Most of us can relate to finding dating and romance hard. The dating pool seems so small, making finding the right person who checks off all the boxes and fulfills our romantic fantasies difficult.
There are some people who take expanding their dating pool too far. They pack their bags and travel to new locales to find someone to marry.
Known as Passport Bros on TikTok, these men are usually born in North America and travel to foreign countries like Brazil, Thailand, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, and Eastern Europe to try their luck at finding someone to marry.
Passport Bros typically preach women from these areas will make ideal and traditional wives, assuming women will happily conform to a traditional, patriarchal marriage based on stereotypes associated with these countries’ cultures.
Like any TikTok community, Passport Bros aren’t free from criticism. Since they typically come from wealthy Western countries, these men are preying on women in more vulnerable positions than them. By doing so, they uphold colonialist ideals.
Being born in North America often grants greater access to wealth, opportunities, and travel. While immigrants from Asian and Latin American countries face barriers coming to Western nations independently, Passport Bros from the United States or Canada have easier access to these areas.
Passport Bros acknowledge the social and financial privileges they have as North Americans in foreign countries, but don’t see it as a reason for concern. They cite this privilege as a perk for traveling, and a reason why women are more likely to date them. This shows they’re deliberately trying to exploit an uneven power dynamic in these relationships.
There’s a long history of the Western world fetishizing women from developing countries—in particular, Asian and Latina women. During the Philippine-American War, World War II, and the Vietnam War, American troops perpetuated large-scale sexual violence.
Because of this, Asian women were stereotyped as being submissive, exotic, and dutiful. Women of colour from other parts of the world also deal with being fetishized.
By claiming they’re traveling in a search for traditional wives with more desirable qualities, Passport Bros further perpetuate colonialism.
Power dynamics between Passport Bros and foreign women mimic these wartime colonialist interactions. Passport Bros seek to bring women who would be financially dependent on them to North America. When Western men come from colonial nations with more privilege and monetary power, they implicitly have the upper hand over the woman in the relationship.
The ability to travel for the sole purpose of dating is already a major indication of privilege. Knowing this, the Passport Bros are trying to exploit existing systems of colonialism and misogyny by putting women from foreign countries in danger of being trapped in abusive relationships with no way home.
All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.