Saturday, April 05, 2008

A Curiosity...

Even though Tink (and I guess Kath) thinks this blog has some redeeming qualities to it... well... I'm not going to go that far. But you've caught me in a weak moment, so I'm going to actually let you in on a little something. A slight view into what makes me tick... you've been warned.

So I'm over at NAY, Tiff's little corner of the world, and as I leave a comment on her haloscan thingy, the ad is from a website called... nahhh... I'm not going to give their name out. I don't need search hits for that one... but I didn't recognize it and went ahead and clicked it anyway, despite my better judgment.

Turns out, it's one of those "buy a Russian bride" websites. Now I've never been to one of those things before, nor any of the other myriad of online hookup sites, so I decided to go ahead and browse around for a bit. What I saw, fascinated me something fierce.

Here are a whole bevy of girls, for the most part ranging in age from 19 to 30. There were a few 18, and one who tipped the scales at 34, but 95% were within that range. And the other thing is that they are nearly all drop dead gorgeous. Really. I... well... it amazed me. Here they are, in the prime of their lives (mostly from the Ukraine) and are signed up for a trip to who knows where to marry some schlub. Ok... I know the bullsh*t story that they give out... these women are free to choose and all that crap, but...

However... that wasn't the part that made me curious. It was the little write ups that went along with the pictures. Take this one for example...

Here's an absolutely beautiful young lady, Evgenia, Photobucketwho is 19 and this is what she wrote down:
I am a creative personality. I adore singing, it is a part of my life. But I don't sing professionally, I am a future economist. I am intelligent, purposeful, sincere and easy-going. I am cheerful and try to be optimistic in any situation.
My greatest interests are music and singing. I also like dancing, bowling, skating. I love wild nature, I love sea and mountains. My parents used to take me to camping trips when I was a child. And it is still my hobby.
Her Type of Man:
I am looking for a serious, reliable man who is ready for a life long relationship, who is ready to care and support his family, who thinks love and affection are very important in a relationship. I don't think age and appearance can be very important if two people are a good match and have a lot in common.(preferable age: from 35 to 50)."

Although I meet a great number of those qualifications (especially the appearance aspect), her preferable age knocked me flat. 35 to 50??? And she's 19? Good gadfry... I know 19 year olds and they don't even speak to 35 year olds, let alone look at them as husband material. What's the deal? This my friends... is the curiosity, and is a glimpse into how my mind works.

What makes these women put themselves out there into an online meat market like this? Are things really that bad in the Ukraine that they're willing to leave their families and all they've ever known and risk it with some internet stranger? Are they just listening to the other girls, or someone with the website, telling them to put that down because that age group is the one that is desperate enough to use the site? Is it because that age group is, for the most part, financially stable? Are these women that much more mature because of their upbringing and responsibilities? I dunno... I've got to say... it amazes me.

It's not just her either, damn near all of them put down a preferable age range of either 30-42 or 35-50. Now the 26 or 29 year olds, I can see putting that age range down, hoping for the 30 end rather than finding some guy older than their dads... but the 19s? Really?

These girls could have their pick of any guy that they wanted if they were over here. Seriously. Look at another one!

I have a buddy who went over to the Ukraine for a lark or trip to see the world, and he told me that these girls were amazingly beautiful, and incredibly mature compared to this neck of the woods (he raved about their traditional values). Shoot... later on he went over to Kazakstan on a little tour and fell for a gal and they're married now and living in Nevada. Just as a side note, she had an incredibly tough time adjusting to the homesickness. Which makes me ask... do these girls really know what they're getting into?

No wonder the old bald fat guys pay these websites bucks for a chance to meet these girls.

So tell me... you readers of the female sex... would you do the same thing? Or... do you have any idea of what their motivation is? I'm all ears...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me preface my comment that I'm an avid "Frontline" (PBS program) watcher. I've seen programs about these women who want to become wives to American men because if they remained home they'd be forced into prostitution to help pay expenses.

