Phi points to an article on mail-order brides and a scam therein:

To understand this incident you have to know about the Violence Against Women Act of 1996,” said Oldenkamp.“There is a little piece in it that states if an immigrant is abused by her husband or other family member, and can prove the abuse, then they become admitted for permanent residence.Elana was going to get her green card with or without me.

I find myself instinctually unsympathetic to those that marry a foreign girl they never met and get screwed in the process. Part of me thinks, “Well what they hell did they expect?!” Part of me finds the notion distasteful and I have to fight off the urge to say that they got what they deserved. I fight off that urge because while those that do or would beat their MOBs (a suitable acronym, considering…) do deserve what they get, nobody deserves trumped-up charges (as Oldenkamp alleges). Further, while some portion of these men may have ordered these brides because they wanted someone “docile, soft, and calm” (these are not characteristics I would generally associate with Russians) in a lot of cases it’s men without a lot in the way of other options. Men that have trouble relating to women on a square level. Hey, I can relate.

This is all further complicated by the fact that the participants from each side are going to be drawn from subsets of the population. The women are more likely to be desperate and/or ambitious, which makes them dangerous. The men are likely to be bitter and/or controlling, which makes them dangerous.

But even when I get past my biases, I am still uncomfortable with the business as a whole and can’t get too excited when I hear horror stories. I definitely do not support trumped up charges of spousal abuse. Nor do I support women using a sham marriage to get into the country and then cutting off the rope to the anchor at the first opportunity. These exploitations on the women’s part range from distasteful to abhorrent.

At the same time, though, I don’t entirely know what the alternatives are. If you don’t offer these women a degree of protection, you leave an extraordinary opening for exploitation the other way. A man can marry a woman and exploit the residency issues to turn her into a virtual slave. Or a punching bag. I mean, if she raises a fuss he can just divorce her and she’ll be sent home. That threat alone provides extreme leverage and marriage is not an institution at its best when one party has that kind of leverage over another. Giving a MOB (or a MOG, if such a thing were to exist and if domestic violence were a concern) recourse on the whole strikes me as better off than the alternative. We can quibble over what sort of standard of proof is required, but somewhere in a line beyond which his actions are demonstrably illegal and she should be able to report it without facing deportation.

On the other hand, I’m not sure how much it helps. The men with the most leverage are going to be those married to women that they manage to keep socially isolated. They’re less likely to speak English and it’s also less likely that she’s going to have the funds to hire a lawyer or the slightest clue where to go. The VAWA requires proof of hardship in the event of deportation, but those for whom the greatest hardship exists are those that would be deported before they knew what their rights were. Or maybe not, if she is appointed a lawyer by default or she at least knows to ask for one (if court-appointed lawyers exist for deportation?). In any event, it’s precisely those that would suffer the least hardship (comparatively speaking, anyway) that would have the strongest idea of what their rights were. Elana, the woman from the story above, notably had good command of English.

Incentivising accusations of spousal abuse is certainly troubling and if I were to isolate a concern, that would be it. If I were a man considering a MOB, it would matter far less if she got her own independent visa than if I have to defend myself against charges of spousal abuse. On the one hand, Elana’s accusations and the scratches that she had her son inflict would be pretty flimsy while applying for a green card. On the other hand, even if that is the case and Elana gets deported, Oldenkamp is still having to defend himself against felony assault charges. Back on the first hand, if Oldenkamp is a reliable narrator it’s pretty ridiculous that they pursued the charges. We can posit a situation wherein Oldenkamp would not have had the evidence that he did suggesting his innocence, but we can also posit a situation where a woman actually is being beaten mercilessly and has no recourse beyond deportation. Having to only be better than sent back to Russia provides a man a whole lot of leverage. Of course, being able to threaten trumped up abuse charges does the same for the woman. Regardless of the position that the government takes, somebody’s got lots of leverage.

One thing I find notable, though, is that absent charges of abuse a foreigner appears to lose the “conditional” on their conditional visa in two short years. If I were a man looking for a MOB, I think that would be my primary concern. That she just waits it out. She puts up with me for two years, being just enough of a wife that I don’t divorce her and deportation is kept at bay, and then leaves at the earliest opportunity. In that case, I am out several thousand dollars and two years of my life. Of course, at least then I am not out several thousand dollars, a little over a year of my life, and facing felony charges like Oldenkamp.

So I guess if you’re a guy looking for a woman to dominate, you can probably find someone less likely to be able to leave. If you’re a guy looking for an actual partner and are looking for intelligence and competence (and the ability to speak your language), you’ve got just two years to win her over for real. Or you look for potential Elana’s like a hawk and insulate yourself against charges of spousal abuse, which is wonderfully fertile ground from which love should grow.

Seems that the best way to win the game is simply not to play. It’s extremely risky from both ends. Or, if you do play, know your rights and what their rights are. Then again, how smart is it to engage in a marriage where you’re in such a defensive posture. For women from the poor side of a poor town in a poor country, it may be worth it with or without VAWA. Men, however, should really think twice. They are, in a sense, trying to game the system by taking advantage of her poverty. That is not the formula for a successful marriage even in a world where VAWA does not exist.

I found this site a pretty good primer on the subject. On the whole, it actually made me more sympathetic to both parties of the marriages while making me even more sour on the concept. But what are you going to do? The VAWA has the advantage of discouraging men from doing it (which is where the bottleneck is), though sort of at gunpoint. At the end, there’s no law that can be written that either (a) can’t be worked around or (b) doesn’t provide a serious imposition to those that are seriously in love with and want to marry someone that they met abroad. The closest think I can think of is the requirement for more face-to-face meetings over a long period of time. But that’s (a) harder to prove/disprove and (b) simply makes it more expensive, not impossible.

An aside: One of the commenters at Phi’s place points out that the MOB business has been infiltrated by the Russian… well… mob. This was actually the topic of the episode of the late, great TV show Life, that introduced us to the main villain of the entire show. Sort of. Roman Nevikov’s operation would sell wives to desperate men. The husbands would then be extorted to keep their wives. They’d lose their wives anyway and she would then be remarried to another mark.


