London, England–There is a controversy over one UK dating agency’s offer to connect men with Czech women “unspoiled by feminism.” Feminist domestic violence advocates are protesting, and one politician said, “Material like this is frankly disgusting and I am certain that everyone will share my revulsion.”
My feeling about international dating agencies in general is that I wouldn’t do it, but I wouldn’t criticize it. If that’s what men want, fine, it’s their lives. As for the comment that has generated the controversy–women “unspoiled by feminism”–I have a few thoughts:
1) If it really is an advertisement for doormat women, then yes, it’s offensive. But I doubt that’s what the agency meant, and I doubt that’s what most men who go to these agencies are looking for. While I’m sure these agencies do sometimes serve the “keep ’em barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen” type of male, probably the vast majority of the men just want a woman who doesn’t buy into the woman good/man bad Western feminist worldview. Do you really want to go through life with someone for whom it’s always his fault? I can understand men wanting to avoid this.
2) For the men at these agencies, “unspoiled by feminism” may well be code for “wants an intact family, isn’t fond of divorce.” Divorce is rampant in the West, and it is women, not men, who initiate the vast majority of divorces. Yes, sometimes the women have good cause or the relationship really is nonfunctional, but sometimes that is not the case. I can see why a man who’s been through the “I had no idea she wanted to divorce me” scenario–complete with concomitant restriction of access to his children and financial misfortune–would look for a crop of women who are less inclined to divorce.
3) Another way to look at it is this–if anybody, male or female, is considering marriage, and could choose from crop of potential partners #1, where the divorce potential was 1 in 2, and crop of potential partners #2 where the divorce rate was maybe 1 in 4, wouldn’t he or she be quite right to choose group #2? (BTW, does anybody know what divorce rates in the Czech Republic actually are?)
4) That being said, I’m skeptical that these foreign marriages work all that well. I’ve received plenty of letters from men who went for foreign brides and hooked up with the stereotypical beautiful and much younger spouse, and thought they had found true love, only to find that their foreign wives were more interested in their money and citizenship than them as people. If you’re one of those guys who wants her mostly for her beauty, don’t be shocked if she wants you mostly for your money.
5) I’m skeptical that Czech women are so unfamiliar with feminism. The Eastern Bloc countries employed many of the ideas that feminists recommend, including low-cost, 24 hour child care, free abortion on demand, and an emphasis on women having jobs and careers. I traveled throughout the East Bloc in the early ’80s, including Czechoslovakia. While it was obvious that the country’s economy was stifled by what Trotsky accurately called the “dead hand of the bureaucracy,” the women there were well-educated, and were hardly clueless naives.
The article is below.
Fury Over Dating Agency’s Sleazy Ads
Jan 21 2008
By James Moncur
A DATING agency’s sleazy offer of Czech women “unspoiled by feminism” was slammed yesterday.
Protesters have demanded that council officials investigate the activities of the Hand In Hand agency, whose website features the women in skimpy clothing and underwear.
They promise clients women 10 to 20 years younger than them who are “unspoiled by feminism at a very affordable price”.
It also claims they are “beautiful, intelligent and educated” and have a “culture of support and respect for their husband”.
Domestic abuse campaigner Kathryn Sharp said her jaw dropped when she read one of the fliers the agency are distributing around Dundee.
She said: “Its approach to women would be offensive to anyone, male or female. The implication is it is about the ability to buy a bride.
“As well as the offence it could cause to members of the public, the leaflet must raise concerns about exploitation of women in the Czech Republic.”
Another woman who complained said: “The small print on the leaflets probably explains the women cost a couple of goats and half a dozen chickens and that they always look forward to their daily beatings.”
Police have also been made aware of the agency’s leafleting activities.
Dundee councillor Joe Morrow pledged to act yesterday after receiving a number of complaints.
He said: “Material like this is frankly disgusting and I am certain that everyone in Dundee will share my revulsion that it is being handed out in public.”
A spokesman for Hand In Hand in Dundee, one of a number of franchises of the agency in the UK, insisted they were above board. He added: “We are simply an introduction agency and not a buy-a-bride service.”
But it emerged last night that Hand In Hand have been criticised by websites investigating internet scams and blacklisted by one – agencyscams.com.
Their investigator said: “I first ran across this agency three years ago. All the girls are the same as then. Bad sign.”