Mail Order Brides: Choice or Constraint?

  • Hannah Middle


Since the 1980s, “mail order brides” have risen in prevalence. The term refers to women who are advertised and then selected by men for marriage. In today’s information society, characterised by the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), online websites and agencies are the dominant platform to find “love”. Typically, white, Western, older men desire younger, Asian women (Seeking Asian Female, 2016). This piece will focus specifically on brides from the Philippines, as the Philippines is the leading source of mail order brides. Approximately, 20,000 women are exported as brides annually (Lloyd, 2000). Significantly, mail order brides are a unique and to many, a bewildering artefact of global inequality across social structures. Filipino women are constrained by inequality such that they seek a subordinate role as it is preferable to poverty and destitution.