Category: Newsroom, Statehouse

About the Author


69 Responses to Mail-Order Exploitation

  1. Peter says:

    Buying a MOB sounds like something almost guaranteed to turn out badly. Most men who are considering the idea probably would be better off with other options, especially psychological help to reduce their introversion (usually why they’re reduced to looking for MOB’s in the first place).

  2. stone says:

    There are different levels of MOBness. One nerdy-but-competent divorced 40-something attorney I knew had found his second wife, a Chinese woman, through some international match service. They’d been together a few years. She was educated and a licensed nurse, though.

    That’s the one person I knew personally who did something kind of mail-order-bridish. The rest are just people I read about.

  3. stone says:

    “especially psychological help to reduce their introversion”

    Peter, I think you’re way too hung up on introversion as the cause of men’s romantic ills. There are plenty of other behaviors that kill or prevent relationships.

  4. Peter says:

    MOB’s are a favorite blogospheric theme but actually aren’t common in real life. If *every* person entering the US on a fiancee/foreign spouse visa were a MOB (almost certainly untrue) they’d account for something like 0.5% of all marriages.

  5. Peter says:

    Men with all sorts of personality flaws seem to have no trouble finding women – drunks, lazy guys who can’t hold jobs, ex-cons, guys with belligerent personalities, you name it. But the deeply introverted guys with zero social skills, who would rather stare into the Sun for ten minutes than make eye contact with another person, well for them it’s a different story.

  6. trumwill says:

    There are plenty of traits that kill or prevent relationships, but I am not sure how many there are that so thoroughly kill off all potential relationships as introversion. Not just because it’s hard to get to know women, but because they don’t gain the experience needed to be able to able to talk to women that they do want to talk to effectively. Of course, sometimes it works the other way where the introversion is caused by social ineptitude (and the bad experiences that brings).

  7. Mike Hunt says:

    The main problem here is that neither side is sympathetic.

    On one side you have total losers who have to resort to getting an MOB;

    On the other you have gold diggers. Even if the guy is poor, American citizenship is gold.

    A girl I went to HS with did this. Even though she was of average attractiveness, her personality was a deal breaker. She met a guy on vacation in Italy, brought him back here, and married him. Without the carrot of American citizenship, he never would have married her.

  8. Maria says:

    LOL, I thought “Game” could get HB10 babes for any man, no matter how unattractive. Why are they trying to get MOBs?

  9. ? says:

    A couple of points.

    Why the lack of sympathy for men who seek mobs? Why characterize them as total losers?

    Also, why are the men bad for “taking advantage of her poverty”, but she isn’t bad for taking advantage of his loneliness? Whatever else can be said of them, the men are acting in good faith. But we seem to agree that all to often the women are not.

  10. trumwill says:

    Why the lack of sympathy for men who seek mobs? Why characterize them as total losers?

    I believe that most men that have to resort to spending thousands of dollars to marry someone from far, far away are people pretty low on the pecking order of things. Or else they seek to game the system in order to get someone that would otherwise be out of their league. Or they want someone they can easily control.

    I have some sympathy for the first set (as I said, I can relate). The second group I am somewhat indifferent to. The third group is another story.

    Also, why are the men bad for “taking advantage of her poverty”, but she isn’t bad for taking advantage of his loneliness?

    Neither group is particularly sympathetic. If I am more willing to devote space to taking the men to task, it’s because I am mildly less unsympathetic to those that want to get out of abject poverty than those living a relatively prosperous life in the United States. I believe the latter is in a better position to improve his situation than the former is hers without the MOB arrangement. Both groups have their share of very unsympathetic individuals, though.

    Whatever else can be said of them, the men are acting in good faith.

    Not necessarily. Many are. Some aren’t.

  11. Mike Hunt says:

    @9

    Why characterize [men who marry a MOB] as total losers?

    To me it is axiomatic. It is like asking why a line is straight, or why a carbon atom has 12 protons…

  12. trumwill says:

    Maria, the RoissyFanBase reason for going foreign is that foreign women are not spoiled like American women and are easier to keep in their place. Particularly since (absent charges of abuse) you can hold residency over their heads. For two years, anyway, but they don’t look at it like that as they often believe that women want to be mistreated and the more you roll over her the more appreciative she will be.

  13. Maria says:

    But I thought their “Game” shit worked on EVERY woman, not just desperately poor Russians and Filippinos?

    You mean “Game” doesn’t work on American women?

    Who’da thunk it?

  14. rob says:

    why a carbon atom has 12 protons…

    6 protons, 6 neutrons, total of twelve nucleons. Those dudes are still losers though.

    Maria, as the man who used to write the Udolpho blog said, the men who are bragging about how they pick up tons of women at bars for one night stands are the relationship equivalent of people bragging about being picked second to last for dodgeball. With the additional factor of not even really playing dodgeball at all.

    Broadly defined, game would be any set of behaviors that make one more attractive. To the extent different women have different preferences, and all relationships are different, there could be game focused towards getting an awesome wife. Compared to sexing drunken barflys, it would work better on women who’d be awesome partners.

    Game is subset of self-improvement. Like every other area of self-improvement, the experts are self-defined. Most are liars and charlatans. Somewhat tautologically, game is most useful for group A, those whose lack of success with women is due to lack of game. Group B, dudes who can’t get women for other reasons won’t get as much from game. There are probably men who thought they were in group B, practiced pickup and got girls, and thought that anyone could do it. There are certainly men in Group B who think that they can’t women because they lack game, and are too nice to get women when in reality there are reasons unrelated to game why they can’t get the sexing time. I certainly shouldn’t blame women, but hey, why not. It is easy for dudes to think that women aren’t interested because they’re “too nice” because women won’t tell them the actual reasons. Without feedback, it’s hard to know what to change, and life is a degrees of freedom problem. Analogously to the self-improvement thing, great investment advice is often bs from financial gurus who set themselves up as such. When the investment advice is actually good, it does much more for the person with a high income who spends it all than it is for the dude who is poor because he makes $6/hour.

