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Bodies, Letters, Catalogs
FILIPINAS IN TRANSNATIONAL SPACE
Transnational space keeps the Philippineeconomyafloat.The top three and remittances fromoverseascontract exports-electronics, garments, workers-have consistently been reliable sources of foreignexchange, whichsustainthe economyespeciallyin timesof crisis.The Filipinaand her body prefigure thisspace, movingfromworkin the home to homeworkoutsidethe home. Filipinashave been integrated intothe circuits of in variousways: as sweatshopfactory in multitransnationalism workers national corporationswithinthe national space, and as entertainers, domestichelpers,nurses,and mail-order brides in international spaces. of power relations.The These spatial locations,afterall, are artifacts analysisof these various locationsremaps the discursivecircuitsin the ofpowerthatplaces bodies and nationsin a transnaoblique enforcement tional juncture.This articleexaminesthe geopoliticsof Filipina bodies in transnational on theproblematics inscribed space, specifically focusing of the mail-order bridephenomenon as a social and politicalpractice. Advertisedmostlyfor middle-class,elderlywhitemen, mail-order brides embodythe hyperreal shoppingforthe FirstWorldmale and the of women and the Third World.In the past commodification hyperreal ten years, 50,000 Filipinas came into the United States as mail-order brides. Each year,some 19,000 Filipinasleave the Philippinesto unite of whomare withhusbandsand fiancesofothernationalities, themajority in the United States. This articleprovidesa cognitivemap of the disthe marketing course of mail-order mode (catalogs in brides,analyzing as at the cultural level well as at thesocio(race,sexuality, etc.) particular) The level political (economics,development, geopolitics, im/migration). brides in transnational discourseof mail-order space posits women and At the same time,however, as sitesof critiqueand complicity. femininity the discourseallowsforrecuperating modes of activity thatare a conduit forand circumvention of the mail-order bridebusinessesand theirmale clientele. The discourseof mail-order bridesis situatedin the historical posiof Filipinabodies intoa transnational in colonial, space inscribed tioning and capitalist histories. The discourseis also connectedto the militarist, of as practices shopping,especially thesepracticesare placed in the network of the postal and mail-ordering systems.The various circuitsof
C 1996 by Duke University Social Text Press. 48, Vol. 14, No. 3, Fall 1996. Copyright
Roland B. Tolentino
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forthemostpart. The of mail-order brides the discourse Philippines of the Philippine-U. fantasy brings conquest and rescueintoconsideration. regime pejorative in thisposition.Ethnographic studiesof the domesticscene have suggestedthat.39 on Sun.118. televisiondatingshows. finedin a commodity tradedevoid of pleasureforthisbody.postmodern"love connections"-for example.one whose conditions are inequitably drawing moredetrimental to themail-order bridethanto theFirstWorldgroom. womenmake sense of their livesand thuspose resistant and subversive the mail-order bridehas been conpleasure.As a Filipinoexchangescholarin theUnitedStates.Nonethein this to findFilipinas in Los Angeles placed/located less.The dominant position undertaken women's groups on the issue is to by leftist mail-order bridesas exportedvictims in a neocolonialtrade.various formsof pleasure and mobility also underwrite the exchange.to pass whenever and possible withina systemthat harps upon both multiculturalism racism.0.My analysisof the packagingof mail-order brides links the marketing used to two kinds of nostalgia: a strategies that of nuclear-family fantasy supportsgenderand sexual reinforcement that and a colonialist racial loss and recuperation.while signifying and a or efficient of bodies over more less currency exchange postal netalso a of for the connotes whole associations work. Letters."thesewomenhave chosen to remainin the closet. Since thereis no makingethnography as subject.relationship.I to construct a rescuenarrative nor a victimage for do notintend paradigm both women themail-order as tauntbride.While define threat to mail-order literal violencedoes existas a constant brides. 1 My own subjectpositionand mystakein thispaper need to be foregrounded. my efforts an failed to interviewee.This regimehas prevented me from woman (re)situated withthesewomen. thus much more difficult to undertake. The term mail-order the basic operationsof bride.S. At the very is symptomatic certainly least. sex-furtherlinkthe discourseto phone sex. Bodies.In contrast.mycritical a discussionof issues thatcontinueto be linkedto intention is to initiate and institutions the colonial and neocolonialhistories of the (primarily) and United States.whosepositions as exchange working ethnographically While thereis brides. a generalknowledge of theexistence and operations of mail-order brides. phone dating. within thisspace. the network is poised to conceal this aspect of the women'spasts. I hope this articlebecomes a "consciousness-raising" attemptat attention to the discourse. Catalogs 5? This content downloaded from 193. inevitably position oppressed. as keyto the question"What is to be done?" By examining ing liberation in whichthemail-order I theconditions bridediscoursegetsconstructed. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .and Internet Americanpopular culture. the backlash of position yield Realizing "coming out.thebody can onlybe locatedin geopolitical body constitutable terms.remainindividually keptsecrets.
2 However. Haraway would inevitably referto Third World women in transnational as "real life space cyborgs [who] are actively the of their bodies" would claimthat"surtexts and." able to breach reality organism.is allowedin is calledintofocus?3 Like Fouthisspace? Whatresponsibility (therefore) cault's markingof the body as embodying power. move is sphere literary metaphors refiguring probthesocial to privilege thetextual.is the realbody of theThird Worldwomanin transnational space positioned? On the one hand. lematicto theextent thatitmarginalizes Where. Tolentino This content downloaded from 193. Bodiesaremapsofpower and Women -Donna Haraway.when the cyborgrefers in quota workin a multinational womanemployed theissuesof sweatshop.if any.in turn. power/knowledge in I hope for and explicit entailed these discourses and networks. She concludes ine powerto (fictionally) her essaywitha textual readingof women'swritings.Discipline ifitis botha productive a useful force The bodybecomes only bodyanda subjected body. boundariesbetweenhumansand animals. and Punish -Michel Foucault. struggles to occur which.118. therefore. of thecyborg Donna Haraway'sfeminist-socialist myth exposessome posin the bodies of sible openingsforresituating pleasureand responsibility womenin transnational space.organisms and machines. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . in in their the confusion of boundaries" and "pleasure "responsibility construction" are easilydampened:What pleasure. on theotherhand. lead toward some theootherinterventions may for retical and practical tactics theactualmarginalized bodempowerment who experience theeffects of colonialand neocolonialhistories ies/voices in their dailystruggles.Simians.39 on Sun.then.theissues of the of real cyborgsand survival have yetto move beyondtherhetoric 52 Roland B. rewriting vivalis the stakesin thisplay of readings"4.hope thatI am able to call intofocussome of theissues and stakesin this itsrelation to other and theimplicit networks. Multinationaland TransnationalBodies andidentity. a creature of social as well as fiction. shifting gearsin the ofthecyborg from theoretical transnational circuits to the myth radicality in The of the social.Cyborgs. As transnational space is set intoplace by the cyborgbecomes "a hybridof machineand information technology.0. discourse.and to the body of a Third World so on. Haraway's project within thetendency of academiato imagremainsonlypotential: political such be realizable and resistant.
24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .To a large extentand thoughprobaddressesa First lematicevenin theFirstWorldcontext. body in transnational performative typical the home. the postindependencecondition(s) arising in theera societies ofthecolonialintothepostcolonial from themovement and is translated of late capitalism. perfect role as Her traditional circuits.) adjustments. and transnaof multinationalism These have been thegendereffects tionalism. circuits(debt servicing. militarism. Letters.men are forcedto adopt nontraditional men accepttheidea ofwage-earning as womenwork. youth. and class termsthatare Philippinepracticein racial. labor-capital patriarchal an apparatus an apparatusthatprefigures powerrelations. tationof the politicsof the cyborg. attitudes: couples as femaleproand theylearntraditionally a necessity foreconomicsurvival.Neocolonialism. (in Foucauldian terms)thebody. abroad.118.And. as thecollective manifesa practiceHarawaysituates ityand networking.thebodybecomes becomesa symptom a tool for (limited)economic empowerment.is imbued withthe womenbear theburdenof theimpactof changes of poverty: feminization value-added debt rescheduling. similarworkoutside allows her body to perform homemaker and transnaof multinationalism intothe circuits The body is integrated sexualized a politicaleconomymarkedby a highly tionalism. nologyremains of power") utilizedbypoliticaland cultural authority (as in "technologies a mode of disciplining of a hegemonic toward theproduction moment.theFilipina'sbody becomes theveryrequisite and in this "new" economic situation:her supposedly nimble fingers to stereoall add a her status unmarried her up eyesight. gender. form.On theone hand. thedemand ing.ThirdWorldgovernments division this habitatwhich.In in techthe Third situations racialized and World. expectedto do themarketing. structural etc.ethnic.The myth's radicalpotentials haveyetto yieldto a practiceof affinmyth.At thesame time. multinationalism. Haraway'smyth in the body's some to Worldaudience able realize. present Bodies. as FirstWorldwomenvacatethedomesticspheres.39 on Sun. wage work. Catalogs 53 This content downloaded from 193. individualizing to any I don'tknowhow thispleasurecorresponds pleasurein technology. functioning householdchores. in transnational same time while at the taxationschemes. their chances of work and so on-to better midwifery. through and transnationalism multinationalism While transnationalism. strainsformarginalized able to recuperatesome progressive groups.as in most of the Third World. generating wereonlytoo eagerto provide oflabor." nontraditional forbeingpositioned hand. focusto ThirdWorldwomen'sdomestic laborhas shifted forinternational rolesand labor.and childrearcooking. the Filipina's body ofthesedebates.sex. placing the Filipina in the On theother role as "wage earner"or "head of thefamily. fessions-nursing. By being circulated in transnationalspace. women are still own After their as homemakers.0.