From time to time you hear the stories about these mail-order brides who are abused by their husbands and have no resources to help because the husbands have taken them away from any family or social network, their passports have been hidden and they have no money.

Some of these women really are caught between the proverbial rock and hard place.

Would I do it? Nah. I'm a direct descendent of slaves. Why would I do that?

Debo Blue

4/06/2008 1:47 AM  
Blogger Sunshine said...

I think they figure a life here will be better than what they have at home and they're personal profile is crafted to land them a fish that will ensure that, somehow, they do get here.

4/06/2008 7:30 AM  
Blogger LL said...

That's exactly it Deb and Sunny... All of their write-ups are very similar. Almost like they're written off of some template or outline, which I suppose they are.

As for the prostitution aspect, yeah... I've seen those types of stories too, but is there really a difference? The only difference is that they're prostituting themselves out to one guy instead of many. However... I know some Russian/Ukrainian women and the culture and mindset is... well... foreign. They just don't look at things the same way as we do. I suppose they're just one step away from arranged marriages as it is and this isn't much different. But did you see the pics? It's all about sex and sexy young nubile girls.

I think they're looking for stability, but man... the men that I've seen on the TV shows doing stories about this... well... they're not what I'd call stable, or catches. But hey... I guess they're lookin' for lub too...

Just to let you know... I would have posted their more conservative pics but these were the only ones that were of any size until you "signed up", which I'm not going to do... yet. :P

4/06/2008 8:02 AM  
Blogger fermicat said...

I'm guessing that they might not have a lot of freedom in what ad is written up for them. You want to hope that maybe a few of them do end up with a better life, but this is the real world and it seems their fate would be sad no matter how it ended up. If things are so bad that they are willing to sell themselves into foreign marriages, then things must be very bad for them.

4/06/2008 3:39 PM  
Blogger LL said...

Well you see fermi... here's the thing... is this really all that different from eHarmony, or one of those other dating sites? The only difference here is that they're matching foreign girls with American guys. I guess it's all the same really, but...

I suppose we're vain enough to think that because we're Americans that it's somehow different when in reality... But then again, we do tend to wed those that are closer to our own ages, unless of course we're 90 year old billionaires...

One thing that I can tell you fermi is that when I was reading their little write-ups, they were all varied and different for the most part. Some were very broken English, while others were like the one I posted. You can tell it was written by a foreigner, but communicated well enough. No... the only real consistent thread was the age range they preferred. That's why it was bizarre to me.

Is there really all that old guy lust just sitting out there? :P

4/06/2008 5:02 PM  
Anonymous bc said...

These girls are heading to, or already are, in prostitution. Some of those sites are set up to get the chick hooked with a wealthy guy and then she will send money home to mom and dad. Or she will send money to whome ever posted her in that situation in the first place.

I once worked with a guy that did the same thing. He sought out a foreign bride and went to the Phillipines for her. He married her and brought her home. Within a few months, her parents and siblings were moved in and all were seeking US status.

His brother did the same thing but it was one from somewhere else. I cant remember where he got his from. But this women was savagely beaten and forced into it.

Scary stuff there.

4/06/2008 5:22 PM  
Blogger LL said...

I can't address the legitimacy of the site, or who gets greased by who, but...

That might be the real reason too BC. It's just that these girls don't look like they're doing it out of duress. Now they might have the ulterior motive of supporting their families and getting them over here too. I hadn't thought of that.

But for the most part, their write-ups were pretty similar. They all wanted someone who would be good to them and take care of their children. The mere fact that this is mentioned over and over makes me think there's a lot of abandonment going on over there.

One other thing I can tell... that last paragraph was not written by Evgenia. If you'll notice, it's not the same sentence structure. The English is too good compared to the other two, so that makes me think that it was copied from somewhere else.

4/06/2008 9:50 PM  
Anonymous bc said...