    Roissy44 is a particularly sad guru. He makes no money at it. All he gets is the adulation of broken men like Whiskey, and well, everyone else who pays attention to his blog as anything other than a trainwreck. Except SexyPterodactyl. That is one damn sexy flying reptile who can swoop any woman he wants.

  15. Maria says:

    This guy/gal is pretty awesome too:

    http://citizenlemonade.wordpress.com/

  16. Maria says:

    PS rob — if you like Whiskey, you might like my friend Vodka even better:

    http://mariatheproblem.wordpress.com/2010/07/17/operation-kitchen-bitch-a-beta-manifesto/

  17. Escapist says:

    Rob, I love you 🙂 Sorry, was that bad Girl Game? Why u no comment at my blog – u should.

    Seriously, it is a good thing that dudes speak up about the lameness that is the MRA PUA (Roissy et al) blogosphere, since far too many take them seriously, or are at risk of doing so. Particularly inexperienced people (male or female) who start reading the right blogosphere for the politics, then think “well, I agree with these guys on some issues, so what do they have to say about relationships and such?” I think Whiskey may be in this category, as may be some of the Stockholm Syndrome females that are allowed to comment at Roissys, In Mala Fide et al.

    By the way, if any peeps see a particularly vile comment or post in the Gameosphere, be sure to let me know (I can only stomach reading so much of them directly).

    When I picked up Sexy Pterodactyl from the shelter for unwanted PUAs (on half price sale no less –he was negging all the staff), he said something about how he didn’t want to go home with me, but rather my friend – the hot one.

    I said: Sexy Pterodactyl, why are some of the Phi type dudes (nice trad men no less?) so highly more concerned about the guys in these MOB deals (who tend to at least have some money and the basics of life in check, and are striving for what may be considered a “luxury” item, i.e. something not needed for survival), while the women are generally in a desperate straits/survival type situation? I’d say there’s a certain need vs. greed asymmetry there, as well as a physical and immigration power asymmetry.

    Best,
    Escapist

  18. Mike Hunt says:

    @14

    You are right; I was wrong. I forgot what the 12 means in Carbon-12.

  19. ? says:

    Or they want someone they can easily control.

    Trumwill: I want to think a little more critically than this. The word “controlling” pops up frequently in these discussions. Does it actually mean anything other than “something a woman doesn’t like”?

    But I accept your willingness to sympathize with men in your first category.

    [I]t’s because I am mildly less unsympathetic to those that want to get out of abject poverty than those living a relatively prosperous life in the United States.

    Spoken like somebody getting laid. But many men would happily live in relative poverty to enjoy the love of a beautiful woman.

    Some aren’t.

    Really? So a measurable percentage of the men who “resort to spending thousands of dollars to marry someone from far, far away” don’t really want to get married? Aren’t really offering a better life to the women they marry?

  20. trumwill says:

    “Controlling” is a bipartisan descriptor, not one of those things that women frequently say about men and not vice-versa. I actually think the tendency to be controlling is more common in women than in men, though the methodology used disproportionately by men to control historically tends to be cause for greater concern.

    Spoken like somebody getting laid. But many men would happily live in relative poverty to enjoy the love of a beautiful woman.

    I’m sure they think they would. A lot of guys also think that they will put up with a lot of really obnoxious behavior from a woman if she’s hot enough. The people think these things because they have never had to endure these things.

    So a measurable percentage of the men who “resort to spending thousands of dollars to marry someone from far, far away” don’t really want to get married? Aren’t really offering a better life to the women they marry?

    I suspect there are more than a few that believe, quite plainly, that they can just send her back if sue is insufficiently submissive or accommodating. Elana Oldenkamp probably never would have resorted to the things she resorted to if she had gotten what she wanted. She would have been married and stayed married and never lodged the accusation. That doesn’t mean that she was ever acting in good faith, though.

  21. ? says:

    Trumwill: granted, the account comes mainly from Oldenkamp himself, but with that caveat, this isn’t a close call. Elena became a different person from whom she presented herself back in Russia and “getting what she wanted” included a separate apartment. I accept the generalization that more than two-weeks of courtship is necessary for a person’s true character to reveal itself, even reveal itself to the person who owns it. But if his account is correct, then no reasonable person would conclude other than that Oldenkamp was the victim of deliberate fraud even before the false charges of DV.

  22. trumwill says:

    The separate apartment was pursuant to a job three hours away and her getting a job was at his insistence.

    Not that it changes much. Everything you refer to is merely further evidence that she never acting in good faith – which I agree with. However, if we’re going to argue about fraud on the basis post-marital conduct (rather than just the status of the marriage) counts, then we’re going to include among the men acting in bad faith those that are abusive and don’t inform their wives ahead of time that they get violent when they get upset or that they will hold her conditional residency over her every time they have a disagreement.

    Thinking it through, I don’t know that I consider the man the mistreats his wife or the woman that makes excessive demands that she did not disclose ahead of time as being particularly guilty of fraud. It’s not really expected that you’re going to hash out all of the negative aspects of your personalities in an accelerated courtship. But it’s still bad faith, either way.

  23. Maria says:

    Spoken like somebody getting laid. But many men would happily live in relative poverty to enjoy the love of a beautiful woman.

    I think it’s hilarious that a woman who marries for money is considered evil but a man who marries for youth and beauty is not. Is there a male equivalent for a “gold digger” i.e. a “beauty digger”?

    As Lorelei Lee said in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” — “A man being rich is like a girl being pretty.”

    Why do men get their noses out of joint so much about women who are gold-diggers, but then think that their own preferences for a mate are non-negotiable and sacrosanct?

  24. ? says:

    Why do men get their noses out of joint so much about women who are gold-diggers

    Maria: I’m pretty sure the gold-digging charge is leveled against women who marry men for their money and then leave them. It’s similar to the scorn heaped on men for marrying beautiful women and the ditching them when they turn forty so they can marry their secretaries.

