myrna balk, artist
etchings, woodcuts, and monoprints sculpture photographs artist statement and bio fiber arts

Mail Order Brides
If it were not for demand, brides would not be sold.

from The Demand Factor: Buying Despair
Woodcuts, etchings, and collages by Myrna Balk

The Demand Factor

Woodcut 9" x 12"
"Captured Suitcase" - Woodcut etching 8" x 12"
"Captured Suitcase"
Woodcut etching 8" x 12"

The mail order bride business appears to be thriving:

  • Businesses produce catalogues of women "for sale". The man pays the service about $1,800 to arrange the "match" and for the ensuing paperwork. The bride and groom rarely meet before she comes to this country for the marriage.
  • Approximately 200 to 300 companies operate in the United States and an estimated 2,000 to 3,500 American men find wives through these catalogues each year.
  • Most of the women are from Russia, Asia, and the Philippines.
  • Most men using the mail-order bride business are older and divorced.
  • These women are attracted by promises of a glamorous life in the United States. When these cross-cultural interchanges do result in marriage, unrealistic expectations on both sides often mean severe incompatibility at best and outright abuse at worst.
  • No studies have been done to track abuse in these marriages, but womens' groups are convinced the problem is growing.


"Mail order bride" - Monotype 10.5" x 31"
"Mail order bride"
Monotype 10.5" x 31"


contact Myrna Balk for permission to reprint
June 8, 2008
Contact Myrna Balk
site designed by joan schwartz