the exemptions for100 percentforeign ownerlaws. zones (EPZs) Beginningwithmultinationalism. export-processing were establishedby the International MonetaryFund and WorldBank forThird Worldindustrialization thatsoughtto (IMF-WB) prescription induce foreign investments.cheap long from local provincial loans.118.0. examples attempts master and command space as a means of controlling class struggle. spaces.39 on Sun. intended Originally as sites forthe freeflowof technological exchange. heavy industriessuch as mining.whilelightindustries such as food processing and the manufacture of textiles.EPZs have become conduitsof global assemblylines and virtualsweatshops. tolgreater in repetitive erance of and betterperformance and monotonoustasks.a willingness has providedwomen withwork rates. Multinationalcorporationsare guaranteedmaximum withincentives for theirinvestments profits includingcheap labor. the the IMF-WB has posiEPZs.As morestringent are policies activated to and systematize to ensure smooth-flowing the operations. products. Through tionedtheThirdWorldand ThirdWorldwomenin their places. and transnationalism Among the tacticsemployedby multinationalism and decentralization. ring differentiating in Both to are of processesinevitably collapse practice. and so on. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and tolerance presenceof antistrike to systematize and to ensure ship. foreign exchangecontrols. and subsidizedutilities.forpurposesofthisarticle in nationalspaces whiletransnationalism refers to thoseoccuroccurring in international areas the the two However.In short. In this sexual division of labor. "synergizing" work. taxes. capital flight.As morestringent policiesare activated the absence of restrictions formultinational smooth-flowing operations. and machinery and equipment petroleum refining. These cost-benefit the analysesforeground direction ofmultinational that national boundaries and homogenizes collapses capital women's bodies. higher voluntary quitting tives. businessis eventually bornebythebodies ofworkers. and hardybodies in the 20/20 eyesights. garments. Tolentino 54 This content downloaded from 193. mostly nimblefingers. pharmaceuticals utilize female labor. patience. repatriation. tobacco and footwear. the absence of customsduties. an assuranceof unlimited tax profits. alternareliability. of multinational womenare preferred forall performance thestereotypical reasons:lowerlabor costs. are geographicalmobility deindustrialization and and investment and industrialization.import and quotas. low expectationsand lack of employment to put up withdead-endjobs.Women'sbodypartsare idealized. holidays. absence of for restrictions multinational business is borne eventually bythe bodiesof workers.5 As multinationalism Roland B.manual dexterity. of economicdevelopment and capitalmoveseemingly divergent patterns multinationalism refers to theoperations ment. By 1983 elecin tronic these EPZs have become thenumber products produced already one exportof thePhilippines. manufacturing generally utilizemale labor.perpetuto overseetheir off theThird atingitsfunction "development" bymarking Worldand ThirdWorldwomenin terms ofcost-benefit of natural analysis and laborresources.
Cosmetic and bazaars are organizedperiodically.believingthatmarriedwomen belong in the home. and bonuses and incentives are rewarded withgiftchecks fromdepartment stores.eyesight.When multinational workhas maximizedits utilization of the the in of female remains anchored dreams body young body. employing youngsinglewomenensuresa rateof naturalor volunwhenthewomenleave to marry or raise children. Women'smarginality becomes the traditional and transnationalism.The makingit refurbishable of the femalebody forfemaleworkin multinational preparation operaalso preparesthe body fortransnational workas a mailtionsincipiently orderbride. years percentof thirty are underthe age of twenty-five. Multinational close shops at the corporations of labor unrestor at the promiseof cheaper labor slightest provocation and betterincentives elsewhere. however. trade). since theyare seen to have better unmarried on averagethanolderwomen.Management of womenworkers soft-sell bypromoting exploitsthefemininity conspicuous consumptionin its "extra-occupational" activities.premisedupon these traditional modes of oppression women's oppression.The production sexualization of desireforconsumer goods forein theexportation groundsthewaysuch desirebecomestheundercurrent of brides.as givenwork can easilybe takenback. of women and the Third World in global amounts to the exploitation terms.reconstitute This reconstitution for theirown economic and culturalprerogatives. essence of multinationalism which. as a transportable brideto FirstWorldsites.young women are more efficient. to say theleast. Most employers womenworkers prefer womenforthefollowing reasons:employers are often reluctant to younger benefits. singlewomen are consideredmore pay the generousmaternity flexible and reliablethanmarriedwomen-freerto workshift hours and with lower rates of absenteeismcaused by child-careproblems.118.in whichwomenwithin competewitheach other forthe titleof beautyqueen.radical departure fromwomen's it has done so without space. fromthe burdenof combining to be fatigued theyare less likely factory workat home.6 taryturnover between the of Furthermore. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Multinational workis precariouswork.0. Letters. spaces wage work.39 on Sun.Such promotionof insidious ofthe is a cruciallinkage to theunderstanding of theextent consumption oflabor. transnational stratified of the Third Worldwomenare further within the hierarchy womenare preferable multinational paradigm:young. Catalogs 55 This content downloaded from 193.childless (in is be old in the and 85 to be old to fact. Western-style beautycontests clothing thefirms are also staged. Multinationalism is characterized by its Bodies.single.and and physicalreflexes health.the femalebody is in therespite also reconstituted of actualmultinational work. modernity. social roles and functions.employers workwithunpaid domestic arerelucthemselves tant to disruptfamily life.
Women'ssexualbody obscuredas clarified formale leisureand femalework.in the Philipthatused to hosttheAmerican pines.thesesitesare in theurban centers bases and in cities vigorously military projectedand exoticizedby the tourismcircuit. Most of thesewomenweremigrants thedepressedregionsof the country. "Hospitality withFilipino perform girls" have an affinity womenwho workin multinational operations.itsoperations as itresets to thehost boundaries. This.There used to be nine thousandwomen servicingthe Subic Naval Base in Olongapo and seven thousandmore in Clark Air from Field. crosscultural relationsforegrounds The experience of interracial. The providesanother rise of theUnited Statesas a global powerin thetwentieth escacentury lated the need to expand and secure its interests worldwide.118. Its military in siteswhereits interests and continbases mushroomed were directly at stake. intothe cirbodies.the issue of pleasure and pain is not so much in thesexual economyat play. The cyborgreappears as a sexual machinethatyieldsa highly problematic positionin the confusion of bodyand machineboundaries. thesewomenwerelabeled by sailors as "LBFM" (littlebrownfucking machines). Withthelastof the thatbeginsin themid-1970s erupts the tradeas the Americanbases closed in 1992. women servicing sexual labor.39 on Sun. selling degreesofmobility the most benefits forthe lowestcosts. nationthatoffers in the circuitsof labor and bodies: women from resultsin anothershift in closed sitesare displaced. Wheremen'sleisureis translated to female work. These sites acted as a to a of entertainment layer gently magnet establishments theneedsoftheservicemen. some womencontinuetheir to investment and tourism destinations. now activated Implicatedin thisworkare children's 56 Roland B. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . the a shift remains habitat for the of surplus transnational spatial production sexual bodies. in turn. global economy. Tolentino This content downloaded from 193. The "pleasure in the confusionof boundaries" in the of bodies in theseris but a transnational reterritorialization myth cyborg vice of capital'smovement. Performing tasks that provided the servicemen's "R&R" (restand recreation).Withthese parts are instrumentalized bases closed down and turnedinto investment and industrial zones.0. mode of translating Militarism neocolonialism. women" as to the mail-order bridephenomenon precursors "hospitality and in 1980s.whilewomenfromnew sitesare integrated In the each in the transnational site coungrid. foreign tries(each body of laborers)is condensedto worker status.000 women engaged in sexual work. "Hospitality girls"workin the hub of othertransnational nodes in the Third World. It former base sitesare converted is estimated thatthereare still100. In thesesites.to be hailed in theexpanse ofthereserve and dismissed armyof availablegloballabor sitesand bodies. The military bases servedas a magnetforattracting surplus bodies fromthe depressed areas.
