Monday, November 29, 2004

Love for Sale…

My stomach churned as I watched the documentary on the Odyssey channel on a Sunday Afternoon. I watched as various women documented how Russia had become the place to fetch a wife. In a male chauvinistic country where women are degraded and sentenced to a future of either domestic or middleclass jobs, many are easy targets for rich American men promising them more. Besides being hard and chauvinistic, most Russian will never have the means to provide what we consider a decent home environment. Furthermore, their ancestral backgrounds confine them to their hard personalities which know very little of the sensitive attentions that a woman needs.

Not being allowed to study much further, either by their families or their educational facilities, a woman can only settle for a middleclass job reserved for women only. Executive women are rare and much criticised in a country like Russia. So when an American man comes along and promises a woman like this, a family, a home, freedom of choice and expression… how can such a proposal be refused?

Did you know that in Russia there are agencies that advertise women for marriage like the sale of an animal? Over the Internet you will find the pictures and profiles of beautiful Russian women at your disposal to choose from. These are not professional women; they are simple women like the ones you find walking on your streets or living next door, and they’re simply looking for a way out, freedom, and independence.

What would you do for your freedom of speech and opinion?

For my independence I packed my life and walked away from the country that I loved and was raised in, I left my parents and the roof over my head and eventually I earned a place that I call my own. I cried, I worked; I sweated and earned my independence. But would I marry for it? My mother did… she’s no longer married to my father. Their marriage and divorce affected four souls and surrounding family members.

Tears fell down my face as I listened to women document how they meet and marry these American men. Practically forced to fall “in love” with these men, these women see them as a future that Russia could never promise them. Most of these men, old and rich could not find a partner is their mother country so they go where they know the women are desperate for what they can provide… a stable and independent life. In return, these men are compensated with a beautiful bride, a woman that is feminine in the way she dresses and in the way she thinks. They know that these women will never ask too much of them and will appreciate everything they are given in return. Basically their prize is a beautiful Barbie Doll that does everything Betty Crocket does in the kitchen, Julie Andrews does with kids and Madonna does in the bedroom. They become instant owners to these women… but will they ever own their hearts?

At what price does one buy a woman’s heart?

On the documentary, one of the men asked his Russian girlfriend to marry him. She spoke alone to the cameras saying “I’m not sure that I love him, but how can I not when he provides me with all these things. He gives me an apartment and takes care of my clothes, he must surely care for me… yes, I must love him, I must marry him”
My heart broke along with the tears that ran down my face. A woman that loves would never ask herself that question. When you truly love, it is usually the only thing you can be sure about. Doubt everything about him except for the way you feel. To ask yourself if you’re in love is to admit that you’ve never known the feeling. My reason for crying was at the realisation that most Russian women, will never know the true significance of what makes the world go round. These women are left with very little choice, when their own men cannot give them the loving affection they deserve; it is little wonder that they see these Americans as the answer to their prayers. These desperate losers (for you cannot call anything else to a man who buys a woman) become their knights in shining armour.

Some of these marriages work out… after living with someone for a good amount of time, you might find that they are truly the soul that yours has been searching for all along. But what if they aren’t? What if you wake up each morning next to someone you know that your heart will never belong to? How can either party be satisfied with such an arrangement?

I believe that the worst torture a human being can put herself \himself through is to succumb to the illusion of love. To believe that one is happy living my society’s vision of happiness. Imagine waking each morning to the face of someone that you know will never fill your heart nor take your breath away. To do so, is the same as condemning yourself and your partner to a life half-lived. It is a tragedy when two people settle for sex and a friendship to try and fill that empty void. Don’t they know that it only makes the emptiness wider? Don’t they know that they only become lonelier and that they days that go past become time wasted?

I for one will rather live all my days alone and with a whole heart being broken than to condemn myself to a life of emptiness. If I really care about my partner, would I also keep them from going out and finding their true love? I may be alone, I may be without a partner, but at least I’m being honest with myself and sincere to the men who care about me.

I was told that I was being silly. That most of these women were given the opportunity to live like queens and would without a doubt be much happier. I somehow cannot grasp this concept. Of course they will much rather choose their American life to their Russian one but whether or not they will be happy will depend if they ever known love…
A woman cannot nor will not forget the power that love has over her heart. She cannot forget the magic in the touch of a loved one… the intensity found his words… the way his voice vibrates her soul and his warmth envelopes her body. No woman can ever forget the power of love. No woman who has felt it can ever settle for anything but love and she who does, can never feel whole. The heart of a woman is priceless, it cannot be bought. Prizing my independence as much as I do, I can still risk saying that I would give it up for love rather than possess it with an empty heart.

Any man can possess a woman’s body but only true love will possess her heart.

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