Jan 4, 2008

Posted by in The Filipina | 10 Comments

Filipina Mail Order Brides

I would like to feature the comment of our visitor as an entry. His comment was an offshoot of Ban on Filipina Mail Order Bride:

The ladies do not exactly choose to “find love abroad.” They want bread. There is no “love” when ugly white old American males display their resources to economically-deprived girls less than half their age.

The mail-order bride dynamic is a legacy of US imperialism and post-imperialism toward many Third World countries. Make the Philippines and other resource rich nations subservient to the transnational profiteers, compromising any efforts to more egalitarian policies (witness how angry US imperialists get with neo-socialist governments like Venezuela’s and such).

The goal of US policy makers is to make nations like the Philippines dumb, poor but subservient, in other words. Indeed, the words of “freedom and democracy” are served as global reverse-psychology all the while the USA reems the world with military bases, CIA subversion and “Shock and Awe” bombardments.

The nice by-product in all this is when there are millions of destitute Filipino (and other Third World) women to serve as entertainment and commodities for the American men who can no longer put American women in their places (like the kitchen).

Women of color worldwide in general are not protected because American servicemen bombard sovereign countries and rape women in host countries.

    -Nicaraguan women had no real rights when the USA funded Contra terrorists.
    -El Salvadoran women had no real rights when the USA trained Atlacatl Battalions to slaughter their villages.
    -Vietnamese women had no real rights when the USA carpet-bombed and “strategically hamleted” their country.
    -Panamanian women had no real rights when US B-2 bombers blasted the town of El Chorillo in 1989 killing many hundreds.
    -Iraqi women have no rights when they are raped and mutilated by US troops.
    -Okinawan women have no real rights when they are raped and murdered by US troops.

White Americans are supposed to be the saviors or something?

You see, Filipinas brought into the United States are not really protected. More so than what the media portray. They are abused and raped by these American men with gender-equality issues.

From Mail Order Brides Find U.S. Land of Milk, Battery

“Some foreign women, like Fox, are finding that their American dreamboats turn into nightmares after marriage. One Russian woman, Svetlana, used a pseudonym out of fear of reprisal from her ex-husband. Svetlana nervously recounted how her husband repeatedly raped, beat and choked her during their 10-month marriage. When she turned to the marriage broker for help, they told her: “‘It’s just a different culture,’” Svetlana claimed.

“I didn’t know. Is this normal marriage? My father, he never shook the shoulders of my mom, or choked her, or hit my mother’s head against the wall,” she said during an interview in the unmarked, secure offices of Tahirih.

Miller-Muro of Tahirih, which arranged the interview, added: “The barbarity of her torture is so severe that I think that as Americans we should be profoundly embarrassed that there’s an industry that facilitates this.”

Thus…

what opportunities do these poor and uneducated women have in the USA? To be wage slaves for the corporate rich as strawberry pickers, Wal-Mart stockers and mop technicians? At least in their native lands they have their families and support structures. There is their familiar culture to sustain them more so than the pop-trash that pervades the US.

If the US can stop using the CIA to interfere with Philippine politics, stop propping up these comprador governments…maybe the Filipinos can revolutionize themselves into a more egalitarian state.

But that’s exactly what the US policymakers hate. They do not want the transnational capitalists to be deprived of the initiative in resource rich Third World countries.

  1. very one-sided, i don’t mind if people want to leave for a better future, but banning is not enough to protect women. you have to educate them about laws and where to seek help. ranting and bashing the US is not helping anything. and why only the US? how about countries that treat women as second class citizens? violence and hatred are not isolated to one country or one gender. and not everyone who is uneducated remain uneducated. because of the internet, the world seems a little smaller. and women who marry foreign men are may not be MOBs. If you want to help, set up something, a center probably to help abused women get back on their feet. creating hatred is not the solution. and i do believe that was the reason for your comment. to plant hatred that would be strong enough to deter women from marrying foreigners. fight back exploitation but seriously not through hatred.

    here’s a few questions:
    1. is it a guarantee, if you meet someone online and marry them, that’s you’ll be abused?
    2. are all abusers from the US?
    3. why are you so sure that all MOBs are young and uneducated?
    4. you think all men who seek MOBs are rich and ugly? if he’s attractive and poor, does it mean he’s less to abuse women?
    5. Do you think women are better off with Filipino abusers?

    and i’ll end it with this statement… wtf?

    • Paul E. Tollison, Jr. says:

      I am an ex American serviceman, The U.S. Air Force. I have NEVER RAPED ANYONE, EVER! A rapist is stupid, the sex is much better with a perfectly willing woman, and better yet when she is interested in getting her sex, too! I cant imagine going to bed with an unwilling woman!
      I never even knew a man who raped.
      As for the dummy who wrote those bad things about Americans, and American servicemen, he must have been outbid for the services of a local prostitute.
      As for women, They are all great! The writer who did the writing is a big time loser.
      If the guy was a filipino, I need to ask, who was it that got your countryback in world war 2, and stopped you oppressors from routinely killing your men, and raping your women,, also routinely. many of your good men joined forces with us to beat your oppressors! I am proud of my relationships with Filipinos. Good People, I love them. Paul T.

      • America should stop sending all the billions in aid to other countries,then we would be the good guys.

  2. I agree with ISSAI whole heartedly. My wife is a filipina and we have been married for over 28 years and counting. I’ve heard of men of different nationalities abusing women from where ever they are from. It is up to the the individuals involved to make the best choice they can with what they really know. I see alot of Filipinas here where my wife and I live. Young girls married to older men. I strongly believe there is NO REASON FOR A PERSON TO ABUSE ANOTHER. The women need to educate themselves and try to meet and make friends outside the home so they will have a network to help them understand the new culture their in but also so the will have a support system to help and guide them.