The travailsof modern development place the Philippinesin a of crisis and In national juxtaposition recurring progress.only10 percent One consequence of beyond the period expected of such relationships. thefirst as agriculture in theUnitedStatesbeginning workers in 1903. The JapaneseEmbassy in the Philippinesreportsin 1991 thattherewere 20. creditor loans. Japan'sgrowing inance in Philippineeconomics. the second from1945 to the late 1960s when thousandsof professionals in the medical fieldleftfor the United States and Canada.39 on Sun. The lack of employment opportunities within the Philippines is theprimary cause forthe migration of Filipinos overseas.000 Filipina-Japanese In such marmarriages. labormigration from thePhilippines has come in waves: Historically.and mail-order Bodies.118.The men were concentrated in theMiddle East. capable of sustaining population.cuits.000 collegegraduatesannually. Filipinos seriously seekingemployment With800.and investor has multinational another breed of As more children. thedysfunctional one of out ten is abroad. Women were mostlyin the centers of establishedand First World formations-chambermaids in Europe. Letters.Fiftythousandinterracial knownas Amerasians.000 families have a family member abroad. The third mode of translating neocolonialism is through transnationalism. Some 600. and the third wave underMarcos's martiallaw regime. and Singapore.There are over2 millionoverseascontract in some 125 workers countries.The worldwide annualfigure.0.$1 billion by nationalities ofwhichcomes from remittances by over2 million Filipinosin theUnited States.as it has overtaken the United Statesas theprimary of foreign donorof foreign of aid. working an estimated19 millionFilipinos are directly and indirectly benefiting from labor.7 space.000 Filipinoswho join the international workforceannuallyare women. marrying of social mobility. jumpsto an estimated lion (about the same amount as the Philippinenationalbudget) when remittances of Filipinodescentare considered.nursesin the United States. reminder of the of domliving legacy theseclosed bases. thereis no place else to go but overseas: 55 percentof the 440. are considered to be successful. or to have endured riages. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . doingworkin the spendingspreeof mostly the oil boom.Migrantlabor earnssome $3 billionannually forthe migrant a quarterof theentire Philippineeconomy. theserelationships is an increasingly numberofFilipino-Japanese growing children calledJapinos. which circuitsthe bodies of women and men in international spaces. domestic emerging in helpers in Saudi Arabia. business. brought Filipinas move into this Asian First World site (workingas "cultural a Japanese man is regarded as an instance dancers/entertainers"). Hong Kong.whichwas more massivethan the first two and whichcontinuesinto the present. are the children. $6 bilhowever. Catalogs 57 This content downloaded from 193. entertainers bridesthroughout the Japan.
On the otherhand.000 havelegalstatus. spherebecomes labor in On international another level. halfa millionwomenare leavingthe Philipin international everyyear to workprimarily pines.Canada. resistop towarda permanent example.theirbodies become magnetsattracting to these centersor theireconomic movemembers'physicalmovement 58 Roland B. In migrating to findworkabroad.Most ofthesewomenare edusalariesthan cated and skilled. is consideredonly a transient in these dence in the United States.yetthelive-inarrangement ofFilipino 24 hoursa day. As it is forwomenin multinational the body becomes corporations.unpaid spaces. to be an overseascontract as a woman in third as a woman second societies.for forthe migrant accords otherpossibilities working worker. of femaleworkersare domestichelpers. yettheydo menialworkabroad forhigher jobs theyare capable of in the theywould receiveforthe professional Philippines."9 Ninety-eight and call oftheemployer percent workers in Hong Kong are domestichelpers.Filipinashave supporteda numberof and recruiting businesseshere and abroad.we wantour womento Ruby Palma-Beltran and housekeeping out of their traditional functions of childrearing grow and to realizeotherpotentials whichare morehighly valued and compensated. such as promotion agencies. and banks.118.This workoutside the home presentsa dilemma. in professions working regardedas menialand even sociallyundesirable. earningmore for paid spaces.Womenleave thedomesticsphereof thenationalspace only to reenter thatsphereby performing home-related workin international On home one labor in the domestic level. forworking in international the requisite space: womenoverseascontract are mostly workers singlewomen(80 percent)and in theprimeage range of twenty-one to thirty years(67 percent).FirstWorld. legallyand illegally.000 foreign employedin the country. These womenutilizetheir bodies to supportfamilies in the Philippines.39 on Sun.out of the almost 60 householdworkers 40. For mostFilipworker is to be in a triplebind: first as a inas.In Singapore. domesticprofessions.as Mary observes:"On theone hand. about 90 percent or waitresses. Tolentino This content downloaded from 193.Of the 50. Upon residing theirfamily privilegedcenters. lambs distant fromloved ones actingas sacrificial forthe chance to alleviatethe family's economicwelfare. patriarchal foreigner. or Australia."8 It is precisely in thesedomesticspheresthatFilipinasare allocatedto transnational space thatis performed space. Domesticworkis an invisible makesone at the "beck in theprivatesphere.000 Filipinosin Spain. market demands overseasshow an increasing trendfordomesticjobs.0. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .000 Filipinosin Italy. mostof whomare Filipinasworking There are 100. in Italy. only35. The international as domestic space helpers. percentare Filipinas.chambermaids. airlines. home-related workin international weretrained spaces thantheworkthey to do in the nationalspace.
denationalized As themostimportant transnational identification of indipaper. a Philippine-based attribnongovernmental organization.thepassportbears themarkers Bodies. theyare able to petitionforfamily membersto come to the First World site as Withinthe nation space. are already their abroad.ment in the nation space.0. and the Westernorientation All of thesefactors make thegraduates marketable to foreign countries. Catalogs To prevent the of mobility women. Income earned abroad reconstitutes themen's place in theprivateand public spheres eventually of thenationspace. of itspersonaland politicalorigins. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .28 percent JapanwereFilipinas.male enrollment in has been on the rise as men own feminizanursing programs accept their tion for the promise of dollar earningsabroad." In the 1970s a huge numberof Japanesetourists spent in Thailand. The postcolonialgeobodymoveson: in specific locations-as nurses in the United States and as entertainers in Japan-and in various First Worldsitesas mail-order brides.their are passports confiscated upon arrival. utestheexodus to threestructural reasons:thegovernment's labor present recruitment exportpolicy. Letters.however. financialimpetusfor theirfamilies'social mobility. and rent. in Japan. thousandFilipinonursesin theUnitedStates Fifty remitsome $100 millionannuallyto the Philippines. providinganything and everything from used appliancesand clothing to education. To preventthe mobilityof women. In recentyears. Taiwan. and delegitimized. 65. agencies.The body is depersonalized. vehicles.000 more Philippines practicing profession are deployedannually.118. Anothermovementof Filipina bodies is as entertainers is the pejorativetermused to describeFilipinas and other Japayukisan Asian women entertainers in Japan.Nursingis traditionally positionedas a Half of the totalnumberof nursesin the domesticand women's affair.39 on Sun.and Koreaholidays company-paid which laterwere exposed as sex tours. Japaneseprostitutes ual needs ofJapanesesoldierspriorto and duringthe Second WorldWar all over Asia.as 25.aggressive strategies bylocal and international of Philippinenursingeducation. The termis derivedfrom working or China-bound who servicedthe sexkarayuki-san.899 Filipina(and Filipino)entertainers inJapan. theyare also able to providethe immigrants. delegitimized.thePhilippines.10 The educationalsystem honed duringtheAmericancolonialperiodcontinuesto produce graduatesmore attunedto meeting the needs forwork abroad thanforconditions in thelocal setting. 1991. Aftergetting theirnew citizenship.The Alliance of HealthWorkers. denationalized of itspersonal and political origins. Gendershifts are tolerated in consideration of economic gains. there werealready45. In more recentyears. theirpassports are confiscated and upon arrival. were exported/ferreted entertainers to Japan to meet the sex market In demand. Controlover women's bodies is located in the organizational layers of businesses. The body is depersonalized. 59 This content downloaded from 193.By January in of foreign entertainers 1992.
