One of the most common myths about international dating is that foreign women are literally mail order brides. One only has to look at the outrage sparked by recent “win a wife” competitions to see that most people believe Russian dating websites are nothing more than fronts for human trafficking. However, that's simply not the case.
Though the “win a wife” contests make it sound as if radio stations are giving away free women, the winners, in fact, receive nothing more than a paid trip to Eastern Europe and a meeting or two with local ladies. The contests don’t guarantee a specific number of dates, much less marriage, not to mention that immigration laws will not allow a man to fly home with a woman he’s “won” in a contest.
Mail order brides, in the traditional sense, no longer exist – at least not for men in Western countries. Though it’s common for international dating sites to refer to female members as “Russian brides,” “Ukrainian brides” and so forth, the women aren’t ready-made wives available for purchase. Men must still charm and court foreign ladies the same way they would any other woman, and no amount of money in the world guarantees a man a bride.
The "win a bride" contests offered by rock stations are nothing more than glorified vacations and meet-and-greet sessions. The men who win such competitions are not that different then the men who choose from single women on ABC's The Bachelor. However, thanks to persistent stereotypes the public will continue to get upset about so-called "mail order bride" promotions.