    But I understand your point. I’m reminded of that exchange from the movie Blaze:

    Earl Long: “Would you still love me if I wasn’t governor of the great state of Louisiana?”

    Blaze Starr: “Would you still love me if I had little tits and worked in a fish house?”

    EL: “It’s not the same thing!”

    BS: “Oh yes it is!

  25. ? says:

    Trumwill: I guess I consider bad faith to be tantamount to fraud in the present context. If you want to make a general point that expectations in cross-cultural relationships can often conflict without bad faith being the issue, then I concur. But I fail to see that being the explanation in Oldenkamp’s case.

  26. trumwill says:

    If you want to make a general point that expectations in cross-cultural relationships can often conflict without bad faith being the issue, then I concur. But I fail to see that being the explanation in Oldenkamp’s case.

    Assuming that Oldenkamp’s accounting of the events is accurate, I really don’t think that it’s a cultural issue. She was a terror and not acting in good faith. We do at least agree on that.

  27. trumwill says:

    I’m pretty sure the gold-digging charge is leveled against women who marry men for their money and then leave them.

    I hear it levied at just about any woman that seeks to use her beauty to gain access to a man’s money with little or no romantic intent.

    Wikipedia defines “gold-digger” as:
    A person who engages in gold prospecting or, in a derogatory sense, a person, usually a woman, who seeks a partner, usually a man, under the guise of a romantic relationship, but only seeks to exploit the person financially

    One of the implications, though, is that she is not as wealthy as he is. There is not a singular term for a man that does the same for the beauty attribute in a woman, but society does not generally view favorably men who seek women that are as out of their class beauty-wise as the gold-digger’s husband is financially.

  28. Maria says:

    Maria: I’m pretty sure the gold-digging charge is leveled against women who marry men for their money and then leave them.

    Much of it also seems to come from men who don’t make much money or have a low-status job and resent the fact that this disqualifies them from getting that HB10 they think they are entitled to.

    (And Marilyn Monroe said it long before Lolita Davidovitch:). Or actually Anita Loos, who wrote Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in the first place.

    Women have long suffered from male mate preferences. It seems to me that men are having a very hard time adjusting to suffering because of female mate preferences.

    That’s why there could be little sympathy from women for men who marry MOBs.

  29. ? says:

    I hear it levied at just about any woman that seeks to use her beauty to gain access to a man’s money with little or no romantic intent.

    What, exactly, are we talking about here? Did our hypothetical man and woman get married? Are they sleeping together? Then unless the woman leaves him, I would say that that she has met a sufficiently high standard for “romantic intent” to avoid a gold-digging charge. Who is arguing otherwise?

    Much of it also seems to come from men who don’t make much money or have a low-status job and resent the fact that this disqualifies them from getting that HB10 they think they are entitled to.

    Again, who is making this complaint? In our corner of the blogosphere, the complaint is usually the exact opposite: that women chase “bad boys and alphas” while ignoring the financially stable men who could actually provide them with a decent life.

  30. ? says:

    Women have long suffered from male mate preferences. It seems to me that men are having a very hard time adjusting to suffering because of female mate preferences. That’s why there could be little sympathy from women for men who marry MOBs.

    Notice the asymetry here. As near as I can tell, women can only “suffer from male mate preferences” when they want th men in question to choose them; men suffer from female mate preferences for the same reason.

    But in the case of the MOBs, I thought we had agreed that these were men that nobody wanted. This may not strictly be true, and no, I would not expect that the woman spurned in favor of a MOB would have much sympathy when her erstwhile love interest gets treated badly. What I don’t understand (well, actually I do understand in the sense of finding it morally objectionable) is the general lack of sympathy for men mistreated by MOBs from women who weren’t at all interested in them romantically. It’s as if women wanted these men to die alone and are pissed off that they tried to escape this fate.

  31. trumwill says:

    What, exactly, are we talking about here? Did our hypothetical man and woman get married? Are they sleeping together? Then unless the woman leaves him, I would say that that she has met a sufficiently high standard for “romantic intent” to avoid a gold-digging charge. Who is arguing otherwise?

    You might say that, but others wouldn’t. Young hot women that marry old men, even if faithful, are called Gold-Diggers. If they’re sleeping together, it’s just that she’s prostituting herself.

    Again, who is making this complaint? In our corner of the blogosphere, the complaint is usually the exact opposite: that women chase “bad boys and alphas” while ignoring the financially stable men who could actually provide them with a decent life.

    The “and alphas” includes rich men. Marry too high and a woman can be accused of gold digging. Marry too low and she can be accused of showing insufficient appreciation for the ability to provide.

  32. trumwill says:

    But in the case of the MOBs, I thought we had agreed that these were men that nobody wanted.

    Worth pointing out here that a lot of the women that sleep with worthless men and then bear their child out of wedlock are women that the men complaining would not want to partner up with.

  33. trumwill says:

    That’s why there could be little sympathy from women for men who marry MOBs.

    I think there’s a lot more to it than that. I think there is the sense among many that these men are “cheating.” Rather than taking an equally undesirable woman or bettering himself to become more attractive to women, he takes the easy way out.

    I think that’s also a part of why a lot of men resent artificial insemination. They feel that these women ought to make do with the kind of man that they can get or do what it takes to attract a man. Instead, they “opt out” of taking on a man altogether.

    Opposition to hiring prostitutes and gold digging, I think, actually falls along similar lines. It strikes against some people’s mind of fair play. People using their assets (money or attractiveness) to get something they didn’t “earn”. Not necessarily agreeing with this mindset, but I think it’s there.

  34. Maria says:

    It’s as if women wanted these men to die alone and are pissed off that they tried to escape this fate.

    No, it’s just an observation, that there’s little sympathy for people who have “high standards” yet aren’t themselves the choice of other people with “high standards.”

