Of Mail-Order Brides and "Boys' Own" Tales: Representations of Asian-Australian Marriages

Topics: Marriage, Mail-order bride, Australia Pages: 23 (5753 words) Published: August 6, 2011
Of Mail-Order Brides and "Boys' Own" Tales: Representations of Asian-Australian Marriages Author(s): Kathryn Robinson Source: Feminist Review, No. 52, The World Upside Down: Feminisms in the Antipodes (Spring, 1996), pp. 53-68 Published by: Palgrave Macmillan Journals Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1395773 . Accessed: 31/07/2011 01:59 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at . http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=pal. . Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

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Of Own'

Mail-Order Tales:





of Asian-Australian






Asiais increasingly entering the Australian into imaginary the nationgrapples as with the issue of 'Australian identity'. This articleexamines two instances in < whichtheideaof Asiahasbeentakenup in debates aboutmarriage relations S and between andwomen.Asiais a siteof fantasy menin an erawhenthey ° men for feelthat'traditional' valuesof malepre-eminence the familyare beingunderin mined. this fantasy, In 'Asia'is knownthrough stereotypic representations, the z stereotypes underlying nature theresponse thepopular the of in media. ,, Keywords


mail-order brides;Gillespiekidnapping; marriage; Australian-Asian relations; Australian identity Stereotypes, however inaccurate, one formof representation. fictions, are Like theyare created serveas substitutions, to standing for what is real in Theyarean invention, pretence one knowswhenthe stepsthatwould a that makerealknowing possible cannotbe taken arenot allowed. (bellhooks,1992:341)

The mail-order bridehas becomea potentsymbolin Australian representations Asia. 'Mail-order of brides'is the pejorative image which has come to stand for womenwho are Philippine nationalsmarrying Australians. spiteof the factthatthesewomenrepresent verysmall In a proportion the total immigration of intake,in termsof mediacoverage and publiccontroversy is probably next biggest it the immigration issue afterChineseand Indo-Chinese refugees immigrants and fromMuslim countries. recentpopular A film,The Adventuresof Priscilla,Queen of the Desert, created character a who encapsulated dimension the one of stereotype: sex-crazed, a manipulative ex-bargirl who had trickeda decent, outback Aussiebattler marrying (Thecharacter a parinto her. is ticularly unpleasant notablyso as the filmdealswith transgressive one, sexualities thatthe central in characters dragqueens.)1 are Whyhas this phenomenon attracted much attentionand generated negative so the stereotypes?


Media eoverage of 'mail-order brides' - orientalist readings

to in issue'began appear the revealing new'social this reports Newspaper of frequency in late 1970s when a trendwas discernible an increased women.The prevailing men Australian and Filipino between marriages media responsewas...

References: l
ABC RADIO (1993)Newsbroadcast, RadioNational October
Hancock 1909-1992), March: 28 21
FIFE-YEOMANS, (1993) 'Childabduction easy,says judge 'Australian, J. too 8 July:4. GLEICK, (1993) 'WhyI stolemychildren ' E. WHO Weekly, May:28-35. 24 GROSSBERG, NELSON,C. andTREICHLER, A. (1992) CulturalStudies L., P.
HAMILTON,A. (1990) 'Fearand desire: Aborigines, Asiansand the national imaginary ' AustralianPerceptionsOfAsia: AustralianCulturalHistory No. 9:
Sydney Morning PRIOR,N. (1987)" 'Mail order brides" vicetrap,study in finds ' Herald, 9
but RILEY, andHUMPHREYS, (1992) 'Lang M. D. Hancock buried feudlives on ' Sydney Morning Herald, 3 April: 2. A ROBINSON,K. (1982) 'Filipino brides: slaves marriage or partners? comment '
Australian Journal of Social Issues Vol.17, No
SHAH,RajaBahrin(1993) 'My case for all ', Letterto the EditorWeekend 16-17 October: 16
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