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The Culture of Marrige

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ech2094
Words 1434
Pages 6
I DO
Throughout history, marriages have been sparked between individuals in many different ways. In many cultures, at one point, monogamous relationships were often arranged for different benefits. Aristocratic families would betroth their children to another for political or social advancement. It was not until fairly recently in human history that the concept of love started to dominant the arrangement of marriages. Individuals with similar core beliefs, mutual attraction, or serendipitous fates pair to form monogamous partners without major regard to anything other than how they feel about each other, determined the match. However, a certain industry, almost a throwback to the ancient practice of arranged marriage, seems to defy this seeming renaissance of matrimony (Coontz, 2005). Men, in developed countries, are given the opportunity to select a woman to marry over the internet or through other such long-distance correspondence. While many modern people might abhor such practice, the concept is not as black and white as many make it out to be. In fact, many factors have led to the reality that "mail-order brides" are now a booming industry, including recent world politics, increasing credibility of the practice, and mutual benefits to both parties.

Marriages between Russian women and American men are becoming more common. In Russia there is a higher ratio of women to men mainly due to the Czechian war. In fact, there is a 1.19 ratio of women to men according to the CIA census data for Russia (CIA, 2012). In addition to that, the economy is neither, stabile nor developed in some parts. Oil and gas is the main revenue driver for the Russian Federation, and its profits are funneled into Moscow leaving vast regions throughout the county in a primitive state. This makes life difficult for Russian women to have a traditional family (Blagodarova, 2003). In the late 1990's the boom of mail-ordered brides began. These Russian women were looking for men who had a high-quality career, stable income, and desired a family. Unable to obtain this lifestyle with men in their own country, they set their sights on the West. At the same time, American men were looking for women who wanted to have a traditional family. Many found it hard to find a woman who would set aside career ambitions to stay at home and raise children. This trend was sparked in the 1970's with the rise of feminism. Women began to shed the traditional homemaker role for professional careers. A byproduct effect of this movement was American men began to search abroad for a potential wife.

The old "mail-ordered brides" concept has evolved into a large and very lucrative mainstream online dating industry. To protect both parties (men and women) online dating sites such as russainbrides.ru regulate the communication between individuals. This is done by scanning email correspondences for inappropriate material such as money requests, extortion attempts, or even things like obscene language. After two people have decided to meet, the American man is obligated to travel to Russia. It is extremely hard for a poor, single Russian girl to obtain an American visa. The U.S. requires that a Russian seeking an American visa has to provide proof that he/she has financial and familial ties to the country. On the other hand, an American can easily get a visa to Russia within as little as a week. Some men arrange their meeting to coincide with what is called in the industry a "romance tour". This is an organized trip that includes lodging, tour guides, and an interpreter to Russia or the Ukraine. The romance tour is centered around "socials", which are fully catered events and generally have an excess of two-hundred single Russian women. American men socialize with various women in hopes of making a connection. The romance tour is about a week long and covers a couple of cities with numerous socials along the way. Aligning a romance tour with a trip to meet a specific Russian woman provides an opportunity for the American to meet other women and maximize his success of finding a partner (Garin, 2006). Once the prospective groom determines that he has a good match, the next step is to document the relationship. This information is required in order to obtain a fiancé visa to the United States. He will have to travel back several more times, continuing to photographically record each trip. The documentation is then submitted with the visa application. Now that safe guard measures are being utilized, marriage success rates have risen, which increases the popularity of the Russian dating industry.

After the visa has been granted, the bride-to-be is able to fly to the States with her groom. Once in the U.S. the couple has ninety days to get married, otherwise the foreign bride will have to return to her country. The total process takes about a year to complete depending on the individual circumstances. Following the marriage, there is an adjustment period of approximately one year which affords the bride time to become accustomed to the American lifestyle. Most of these women are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of goods that are in stores and the plentiful wealth of typical America compared to their homeland. Within a five year period these brides often report feeling very comfortable in their new country. Many compare this new start to a dream or even a fairytale. One said, she would pinch herself each morning to make sure it is all real. She went on to state, that she never thought she would marry a man as nice, loving, and successful as her husband.

These arranged marriages have led to unions between two people on the grounds of mutual understanding and the same fundamentals. This is catalyzed by several large-scale, geo-political reasons. Currently, many individuals coordinate through respectable agencies that put in countless man-hours, wealth, and travel time to arrange successful partnerships. This growing trend of careful planning has created an industry of trusted and established companies that connects people in matrimony. For American men that want family in the traditional sense, and for Russian women that want security and children, this is an arrangement that works. While there are many stigmas, ethical issues, and taboos involved in the discussion about "mail-order brides", it seems to be a viable and successful option for many (Taylor, n.d.).

References

Coontz, S. (2005). The world historical transformation of marriage. Retrieved from http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/wilsonv/Articles/transformation_coontz.pdf
This article is about the transformation of marriage. It covers the dynamic and behaviors associated with marriage. It provides a broad description of marriage over the past decades. Stephanie Coontz has a BA in American History from University of California, Berkeley, and a MA degree in European History from the University of Washington. She won the Washington Governor's Writers Award in 1989 for her book The Social Origins of Private Life: A History of American Families.

Taylor, T. (n.d.). 5 powerful reasons for dating russian women marriage. Retrieved from http://www.experiencefestival.com/wp/article/5-powerful-reasons-for-dating-russian-womenArticles/transformation_coontz.pdf
Trevor Taylor writes this article on the pro of dating Russian women. It offers a male's perspective on the advantages of perusing a Russian woman. It covers the appealing character traits of Russian women. Trevor Taylor is a man and offers his outlook on dating Russian women.

Garin, K. A. (2006). A foreign affair: On the great ukrainian bride hunt. Harper's Magazine, Retrieved from http://www.harpers.org/archive/2006/06/0081084
The author writes about his trip to the Ukraine on a "two week bride hunt". This trip is tour trip that cost about $4000. The article covers the experience of the trip. It also covers how tour is arranged, and why the author would not date a American women after the experience. Kristoffer Garin is a journalist who has written for the New York Daily News and the Journal News in Westchester, New York.

Blagodarova, O. (2003). Americans marry Russian women. what for?. The Tatarstan Izvestia newspaper, Retrieved from Americhttp://english.pravda.ru/society/family/29-04-2003/2688-family-0//06/0081084
Olga provides a Russian woman's side to the reasoning or rationality behind marring American men. It covers culture aspects and the dissatisfaction with Russian men. It further explains that compatibility of fundamentals between Russian women and American men. Olga Blagodarova is a journalist for a Russian newspaper.

CIA. (2012). Russia. The World Factbook, Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/rs.html

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