    I felt sorry for the lonely English guy in “Birthday Girl” who got raked over by Nicole Kidman. I do feel sorry for lonely guys.

    I guess I just don’t feel sorry for lonely guys who fantasize that they’re entitled to have their own private Kelly LeBrock, as in “Weird Science,” and would turn up their noses at the “unattractive” girl they COULD have who doesn’t meet their standards.

    The guy in the story you posted?

    He seemed to not really know what he wanted, which annoyed me. He didn’t want a “career-obsessed” American woman, but then he got mad because his MOB didn’t want to get a job, for example. He wanted a “traditional, feminine” woman but then was shocked that she wanted a maid, a designer wardrobe, and her own apartment.

    Don’t you guys ever read fairytales? Cinderella didn’t want to be an average hausfrau living on Tuna Helper and shopping at Target. She wanted to be a Queen, for god’s sake. THAT’s often what “traditional, feminine” women WANT. Romeo got the girl he wanted, she WAS very “traditional” — just not “traditional” in the way he expected.

    He probably would have been better off if he’d gone for that “career-obsessed” American woman.

  35. ? says:

    Trumwill: I will stipulate that someone has criticised someone else somewhere for just about everything. That doesn’t make the criticism representative of, say, The Spearhead, or SoCons, or Betas, or men in general, or whatever group I might get lumped in with. The point being that Maria’s (and, to a lesser extent, your) effort to justify the animus (or lack of sympathy, or whatever) for MOB clients with “yeah, well, men don’t like gold-diggers and AI” is, at best, a red herring. (At least, I think that was her point; Maria brought up the issue back in comment #23.)

    Worth pointing out here that a lot of the women that sleep with worthless men and then bear their child out of wedlock are women that the men complaining would not want to partner up with.

    Would that were always true! But the women in this category span a pretty wide attractiveness spectrum. As the social norm against fornication and bastardy continues to decline, I predict that more and more men will be shut out of the market.

    But okay, there may be an apex fallacy at work here: when we complain about alpha-chasers, we’re thinking of that one hot girl we know, and she may not be representative of the breed.

  36. ? says:

    Maria: your point about fairy-tales in comment #34 was well-put; in fact it was my second point in the post that Trumwill cited in his follow-up article; to wit:

    2. The second point is that women from other cultures may not understand how “rich Americans” actually live their lives. One of the distinguishing characteristics of our Anglo -Protestant culture is that Americans work very hard and, more importantly, continue to work hard even after we become wealthy. In contrast, people in most other cultures expect to use their wealth to buy leisure time.

    I gotta say, though, that any man looking for Kelly LeBrock in Russia will be as disappointed as any MOB looking for Cary Grant. The client’s “high standard” usually boils down to “not fat”.

  37. Maria says:

    Notice the asymetry here. As near as I can tell, women can only “suffer from male mate preferences” when they want th men in question to choose them; men suffer from female mate preferences for the same reason.

    Simple. There are probably a lot of women (i.e. me, for instance) who have suffered from “male mate preferences” who feel that “turnabout is fair play.” That’s why the hissy fits by men who feel “locked out of the market” don’t attract much sympathy.

    WE’VE had to do a lot of things, many of them degrading and undignified, to keep our place in “the sexual marketplace,” so why shouldn’t you have to do the same?

    For example, the lonely, middle-aged widow who lies about her age in order to snag Lord Brideshead in “Brideshead Revisted.” Did you feel sympathy for HER, Phi? Or did you think that poor old Bridey was a “beta chump” who was unfairly “duped” by a cheater?

  38. trumwill says:

    That doesn’t make the criticism representative of, say, The Spearhead, or SoCons, or Betas, or men in general, or whatever group I might get lumped in with.

    So you think that the average Spearheader looks at, say, Anna Nicole Smith with an appreciation that she found a man that can provide for her? Or a woman intent on hooking up with an investment banker? Or who dumped (talking about breaking up here, not divorce) the investment banker when everything went south to find someone that is better off?

    In any event, the main question is whether a woman that actually marries and stays married to a wealthy man primarily for his money is a gold digger. In addition to the Wikipedia definition I give above, which doesn’t mention divorce, I refer you to Urban Legends, which contains 18 entries maybe half of which are serious. A woman who marries and leaves a man while taking his possessions is, at most, one of a handful of definitions.

    Would that were always true! But the women in this category span a pretty wide attractiveness spectrum.

    I wasn’t thinking of attractiveness at all. Some of them are really attractive. But seriously, do you want to marry a hot girl who was a wreck? Unintelligent? Uneducated? Undisciplined? There are a fair number of them that I wouldn’t have minded having sex with… but raise kids with?

    These are not generally high-functioning women. It’s no surprise at all that they partner up with low-functioning men.

    As the social norm against fornication and bastardy continues to decline, I predict that more and more men will be shut out of the market.

    Haven’t the numbers been trending in the right direction regarding illegitimate children? Regarding the norm against fornication, that boat sailed a long time. We’re already there.

  39. trumwill says:

    I gotta say, though, that any man looking for Kelly LeBrock in Russia will be as disappointed as any MOB looking for Cary Grant. The client’s “high standard” usually boils down to “not fat”.

    Kelly LeBrock? No. Young and attractive? That they can do. The Russian agencies have an extraordinary number of applicants (one estimate is 25,000 a year). If you don’t care about anything else (such as speaking the same language, having much of anything in common, etc), there are some pretty attractive options, comparatively speaking.

    There are a lot of men out there that want really attractive women even though they are not that attractive themselves. A lot of guys have quite unreasonable expectations on that score. MOBs can be, in addition to a last ditch effort by someone with absolutely no other option, a solution to that particular problem.

    -{comment modified to replace iffy link of possible MOB couple with women on a Belarus (close enough) site}-

  40. Maria says:

    There are a lot of men out there that want really attractive women even though they are not that attractive themselves. A lot of guys have quite unreasonable expectations on that score. MOBs can be, in addition to a last ditch effort by someone with absolutely no other option, a solution to that particular problem.

