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10 posts • Page 1 of 1
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/co ... ries_ssi_5
More bashing of men trying to meet and marry foreign women and making it sound like it's more expensive than its worth...
The Mail-Order-Bride Trade Is Flourishing
The global economic downturn has only been a boon to the international business of helping single men get hitched, though scams abound, and some say the industry is not that different from human trafficking
By Teddy Wayne
How to Meet, and Perhaps Marry, Your Own Mail-Order Bride
Times are good for Joseph Weiner. The former investment banker and Wharton MBA lives with his wife of 27 years in a three-bedroom London townhouse. When he isn't lounging in his private garden, Weiner spends his free time playing tennis at the exclusive Hurlingham Club and gliding around town in his Lexus. Though he doesn't claim to be a philosopher, Weiner's insight into the human heart has led to a lucrative second career as a matchmaker and packager of amorous adventures. "Every guy wants a beautiful younger woman," he explains. "It's the nature of us."
Fourteen years ago, Weiner, 73, founded Hand-In-Hand, a London-based matchmaking agency that charges male customers up to $2,000 for a "supervised courtship"â€”a process that matches them with younger Eastern European women. Hand-In-Hand has since grown into a multinational operation with 30 satellite offices from the U.S. to Abu Dhabi. "We're still opening up franchises, and business is booming," says Weiner in his thick New York accent. "Financial problems are the biggest cause of divorce. There are more financial problems now. There are more people available!"
In the age of globalization, the international matchmaking industryâ€”still known in many circles as the mail-order bride tradeâ€”is thriving like never before. The Tahirih Justice Center, a nonprofit organization in Falls Church, Va., that protects immigrant women, estimates that the number of mail-order marriages in the U.S. more than doubled between 1999 and 2007, when up to 16,500 such unions were sealed.
International matchmakers are now a growing segment of the U.S. online dating industry, which, according to market research firm IBISWorld, racked up more than $2 billion in 2010 revenue. Since the recession began, "we've seen more men sign up," says John Adams, the co-founder of Phoenix-based A Foreign Affair, which charges $4,000 for the right to attend champagne-soaked "socials" in various Eastern European cities. The company estimates it sparked nearly 1,000 engagements this year. "Men evaluate their lives a little more closely when the economy becomes more difficult. They look at what's really important to them and try to find that one person they want to spend the rest of their lives with." Adams would know. He met his wife, Tanya, at a 1997 St. Petersburg social sponsored by his own company.
Amid the proliferation of dating websites and matchmaking reality shows, venturing abroad for love has taken on a more acceptable mien. International matchmakers have succeeded, in part, by targeting middle-aged men who find dating troublesomeâ€”men who, according to Weiner, "don't have the money to go out on dates and go on weekends to Vegas and Atlantic City. They want someone to take care of them." While they might not have the means to secure a more conveniently located trophy wife, they must have enough money to travel to Eastern Europe and spend thousands for a shot at eternal bliss. Though love may be priceless, notes Weiner, "$2,000 to get a beautiful womanâ€”it's a bargain!" According to David L. Knabel, the owner and president of Louisville-based matchmaker A Volga Girl, "It's no different than a dating site in the U.S.â€”except it's international marriage."
In 2007, Ben Baligad hit a dry spell. The divorced 53-year-old eschewed the San Diego dating scene after discovering Ukraine's favorable gender ratioâ€”0.92 males for every female between ages 15 and 64, according to the State Statistics Committee of Ukraine. After enlisting companies such as Global Ladies and Army of Brides, the insurance salesman made three trips to Ukraine. The third time was the charm: Baligad met his potential future wife, Natalya Chuprina, 18 years his junior. "I'm planning on bringing her to the U.S. as soon as I get my finances straight," he says.
By pulling on the heartstrings of single men, the mail-order bride industry has at its disposal untold financial opportunities. In addition to membership feesâ€”which run $29.95 per month at A Foreign Affairâ€”and "romance tours" that can cost suitors thousands, many sites charge between $6 and $8 to translate each e-mail exchanged between interlocutors, and even more for phone and instant message translation. Some companies, like Hand-In-Hand, have also expanded into same-sex international matchmaking. "We've been doing gay business for about a year and a half," boasts Weiner.