As the economic subsistence to the transition from nationspace has yetto yield In turn. a leverageforthe community's thesemarkers acceptance of the family'seconomic ascent is created. the outsidethenationspace.In this commerceof the and the body is finedif the quota is quota is enforced.000 visas wereissued forAsian women. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .likehercounterpart tips.the individualdoes vidual and nationalidentity.to be commodified. Furthermore. cassette-recorders. The body is resignified by beingcommodified an exchangefor This is also the logic behindmail-order the signs of materialaffluence. The discourse of mail-orderbrides is premised along this similar into a promise of deliverance. however.By 1990. acquisition in the available is made moresignificant The deliverance bymaking signs the Filipino's place of originwithinthe nationalspace. because she can onlyworklegally making her debts or send moneyback home on the basis of her salaryand her is in multinational work. only50 womenwereissued K-1 (fiance)visas in theUnitedStates. In confiscating not existas a legitimate entity in the in a move to fixate the is also criminalized the body body passport.S.the promiseof makingconcretethe cultural are these standards In the nation middle-class by represented space.118. the Service and Naturalization of theU. Immigration Dallas regionaloffice 60 Roland B. to be exchanged. for lack of standards of better options. and oversizedstuffed betamax. tional space has hegemonizedthe desire for consumergoods. in so on.the reasonwomenand men allow in transnational themselves to be circuited space in thefirst place. to pay itdifficult forsix months.thebody is continuously Despite the precariousconditionsthatcall into questiontheirown economic and culturalramifications. properborderbetweenmale workand leisure.Withoutthe passport.a customer the promiseof income and savingsis precluded not met. Tolentino This content downloaded from 193.TV. allowing the and explosionof consumerist forthebombardment signsto penetrate The withmotivation for and international in the national spaces. thetransnathe promiseis soughtelsewhere. contractual. The body that to be allows itselfto be mobile. in a more generalschema.The entertainer's bodies. subjectto periodicreplacements by other perennially workers are onlyallowedto workin Japanfor As Filipinaentertainment six-month recycled. Filipinas stillpursue. timea few meetforthefirst groomand ThirdWorldbridewillmostlikely rise.0. body. body via the standing pain and anguishrelieson the promiseof a deliverance of affluence ofthesegoods or markers (or commodified signs). In has been on the The their before phenomenon marriage. in 1983. gold jewelry. in forthe promiseof social mobility markedbecomes the precondition transnational space. 3. days 1970. material affluence.Both bride and groom bind themselves The FirstWorld without ofmarriage contract physically seeingeach other. In transposing back to the nationalspace. periods. body. living. toys. bridesand.39 on Sun.
thehistory of the nationitself. Gary B. Lettersand Obsolescent Technology The letter alwaysarrivesat its destination. past postmaster general Letters mark exchanges and the fulfillment of the promise. 8. Despite the cases of abuse. In 1982. The body moves along this promise. the letterhails and interpellates.118.Enclosed you will finda photo of mywifeand two adorable children. The history A. 124. Our storyis a romantic one. (mis)informs. The letterconquers distance and. We will be celebrating our anniversary thisJanuary.39 on Sun.000 Filipino-Australian marriages were arranged. (un)plans. As letters promise the delivery of mail-order brides and make mail-order brides comprise the promise (to be "promising"). the letterpromises..000 unregistered Filipino residents were mail-order brides.and plot are encapsulated in the testimonialattestBodies." In 1985. As the letter is premised on a promise to be properlydelivered-in the proper time to the proper person in the proper place-the letterthen prefiguresthe body's movement.093 people were granted immediate visas through marriage. I was able to meetand marry mybeautiful wife. applications for international marriage continue for the promise of a betterlife. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Catalogs 61 This content downloaded from 193. [Gary'sfullname]12 The characters. -Jacques Lacan of the postal serviceis . -James Farley. I would drop thisletter in the mail. at the same time. and forced prostitution. Through the letter.But most of all. truly Sincerely. setting..000 "fiance petitions. reports in Germany stated that 80 percent of the 4. Letters. There are now some 50.the promise is never compromised. they become crucial in the fulfillment of the promise. and rejects. accepts. metin Manila in 1988 and got married We started writing in 1989. It is estimated that 50 to as much as 70 percent of mail-order brides are Filipinas.Marietta.000 Filipina mail-order brides in the United States.'s letterto his agent attests to the mail-order bride narrative: Dear Friends.0. death. I wantedto let you know Justthought thatthrough yourpen pal club. In the same year in Australia. The letter (mis)introduces.alone received some 15. in 1986. maintains it. (in)formalizes.
a postal system to establish within The struggle network thisconfluence.It coloniesthrough and between as postmaster was onlyupon BenjaminFranklin's general co-appointment In utilizing the became a viableenterprise. Tolentino This content downloaded from 193. by admitting also privileges individualism and indithepostalsystem Ideologically. Reorganigiants intoa government thebureaucracy zationAct formalized corporation. the availability 62 Roland B. the interest systemto further of newsand publicopinion and dissemination theproduction refurbished all newspapersto themail at a reasonablerate. theUnitedStatesin 1970.mail orderingwas also successfully by Sears Roebuck into an equally viable enterprise. the postal transformed democracyand capitalism.0.public trustand liberalism. in and for bridenarrative particular forthemail-order condensedsignifier shoppingin general. culture an that of represents Capitalist promise acquiring object the of an desire and channeled consumerist drivenby through purchase in shopdesire. of themail is a revered vidualrights. harped successful the Pony Express. in 1753 thatthepostal system Franklinconsequently of his publication.the qualityof the goods. eventually system public enterprise in was the thirdlargestemployer the post office With 740.Its than incomeof $6 billionhas made it one ofthebiggest businesses. enoughto convincehimto instigate The confluenceof the postal and shopping systemshas worked Postal history has generatedsome circuitsto towardgreaterefficiency.as ofthepromise. physically inspected shopper thepurchase. Though the has not seen in the hope thatthis object fulfills the driveis all-powerful the has not object.The mail-order brideis positioned objectthatmaterializes the shopper the mail-order system: purchasing something ping through his desire.Capitalistimperatives a that became a into bureaucracy. and attestto theirsatisfaction of a range of choices thatturnedskepticsinto patrons.118. and historically imbuedwiththe Shoppinghas also been psychically is desire. to territorialize within colonialAmericawas characterized by the ability theability to serviceand linktheseareas. Early catalogs already as on such mythology affordable efficient and on banking delivery. The sanctity ideologythatinterjects notions of individualismand humanism.Gary'stestimonial and realization ingto thedeliverance union of orientation customer evokesbotha capitalist another satisfied (a of desire and capital realized) and a patriarchal/racialized imperative forand on behalfof theThirdWorldwoman (represented again speaking The letter becomes a in thewriting of the otherand in the photograph). The otherfactorthatmade mail ordering fromcustomers of choices.Testimonials was thatit allowedfora variety withthe service. onlytoppedbyAT&T and GeneralMotors.000 workers. success and efficiency of thatrode on the growing As an enterprise transformed the postal system. In the Postal as Texaco and such industrial 1970. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .39 on Sun. larger IBM.
Interestingly.118. to recover thevalue oflostor stolenartionlyin rarecases is therefailure cles from thepostalemployee. postal system. Letters. Javacoffee. enlightened in the Philippine postal system:the expansion of postal routes.U. pay increasesto lettercarriers. losses of articleswere conscientiously investigated: and "Now.S. The 1897 Sears and Roebuck Catalog was alreadyadvertising products fromall overthe world(e. ideologyand practicesof democracy The nationalfeeling of hysteria over the Philippineconquest earlier on in itsimperial risewas onlytopped bythetraumaof defeat in theVietnam War.The right of liberaldemocracy whilethe to choose embodiedtheworkings ofthe goods embodiedtheworkings efficient of capsupplyand delivery the late the era italist transformation of 1800s. Approximately pieces of domestic mail were never deliveredbecause of incorrector unreadableaddresses. on a colonial that circulated thecolonies'prodembarking private project ucts to thehomes and farms of the United States. "watchesmade by poor peasantsin Switzerland. even the most trivial complaintis painstakingly investigated.. in closuresof a significant numberof declined.Jamaican ginger. It is also symptomatic of the period of recurring transformation from colonialism to imperialism: thecolonyand its selling and its ethosto the imperialcountries and its citiproducts.One of ject withthePhilippines experiment the initialcommunication institutions established upon conquestwas the Dean C.a new ethosof individualism as evokedin thesanctity oftheletter was introduced withtheconquestofthe the conqueredland and people into the Philippines. By the 1970s. of the Interior of thePhilipWorcester.0.The future of mail ordering was also implicated. page featuring agricultural corn and earthgoddess) celebratesagricultural abundance and desires for markersof middle-classlife. Secretary as quintessential pine Islands (1901-1913) and Franklin'scounterpart tookpains to report on theinnovations undertaken colonizer.) The promiseof the letter at its arriving destinationwas materializing elsewhere.The postmodernwas already Bodies." beautyproductsfrom colonizedcountries). the loss in the VietnamWar markedthe United States' own decline in global hegemony."the cheapest supplyhouse on earth"-is a themein the catalog. supremacy as a juncture forglobalproductsin Sears Roebuck's words. The postal system'sabilityto deliverwas also on a decline.foregrounding new technologiesand The catalogs were privatizedmodes of experiencingindustrialization. the establishment of innovative serdelivery vices. India tea.39 on Sun. as itsfirst in colonybuilding.colonialism The cover the icon Ceres (the zens/shoppers.g.resulting (Sears's profits retailoutletsin the early1990s. during imperialism. Catalogs 63 This content downloaded from 193."'13 As such. seekingto integrate and capitalism. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . the United Stateswould also embarkon its colonialproEventually. The systemhad not made innovations in the words that instructed one billion deciphering delivery.