Could also be one of those things where the girls are thought lesser of than the boys and pawned off. The US can offer them a better life.

I really dont think I could do that though. Just sell myself off to the highest bidder and not know what is on the other side of door number 3.

Who knows what sort of person one of those girls will end up with. Also another thing to take into consideration is that they are all the same in appearance. If they all come from poor families that need the cash, why are they dressed is top dollar clothes (or lack of) and perfect hair and makeup? Someone had to pay for all that for them. If it is so bad out there then why do they look like top models? No one is that perfect and even the top models here have work done on them to look the way they do. Its not free.

4/06/2008 11:20 PM  
Blogger wa11z said...

I think those photos would be what you would call "stock" photos. Just a guess. If they really look like that then I assure you that it doesn't matter where they live, they don't have to ask for men to give them anything.

4/06/2008 11:52 PM  
Blogger LL said...

They are dolled up quite a bit. Hair, makeup, clothes, professional photos... yeah, those pics aren't made by my Cybershot (the background tells you that). I know that. As for who pays, I imagine the guys do. There wasn't a FAQ or anything like that, so the economics isn't discussed presumably until after you join up, but I'm wagering it's fairly steep. Unless of course the dollar goes a heckuva lot further over in the Ukraine.

But still... the inner workings of the exchange isn't the sort of thing that would generate my curiosity. It was the motivation of the girls.

4/07/2008 7:27 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

I don't think I can fully comprehend why these girls do this because I don't have their lives. I'm not poor or homeless. I've never been slaved/prostituted out. Thank God! Regardless of how it all turns out, they obviously think life over here with someone older and financially stable will be BETTER. Poor babes. I feel for their probably ill-fated optimism.

4/07/2008 8:03 AM  
Blogger LL said...

Can you imagine that amount of hopelessness though Tink? I can't imagine how basically converting yourself to a sex slave/brood mare would be a better option that what they're currently faced with. But like you... I've never been in that position so it's completely foreign to me. But I suppose if things were really that bad I might risk it too.

Perhaps that's why they want the 50 year old crowd, that way if they get a prick they only have to put up with him for 20 years or so...

4/07/2008 2:24 PM  
Anonymous bc said...

Isnt the limitations to US status 7 years? If I remember right, my old boss (gay) married a woman just so she could become a citizen and he had to stay married to her for 7 years. Then they divorced and she went about her life here in the US. She wasnt a mail order bride though. Also, Im wodering if those women are a what you see is what you get type of thing. I was doing some research on the topic last night and I came up with alot of websites offering this. And I do mean ALOT. Its like they are pawning off the entire country of all its eligible women. There were also some sites claiming that its a scam. The ones to watch out for are the ones that you have to send the money in to them for the visa and tickets and stuff. There was a mention of a scam like that where you send in the money and they are supposed to send the girl and you pick her up at the airport. Except there is no girl.

4/07/2008 2:48 PM  
Blogger LL said...

Well.. yeah... the legitimacy of the website is not really in play here. I think that all of them aren't legit until I know otherwise.

It was more the question of, if they are legit, then why are these girls willing to do this? The risk on their part is tremendous...

4/07/2008 4:33 PM  
Anonymous bc said...

Well I do know that the one in the Phillipines was legit because we all met the girl. Hers was bad conditions and poverty. The man she married wasnt exactly "studly" but he was wealthy so the girl did make out pretty well in the long run. But to me it just creeps me out to think of what sort of men are out there that would buy a girl from a magazine or website. Take the loss of poverty in their homeland or take the risk of being thrust into the hands of a cruel man here. If it was my choice, I would choose poverty. But then if she does make it to the US, there are alot of options open to her here. If he is cruel, she does have a way of escape. But then when she does become a free woman here, what happens to her? Would she be allowed to stay or will they make her go back home to face a sort of "failure" there and be treated as an outcast?