Though every site claims to police its users, scams are common. Les Vancil, the founder of Easy Ukraine, an Ohio-based site targeting men traveling abroad for matchmaking opportunities, says the problems lie with the Eastern European agencies contracted to recruit women. Vancil asserts these companies post fake profiles, ratchet up prices for translation, and sometimes impersonate women to ask for money.
When customers complain, matchmakers "wipe their hands clean," says Steve Ewald, a Detroit accountant who stopped using such sites after several unsatisfying experiences. They blame the agencies, he claims, who blame the women. Ben Baligad says the agency that helped him communicate with his girlfriend skimmed 10 percent off the money he sent her for train fare and phone bills. He also suspects it posed as her in e-mails demanding he pay for a pricey apartment rental for his visit. He hasn't brought it up with his girlfriend, though. "I think she thinks I will get angry," he says.
The arrangement can be far worse for the women involved. After a few highly publicized murders of women brought to America through international matchmakers, the U.S. passed the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005 (IMBRA). The statute requires background checks on U.S. citizens before communication via the matchmakers. Those who fail to comply cannot obtain a Form I-129F, Petition for Alien FiancÃ©(e).
However, couples can get around this obstacle by claiming they met through other avenues. There also tends to be little enforcement of IMBRA when the agencies are based outside the U.S. (Hand-In-Hand, for example, is registered in St. Kitts.) "The mail-order bride industry is a softer version of human trafficking," says Sonia Ossorio, executive director of the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women. Ossorio also acknowledges that some relationships work outâ€”but perhaps not in a way that would please Betty Friedan. "A lot of people who are attracted to it are just looking for a woman who's docile and obedient," she says.
For some companies, such submissiveness is a selling point. Hand-In-Hand's website trumpets the fact that its females are "unspoiled by feminism." Company founder Weiner argues this form of chauvinismâ€”like the mail-order bride business itselfâ€”is economically motivated. "You take a beautiful woman from the Czech Republic and you bring her into your home, she does all your cooking and cleaning and ironing," he says. "At the end of the day, the service is free." Hand-In-Hand estimates the potential savings of a homemaking wife at $150 per week.
Women from economically troubled regions also take part in order to secure an American visa. "People around the world still view the U.S. as a highly favorable place to live," says A Foreign Affair's Adams. His wife agrees. "I worked a lot before, but then I was waking up at nine in the morning and was like, 'Whoa, what do I have to do now?' " says Tanya Adams, who remains a supporter of the company. "I even recommended it to my niece."
Perhaps love can always find a way. Most sites claim a 75 percent or greater success rate, and this boundless quest for passionâ€”one inflamed by hard timesâ€”continues to benefit matchmaking entrepreneurs. "Wonderful times for me," Weiner says. "I can't complain."
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
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Like it would surprise you that NOW would say such things -
Obedient? I don't understand, we have been talked into this 50-50 management of a relationship manta here in America. The truth is, its more like 60-40 or 70-30, where you as the husband are not fully in control of your finances. I was recently speaking to my friend, he was talking about how much he spends every month. Just between car payments including a toy hauler (he has to relax, rides his bikes and jetski), house payment and just "living" (gas, food, phones, cable, internet, etc) he burns up $3K a month and we haven't even gotten to credit cards, insurance and all that stuff.
Has she actually met a docile Eastern European woman???? Or is she saying there's more to life than providing for your family? Men are asked to not only go to work 40+ hours a week and then expected to participate in household duties even if she (the wife) works from home or part-time. Is that suppose to be 50-50?
Of course some men are going to complain about being taken for a ride but I would likely say look in the mirror you didn't see the signs. As I said this is no different than dating at home and just because you want to get married doesn't change things (that's stupid), you're still expecting the same length of time to past before you consummate the relationship. In fact if you've been talking to the same woman for 4-6 months and you go and visit her, if she doesn't jump into your arms the minute she see you at the airport, that's an automatic red flag. I'm going to keep it real, if she's not f***ing the shit out of you in 3 days, something is wrong. You expect a local woman to pay off in 3-5 dates, how is this shit any different? You're looking for chemistry and sexual compatibility, you can find that in 3-5 dates if you spend enough time talking to each other. But 4-6 months of daily emails, Skype and phone calls, and she hasn't banged you, let alone kissed you passionately on the mouth???
