacy of bridal catalogs lived on. And the target market changed from immigrant Japanese and Korean laborers to Caucasian men. The catalogs were still focused mainly on Asian women nevertheless they promoted an ages old view of Asian women to be 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 an idea brought back by Marco Polo on his return from his epic journey towards the Orient. Or possibly it’s associated with chinese people practice of foot binding women. It’s also possible that the two factors combined with 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 we have a stereotypical description in conjunction with the company type of mail order, as well as the result is “Mail Order Bride”, a mechanism whereby a male could browse a catalog and choose a female who interests him. He could supposedly “buy” her and have her perform her wifely duties for him depending on his media created expectations.
Through the power of advertising and mass distribution, a meme has been given that mixes a flawed take a look at women using a real business design. Bride catalogs are of help vehicles for individuals for connecting with potential mates. There are lots of hundreds of them available, both on the web and in printed form. And mail order is a useful, respectable business design. But there is no such thing being a “mail order bride.” You can’t get a women through the mail. Period.
Another alternation in the bride catalogs which has happened is because they are actually increasingly multicultural. Yes you can still find many Asian women within the catalogs. But additionally, there are many Latinas. With the breakup from the Soviet Union, there are lots of women of Russian heritage. As these women are in a catalog, each of them get the same derogatory “mail order bride” label slapped to them.
Actually, it’s becoming almost chic to use the word. You will find a minimum of three seriously intentioned Internet articles that referred to 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 would be nice if the commercial interests did their part and quit pushing a 100 year-old social poison being a coveted antidote for loneliness.
The phrase “mail order bride” features a sad history due to factors involved with its origin. Thankfully the conditions which lead to its creation no more 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 produces resentment and feelings of aykchm for foreign women. Additionally it increases the problem of marital adjustment for intercultural marriages due to false expectations entering the marriage.
Foreign women know of this term. But typically, as a result of language challenges and cultural differences, they are fully aware of it only in a literal sense. Their reaction is disgust at their being viewed as a commodity to get bought just like a prostitute. And there is absolutely no faster way to learn about the “Russian bear” rather than to connect with a Russian woman just as if she actually is bought and purchased, or by expecting her to be meek or submissive.
False expectations strongly contribute to discord in almost any relationship. There are more than enough hurdles to operate through in building a successful intercultural marriage. Adding to them expectations of behavior according to a demeaning stereotype is a recipe for disaster.
If a man will accept his foreign bride for who she really is rather than just what the man wants her to become based on what he’s “heard”, then intercultural marriage can truly be joyous. It’s your choice, men. Should you be over a search for an overseas bride, forget about the “mail order bride” stuff. It’s a loaded term and will set you up for failure. Rather, stretch to have an enlightened perspective and never label the ladies in the catalogs whatsoever. Make reference to them instead as “women trying to find husbands.” This makes it easier and much more fun to obtain the one you’re searching for; and once she marries you, your daily life together is going to be much more fulfilling.