satisfaction promiseof instantaneous fora greater visualization oftheproduct.0. more significantly. of contact.however. is made by theplayer.allowsforthe condensation of theideologicalfeatures The showdisplays theTV frame. The phoned-inproductis the body itself. of body a television Connection. Tolentino This content downloaded from 193.Democraticparticipation audience participation lockingin theirchoice of date forthe contestant.thebody is prefabricated to a delivered orderis made. spaces within is practicedthrough liberalism and capitalism. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . properplace physical also integrates the categories of Televisionas public communication 64 Roland B. bodyis shownin fullviewfora face-to-face tionand inspection: placed in thesphereofthehiddenand theforbidden.In otherwords. New technologies.The playeris allowed The finaldecision.it has also generated thus fornew technological thatoperatedifferently.thepromise. Sexual Television shoppingalso has limits sexual desires are located somewhereelse. products pingprovides new work. Television provides shopping are of made fixtures to explain product innovations. datingshow. fulfilled the of desire.the forfinalintrospecexchange. to middle-class viewson heterosexual relationto interject his/her workinga is made the full It is at the when decision that body of only point ships. systems postal ofhistory could notcatchup with and waning postmodernism's weakening of affect.118. bodies. sorizedbytheplayer. The simpleelectronic of bodies to some properplace: an intidevice has allowedthe ordering is coded wherethegeneric matesignification already bodyis allowedonly whenan variations on a theme. the choice date is called onto the stage setting. based on the experienceof television shopping.Telestore's show window. withsatisfaction showing signsof readinessto accommodate of desire fulfilled The and mail-order instantaneously.It vision becomes more than just a department returns to thedomesticspace: one marksa domesticcyclethateventually ordersan itemfromthe domesticspace to utilizethe purchaseditemin of physical of thatspace. accessed and accesthepostmodern bodyis displacedto thepermissible. requiring in itsscope of itemsto sell.phone datingcalls the body into the foldto bear lightand to be judged. and permitting is also an operation of forbidding Phone dating to physically Premisedon a contract engage withanotherbody one has not seen (the "blind" date) and has onlyheard of. Formerly displaced. Bodies are items that fulfill Love called upon in thisfoldto be (dis)playedand (dis)placed elsewhere. withinnovations in interactivity. Figures authority Phone testimonials of satisfaction and trust provideaudible expressions not justbased on thecustomer's witha purchased experience productbut. Withtechnology's alleviation work the confines new work.Televisionshopin the domesticsphere.39 on Sun.
shopping allowsthe body to move through Interactivity desireand pleasure.Sex is consummated words. Letters."'16 Bodies.0. as in all rights.' 'recently and sleepy-eyed memories ofitsearlier consumer me-downs items. as a copy.thesetechnologies simulating themail-order brideremains "outsidein" thisgrid.118. thebody.39 on Sun.The bodies turnto foranother body thatrepresents primitive. placing is onlytoo The information superhighway images.Not seen." her from her own historical and cultural She funcpositionality. surveillance prefigures thesetechnologies of power:the courierin the earliest yearsof thepostal of "second to reportdeserting as surveillance.thebody wordsthatperform thebodythatperforms is entangledin words thatrecountnot a historical body but a nostalgic ofthe technology The in electronic desire and cessationof words imbued body pleasure. thefuture meetsthepastin "Obsolescenceis where and cultural the dyingbody of the commodity. runawayslaves. of desire. These new innovationsof technology herwith the variousspheres. sex allowtheinitialtering ofwordsand bodies entangled. Catalogs 65 This content downloaded from 193."15 That the Third World woman is theprevious ofthepostalsystem servesto position alignedwith technology positionality. which placingher therealmof "second nature. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . MichaelTaussigwrites.On the otherhand. mail (e-mail)has marks of thehistorical thereappearance body. ationand consummation Words-whether alignedwith the The or printed. own historical As modityis made to embody this nostalgiafor previous technology. technologies (during in thefirst Activated within thecircuits military purposes. separates in thewayshe tionsin relation to modernity's fascination withobsolescence is made to represent its ethos of a copy of the FirstWorld'spast. soldiersand systemalso functioned is not absolute of the letter. spoken. World woman is Phone and Internet sex practicessignificantly. in herwiththeprimitive." be new oftenget times of letters war. sphere.pleasureis implicated through through the previous thewords.Electronic postalsystem from wherethepromiseis transformed shifted wordfunction beingphysto electronically serves to position generated. icallydelivered call for greaterinteractivity. body is inscribedin words.14 Letters from her However. the The as Third World woman comand catalogsstill prefigure exchange.and forbidden into what gets includedand excluded in this ThattheThird permissible The of sexual desire is thus fulfillment overt derived elsewhere. in with choices no one has to the room living willing presentshopping herintherealm in all ever imaginedbefore.theThirdWorldwomanis made to embodythenovand concretizing formsof FirstWorldnostalgiaforits eltyof imagining past: "The ThirdWorldand itsobjectsare in a globalperspective generally seen as permanently a reservoir of First World handoutdated. produced place for separatesher are also fragmenting. This meansthat. the sanctity which nature.sex becomessimulated. may opened). heard-prefigure body.
98. On the otherhand.In Marilyn children.thereby national/ethnic resignifying racism'soperations of marginalization familial presenceagainstAmerican ofmailedflyers ofmissing and absence.picture tivecouples formarriage. theThird Worldwomanis rescuedfrom land men and The nuclear of her native oppressors-native poverty. Women's bodies are nevercomplete.catalogs package women's bodies. 66 Roland B. -testimony bya Filipina applicant as a commodity The mail-order bridefunctions the recently embodying outdatedFirstWorldnarratives of thenuclearfamily and coloniality.in the exchangeof marriage bodies proposals through the previoustechnology of the postal system.Catalogs. carpetcleaning. these through however."Seek a penpal30 to 35 of age and havea in stablejob. pangs in the operation of the cataand colonialist fantasies are entwined family of choices.0.picturesconnectedprospecbringfamily and race. Familynostalgia were finally allowed to When male Chinese and Japaneseimmigrants membersto the United States. representing the women's their bodies are certainconventions. Toycompany (31) Philippines/ (former employee seamstress. Through photographs. and fair everything. While allowing mode. correspondence marriage. thefaceis privileged above imbibedwithcasualnessrather otherbodilyparts.hisfamily andtheAmerican himself.agency services. catalogs provide a listingof available mail-orderbrides." ina mail-order -ad byFilipina bride catalog I appreciate their kindness whenthey write me about longletters.It is veryrareto findwhole body shots of women.118. highschoolgrad). Nostalgia.from themale clientele to make a variety logs. Fearingthe demiseof family and brideswereimported to populate. a lack as inherent in theirdesireto enterthe public sphere constructing allowedin the catalogpages. thanformality. the Third Worldwoman assumes the domestic and sexual tasks vacated by emancipatedwhite the women. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Ivy'sanalysis she forgesa connectionbetweenthe missingchild and the implicated of the thefront "Resident"to whomtheloss is addressed.The smileis the rhetorical gesture.and procedures itemizeddescriptions forestablishing and arranging For thewomen. would containthe face of the missingchild whilethe back would flyers containcoupons fordomesticservices(pizza discounts. the potential bride'spointof view the catalogsworkin a different For the men.39 on Sun. has been historically and racially activated byphotos. wayoflife. telling hisjob. and Multiculturalism Mar 205 Virginia 5'3. On and the one hand. notthatmuchuglyand notthatmuchhandsome. Tolentino This content downloaded from 193."7 Notoriously. of these women.
