Online Dating Rights. Mail Order Brides
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FOUR REASONS American men seek romance abroad: Prague, Ha Long Bay, Red Square, small villages in Latin America. Somehow meeting a Czech, Vietnamese, Russian or Peruvian/Colombian/Brazilian woman for a date at one of these exotic places is incomparably more exciting than meeting a hometown girl at the local coffeeshop. Opponents of a man's right to meet foreign women online never stop to consider how enjoyable it is to travel/work/live abroad and learn new cultures and languages while seeking a marriage partner.
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Author Topic: Mail-order brides get bad rap, study finds  (Read 3821 times)
bronxman
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« on: June 24, 2011, 09:30:28 PM »

Critics risk imposing a double standard when attacking the industry, Mr. Rowlson says. “Nobody is attacking people who use eHarmony or Match.com.”

“Negotiated Nuptials: A Transnational Analysis of the International Marriage Broker Industry and the Russian ‘Mail-Order Bride.”

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/06/24/mail-order-brides-get-bad-rap-study-finds/

Tristin Hopper  Jun 24, 2011 – 6:30 AM ET | Last Updated: Jun 23, 2011 11:13 PM ET

Far from being “naïve victims of exploitation” or “scheming Slavic beauties,” Russian mail order brides are sometimes just looking for love, says a University of Toronto researcher.

Modern visions of the “marriage broker industry” are often clouded by misconceptions, Alex Rowlson argues in “Negotiated Nuptials: A Transnational Analysis of the International Marriage Broker Industry and the Russian ‘Mail-Order Bride.” This week the Canadian Women’s Studies Association recognized the paper, which portrays arranged marriages as a moral grey area, as the best in the field by a graduate student this year.

“Women aren’t forced into these marriages, they actually have choice in the matter,” says Mr. Rowlson, a PhD student in Russian history.

While the mail-order bride industry may be tainted by visions of vulnerable women being duped into unhappy marriages, for the most part the modern practice is not much different than a cross-border version of online dating. Russian women interested in Western husbands post their own profiles. Men seeking wives then initiate a conversation with the women by email. Between 150,000 to 200,000 Russian women are currently listed on marriage databases targeting American men.

The sites make money either by charging a viewing fee to men or by charging women to post their profiles.

Critics risk imposing a double standard when attacking the industry, Mr. Rowlson says. “Nobody is attacking people who use eHarmony or Match.com.”

Between 9,500 and 14,500 women enter the United States as mail-order brides each year, representing 0.4% of all new immigration. Mr. Rowlson did not cite any Canadian statistics in his study, but in both countries Russian women only represent a fraction of the total of international brides.

Canadian marriage broker Mark Scrivener likens his industry to the influx of 48,000 European “war brides” who came to Canada at the close of the Second World War. In 2009, Mr. Scrivener established the first Canadian branch of A Volga Girl, an international marriage broker. The company’s website, VolgaGirl.com, hosts a database of several hundred women ranging in age from their twenties to their mid-fifties.

“Most of them just look like normal Russian women,” Mr. Scrivener says. For a fee, would-be husbands can buy the contact information of a woman to initiate an email exchange. So far, the agency has arranged two marriages, one in Brandon, Man., and another in Prince Albert, Sask.

Mr. Scrivener, who lives in a small town just north of Saskatoon, came close to marrying a Ukrainian bride in 2006, but “she did not like this part of the world, so that marriage didn’t materialize,” he says.

The average Volga Girl client, Mr. Scrivener says, is a financially successful Christian conservative with old fashioned values. “A lot of guys work shift work, they’re more introverted, they just don’t have a lot of time for meeting women in their own city or jurisdiction,” he says. “But they do have time to correspond over the Internet and fly over to Russia once a year.”

Like Mr. Scrivener, they mainly share a desire for “traditional” women. “I just don’t need the baggage that comes with local women,” he says.

The sentiment is common among bride-seeking clients, Mr. Rowlson says. In letters to Russian women, American men often condemn the “feminists” and “feminazis” of their own country.

Russian women, meanwhile, often decry their men as abusive alcoholics. Domestic assault remains virtually unchecked in Russia. Each year, more than 14,000 Russian women are killed by domestic violence, according to 2008 data from the Russian Interior Ministry. For generations, Russian women have also faced a severe scarcity of men. The Second World War wiped out more than nine million Russian men, but of late the ranks of Russian males have been decimated by an alcoholism epidemic afflicting up to 40% of the adult population. A commonly cited statistic states that Russia has 10 million more eligible women than men.

Competition among Russian women to get listed on an American marriage brokerage website is fierce, with only 15% to 20% of applicants getting listed. In response, a “shadow industry” of application advisors has arisen to help prospective Russian brides streamline their online bids for matrimony, Mr. Rowlson writes.

Of course, North American clients of mail-order brides have their own reputation for abuse, notes Mr. Rowlson. In 2000, a man in the state of Washington murdered his 20-year-old mail-order bride after she announced plans to divorce him. In 2008, Vancouver mail-order bride Nelli Tikhonova faced deportation after her husband was jailed for fraud. Concerns over the safety of international brides led the United States to pass the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act in 2006. Before taking a foreign wife, American men are now required to provide information on their criminal record and previous marital history.



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bronxman
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2011, 05:23:21 PM »

http://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/main/newsitems/student-wins-award-mail-order-brides

UofT graduate student wins award for paper on Russian 'mail-order brides'

Alex Rowlson

June 21, 2011
By Jessica Lewis

Tackling the stereotyped concept of 'mail-order brides' and international marriage broker agencies (IMB), Alex Rowlson has been awarded the 2011 Canadian Women’s Studies Graduate Student Paper Award for his paper "Negotiated Nuptials: A Transnational Analysis of the International Marriage Broker Industry and the Russian 'Mail-Order Bride.'"

"I wanted to show the many shades of grey of the IMB industry instead of painting it in the stark colours of black and white that predominate depictions and explorations of the industry, both in the popular media and academic settings," says Rowlson.

In the paper, Rowlson explains that the stereotypes associated with 'mail-order brides' obscure the actual motivations people have for using IMBs. One is that they are often viewed as victims of abusive males, both in their birth countries and adopted countries.

"The statistics do not show that women in IMB marriages face a higher chance of domestic violence than in any other type of marriage," says Rowlson. "Further, women are often seen as being 'saved' from abusive males in their home countries by sensitive, traditional, North American men."

Rowlson examined how stereotypes of both women and men are interdependent and how they conformed to or resisted various social, cultural and gender roles.

"Women who use IMBs are often seen as conniving, scheming women searching for a green card," he says. "I believe this stems from the monetary nature of the relationship. People draw parallels between the fact that women are selling their contact information online to the belief that these women are actually selling themselves. This diminishes the agency of the women who choose to use these services. It sets up an unfair double standard along cultural lines; nobody is attacking people who use e-Harmony or Match.com for paying to have their information displayed on the internet."

Rowlson conducted his research over about two months, drawing from newspaper reports, IMB websites, academic articles, law reviews and Erika Johnson’s book Dreaming of a Mail-Order Husband: Russian American Internet Romance. He worked closely with Professor Ashwini Tambe in the class Transnational Gender Histories. He's now finished his master’s degree in European, Russian and Eurasian studies and will be returning to the History department for a PhD in September. He is working on publishing the winning paper.
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tristan
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2011, 05:28:43 PM »

I am trying to reach the author.
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Advocacy groups that get taxpayer money for "protecting" foreign women and the thoughtless media call foreign woman a "mail order bride" if she met her husband via internet.  This is American imperialism, it is denigrating, insulting and portrays the women as helpless fools.
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