The average day “Mail -Order -Brides”
A “mail order bride” is prospective female that society looks as a women who can be listed in either magazines or catalogs that can be purchased for the sole purpose for marriage. How it basically operates is that a man who is in need of a foreign spouse goes through an international marriage agency. This agency list’s potential “wives” that are available for “purchase” and that their sole purposefulness is to find a man they wish to spend the rest of their lives with. The agency will sell the brides contact information and encourage men to correspond prior to meeting. Nicole Constable, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh and the author of, Romance on a Global Stage: Pen pals, Virtual Ethnography, and “Mail Order” Marriages, researched this very subject.
Nicole centers her research on the topic through a feminism perspective. She describes the term “mail to order brides” discursively colonizes Third world women. The term evokes a homogeneous image of foreign women who are helpless, oppressed, “trafficked,” and thus in need of rescue (Constable 29). The main problem with the term is that it predefines women as victims and prematurely forecloses on the possibility of their being otherwise (Constable 29). The mail to order brides can range from Russian females to Hispanics but the popular ones seem to be the Filipino and Chinese women. It seems the main notion females “sell” themselves to a potential mate is to escape poverty. They look at American men as their “knights in shinning armor” who will snatch them away from their life of poverty and oppression (Constable 5).
The mail order bride industry operates very similarly to that of the online dating world. The agency will list the potential “brides” information such as age, weight, height, interests, occupation, likes and dislikes etc. However, there is no stigma about females being subordinate or inferior on these online dating sites. Everyone (including females) are considered equal and are looking for a partner to share a life with. Some of these online dating sites include Match, Zoosk, eHarmony, Christian Mingle and the likes. But the closes one that I believe that resembles our current nowadays digital relationships is the popular dating app Tinder.
I mention this social dating medium because it closely relates to the mail order bride industry. The main difference is that Tinder is used through via smartphone or tablet. This app allows registered users to create a profile that allows you to search for other individuals in your immediate area. You can set the age range, the mile radius, and sexual preference (seeking men or women) on this app. The real beauty of this app is that once you set your preferences the app will display potential individuals whom you can either swipe left (indicating you’re not interested) or swipe right (indicating you are interested). If the other person does swipe right Tinder will match you both and will allow you to via chat instantly. If you really want the full experience you can pay a subscription fee and give individuals a “super like” indicating you are very interested in them. Referring back to Constable, some people did not like going through this process and instead reverted to free social sites such as “friend finder club” that requires no fee to participate (Constable 75).
Because of the instant gratification this medium gives you, you can know right away if you should invest time into this person or not. Most times though people use this apps for a quick hook up or a “one night stand”. Which makes people opt out of this medium and pursue other dating sites. Comparing to mail to order brides industry the suitors are actually looking for a life-long commitment and not a one-night outing.