people-from parents.profession. the photos provideforthe coding of The brieftextsaccompanying of of thewomenaccordingto cultural and structures identities categories in thisorder:hernumerical taste.WaltWhitman.professional.and childin yearbooks hood and teenpictures articulate the graduating highschool student'spresence.hermarital The lastitemin thedescripchildren (sex.and attendant of women'sbodies in withthe positioning some connection foregrounds mail-order bridecatalogs.morespecifically. including catalog. etc.What thenfollow are her physical. Blossoms. the graduateis allowed to or faculty memorialize memfriends.118.).. feelings: guilt. tionis her conceptof a worthy man/pen pal/husband. the descriptionprovides ample on women's bodies and lives to pass judgment.the loss to a generalpanic electricalservices. height.etc.groupphotos.. is also mentioned.hairstyle. For the user.). a contrast and the ERA (Equal RightsAmendment)movementof angrywomen and marching on the streets. sweethearts.fear. Devoted an entirepage."The family improve upon thereceivedand sociallysanctionedversionsof. and personal background. The panic overthechild'sloss is behavior on a self-reflexive mechanism based on individualism or. Bodies. Catalogs 67 a way of 'inventing history' that allows . religion. on information bridecorrespondence status. includingher In Cherry a and interests. . on three individual self-worth. which accounts for the dysfunctional of individuals in today'ssociety. usuallyarticulated and othergauges age bracket. birth date. Ivy thenreconnects over the loss of the inner child. the high school moment viduality. nostalgia nings. age). 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . The page marksoffan age of innocence. Letters.her age. weight. Worldmale nuclear-family thedesireto situate intoperspective womenin some locaThis brings tionsof American space and time. herself moment(which encompasses fashion.0. beginthenuclearfamily becomes the fantasy. not only to change but to This content downloaded from 193.The funcinformation of theideal First tionalThird Worldwoman'sbody is made symptomatic narrative. she herselfhas decided.Casual shots. .number."'8In maintaining forrecuperating whiteAmericanwomen'sbodies in libidinalinvestment the (post)feminist betweenan age of Victorian innocence age.39 on Sun.Each woman'sphotois introduced code.whenwomenwereidealizedschoolgirls and perfect housewives(a la TheStepford romanceis Wives). she memorializes and herhistorical turalicons. aspiration.and otherculbers to quotes from Nietzsche. Bob Dylan. Ivy'sanalysisof theADVO ads restspartly This mode of advertising fascination. and her nationof origin. along thelinesof acceptablerace.an idealizedmoment of juvenile in movingfurther towardsthe construction of one's adult inditriumph Viewed froma more recentperiod. her first name only. The layoutof spaces-photos and shouting to theuser a body of relatedtexts:highschool brief descriptions-recalls or collegeannualsand slambooks.gaze.And by association.
hobbiesand favorite songs.. dated qualityof production catalog (e. The postwar rootsin theideal family returnof women to the domestic sphere.thediscourseofbodies is fortheFirstWorldhome. management thatoperationalizes of appliances. both of which entaildominance and both infantile textsemphasizean ideal femininity thathas powerplay. With silkchemise. boththemodel'seyes covering.In a robotictechnology the functions ofthedomestic thebride'sbodyis also thetechnology sphere.etc. Withwealth within system have been historically whileAmerasians.These relational its domestic of theAmerican1950s. momentbecomes femininized. catalogs The models on the coversof the Victoria'sSecretwomen'slingerie and casual-wearcatalog are constructed witha directgaze intendedforthe withvulnerability forthemodel. Twice gazingto be gazed at. the cottagetechnology and layout.Attention is calledto usersyetimplicated the models' breaststhroughan emphasis on cleavage. her body becomes inscribedin a robotic used to produce the function. a desireto return is alwayspresent(thus slam or dedication theperiodicreunions). booksmemorialize a a into ideal of historical moment definitions and of personal categories crushesand love. Tolentino This content downloaded from 193. suburbanization. the model reenacts hand and body gesturesof frailty and rape fantasies. thenationspace. mestizosand mestizas privileged. the imperialconquest of the nativerace created a caste and whiteness as idealnorms.Similarly. increased consumer spending. On theother hand.and Japinos 68 Roland B.mass productionand consumptionof household appliances.g. maintaining into a posttechnologized.colorsand rolemodels.118.subtle and display. erection.The user's photo and interactive dedicationto the ownerfurther the desireto encapsulatethemoment. marriageand family.The slave of the colonial era is transformed Fordistrobot.in whichtechnology is required retechnologized of The fortheefficient domestic bride becomes the sphere. becomesa laid-back portrait and so on. remains black-and-white and.flimsy degreesof and contortions.and varying coordinateddisheveledhair. and breastspeer onlyto be seduced in thepowerplaywiththeheterosexual and homosexualusers: the seductress is consequently seduced. As the mail-orderbride's discursivebody is technologizedin the catalogs (and also on video). Colonialism presents another nostalgia in various ways. relationships.0. On the national level.and the Cold Warall relateimagesofimaginedfamily ideality thatneverexisted. themimeographed. have been looked especiallythosefathered by black soldiers. to a photos. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . The photosalso recallwomen'sclothing and magazinecovers.whencomparedto thebusinessofadulthood. On the one hand.39 on Sun. as inferior to theuser'sown. The income generation.) underdeveloped mostly it women and their national intentional: the represents origins largeextent.
especially along these circuits.Their breastsof Thai womenare emphasized breasts serve as surrogatepenises to castrated(demasculinized) First froma lack of what they perceive is World men.narcissism and conquestand (cultural)cross-dressing. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .and homosexualpleasure. etc.and thusto "alwayshave theupper in hand dealingswithAsian women. are implicated Gay tours.Extendingthe scene of the cruise to these Third World on the bodies of Third sites. restore theprecolonizedstatusquo." clearthedistinction betweenthetwo.downupon. Women's bodies ing encapsulatethe desire forconquest and rescue.) photofashion spreads(Arabiannights.Withinthe sphereof popular culture. Catalogs 69 This content downloaded from 193.thetoursalso hingeon pleasureas inscribed World peoples and the conditionsin which these peoples are located. and so on. These toursyielda highly correlation betweenpleasureand problematic on the one and the distinction and between side."wherethemain activity ing the fairersex.39 on Sun. catalogs. junctures in a similarly Tourismalso works familiar mode: conquestthatis trigtravel within geredin glossypictures magazinesand thatis to materialize Bodies."The clarity of thisadvantagethen createsthepositionto separatethegrainfrom thechaff. anxiously suffering generatedby the liberationfrontsof First World women. These First World men aim to regain the pleasure of authority of the lost phallus a of Third Worldwomencategorized either as en masse through conquest lustful ("thousandsupon thousands")or as a virginal rarity ("yourvirgin the catalog aims to make bride").118. as enclavesof homosocialfantasy thatreinscribe powerthrough nostalgic deathand rescue.the phallus.featurethematic WorldCup. poverty similarity and benevolenceon the otherside.0. lifeguards. forredemption theworthy to Third Worldcountries. bulk.Destined mothering to rescuehumankind. The models' bodies conglobalunity. masculinized womenstaketheir wombsand livesto the singularforceof evil." In a sex tour catalog for SoutheastAsia.Internamen's activewear tionalMale and Undergear. Chineseethnicities and indigenes are lookedupon withvarylevels of national chauvinism. gyms. Consegive birthto the messiahor to destroy in the Armageddonbecomes a catalyst women'spositioning to quently. Utilizing to suggeststrength. men's exploitation the catalogs (especiallythose intendedfor a gay clientele)reconstruct enclavesofhomoerotic colonialist models hypermasculine fantasy. even science fiction films-such as the Alien or the Terminator series-present as bothan issue ofconquestand rescueofthenation. the erect in thecoloredcollagecover. On a relatedscale. implicitly structan absent Other as the bodies of Third Worldmen become the to reconstruct thesehomosocialfantasy enclaves. The fantasy of conquestis also fedby sex tours:sitesbecome "every is "chasingand conquersingleman's paradise. Torn between"hookersand virgins. Letters. performance. thereby choosing in theFirstWorld.
the body is eroticizedbut neverparticularities. The travelcatalogs hinge on these bodies as generic of exoticism.118. as to ment theobjective thealleviand. thenis generated the activity through bodies of people.In the catalogs.Women'sbodies. whether theseare singular models posed in some signifiers naturaltourist attraction or massivenumbersof people sweating through a religiousprocession. That is whathas made us successful. the womenprojectthemselves to drawthe user's gaze. especially The second nostalgiais also one of fascination with Third World women: the fantasy of rescuingthe women fromtheirown kind.0. the languageof philanthropy. The women in the photos all peer at the male user. Nostalgia is spokenthrough Catalogs mode in reconstruct the postcolonial geobody by positinga syntactic the Third Worldwoman. The user. The economyof anyman's liferevolves itself intoa judiciousexpenditure ofwhatmoneyhe has. collapsed of its specific As such. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . whether theamountis largeor small.and perhaps theircollectiveconditions. women'sbodies providethealarming the allevigauge thatpreconditions ationof themarginal(ized)race in general.The 1897 Sears and Roebuck Catalog is imbuedwiththe worldview: "It is safeto say thatwe are doingmoreforthe philanthropic farmer and the laborerthan all the politicaldemagoguesin the country.The feminized nationalspace of foreign awaitsrescuewiththepenetration loans.[sic]" Cherry "Whether Blossomsequally boasts of its own successfulcommitment: we are lookingfora woman around the worldor in yourown backyard.aid. are doubly in providing functional thedistress whichconquestand rescue signalfrom In a nationalallegorical become modes of racializedimperatives. thelessalso denied its specificity to engenderanything but the desireto be conquered.confronted ofwomen. are feminized. and investcapital. path modernization ation of poverty.becomesawareof byphotosofhundreds theircollectivepresence. Tolentino This content downloaded from 193. committed to yoursuccess.In thissense.however.This resonates with opportunities for transnational forbothforeign investors and their local compradors exploitation whereby resourcesand relations of production. consequently. The resultof thisis genderand representing racial stereotypings as surveillancemechanisms of the Third World woman'sbody. in orderto signify identities the collective exotic.in actual visitsto and photos takenof the touristsites.As geography is imbuedwiththenotionof passivity. reading. In theirbest smilesand poses.denied their In the sexual economy. one body is made substitutable in the fulfillment foranother of the desireto conquerand to know. labor. theuseractivates a process ofhisworth of pen-palcorrespondences withmanyuntilthemostworthy is chosen formarriage and rescuedto theFirstWorld." 70 Roland B.this point is emphasizedin the women's own comparisonsof men fromtheirown countries withthe idealized image of the American male.In an effort to at leastsave one amongthehundreds.39 on Sun. The native bodies are exoticized. the body is made genericand anonymous.