Then again we are talking mostly about men in their late to early 50's, many not well versed or used to communicating on the internet since its so different than how they dated when they were younger.
You're always going to have unhappy customers in any service oriented business, that and liking it to human trafficking are two subjects that should be avoided when talking about MOB, it just de-legitize International Unions.
"looking for a woman who's docile and obedient."
And with that 'observation' she reveals that she is an uneducated, untraveled rube from America.
Asian women are anything but docile and obedient.
Clearly she has never known anyone who has been on a date with a Chinese woman, nor set foot in Asia.
It is amusing, sad, and telling that so many 'educated' Americans are deeply ignorant and uneducated.
"I appreciate the opportunities I have in America. Opportunities that allow me to live abroad." **Smiles** - Have2Fly@H.A. (2013)
"The only way to overcome that is to go abroad to get a broad."
- E. Irizarry (2009)
"MGTOW resilience is the key to foreign residence. You better muthafuckin' ask somebody!!"
- E. Irizarry (2012)
"I rather be ostracized by 157.0 million (27.3% of the US of Gay pop), then to appease 1 feminist." - E. Irizarry (2013)
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I would argue there are more docile and obedient women in AMERICA. What's that show about the guy that's married to 5-6 women? What about the Dugger clan with 8 kids or whatever it is. There's a few of those bible thumping multiple birth families that have been made famous just because of having more than three or four children at once. I would call that obedient. There's a whole submissive sub-culture in Westernize countries. Not to say they don't do it in Asia or South America, but you understand what I mean.
Likely she has been to Europe just not Eastern Europe. I would REALLY love for a national show to have a open debate about this with couples, members of the MOB industry that are not shady vs NOW and other people that want to marginalize this and compare it to human smuggling.
I think it times for these couples to come out of the shadows and advocate for this.
The implication here is that women OUGHT TO BE pain-in-the-ass task masters, and snotty princesses (like American ones). The fact that they aren't in most of the world is viewed by these idiots as proof that America is somehow superior. I guess they'd also say that our extremely high divorce rates are also proof that American women are "free", whereas the low divorce rates in other countries means the other women are "slaves" or "oppressed" by their husbands.
Gimme a break. The UNHAPPIEST and most neurotic women in the world are American ones.
Guess who was on The Today Show on Monday? - http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/40954750/ ... tionships/
HA member Mark Davis and his wife Anna, plus Tanya and John from AFA
The problem is that American women have conflated the following:
Being a bitch / strong
Selfish / independent
Pain the ass / non-subservient
Won't do anything for anyone / non-obedient
AW or WW see a typical Asian woman who isn't a f***ed up nightmare on Prozac, who pours tea for a man once in a great while, who is polite, demur and feminine, and she assumes that they are doormats, submissive and obedient.
I don't know how this false idea got started, but it simply is not true.
Its false because they want to paint men that won't submit to this ridiculous behavior as weak or a looser. WTF????
Eastern European Women are conniving and use sex as a weapon - if that was true... Pot Meet Kettle
Asian Women are submissive and weak - Only people into BSDM are like this? Only Neanderthals would want these women, rrright.
Latin Women are basically poor and desperate - And Single American Mothers aren't? Its not true but AW believe that.
This is what many American Women really THINK behind your back if your involved with these women. Western European women aren't a threat to AW because most think European Women aren't for the typical American palate. Yes American men like thin/skinny women, but American Men like Big Tits and Round Asses and that's generally missing in Europe as its not as diverse as America.
They also think Europeans are generally too liberal and that would rub against more traditional American values when it comes to family.
In some respects I think that partially true to a point. But I doubt any of us hear feel that way.
Wow, I just watched that, it was awesome everyone should watch that!