    But of course. Yet they are quite bitter if women judge them by the same standards as they judge women. Why be bitter? Why not just accept that that’s the way it is, and settle for what you can get?

    After all that’s we women have been asked to do, for thousands of years. We were expected to sleep with ugly old men we didn’t find at all attractive just to put food in our mouths. Look at those 14-year-old girls who are even today forced to marry 80-year-old Arab sheiks. Do you really think those girls don’t have to hold their noses when they climb into bed with Methusalah? C’mon.

    That’s worse than getting rejected by an “alpha-chaser,” by far. Yet you wouldn’t think so from the whining and shrieking that comes out of the “alpha-beta” crowd.

    Oh, horrors, you might have to marry a 5 instead of an 8! And she might have a kid! And she might be over 30 or over 35! A fate worse than death!

    Uh, no, the one with the fate worse than death is the 14-year-old girl married to a guy old enough to be her great-grandfather.

  41. trumwill says:

    To be fair, unreasonable expectations are not a male-specific problem. Nor, for that matter, is bitterness. I feel bad for anyone that can’t get what they want, but… I agree. That’s life. Pick up, move on, and find out what kind of girl or guy you can get.

  42. ? says:

    Simple. There are probably a lot of women (i.e. me, for instance) who have suffered from “male mate preferences” who feel that “turnabout is fair play.” That’s why the hissy fits by men who feel “locked out of the market” don’t attract much sympathy.

    Speaking personally, I have reserved my sense of turnabout for the women who turned me down, not the women whom I turned down. My sense is that taking out one’s frustration with higher status mates on lower status mates is uniquely a female vice.

    WE’VE had to do a lot of things, many of them degrading and undignified, to keep our place in “the sexual marketplace,” so why shouldn’t you have to do the same?

    Do tell!

    Regarding Brideshead, I had forgotten that Bridey’s wife had lied about her age; I thought her age was general knowledge. (I haven’t seen the movie, I’ve only read the book.) They seemed so cute and lovey-dovey, I was happy for them, and thought the old man a real bastard for disinheriting them. But to hear you tell it, then yes, I can sympathize with the widow’s limited options without condoning her lying.

  43. Escapist says:

    Oh crap, no reply from Rob – does this mean Girl Game doesn’t work? I must now bring out my scarves of melodramatic femininity. Either that, or Sexy Pterodactyl’s going to have to surpise-swoop someone 🙂

    Seriously though, like Maria said – the female of the species has had to put up with considerable unpleasantness for mere survival, for ages (and it appears that the MOB ladies are sometimes in this situation as well). These MOB dudes have their survival well in hand, and are trying for one of the luxuries of life (no one dies from being unmarried or even celibate). Ethically speaking, the situations involved are far from equivalent. As usual, not much sympathy from manosphere dudes for the economically-beta female.

    And good point re what nice feminine girls want – high-caliber femininity itself is closely associated with the princess image. If a girl is banking most of her self-worth on femininity (rather than career and other non-trad stuff), then presumably she would want to be high-caliber (and that takes $).

  44. Maria says:

    I like the way things are today, Phi. They let a “sexually valueless” woman like myself find a good husband and get married and have a child and live happily ever after, even when I was “past my prime” (in Roissy-speak). In fact, I hope things continue in this vein.

    Some men don’t like it? The “I’m entitled to a 22-year-old-supermodel” crowd don’t like it? Too effing bad.

  45. ? says:

    Trumwill: Uh, dude. Those women at Belarus Bride are, at best, their marquee clients; more probably, they’re paid models. Back when I was exploring my own options, I had a look at the websites of a number of correspondence services (though I never hired them — ask me why!). It was true that there were young women almost that beautiful, but they were far from typical and they already had literally hundreds of men already writing to them.

    So you think that the average Spearheader looks at, say, Anna Nicole Smith with an appreciation that she found a man that can provide for her?

    Why guess?

    But seriously, do you want to marry a hot girl who was a wreck?

    It’s difficult to separate her wreckedness from her self-destructive mate choices. So it gets to be kind of circular: I don’t want her because she didn’t want me. But if she did want me, then she wouldn’t be dysfunctional, see? Problem solved! 🙂

    Haven’t the numbers been trending in the right direction regarding illegitimate children?

    Not for the last few years, last I heard (from Ross, I think.)

    To be fair, unreasonable expectations are not a male-specific problem. Nor, for that matter, is bitterness. I feel bad for anyone that can’t get what they want, but… I agree. That’s life. Pick up, move on, and find out what kind of girl or guy you can get.

    Trumwill: Maria may be new to my argument on this matter, but you are not. As I have written for my entire blogging life, the complaint that I am sympathetic to is not hot-girls-won’t-have-casual-sex-with-me. It is that hypergamy – monogamy = a severely distorted market for the majority of men.

    But I agree that bitterness does nothing to solve that problem. What you and Maria should understand is that for a number of men, “pick up and move on” means . . . a trip to Russia.

  46. Maria says:

    Speaking personally, I have reserved my sense of turnabout for the women who turned me down, not the women whom I turned down. My sense is that taking out one’s frustration with higher status mates on lower status mates is uniquely a female vice.

    Lower status males make women suffer too with their “mate preferences”. Plenty of lower-status males look down on women who don’t meet their age and/or looks requirements. In fact when I was “looking” in my late 20s early 30s the lower status men were often the snarkiest and the nastiest, IMHO.

  47. Maria says:

    It is that hypergamy – monogamy = a severely distorted market for the majority of men.

    But I agree that bitterness does nothing to solve that problem. What you and Maria should understand is that for a number of men, “pick up and move on” means . . . a trip to Russia.

    We do understand that. It’s just that we don’t like the whining afterward if things don’t turn out that well. . .fact is, the guy in your article would have been better off if he’d married a “career-obsessed” Amerian woman. At least she would have been able to help pay for the maid.