after all. In the mail-order bride catalogs. is deemedto be positivizing thentheabomination within the of the individual/Self."and "whatif "makingyourletter Bodies. reads: "Asian women are renownedfortheirbeauty. Desire is hingedwithin its referent when the choice is made.he allowshimself In to be preoccupiedwitha feminine activity.As through he shops. thereby a praxisto his individualism.39 on Sun. the very antithesisof the supposedly liberated First World woman. aspiration). hinges on this passive characterizationof women. They and believe in a lastingmarriageand a happy home.. FirstWorldbenevolence bride applicants mode. a studyon multicultural mostof themen who engagein this relationships. Testimonials perpetuate the bodies of the worthy as reinforced by the users. In addition." The mail-order bride business." "makingsure yourlettergets to her. onlyto be unhingedfrom the page." standout. of Gender and racial stereotypings become the directramifications SunshineInternational's coverletter to prospective clients philanthropy. Letters. from ated to ensurethatif democracyremainsslow to developin thesenation of bodies to FirstWorldsitespromisesto make spaces.118. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .From a feminized position. Third taking justifying conquest The catalogsfunction as a self-help kit. the transposition democracyperform. Pages condense as manyimages and lifestoriesas possible. The male clientis feminized as he shifts thepages of thecatalogs."19 ill at ease in encounters withWestern women. Catalogs 71 This content downloaded from 193. In all these catalogs.femininity.0. traditionalvalues and lovingdispositions. the newestwave of mail-order are generwhichnew rescuenarratives come from EasternEurope. This pressuresthe user to come up witha choice.if whitespaces are to be read racially. ships "confessfeeling most blame the women's liberationmovementfor theirplight. The dominanceof and textssignifies theseemingly unlimited and availability pictures variety of choices. faithful. the men reassumetheirmasculinity.thereis also a disdain forwhitespaces."20 The whitewomen'smovements have createda backlashforwhichpatriarchy is in issue its of World women. Not surprisingly. .The philanfrom customers thisimperative.." "sendinggifts and money. More directly. and patriotism are attached to this and unworthy. the choice is made providing the selectionsof the page as thereis nothingoutside to emanatewithin the page. The bookletHow to Meet Exciting Ladies fromAll over the Worldprovides a step-by-stepguide to correspon- dence withwomenformarriage. are "attempting to avoid repeatingmistakesthat underminedprevious The few youngermen who engage in brokerage relationmarriages. construction easing nodes of tensionby creating identification and gratification between user (white)and thetext(markers of middle-class betweendesireand pleasure.the photos implicatethe user. demarcates thropic. are devoted sincere. withchaptersdevotedto topics such as "choosing your correspondents.
domain over the can Masculinity's public materiality only in the realmof the private.domesticity.5 percentHispanic).The crisiscomes fromthe absence of the stable white female figurein the home.17. scribesrepresentative democracy(she is: 15 percentAnglo-Saxon. quantitative has produceda characteristics to multiethnic It. The booklet and the are the emasculated man's foreign phrases. whichhas been lost in his own cologuides to redeeming nizationwithin thepostmodern. on the other.5 7. theFirstWorldwomenare demonized. a concessionof in-betweens. representation.0. and future thatalign its own destabilization byenvisioning and spirituality on theone hand. on the otherhand. 35 perpercentMiddle Eastern.present. and women. the desireis towardan incorporable thandifferentiates rather ism under the hegemonicgridthatsynthesizes ofmorphing achievedthis. catalog his self-worth. face of America.Like dossiers. and immigration.instilling The technology cultures. thepure. driveoftheuser. The nostalgiais triggered desireof whitemen. the loss expethe ideals of purity thereby conserving in This means thatmasculinity rienced the crisisitself. They position and differentiation sexual criteriathat act as modes of identification In thepsychic and theapplicant's betweentheuser'ssubjectivity identity.she also heraldsthefictionality multiculturalIn Time'sproject. vidual self-worth hingeon thispositioning theseare technologies Catalogslistand packagebodies. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .nostalgia places thebodies ofwomenwithin organicfanand colonial Like the mail-order narratives of bride's family glories.and men. women within the confines of racial and of surveillance. The crisisseeksto preserve in the postmodern. positionedas a surrogate hand. seeksto conserve a past. The booklet includesan appendixon you changeyourmindabouther?"21 such items as prenuptialagreements.118.pittedagainstThirdWorld women.The catalogs a crisis of imply inthe masculinity First World which can be regained intheconquest and rescueofa Third World woman inorder to reconstruct the idealdomestic sphereofthe First World. cent SouthernEuropean.5 percentAsian. and indimasculinity. exist. As she does not of liberalism. thespiritual.22 The coveris a comof race and women the ing of fourteen of a woman based on modelsof image photos puter-generated Labeled as the"imageof our new Eve" and as a "symdiverse ethnicities. thatstillimplicate of thepositionThe special issue of Time(fall 1993) is symptomatic in of color United States. Tolentino 72 This content downloaded from 193.39 on Sun. and 7. tasy in and narratives move on other recent contexts histories the present body. the domainof theprivate. sample letters. Roland B.Race is be stakedby maintaining femininity On the one ideal. of theThirdWorldwoman. of themail-order thecircuits bridediscourse. however.17 percentAfrican. The bytheunfulfilled of in a crisis the First Worldwhich can be imply catalogs masculinity in of a the and rescue Third World womanin orderto conquest regained reconstruct theideal domestic sphereoftheFirstWorld. merelyaccessoryand concessionary.work."the woman's face reinmultiethnic bol of the future. this positionsthe Third World woman as The family.
The choices are a black privileged designated simply man singingthe whiteman's tune (the ethnicmouthing whiteness)or all otherraces/ "United Colors of Benetton"politicking (whiteengulfing ethnicities).000 more.0. pre- sentsa recent ofa Filipinamail-order bridein Australia. The AdventuresofPriscilla. Queen of theDesert (1994). thatprovokes theliminalspace of exotic/erotic bodilyand nationalentity the whiteman's fantasy and loss.nationalizedand racialized body of people.are theybasicallygood/honest of theglobalvillageand heraldsthe ("final") arrival etc. Catalogs 73 This content downloaded from 193. withthe provincial becomes one of two demowoman.providingher with a means to She is made to serveas thecatalyst for to thegroom'scountry. thefantastic is made to perform mouthed.39 on Sun.a body made allegorical character. Reversalsalso recurthatset back the agenda of empowering marginalized groups. In the 29 November 1994 episode of Frasier.loudand neurotic. theyadd to the crime problem.." She abandons himforhavinga small "ding-a-ling" and forbeingtoo old for her passions.you can geta wholenew wifefrom thePhilipand receivedand praised drag filmon cross-dressing pines. Everything negatively imaginedof the in in of the Australia is embodied the mail-order bride concept "Filipina" is reducedto a geobody. This encorerecallsher in doing so. Cynthia act of popping ping-pongballs fromher vagina." are as of this discourse (Dr." The highly performance.MichaelJackson's the video.118.e.Cynthia Together Bodies.)? The lastarticle into "transnational how everyone is beingtransformed subjects. Letters. alcoholic. Ethnic peoples positioned articulators The creator ofthe Time Frankenstein). do What stereotypical perceptionsof immigrants people. imageis an Asian. reflective creature or suturedin the body of woman. The projectis Frankenstein's Frankenstein'sbride: a perpetuationof the constructedselfof multiand benevolence.Blackor White. Not contentwith being depicted as scheming. she is linkedto a generic supposed Philippineprofession. immigrate the development of affection betweenherhusband and the elderly transgenderedcharacterwho oftenrefersto himselfas "a true gentleman. utopiaas mimicking hingeson thismulticultural as voice of whiteness. fora Cynthia sexualized and gendered. the father admonisheshis son forspendingtoo much on his wife'splasticsurgery: "For an extra$5.23 culturalism. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .face thatis merely of the presentstateof races and ethnicities. portrayal Cynthia (Julia Cortez) is depicted as the connivingsex workerwho trickedan elderlyAustralianman into marriage. alwaystornbetweennotionsof discipline of immigration and the Time framesthe issue between the hysterics articleis based on the resultsof a Time euphoriaof globalism.The first Should the United States poll of people's perceptionsof immigration: limit Towardwhichgroups its to or doors strictly immigration? keep open and least favorably? of recentimmigrants do people feelmost favorably do people have (i.
