I was at my local Black Canyon today enjoying a cappuccino sponsored by a very nice reader (thanks John!). The coffee is ok at Black Canyon, not as good as Starbucks but they closed my local Starbucks. The thing I don’t like is they don’t have free newspapers to read at Black Canyon. I keep suggesting they should but they don’t seem to care. So I have to buy a newspaper to read while I have my coffee.
Anyway, I am reading the paper and see a story titled “More and more Asian men forced to marry foreigners”. Sounds like mail order brides but in the reverse direction. The story says that since the 1990’s the trend has been for more and more East Asian men looking for foreign brides. They said that in 2009 in Taiwan that 15 percent of wives were from foreign countries. In South Korea it was eight percent and Japan five percent. In all three countries the largest group of immigrants was foreign brides. Those are some really big numbers. I had no idea the phenomenon was that big in Asia.
The story says the reason for it is that fewer East Asian women want to be traditional housewives. They instead want to keep their careers and stay single. For the men staying single is less of an option because they have family duty to marry, have a son, and look after aging parents.
It’s interesting because last week I read another story that so many men in South Korea are ending up as new bachelors due to economic downturn. The Korean ladies expect the men to provide a home for them, usually an apartment in the city, and so many have lost their jobs or took cuts in pay so can’t afford it anymore. So the ladies dump them, preferring to be single rather than having the stigma of a “homeless” boyfriend whom they couldn’t consider marrying.
So the ladies are getting really picky and demanding, and as a result the men are finding wives elsewhere. Is this not exactly what has been happening in west for many years? Although the percentages in Asia are really high, way more than in the west. In this case the foreign brides are mostly coming from China and Vietnam.
It seems to me that a very big result is going to show up in the next 10 years – a huge number of unmarried women in those countries with no prospects for getting married. They wanted to be single career women and passed the chance to get married when they were young. In most places a woman doesn’t have much chance for marriage once she gets a little older, especially where the men want families. The men imported young brides who gave them children so the older local women are left with no prospects at all. I think there will be a big shift in those societies with this group of middle aged single women that is growing and becoming more powerful, and probably growing more bitter. Watch out Asian men.
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