  48. ? says:

    I like the way things are today, Phi. They let a “sexually valueless” woman like myself find a good husband and get married and have a child and live happily ever after, even when I was “past my prime” (in Roissy-speak).

    I’m happy for you. Really, I am, as I am happy for anyone who gets married to someone they love. So . . . do you think our current social arrangements make that more likely or less likely?

    In fact, I hope things continue in this vein.

    Well, yeah, so do I considering the likely alternative will really suck for everybody. The question is whether or not the current regime is sustainable.

  49. ? says:

    It’s just that we don’t like the whining afterward if things don’t turn out that well. . .fact is, the guy in your article would have been better off if he’d married a “career-obsessed” Amerian woman. At least she would have been able to help pay for the maid.

    Maybe. Maybe the “career obsessed” American woman wasn’t really offered to him. Maybe she would have dumped him, and used false DV charges to get custody of the children. The man had already seen the bad end of one marriage, after all.

  50. ? says:

    Lower status males make women suffer too with their “mate preferences”. Plenty of lower-status males look down on women who don’t meet their age and/or looks requirements. In fact when I was “looking” in my late 20s early 30s the lower status men were often the snarkiest and the nastiest, IMHO.

    Well, sure! The lower status males (and females) have the most to be snarky about. I’m not condoning it, but what bothers me more is higher-status people being nasty about lower-status people with no sense of noblesse oblige.

  51. Maria says:

    I’m happy for you. Really, I am, as I am happy for anyone who gets married to someone they love. So . . . do you think our current social arrangements make that more likely or less likely?

    Well, for my particular situation, our current social arrangements made it more likely.

    Well, yeah, so do I considering the likely alternative will really suck for everybody. The question is whether or not the current regime is sustainable.

    And now we get to the inevitable “Western Civilization” is doomed, doomed I tell ya, unless we go back to the double sexual standard and “slut shaming” and “old maid shaming” and all the rest. 🙂

  52. trumwill says:

    Those women at Belarus Bride are, at best, their marquee clients; more probably, they’re paid models.

    I simply don’t get the “model vibe” from this site, which is why I chose it. They boast some 600 clients and have some 400-450 pictures up. They probably left out the ugly ones, but if these were models I doubt they would have have included some of these women. Especially that one that looks to me kinda like a man.

    It’s difficult to separate her wreckedness from her self-destructive mate choices. So it gets to be kind of circular: I don’t want her because she didn’t want me. But if she did want me, then she wouldn’t be dysfunctional, see? Problem solved!

    There were all kinds of women that didn’t want me that were quite functional. Women that passed me by because they wanted someone more accomplished or better looking or with whom they had more in common are one thing. Women who passed me by because they like that guy with the awesome tattoo and the Harley are another.

    Women that continually make reckless decisions in their romantic life rarely fail to make them outside their romantic life. It’s typically a function of the same immaturity and poor judgment that governs them.

    It is that hypergamy – monogamy = a severely distorted market for the majority of men.

    Ultimately, this is an assumption that Maria and I simply do not share.

    What you and Maria should understand is that for a number of men, “pick up and move on” means . . . a trip to Russia.

    And for men with no other options, I am sympathetic. But for men with no options of an acceptable hottitude, well that’s more dependent.

  53. Maria says:

    Maybe. Maybe the “career obsessed” American woman wasn’t really offered to him. Maybe she would have dumped him, and used false DV charges to get custody of the children. The man had already seen the bad end of one marriage, after all.

    Older career women who get married later in life actually have the lowest divorce rates in the country.

    Look at me. I’m a 100 percent monogamous wife and have been for 17 years. Instead of demanding a maid, I paid for half our down payment on our house, and that wasn’t cheap, to put it mildly.

    But your boys over at The Spearhead would have ridiculed my husband as a “beta chump” for “settling” for a woman of my age, and applauded him as an “alpha” for going for a 23-year-old Russian hottie with shady motivations.

    You gets what you pays for.

  54. ? says:

    The issue is that women that constantly make reckless decisions in their romantic life (past a certain age, at any rate) rarely fail to make them outside their romantic life. They’re typically dysfunctional people.

    “Sour grapes” is a coping mechanism I probably used when I was single: if she chose that guy, then I’m glad I’m not with her! But, oh, to be that guy sometimes . . . .

    And now we get to the inevitable “Western Civilization” is doomed, doomed

    Maria: which of our national problems does the increase in sluttiness (since you brought it up) help solve? Our debt to GDP ratio? Our population replacement? Our deindustrialization? Our dysgenic fertility?

  55. ? says:

    Older career women who get married later in life actually have the lowest divorce rates in the country.

    I didn’t know that. Can you source it?

    Look at me. I’m a 100 percent monogamous wife and have been for 17 years. Instead of demanding a maid, I paid for half our down payment on our house, and that wasn’t cheap, to put it mildly.

    Wow, over-thirty + 17 = . . . why are you wasting your time arguing with the likes of me? 🙂

    But your boys over at The Spearhead would have ridiculed my husband as a “beta chump” for “settling” for a woman of my age, and applauded him as an “alpha” for going for a 23-year-old Russian hottie with shady motivations.

    Fair enough. And for the record, I married an over-thirty woman myself 12 years ago and feel pretty damn grateful for it. So I don’t share that particular spearheadism.

    But . . . speaking for myself and your husband, would it not have been better had we gotten to marry y’all at, say, 25?

  56. Maria says:

    Maria: which of our national problems does the increase in sluttiness (since you brought it up) help solve? Our debt to GDP ratio? Our population replacement? Our deindustrialization? Our dysgenic fertility?

    I didn’t say it “helped” anything. I’m not a fan of “sluttiness” as you term it. But neither am I a fan of the double sexual standard either. Sorry, but people got hurt by it.

    I just don’t accept the usual “We’re all doomed doomed doomed if I don’t get my 22-year-old virgin Megan Fox look-alike. . .” arguments. They’re lame. In fact, they’re downright crazy.

    Debt to GDP ratio: Quit pretending that spend-and borrow (i.e. Republican model) is better than tax-and-spend (i.e. Democratic model) for one thing, and embrace real fiscal conservativeness.

