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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

British men choosing foreign wives for their "Stepfordesqeness"

133 replies

margerykemp · 02/09/2011 11:22

For want of a better word but hopefully ykwim.

Based on my sample size of 4 (doubt if there is research on this) I have noticed British men marrying Mediterranean/Asian women and then experencing v different marriages than their friends with UK wives. The 4 in question are quite mysogynistic in general but the way they treat their wives, I cannot imagine as many ethnic British women putting up with. They are almost slaves, chained to the house, do 100% housework/childcare ( and none of these men work long hours/ have commutes). They have lots of hobbies, wives have none. Car is for their sole use. Etc etc.

So, I have started to think: have these men deliberatly sought out these 'submissive' wives? Is this just a blip in ppl i know or part of a wider trend?

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passmethebucket · 02/09/2011 11:34

It's interesting because I knew a British man who married a woman he'd met on the internet from Khazakstan, and she told me that whenever he tried to help her in the kitchen she felt awkward and embarrassed, so would tell him to go and sit down.

So maybe it's not that the men are 'treating' these women differently - maybe the women prefer it that way, because that is what they are used to?

It's also interesting because mediterranean/asian men often like to marry European women precisely because European women are a little more feisty and independent. That, of course, does cause problems in the relationships because the men like some of the feisty independence, but not all (can't cope with their partners having male friends/don't do cooking/like to laze around on the sofa all day/don't do the long hard slog of nights with newborns etc etc).

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dittany · 02/09/2011 11:38

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sunshineandbooks · 02/09/2011 11:39

Could well be true in the men you describe. I don't know about the wider population.

Sadly, given the extent of DV in this country, I don't think men have to look to foreign shores to find plenty of women who will tolerate their superior attitudes.

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margerykemp · 02/09/2011 12:07

Given that I know 2 of them quite well the thought that they did this deliberatly to commit dv is awful but not outwith the relms of possibility. One, in particular has a wife who speaks limited english and hasnt integrated into uk society at all. She has no friends or acquaintancies here. She doesnt go to baby/ toddler groups or even use the internet.

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Giddly · 02/09/2011 12:17

When I was travelling in Thailand I met a man who was there to find a wife who quite openly said he didn't want a British wife as she wouldn't be prepared to work as hard as he did in his business, and look after the home as well the the standards he wanted. He didn't want a wife with her own career as that apparently was "wanting to have it all". I've always been vaguely worried about what happened.

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slhilly · 02/09/2011 12:27

margery, that's awful to hear about the poor woman who has no friends. Is there anything that can be done? Virtually every ex-pat community has support groups available. If it's in East London, there's a fantastic organisation I know of that could probably help, no matter which ethnicity she is (PM me for details)

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LRDTheFeministDragon · 02/09/2011 13:02

It's not particularly unheard of for people in certain countries to be encouraged to see marriage in the UK as a respectable goal. I don't know if these men deliberately 'sought out' submissive wives (or if they just have skewed ideas of what a decent relationship is like). But it is quite possible the women have been taught by their parents that marrying a British man is an important goal. My FIL made it very clear to his son that one of the reasons he was being sent to the UK was to find a British wife so he could get a better life in the UK.

If a child has been taught that it is very respectable and socially-acceptable to pursue a UK marriage quite deliberately, that child is being put it a bad position to realize that, in the UK, it's not generally seen the same way. In the UK, if you see your marriage as a trade or a business arrangement, that tends to frowned up, and consequently, the kind of men who're prepared to do this may not be the nicest. When you put two together - women who've been taught to respect the idea of marriage as a trade agreement and men who reject their society's understanding of marriage as based on love, you end up with women in a horribly vulnerable position. It won't occur to many women in that position to complain.

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SardineQueen · 02/09/2011 13:21

There was a documentary a few years ago about a man who ran an agency for british men to find brides - in I think it was thailand.

There was a lot of emphasis on the women being "traditional" - words like "submissive", "the husband is the boss", "they respect their man" type stuff being bandied around. One bit I really remember is when he had a big rant about how awful British women were - having opinions and being lazy and bossy and not knowing who was boss while proper wives followed what their husband wanted and looked after him and cooked and cleaned for him and all the rest of it. At the end of this rant he said "and Thai (I think it was thai) women don't know about headaches" and grinned broadly.

The whole thing was just vile.

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ThePosieParker · 02/09/2011 13:28

I've seen it first hand in China and Thailand. Women think it's their duty to 'look after' their husbands. Loads of the men, especially here, don't even care if the woman speaks very little English.

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dittany · 02/09/2011 13:31

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Ripeberry · 02/09/2011 13:40

Sad men, who are ugly inside and out. Feel so sorry for those foreign women, but at least they get married and get to live in the UK. When they are older they will have a better life than if they had been in their own country.

I'm sure they know what they are doing, just bidding their time Grin

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Riveninabingle · 02/09/2011 13:44

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ThePosieParker · 02/09/2011 13:44

Abject poverty sure does make one do anything for basic human needs, like food and shelter. But the men that take advantage of this are beyond low, they make my skin crawl. They are usually the sort of men that couldn't get a woman unless she had little choice. eeeeewwwww.

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margerykemp · 02/09/2011 13:45

It is quite scary that there are men like that out there, Sardine.

However in these particular cases the asian bride has a much better deal than the 3 Europeans. Are women in Southern Europe really brought up to be that subserviant to their dps?

I think if they were on this thread they would say that they wanted babies and were all we/l into their 30s when they met these dps so were 'happy' to make sacrifices (ie give in to his every whim) in return for getting to become mums.

