• Vietnamese Mail Order Bride: $8,000 • Teach Yourself Vietnamese Complete Course Package (Book + 2CDs): $52.33 • Investing in human trafficking, exploitation and racial subjugation: Priceless To buy a laptop, I can set up a monthly payment plan. To buy a new car, I can set up a monthly payment plan. To buy a Vietnamese bride, I can also set up a monthly payment plan. Is this for real? Apparently yes. Diners Club had made a deal with Vietnam Brides International which offered a four year payment plan of $167 a month, interest-free, for a bride (the actual cost being $8,000). Amanda Kloer's Human Trafficking blog on Change.org led a campaign to stop Diners Club from setting up these payment plans.
Human beings should not be bought or sold, and they certainly shouldn't be part of a payment plan, a "blue light special", or a clearance sale. Mail order brides are not only extremely vulnerable to human trafficking, but also domestic violence, abuse, rape, and exploitation. While creating a payment plan to purchase a human being is ethically and philosophically disgusting, it also reduces the economic barrier to buying a bride. Removing that barrier allows traffickers to acquire women using less capital than they needed before. It opens the door to a new socio-economic class of criminals to buy and exploit these women.
Unfortunately, this is just a small part of the much larger problem of human trafficking of Asian women and girls. The commodification and exotification of Asian women has lead to luring unsuspecting women, usually from poorer regions of their country, to the United States, only to be sold into the sex-industry or some form of slavery with no hope of escape. But this particular story does end on a more optimistic note. I'm glad to report that after over 800 people signed the petition, Diners Club has officially cancelled their agreement with Vietnam Brides International.
"On behalf of Diners Club International, which is part of Discover Financial Services, we appreciate [your] bringing this specific merchant relationship with a Diners franchisee to our attention. Formal steps have been taken to terminate the relationship [with Vietnam Brides International]."