The most recent “Win a Wife” contest on a Canadian radio station should sound alarms. Volga Girl, the mail-order site sponsoring the contest, describes itself as “providing a wide range of services to those men who are interested in finding a compatible Russian wife.”

Unfortunately, many vulnerable women from developing countries make themselves available as Internet brides because of poverty and dire economic circumstances. In reality, many don’t have a choice and may end up trafficked into a world of sexual exploitation, or married to men who abuse them. Sadly, it is one of many radio contests that are a societal barometer on the commodification of women and girls. “The Breast Christmas Ever,” offered women a chance at free breast augmentations.

Another station had plans for a “thinnest body” contest. Can we believe these promotions help women and girls nurture their self-esteem? What kind of message does this send to young girls?

Elizabeth Lucas, Soroptimist International of the Americas, Philadelphia

 
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