Personally i think theyd be better off as single mums. Certainly, financially they wouldnt be much different as these are all wc men on low pay living in small flats.

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ThePosieParker · 02/09/2011 13:49

I would imagine part of marrying a woman fronm a poor country is not ensuring that she is aware of all of her rights.

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upahill · 02/09/2011 13:50

I wouldn't be suprised if there are some men that do marry women from abroad for the reasons you suggest.
But it isn't true for all of these types of marriages.

The town next to the one I live is well known for middle aged blokes coming back with a 'thai wife'
I know a few of these couples and the women come to parties, go out with their friends, they have intergrated into the town. We chat with them in the pubs and see them in Sainsburys and Tesco shopping quite normally.

I worked in Social Services and was supporting an adult male who had a wife from Thailand and they had two children together for a long time while he had a serious illness. They adored each other and I still see them both round even though his condition is detereating.

So I think in terms of relationships and marriages there are men of all nationalities who want a wife that they can treat like shit and there are men that want a fun partnership and this case is no different.

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ZZZenAgain · 02/09/2011 13:51

I think of southern European women on the whole as quite strong types - Greece, southern Italy,southern Spain...I don't know what area you are thinking of but IME these women are not what I would describe as subserviant and brow-beaten types.

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alexpolismum · 02/09/2011 13:52

Will they really have a better life when they are older, Ripeberry?

With a non-existent network of friends, isolated by the little knowledge of the language of the country they are living in, which probably also means they won't know where to go/ how things work, not valued by their husbands...

In their home countries they probably had friends, families, perhaps an extended family to turn to, they knew the language, they were not glorified slaves...

Why is it automatically better to live in the UK?

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alexpolismum · 02/09/2011 13:54

ZZZ yes, Greek women are not subservient, and in fact here I have heard people talking about the more misogynist Greek men looking for wives from elsewhere so they'll have a servant good partner!

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Ripeberry · 02/09/2011 13:58

Because they would get a pension, health care and by the time they were in their 60's they might have learnt a bit of English and hopefully their 'slave driver' DH might have died before them and left them the house.

Life in the UK is 10000s better than where some of these people come from.

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minervaitalica · 02/09/2011 13:59

Italian women are subservient? Ehm... I would say the opposite - "desperate" Italian men tend to go East (Russia, Moldova, China), apparently to escape from feisty Italian women who are often better educated than they are...

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LRDTheFeministDragon · 02/09/2011 14:02

Hmm. Many women don't get the chance to learn English - there are thriving communities where women don't step out of their original language environment. My mum has taught a woman who spoke and wrote three languages and had two university degrees, who had lived here for nearly 20 years. She had only just begun to learn English because her daughter insisted on teaching her, and she did not know that women could vote in the UK or ttat there was a bus service running between where she lived and the nearest GP. She thought she had to go with her husband. This was obviously only the tip of the iceberg of what she didn't know, that came up within some short lessons.

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alexpolismum · 02/09/2011 14:03

So it's alright if they've had a miserable life for years, because they'll get a pension in their old age...

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MyBrainIsOutOfTune · 02/09/2011 14:04

Increasingly over the last years, whenever there's an article in the paper about something that can be tied to feminism/women's rights/some person who happens to be a woman and actually dares to voice an opinion, men stop by to comment and say 'THAT's why we go out of the country to find wives!'

Because in their opinion, women in Thailand etc. are 'real' women, they have the right priorities (taking care of their families), and they know who's the man in the house. Yeah, and they're always beautiful, sweet, and love you for the man you are - and they never complain, either.

There have been some horrible cases of men finding wives in other countries, treating them like slaves, and then divorcing them just before they would have the right to apply for citizenship (not sure what the right term is), so that they have to go back to the situation they tried to escape, while the men find new wives, and repeat. Women who have been completely isolated, forced to work all day, beaten, and even forced to sleep on the floor. It's terrible. I'm hoping these are extreme examples, and that most of the 'imported' wives find a marriage they can be happy with.

I know that some of them despair because everybody around them suppose that they are 'sex slaves' or married their husband because of his money, especially if they are from Russia or Thailand. So it's difficult for them to find friends because of this prejudice. The men also feel judged once they disclose that their wife is from one of these countries. It seems you can marry out of the country for love if your spouse is from a Western country, but once you find someone from another place, you're automatically an abusive bastard (if male) or a sex-starved adventuress looking for something exotic (if female).

I do think marriages between different countries are on the up, but I think most of that is due to people with Indian/Pakistani background choosing spouses from their country of origin, and people in general finding loved ones through work in other Western countries. This is Norway, though, don't know about UK. When you listen to these men muttering about how all men now choose wives from abroad, it doesn't take that long to realise that by 'all men' they mean, well, themselves.

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DontCallMeFrothyDragon · 02/09/2011 14:05

I knew a foreign bride in one of the refuges I was in. Her ex was vile Not that I'm into stating the obvious but she had a child by him. Unfortunately, she was told that she'd be deported after they split (they coudn't deport her while she was in the refuge for whatever reason) but her daughter, as she was a British citizen would remain in the UK. :( I don't think her exH had counted on her having the guts to leave, despite having no support network. I have no idea what happened to her once she left the refuge, but hope to high heaven she was allowed to stay in the UK with her DD.

As for the Southern European wives, yes, a lot of them do seem really subservient. My parents live in Cyprus, and the last time I was out there, their cypriot friends were visiting,. I found out that DM had told them xP had left me, as opposed to vice versa, as they'd understand that better, and Dad was under strict instructions to not be washing up when they got here, as Andreas didn't believe men should be in the kitchen, unless it was to make alcoholic drinks... Hmm

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