Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Mail-order brides

A little kerfuffle over at Science Blogs brought mail-order brides back to my attention. (Didn’t they have their fifteen minutes of fame in the eighties?)

I commented to Mark that I didn’t see what the fuss was about. He gamely pointed to the fuzzy grey borderline between mail-order brides and prostitution.

Alison: Well, there’s a fuzzy-to-nonexistent borderline between marriage and prostitution generally. The point of marriage is that it recognises sexual relationships as inherently potentially exploitatitve, and confers legal rights and responsibilities on the parties involved.

Mark: Ah, but that doesn’t apply in the US. If they divorce, the mail-order bride has no residency rights and is deported back to her country of origin. It’s not like Canada where a sponsored immigrant spouse has residency rights independent of the status of the relationship.

Oh. Right. I keep forgetting. (Which is odd, because one of my favourite stories about sponsoring Mark under Canada’s Family Reunification Program is how when he went to get his visa exchanged for a residency card, he was sat down and solemnly lectured that if I were to become abusive, he was not to hesitate to Move Out Immediately. Quebec would help him find a place to live and give him welfare if he needed it. He would NOT have to leave the country. Quebec would come after me for reimbursement as necessary. He was NOT to worry about that.)

But does that mean that we should be worried about the institution of mail-order brides, or that we should be protesting the lack of protection the US offers immigrant spouses – exacerbating a situation of potential exploitation where marriage is supposed to alleviate it?

Tuesday, April 15th, 2003

FW: One more reason in favor of Internet ‘dating’–a true story

Filed under: Anne,dogs,internet dating — alison @ 22:49

Outremont: well-to-do professionals live there. Rich people too. the personals site where I met Adam, and Mark, and Anne (in that order).
100 pounds: about 45 kilos.

>on 4/15/03 3:51 PM, Cummins, Alison at wrote:
>Um, may I forward this? It’s funny and lovely. (Just like you.)

—–Original Message—–
From: Anne McKnight []
Subject: Re: One more reason in favor of Internet ‘dating’–a true story

A funny story about Internet dating, with the moral being, you never know what will happen.
Remember last fall when I met that cool musician guy with the heady imagination, had a nice coffee with him, after which he asked to meet up again, and then he up-and-said his trials (“”) with Internet dating were over, when we actually hadn’t even been on a ‘date’?  

Well, the scene at that time was kind of bleak.  I was dog-sitting. In outremont.  In a house with no good food to raid, except for dog food, very expensive dog food.  The dog had allergies and had to be given pills often.  The dog’s allergies made its anus itch.  The dog would sit & spin on its poor itchy anus for hours on end.  I didn’t know this was an allergic symptom.  I thought she had to go out.  I took her out alllll the time.  She has no discipline and weighs over 100 pounds, and would drag me down the street, towards other dogs, towards piles of dogshit, towards sodden donuts in gutters, all of which I would pry out of her mouth.  If she put anything in her mouth, it would activate more allergies, more sitting & spinning.  Is it any wonder I turned to alternate-virtual–worlds?  Also, I was writing grants, which in academia means inventing parallel lives you will probably never get to live.  Which I have already not gotten to live about 7 times since I moved here, all those parallel lives recycled back to the drawing board…

So, anyway, I answered the cursory, wildly funny ad on nerve, and started a conversation with this guy, the musician.  Even though I was stuck with the itchy-anus dog, in outremont, with no food but dog food, it made me happy.  I met him, and that made me happy too, since more than ‘dating trials’ I thought, oh at last, someone I can talk to about the freaky things I like, music & etc.  well, that didn’t work out, obviously.  I was dissed-electronically, ick.  

The synchronicity of the conversation was good though, as it got my imagination deceived, productively, into thinking it had an interlocutor.  I wrote a grant proposal to pay for all those things I invented in the parallel worlds that crossed between that conversation & the parallel universe sponsored by the government of quebec.  

So synchronicity point 1, is that K**** says, Sunday, he is working with the guy who is the ***** man at *****, who is this guy.  Oh really, say hi for me.  So, yesterday, Monday, synchronicity 2–I find out that I got the grant.  45K + 10K for equipment, sound & image editing stuff.  I guess I owe that guy a beer some time.  Even though he has a girlfriend, and protocol dictates we will probably never be in a together-drinking situation anytime soon, due to the blowback such an encounter in his single days would oh-so-predictably provoke. Moral of the story:  you never really know, do you?

Chalk up another felicity for parallel, virtual lives, and the unpredictable directions they go…


[originally transmitted by e-mail April 15, 2003]

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