4/07/2008 5:19 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Hell no. But having never lived in the Ukraine, what do I know about their living conditions or possibilities. However, there is a story in SF right now happening where the Russian bride/wife is now dead and the husband is on trial. No body has been found and he's swearing she went back to Russia.

Most of these women seem to be way more intelligent than the men they meet up's that for a generalisation? ;-)

4/09/2008 11:20 AM  
Blogger LL said...

As far as generalizations go... it's probably a pretty good one.

4/09/2008 12:01 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

So weird, my family was just discussing this topic yesterday ... buying wives from other countries. There's a guy who works for my husband who bought his wife from the Phillipines. He had no luck getting women in the US and had no self esteem, was desperate, anyhow ... his "wife" had him sending her money in the Phillipines every month for years because (as she told it) she couldn't leave her family until she had finances taken care of and then promised she'd be with him in December of last year. She actually came through on her promise, but boy, did he pay out a lot of money .... still is and now she's talking about family moving in with them. I think you roll the dice when you're these women. You want someone who will just pay for your life and your family's life, but you may end up with a horror story of a marriage.

If they are all prostitutes by this time, you're not getting some lovely woman of virtue either.

Blech, the whole system is just wrong.

4/10/2008 7:47 AM  
Blogger tiff said...

I don't know whether to take credit for this line of questioning or not...

I can't imagine what the lives of these girls must be like to have them think that marrying a stranger would be the best idea ever, but who know what their lives are really like? Hooking up with an older man might seem like a fine idea.

Shoot, now I'm going to be thinking on this for the rest of the day!

4/11/2008 2:13 PM  
Blogger magnetbabe said...

I have very mixed feelings about this. Of course, this is all if we imagine the sites are real, aren't a scam, the women aren't slaves and forced to do this, and the pictures are real (any of all of these assumptions could easily be false...).

As Americans we value relationships that are founded on sexual attraction and can then be sustained with some combination of intellectual or spiritual connection. Judging by our divorce rates, I'm not entirely convinced this strategy works.

In so many countries, marriage is still strictly based on business, financial or social advancement. When you think about it, these girls are appealing to American desires (hence the physical appearance of these girls) while they probably see it as a chance advance themselves by living as an American. They are trying to strike a deal just as any marriage arranger of another culture would.

I work with a lot of people whose marriages were arranged consensually by their families or a third party. Granted, these girls are taking a hell of a risk agreeing to marry some American stranger, but with the age ranges stated I serious doubt they are necessarily looking too hook up with a movie star. I think they know what they are getting into.

4/13/2008 2:46 PM  
Blogger LL said...

Well Beth... I don't know if the system's wrong or not. As I said earlier... is it really that much different from an eHarmony? I dunno... I know a lot of people from this area that actually go to college to get their "Mrs." degree. Is that system any better? *shrug*

Yes Tiffy... you are entirely deserving of the credit. I just hope I didn't cause you to put a strain on your thinking node... :P

Dr. Babe, it is good to preface all of this with those caveats. As for why they are willing to do it... one of my other commenters set me up with this link which actually does answer a whole lot of questions on the subject. It does however create a new debate on the strengths of western women as opposed to their Russian counterparts.

4/13/2008 5:57 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Going to college for a misses? I'm not familiar with that one. I did the strange thing of marrying straight out of high school and stranger still, staying with him instead of bailing out during the hard times. I don't recommend marrying young.

As for marrying someone based on wanting to change your financial position or geographic one, I believe that's called prostitution. I can only hope the women don't hook up with desperate men who take advantage of the situation.

4/17/2008 7:19 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Oh, and I don't think eHarmony is the same as buying a wife at all. Nor do I think meeting someone in school/college is the same, if that's what you meant. You're meeting someone, dating them, hopefully taking your time. Very different from looking at a provocative picture, some bullshit script and saying, "Yeppers, that's the one for me, Jeb! Let's hitch her up to the wagon."

4/17/2008 7:22 AM  

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