Petitioning NBC

Stop NBC’s “Mail Order Family” Comedy!

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GABRIELA USA Says Women’s Issues Are Not a Joke!  

Stop NBC’s “Mail Order Family” Comedy!


For Immediate Release

September 29, 2016

Contact: Irma Salvatierra Bajar, Chairperson, GABRIELA USA, gabrielawomen@gmail.com


Exploitation and violence against Filipino women is not entertainment! NBC’s “Mail Order Family” is slated as a half hour “comedy” following a widower who purchased a mail order bride from the Philippines. “Mail Order Family” is the most recent example of how the exploitation and violence women face is normalized in U.S. mainstream media. The mail order bride industry in the Philippines is rooted in historical U.S. colonial occupation of the Philippines, feudal-patriarchal view of Filipinas, and current neo-colonial economic policies that have impoverished the Filipino people.


The mail order bride industry exploits and trafficks women who are economically disadvantaged and living in poverty. Filipino women make up one of the largest segments of mail-order brides in the world. Due to an economy ravaged by U.S. imperialist economic policies dictated upon the Philippines, Filipino women lack employment opportunities in the country and are forced to leave their homeland to support themselves and their families.


Many mail order brides are victims of human trafficking as they are forced into sex slavery and domestic servitude. Mail order-brides are vulnerable to violence because of the fundamentally unequal nature and imbalance of power where money is exchanged for an arranged marriage. Many mail-order brides become vulnerable to violence because they may be financially dependent on their husband, are isolated in a foreign country, and husbands can easily threaten them with deportation.


The reason why Filipina women are sought after is because they are seen as subservient and domesticated. This is rooted in the history of U.S. and Philippine relations where Filipino women were subjugated and used for sex slavery, debt bondage, and domestic servitude.  US imperialist culture mirrors the unequal relationship between the Philippines and U.S. via the mail order bride system, by promoting a feudal patriarchal view of Filipina women, where they are seen as mere commodities who can be bought to serve the whims of men overseas.  


We must remember Susana Blackwell, a Filipina mail-order bride who was shot and killed at point blank along with two of her Filipina friends by her abusive husband at a divorce proceeding in 1995 in Seattle. Members of GABRIELA Seattle have participated in an annual vigil for the past several years, remembering the lives of Susana Blackwell and her unborn child, as well as Phoebe Dizon and Veronica Laurete Johnson--Blackwell’s two friends who were also killed. “Human trafficking of mail order brides and outright abuse and murder of Filipinas here in the U.S. must not be forgotten and must end,” stated Precious Butiu, GABRIELA Seattle member and GABRIELA USA National Executive Officer.


We must also remember Estelita Villa Reeves, a Filipina mail-order bride, who was brutally murdered by her husband. Her husband was also found guilty of murdering his two previous wives whose deaths were previously ruled an accident and suicide, respectively.


GABRIELA USA condemns NBC for making light of the exploitation and violence against Filipino women via the mail order bride system and calls for the immediate cancellation of “Mail Order Family.” We demand a meeting with the NBC executives and producers of "Mail Order Family," to educate them of the true plight of Filipino women and the economic conditions of the Philippines which forces them into the mail order bride industry and other exploitative industries.


We acknowledge that the widespread poverty that forces Filipina women to leave their homeland and become mail order brides is rooted in the colonial history of the country and the continued domination of the Philippine economy and politics by US imperialism, which has impeded the social and economic development of the Philippines. GABRIELA USA calls for an end to the unequal and neo-colonial relationship between the Philippines and the U.S.  


When we end the poverty and suffering of the Filipino people and uphold the national rights, interests, and welfare of the Filipino people, women will no longer have to leave the country out of a need for survival. Filipino women and women everywhere have the right to raise their standard of living for themselves and their families and be free from exploitation and violence.


CANCEL NBC’S “MAIL ORDER FAMILY” NOW!

EXPLOITATION AND VIOLENCE AGAINST FILIPINAS IS NOT ENTERTAINMENT!

STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN!

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