space attests versatility. 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and herself. He had filed an whichwould annulment. while queer issues were being foreIn posittheThirdWorldwoman'sissuewas beingsidetracked. of emplacement owners'stories.othergroups are further obscured. thehistorically oppressedfigure not only is she demonized. whyplace whattheyimplicate thereinsteadof elsewhere. death. Tolentino This content downloaded from 193. marginalgroups are made to compete againsteach other.claiming preempt Since 1980 sixteen Filipinabrideshave died at thehands oftheir battery. In the limitedaccess for visibility. through her greencard application.sedimentation. Even as popularrepresentation the mail-order bride rests betweensilence. and resilience. further sedimentation The secretsremain. and placelessnessare vitalissues forwomenwho choose to be relocated fascination withmail-order outside the nationalspace.As represented of theThirdWorld cinema.morebodies are concealed. In otherwords. As transnationalism providesmore in motion.the lack of concernformulticultural issues remains even as thefilm and textpurport to do otherwise prevalent in selectingand privileging a marginalgroup. of making kineticism to bodies already themaneuver themailin more order bride network overt popular cultureinevitably produces in theconcealment of thelifestories ofthewomen. diasporicmovement family in transnational to the flexibility.0. deaths.as in a recent onlyto be rippedopen in their of a Seattle man his wife whom he had met down Filipina gunning by for a mail-order service.but she is further alienated disempowered: whichis moreadvantageous from her realsituation. 74 Roland B. The imperialist of a mechanismto imagineits past as a coherent brides is constitutive thecontinuing of bodies and nation."or onlyin deathis herstory husbandsin Australia. These narratives and enduranceof their in mapping are significant thebodiesofFilipinas and their location makingtransnational do processesas they are circulated and as they navigate space.39 on Sun. "Death becomesher.In reconstituting in thisroad narrative.However.thefigure byWestern femalesubjectacts as a hingethatslowsdownthepolitical agenda of new social movementsin the West.In the hailingof a representative marginalgroup.she had filedfora divorce. nized and alien(ated)female figures oftheFilipinais doubly thesestereotypes. has tauntedherto expose as a bridetold. from a discourse on transnationalism and women Whatcan be gathered is a geopoliticsof place and location:how and whywomen are here or in theirspace.the film and of Western interlocutor also presents narrative the Western bind.118. fortheman thanit is forher. grounded. in woman the role of the Third World unenviable oppressorin film ing in discourse.
12. AuroraJavate de Dios.118. multiculturalism. Report (Quezon City:Philippine 1986). 24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .1993). 150. 5. 177. FilipinoWomen.39 on Sun."A CyborgManifesto:Science. This essay is dedicated to the University of Angela Serra (1963-1995). a racisttendency to identity viewall othersas thesame or all othersas different A critical from oneself.Randy Martin. as partof theliberal-pluralist needs to be discourse.Outside Routledge. KanlunganCentreFoundation. Ellen Berry. ShirleyGeok-Lim. 14.Santa Barbara. Spivak'sposition("outside in") foregrounds "the margin or 'outside' [as it] enters an institution" and the"kindof [institution] it enters[that]determine[s] its contours"(ix). Mary Ruby Palma-Beltran."in Palma-Beltran and de Dios. Filipino Women (Manila: Goodwill. examin whichmulticulturalism inationof theterrain is invokedand cognitively experienced in transnationalism is usefulforanyconceptionof radicalmulticulturalism to ensue..and particularities inas in overseas employment. exposed forits contradictory and on the other. referto Mary Ruby Palma-Beltranand Aurora OverseasContract Workers: At WhatCost? Javatede Dios. Technology. 1994. memory 1. Bodies. 29. 6. and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth in Simians." and de Dios. 10. U. 1992). 7. Rosario del Rosario.Notes For theircomments. 8. 11.I am thankful to Delia Aguilar.. Dean C. "Japayuki-san: Filipinasat Risk. 149. 13.criticisms. International Labour Organization.. Quoted in Cherry Blossoms. Worcester. "Filipino Women Domestic WorkersOverseas: Profile and Implications forPolicy. Women in Multinational Workers EnterCountries prisesin Developing (Geneva: ILO. For an overviewof Philippinemigrant of Filipwork. 39. Lifeon theAssembly Line: An Alternative Philippine on Women Industrial Workers Women'sCollective."in Palma-Beltranand de Dios. Filipino 7. FilipinoWomen. The experienceof seeingand acknowledging the presenceof different bodies and different entrants forbodies providesa testof tolerance as to whether the purported holds. March-April1994. 4. 9. An earlierversionof thisarticlewas read in the panel "PerBodies in Postcolonialand Neocolonial Space" at the sonal/Political: Filipino/a conference "The Politicsand Poetics of the Body: PacificRim Triangulations. Inc.and especiallyLynn Spigel. eds. Ibid. 1930).Cyborgs.1991). of difference This latter aspect poses underthe dominantgrid of the hegemonicculture.S. ThePhilippines Past and Present (New York:Macmillan. and Women: Century. "Filipino Nurses Overseas: At What Cost?" in Palma-Beltran and de Dios. In her foreword. Luisa Aguilar-Carifio. "OverseasFilipinaDomesticHelpers' in Palma-Beltran Issues and Problems. See Anesia Dionisio. Ibid." TheReinvention ofNature(New York:Routledge. Letters. 61.0. liberal-pluralist agenda genuinely 2. 16. invocation of difference as identity on theone hand. 3. GayatriChakravorty in theTeaching Machine(New York: Spivak. of a flattening in identity. Catalogs 75 This content downloaded from 193." of California. Donna Haraway.. a fellowFilipinatraveler. 612. and support. 1985). Women. FilipinoWomen.
24 Mar 2013 14:14:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 232-34. and StevenLong. All overtheWorld 21." ofUnited Press.1993). popular representation."Social Text. 20."Have You Seen Me? Recovering the Inner Child in Late no.22 November1993.1992). 232."HoustonChronicle. 1. 37 (winter1993): 227-52. Michael Taussig. As a male fantasy. 17. Joseph.16 September1986."American Men Find Asian 25 January Brides Fill the UnliberatedBill. "the family romanceis a conservative as well as a nostalgic to progress"'(455). Mimesisand Alterity: History oftheSenses (New York:Routledge. emphasizing instead the competitionbetween First World and Third World social backgrounds of boththemen and women. Gary Journal.. "Mail-Order 29 July1991."TimeSpecialIssue. ed.: Duke University "thatthe linkbetweenbenevolenceand disciplinewas constructed the through withrespectto census. Colonization of the in Cultures StatesImperialism. Meaghan Morris. The surveyexcluded the women fromthe data gathering. 76 Roland B. 1988)." WallStreet 1984."White Love: Surveillanceand NationalistResistance in the U. 23. Are Shapingthe World's 22. See Raymond A. Brides. Cary Nelson. This idea of love and discipline is discussedin VicenteL. Rafael'sprojectsuggests Kaplan (Durham. Ibid. Rafael.S. genrebecause it allowsthe child'to maturewhilerefusing 19. Tolentino This content downloaded from 193.and themiddle-and upper-class Third World women.in which he surveyed265 men seekingpartners University fromSoutheastAsia. Rainbow Ridge. Males Lookingto theOrientforMail-OrderBrides. "On the Beach. and Paula Treichler (New York:Routledge. Hawaii: Rainbow Ridge. and so practiceof surveillance forth"(187). MarilynIvy. "AmericanMen. 1. 1G. Donald Pease and Amy Philippines.Inc.C. 16.118." Libman. How toMeetExciting Ladiesfrom (Kapaau.." in CulturalStudies. I am specifically to a studyby sociologist Davor Jedlicka of the referring of Texas at Tyler. Lawrence Grossberg.A Particular 15. N. "The New Face of America:How Immigrants FirstMulticultural Society. Quoted in Joseph. 455."LonelyAmerican Los Angeles Times.0." 1. Twentieth-Century 18. 1993).ed. America. part 4.39 on Sun.
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