Briefly Noted

THE NEW YORKER, 29 AUGUST 2016, FEAT. PROF. MARCIA ZUG:

BUYING A BRIDE, by Marcia A. Zug (New York University). This provocative history of mail-order marriages challenges stereotypes about women who leave home to wed strangers. Arguing that our view of the practice is overly influenced by cases of trafficking, Zug shows us women who have seen it as an opportunity. British women who answered their government’s call to go to the American colonies, for example, obtained property and labor rights denied them at home. Surveying contemporary bridal immigrants, Zug acknowledges complexities, but emphasizes that, although American men who advertise for foreign brides tend to want “traditional” wives, the women who respond manifest a kind of “mail-order feminism”: drawn to less patriarchal societies, many go to school and to work after marrying.

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