Cliff Gardner

Saturday, April 08, 2006

It's like that show "#1 Single," except with exploitation!

If you're reading this then you know that I am recently single. If you didn't know that, then HI! Welcome to CliffGardner! At this point the good days vastly outnumber the bad days and I really believe that splitting up with Mandy will be, in the long run, one of the best things that could have happened to me--to both of us, really. In spite of that, however, being single can be hard sometimes.

So, when I was flipping through GQ (aka Maxim for people with jobs) yesterday and saw an article on mail-order brides, I was intrigued. I had thought that this practice had ended shortly after people read Sarah, Plain and Tall and realized how boring it really was, but I was wrong! The article directed me to, and upon checking it out, I realized that this industry is booming! For only a few hundred dollars, I could meet up with an attractive, spicy latin lady who would take my single-hood out behind the barn and shoot it with a hunting rifle! She would cook and clean for me, screw me all the time, and worship the ground I walk on! The sad thing is, I'm not joking.

Although there are dozens of things wrong with this industy, the one's that stand out to me the most are:

--the exploitative nature of the business. The men in these relationships have ALL the power; citizenship, money, knowing the culture and language, etc. That means that these poor women are often abused, both sexually and otherwise, and have no recourse. Even if the marriage works out and both parties are nice, there is no way to avoid this really messed up power dynamic from the very start, and that makes even good relationships much more difficult.

--the overt racism, classism and sexism. The site, and others like it, claim that these foreign (read:latino) women know how to treat men, and will cook, clean, and have sex with men whenever they want. And hey, if they don't, just send them back to their impoverished countries! This perpetuates a stereotype that I didn't even know existed--that latin women aren't strong, won't stand up for themselves in destructive relationships, and exist only to please men. While this depiction focused on any race would make me sick, since some of the strongest women I know (Ashley, Dre, my sister-in-law Sandy) are latino, this characterization of latin women is particularly nauseating.

I may be single and that may sometimes suck a little, but the idea that there is an entire industry designed to use my loneliness to exploit women in Latin America is just terrible.


  • While in general mail order bride services are very sketchy, that site looked pretty fair, actually - they didn't promise marriage, just introductions to women looking to get married, and I didn't see any comments about sex and promises to cook and clean...

    By Anonymous andrea, at 2:15 PM  

  • wow. i have a lot to say about this but it's too much and too unfocused for a comment, so we must talk about this (in real life)

    By Blogger Ashley, at 2:43 PM  

  • sheesh... you better get out of Florida while you can... PS I am supposed to pick you up from the Airport... My phone apparently is "not accepting calls right now" but I think you said you got in at 10:30... if not e-mail me and let me know.. otherwise I will see you on MONDAY big guy.

    By Blogger The Assassin (burrr), at 4:07 PM  

  • This makes me laugh because it's all about how women shouldn't be overpowered by the men. Yet you called the girls latino, the male form.

    By Blogger Marie Ann, at 6:35 PM  

  • I was going to tease you for the same thing Marie did . . . once again she is cooler.

    By Anonymous Lucy, at 7:05 PM  

  • You know, Bamm-Bamm's ADS was about mail-order brides. I'm pretty sure you were meant for each other.

    By Blogger Haylie, at 9:54 PM  

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