And they are looking for more than just a few good men.
First off, men can’t actually live in Noiva do Cordeiro. The husbands of the townswomen who live in the idyllic town in the state of Minas Gerais, have to work far away and are only allowed to return for the weekend.
The only males who are allowed to live in the town, which sits in a remote valley 60 miles east of Belo Horizonte, are the women’s sons, and they must move away when they turn 18.
The ladies-only rule in Noiva do Cordeiro dates back to the town’s founding in the 1890s, when a woman accused of adultery was excommunicated by the Catholic Church and cast out of her home, relocated there. Other women in the region who were shunned followed, and, after multiple attempts over the decades by men to intervene, the women of Noiva do Cordeiro adopted the policy that literally made the town a “No Man’s Land.”
And while the women of the town – who run everything from the farms to the town’s policy planning to the churches – like their way of life, many see the sex stalemate they’ve created by not permitting men to live in a town renowned for gorgeous girls as a bit of a problem when it comes to dating.
“Here, the only men we single girls meet are either married or related to us. Everyone is a cousin. I haven’t kissed a man for a long time,” 23-year old Nelma Fernandes told the Daily Mirror. “We all dream of falling in love and getting married. But we like living here and don’t want to have to leave the town to find a husband.”
That’s the problem all the single ladies in town face: they want to find true love, but don’t want to change their way of life. And after one bad experience, who could blame them?
In 1940, an evangelical pastor, Anisio Pereira, married a 16-year old girl from the town, founded a church and turned Noiva do Cordeiro into his own personal fiefdom, imposing strict rules, banning the women from drinking alcohol, listening to music, cutting their hair or using contraceptives.
After Pereira died in 1995, the women banned men from the town for good.