    Population replacement: Restrict immigration (are you a member of NumbersUSA BTW? Do you contribute generously to the cause?)

    Deindustrialization: Quit pretending that the “global economy” benefits everyone in the US when it clearly doesn’t, and make policies accordingly.

    Dysgenic fertility: Maybe these “High-IQ” types who continually whine about it should actually get married and have some kids? Just a thought. (But wait, they won’t accept anything less than a 22-year-old Megan Fox look-alike! Anything “less” would be “beta”. . .)

  57. trumwill says:

    “Sour grapes” is a coping mechanism I probably used when I was single: if she chose that guy, then I’m glad I’m not with her!

    Sometimes, though, the grapes really are sour. Past a certain age, I really struggle to come up with examples of smart, competent women I’ve known that have been attracted to useless ne’er-do-wells. Those I can think of that dated them… lacked options.

  58. Maria says:

    Wow, over-thirty + 17 = . . . why are you wasting your time arguing with the likes of me?

    Is there some kind of age limit on this type of discussion?

    But . . . speaking for myself and your husband, would it not have been better had we gotten to marry y’all at, say, 25?

    Well my husband would have been 19 when I was 25 so I’m not sure he would have been on my “radar” at the time. But yes, if I’d had the choice, I wouldn’t have chosen to have been born into a dirt poor, poverty-stricken family that picked fruit in the summer just to make ends meet.

    Instead, I’d have chosen to be born into a nice upper-middle-class suburban family where I’d have had the luxury of not working my ass off for years to pay for college, and could have had plenty of parentally subsidized off-time-hours in which to hunt for Mr. Right.

    You plays the hand that’s dealt ya. I’m not complaining about how I played mine.

  59. trumwill says:

    But . . . speaking for myself and your husband, would it not have been better had we gotten to marry y’all at, say, 25?

    Some people make much wiser romantic decisions in their thirties than they do in their twenties. I got lucky at 25 (or so) when I met my wife. Had I married my sweetheart at 22, things would not have worked out nearly as well. Not to mention the trainwreck that was going on when I was 23 and 24.

  60. Maria says:

    Phi, the data about older career woman = lower divorce rates was featured on A Certain Blogger’s site a while back. I try to restrict my wading time into that particular sewer but you could probably find it if you searched over there hard enough.

    The Certain Blogger sneered at the data, BTW, saying it was because older career women cling to their husbands because they are too sexually valueless to get anyone else. So therefore it really didn’t count, or something like that.

  61. Maria says:

    Oh PS Phi, just to let you know, the Granada Television mini-series with Laurence Olivier and Jeremy Irons is really the only filmed version of “Brideshead Revisted” that matters. It really is a masterpiece.

  62. ? says:

    Megan Fox . . . .

    Sorry. I think the Cylons call that “projecting”.

    Actually, Maria, I chose that list of issues specifically because we are in broad agreement on them. Their relationship with our present discussion I will save for a future post, but know this: all reality is connected. And no, it’s not about Megan Fox.

    I’m gratified that you are not in favor of sluttiness. For my part, I’m not in favor of a double standard. But I’m also not in favor of having relaxed the double standard in favor of more sluttiness. We might wish for a world where there are never any trade-offs, but wishing don’t make it so.

    Trumwill: It’s very easy for me to find post hoc rationalizations for why many of the women who weren’t available to me at age 25 would have been bad choices. Sometimes I even mean it. And sometimes I mean it when I don’t regret any specific relationship decision I actually made (as opposed to decisions made about me).

    But . . . it was not long ago that getting married at age 25 would not be an unreasonable expectation for a young man with a college education and a career. I missed that.

  63. Maria says:

    Their relationship with our present discussion I will save for a future post, but know this: all reality is connected. And no, it’s not about Megan Fox.

    Phi: Here’s my answer to that:
    http://mariatheproblem.wordpress.com/2010/07/17/operation-kitchen-bitch-a-beta-manifesto/

  64. Maria says:

    But I’m also not in favor of having relaxed the double standard in favor of more sluttiness. We might wish for a world where there are never any trade-offs, but wishing don’t make it so.

    It would be nice if “sluttiness” included the male version of it too. Then maybe we could agree that “sluttiness” needs to be reigned in.

    Your pals over in the Manosphere, however, seem to celebrate male sluttiness while deploring the female variety.

    Maybe yous should start preaching the joys of celibacy and monogamy to them?

  65. ? says:

    The folks at Spearhead are a diverse bunch. But yes, I have.

  66. Maria says:

    65.The folks at Spearhead are a diverse bunch. But yes, I have.

    Okay. Good for you.

  67. rob says:

    Wow this is a long hit cofee thread.

    Oh crap, no reply from Rob – does this mean Girl Game doesn’t work? I must now bring out my scarves of melodramatic femininity. Either that, or Sexy Pterodactyl’s going to have to surpise-swoop someone.

    Lots of lab time this week. Honestly, I’m not down on game in general. To the extent that it’s self-improvement and presentation of self, I’m very much in favor of it. I’m very against what passes for on the internets, esp. Noissy. Real game is hard, or at least it’s hard for the sort of person who needs instruction on it.

    The Citizen Lemonade blog comments are hilarious. I had thought Noissy’s commenters were beyond parody. Maria, Whiskey is the best Whiskey parody, anything else pales. More seriously, I think he’s psychotic. Not as an insult. I think he would be happier and have a better life if he were taking antipsychotic medication under the supervision of a psychiatric professional.

  68. Maria says:

    Maria, Whiskey is the best Whiskey parody, anything else pales. More seriously, I think he’s psychotic. Not as an insult. I think he would be happier and have a better life if he were taking antipsychotic medication under the supervision of a psychiatric professional.

    You’re probably right.

  69. Mike Hunt says:

    Methinks Maria doth protest too much…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

If you are interested in subscribing to new post notifications,
please enter your email address on this page.