Life After the Endless Suburbs

Matrimony Abroad

April 1, 2013

This is Chapter Three of How to Marry a Third-World Woman and Live Happily Ever After, Somewhere Else. While it contains many generalizations, generalizations are generally true, which is why they ar
e generalizaitons. Here are Chapter One and Chapter Two.

What are Third-World women like?

The question is in a sense idiotic. We are talking about hundreds of millions of women from wildly diverse cultures, apart from their being individuals with all the quirks and variation of people anywhere. A Thai, a Mexicana, a Bangladeshi woman, and a Chinese maiden don’t have too much obviously in common. However, many nationalities do have definable traits, and it is these that make their female portions desirable.

Note, however, it is important neither to homogenize nor to idealize them. Homogenization: It is easy to imagine them (“Them.” See?) as being somehow indistinguishable, as,  well, the natives, somehow not having distinct personalities. As the dusky maidens of Kipling. You can do this without realizing that you are doing it.

 Homogenization: They are luscious, half-educated, beautiful, young, sexual, and submissive. Hoo-boy, have I got news.

In Mexico, where I live, they run from illiterate campesinas to sophisticated and travelled, from shop girls to neurologists, dull-witted to flashingly intelligent, seldom submissive. Remember that the Third World—whatever the hell exactly that means—actually is developing in many regions, which means that you can find smart professionals, particularly in the cities. These amount to an international class with a Thai, Mexican, or Philippine flavor. They generally seem more adult and less trashy than American women of the same age (dare one say “ladylike”?) and they lack the default hostility to men.

Idealizaton:   You can (from a distance) fantasize that they will be universally lovely, demure, intelligent, reasonable, and eager to care for their man—i.e., you. There are very good reasons for being interested in them, but they are still women: moody, at times bitchy, occasionally hysterical, and irrational. (Fortunately we men are never jerks, dickheads, drunks, womanizers, stupid, or inconsiderate.) Think carefully, fly before you buy, and remember that being in Argentina is not a panacea, unless your thoughts fail to extend beyond the red-light districts. You still have to find a good one, not easy for either sex.

A few tendencies that you will encounter, with exceptions and in different degrees:

First, as noted, the women don’t hate men. This is not always easy to understand, since men in most of their countries treat them far worse than we treat American women. It is a paradox that North American women are the most spoiled and privileged, yet are the most complaining, self-pitying tarantulas on this weary planet.  

Mexican men are famous for beating their wives like drums, cheating on them without even having the decency to keep it secret, and staying drunk no more than all of the time. Thai men are worse, and Moslem men a residue of the Cretaceous. This makes American men attractive, since we don’t much do those things.  

Second, they believe in sexual dimorphism—that is, that men are intended to be men, that women are intended to be women, and that it’s all a good idea. This has both philosophical and practical consequences.

Philosophically it means that they do not feel a need to prove themselves to be your equal. It isn’t that they regard themselves as inferior. They don’t. They are perfectly capable of regarding themselves as your superior as an individual—as being smarter if they are, more responsible, more capable, what have you. But they seem to think, without really thinking about it, that asking whether men are superior to women is like asking whether an outboard motor is superior to a Labrador retriever.

You will quickly notice four splendid things about third-world women. They don’t whine, they don’t read self-help books, they aren’t in “therapy,” and they don’t take Prozac. See you in Beijing.

Third, they cook and clean. Let’s be honest here: As men, we think this is wonderful. There are things men do—carry heavy objects, plow fields, shoot burglars, change the oil, make money—and things men don’t do—cook and clean, change diapers, and deal with small children. Women of the Third World understand this and in fact see nothing wrong with it. And since (we will come to this later) you will in all likelihood be footing the bills, she will see you as keeping your part of the marital bargain. If she is, say, an ophthalmologist, you will hire a maid.

My wife naturally wakes up before I do. Bwing up anyway, she brings me a cup of coffee when I begin to bubble up toward consciousness, and then goes to the tiendita next door for fresh-squeezed orange juice. She doesn’t think it’s oppression. She thinks it’s orange juice.

Fourth, depending on the country and the woman, they can be (but aren’t necessarily) insanely and even dangerously jealous. In Thailand, friends tell me, a cheating husband can awake as his primary sexual part go out the door in his wife’s hand, to be tied to a helium balloon and released skyward. Whether this is true, I don’t know. Let somebody else find out and tell you.

Fifth, they are sometimes seriously religious, whether Catholic in Latin America or Buddhist in Southeast Asia. This is not a bad thing, provided you are not one of those tiresome atheists, who seem to be the only kind of atheists.

Neither Catholic nor Buddhist women have even the slightest sexual hang-up that I have ever encountered or had reported to me by friends. Mexican women in particular are enthusiastic in bed. The Church is not a problem.

Depending on your conceptions of morality, you might possibly run into difficulties if your Latin lady finds herself unexpectedly with child, as she might refuse to kill it. On the other hand, they are wonderful mothers. On the third hand, abortionists exist quietly in Mexico at any rate, usually doctors, and among the educated they are not infrequently used.

Sixth, and real important though hard to describe, third-world women take a philosophic, relaxed, and more mature approach to life than do Americans of either sex. They know that life is temporary and tend to accept it. One lives, one behaves as well as one can, and one dies. The years come and go, and so do we. We all know this as a matter of biology, but other cultures are far more comfortable with it.

The women (except the rich, who are very Americanized everywhere) are content just to live. They want reasonable comfort, security, enough to eat, and a good husband. That is pretty much the end of the list. They seldom have much, or any, interest in jewelry or clothes from Italian homosexuals.

And they are not driven, ambitious, or materially competitive. They are just content. This may be why their countries are undeveloped, but this is not a book on economics. They are not trying to fill the great aching emptiness that darkly thickly over unreligious materialistic societies of the US variety. You live, you die, you go back to God. Whether this is delusional can be argued, but if you believe it, you are a lot calmer and much better company.

Seventh, and we will have more to say about this, they are, to put it mildly, family-oriented. Most will have mothers, fathers, sisters. You too will have them. This means that your lady may not be real portable. Be prepared to deal with it. I know many men who have taken wives out of their native countries, but these have tended to be the well-educated, professional sorts of wives. Many simply won’t go if they have aging parents who need care. They may, again depending on the particular woman, want you to help support their families in various ways. If you have chosen unwisely, this may be gold-digging. Or it may be that in countries with poor social safety nets, people take care of their families.

Nuff said.

Philip Francis Stanley and Grotesque Ophthalmological Malpractice