  3. Neomi, I find your article very biased, and highly questionable. You said “the goal of US policy makers is to make nations like the Philippines dumb, poor but subservient….” Rubbish! Malacañang is the boss of the Philippines, not America. Why isn’t your government taking responsibilty for your country rather than blame others? You exhibit classic “crab mentality”. Other Asia countries have successfully evolved from former colonial masters…Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, just to name a few. Why not the Philippines?
    Your article would have been more believable if you had not launched into a tirade against the Americans, as it is, you’ve discredited yourself.

    You say “The nice by-product in all this is when there are millions of destitute Filipino (and other Third World) women to serve as entertainment and commodities for the American men who can no longer put American women in their places (like the kitchen).” Wow, someone’s annoyed you!

    By the way, before you ask, I’m NOT an American.

  4. @rob – i didn’t write this. It’s a comment in one post I made and thought I’d show other opinions. It’s one of my reader’s opinions. Read more carefully.

  5. @Rob – not to discredit anything you say because I am not one to argue politics, but before you had launched into your own tirade against Neomi, you might’ve read the article more carefully as it was clearly stated in the beginning that it was a comment from a reader. The reason that puts your own comment under scrutiny is because it would seem that you instead skimmed the post. came to a conclusion too quickly, and too eagerly told her off.

    Seriously, take a pause before you start blaring your horn. Seems you got a little too personal with your arguments when the statements in question wasn’t even hers to begin with.

    @Neomi – About the post, If I understand correctly, I disagree that the mail order bride service is some U.S. government conspiracy to hold down the Philippines. While I don’t believe that the US (or any) government is above doing such things, I would say that the blame, if any, falls on those who patronize the service. From the clients who order, to the girls that list themselves as brides. I understand that times can be tough and a person has to do what they need to in order to survive (including the idea of finding love and/or financial support through a catalog), but it IS the existence of those that would continue to use these services that keep it alive. If it is to be extinguished, then much of that falls on the hands of those people. We should all know that even making something illegal doesn’t stop people from doing it. The only way it can really go away is if there were no clients or no brides to list. It is a business and as long as there is a demand for it, it will exist and keep afloat. On our end, I do agree with Issai that we should educate these women as they come into their marriages about where to seek help, about the laws of their country, and how not to become too dependent on their husband. Always have a plan B if things don’t work out.

    I also disagree with the sentence, “White Americans are supposed to be the saviors or something?” This leads to the insinuation that the whole comment was directed at white Americans only. Not only would it be unfair to isolate them as a whole because of the stereotype that it is only white men that seek Filipinas as trophy brides, but it is hypocritical to judge them by that stereotype as it is for anyone to stereotype us Filipinas as meek, subservient, exotic-looking punching bags.

  6. I think the orginal article is mostly right but is too harsh on ordinary Americans and generalises about the movitates of those who seek relationships with woman in the Philippines.

    But to be sure, American imperialism is a big problem. This notion that if the Filipinos just “work harder” then eventually the nation will catch up is just laughable. Anyone can surely see this as being a very predictable thing for American imperialists to say and it suits their warped worldwide. The reality is that it is in their interest to keep the poorer interests poor as they are the reason for the higher standard of living, even among the relatively poor, in the West.

    That said, it is wrong to generalise about ordinary Americans and others. Yeah, sure, a lot of these arrangements are probably not ‘love’ but how many in the west, even among the rich, are?

    Did you really think Catherine Zeta-Jones would have been interested in Michael Douglas, had he been Michael Douglas the poor bus driver and not Michael Douglas the movie star? And these are just the obvious high-profile examples. It has always gone on and will continue to do so.

  7. 12 years ago, i spoke with angry tones against the mail-order-bride industry and the websites. back then, i was fired by my nationalism and background of student activism. but I was also hindered by my elitism and background of privilege in the Philippines. i had no regard for the women who find that they place their hopes and dreams of a good life through these services. these days, after corresponding, meeting and talking with, and reading about people on both sides, i hope I have a more balanced outlook. but it’s still a bleak outlook.

    the philippine government corruption and impoverishment of its people has yet no end in sight unless some sort of coup by enlightened, highly evolved leaders takes place… imperialism and the mentality of white male privilege is deeply ingrained, unless their is a revolutionary shift in the consciousness of the world… therefore, the circumstances that create the phenomena of the western men seeking women abroad and philippine women seeking husbands abroad still exist. they will continue to believe that the way to better their lives is through the options given through MOB sites… they will continue to seek each other out. and the mail-order-bride bans have already been circumvented by MOB services by re-naming themselves pen-pal or matchmaking sites/services…

    it may be that the only people who are willing to aid the unlucky migrant women who end up with abusive husbands are either women’s groups OR a community of good folk who are composed of other MOB couples who have found each other, understand and accept each other without judgement.

    here are some links on mail-order-brides posted by some women’s groups.

    Mail Order Brides and the Abuse of Immigrant Women
    http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/anderson/brides/pg1.html

    Violent Deaths and Disappearances of Filipino Women and Children in Australia since 1980.
    http://cpcabrisbane.org/CPCA/Deaths.htm

    incidentally, the goodwife.com calls the women of these groups “feminazis”. i think it’s more about justice, though.

    problems, that beget problems, that beget problems. what are the solutions?

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