Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mail-Order Brides: Foreign Women for Sale

the book Mail-Order Brides or Foreign Women for Sale by Mila Glodava has got some controversial reviews, some say:

This book presents a well-framed thesis regarding an all-too-often overlooked epidemic in this, and in several western European nations. The mail-order bride industry russian or ukrainian or asian web business preys on women who, because of a dire economic and social situation, falsely believe that there is simply no other way to escape their reality. An artificial shroud of legitimacy (read: marriage) masks the exploitative nature of the mail-order bride business. So often these marriages end in, at the least, abuse, and, at the worst, the murder of the victim -- the woman who has been for sale. Many write that existing laws can be used to combat this industry's practices. If lawmakers and academics alike focus on what this industry essentially does, markets human lives, then existing laws against prostitution and involuntary servitude may hold some promise.

while others argue:

This book is effort to criminalize the marriage of American men to foreign women. Most marriages of this type take place between American service personnel and their spouses from other countries. The appelation "mail order bride" is impossible. In the US, it is LEGALLY necessary to travel there to meet the bride or groom. All the foreign agencies can do is introduce the couple. The choice of marriage is up to them. No one can force someone to marry them these days. How is this different than dating agencies in the USA or personal ads in the papers and internet? Its not, unless you are pushing a political agenda.
For the ill-informed, in 1997, the INS says that 104,619 women married US males and came to the US. In addition, 65,607 US women married foreign males and came to the US. If we only look at introduction services, the INS estimates that to be 0.21 percent of all current marriages. That is one-fifth of one percent. So all the US females marrying foreign men are ok and the US males marrying foreign women are not ok? Does this mean there is no spousal abuse of these women? Sometimes, yes. How much? In 1999, the INS found a total of one-half of 1% of the cases of foreign spouses had documented spousal abuse. This is compared to 7% of domestic American marriages. Most spousal abuse of foreign women in the USA takes place with a foreign spouse, not an American spouse. Do you sense a political agenda here?
The continuing criminalization of marriage (not spousal abuse) by consenting adults reflects the growing characterization of a married couple as "exploitative," according to another reviewer. In short, this book is primarily political propaganda. Read it with a LARGE grain of salt, then check out the real facts.