Thursday, 27 August 2009

'Thai Girls' v. Western Ones? - To Be a Bitter Man! Revisited

Bangkok Dangerous! A retired farang art teacher with two professional women (a primary teacher and an insurance salesperson). Is he at risk of getting gobbled up?

My last two blog articles have been long and serious and so perhaps it's time to lighten things a bit.

The topic of sleazy old western men proposing marriage to Bangkok bar girls and what each expects from the relationship is an endless subject for debate. Of course really the men are honest and decent and the girl has a heart of gold and only wants to take care of her mother. And they'll live happily ever after with never a tension about money or the fact he snores and won't eat insects.

In February I posted a blog under the above title and it had a huge flow of readers, mainly males of the long nosed variety.

Having today received an interesting new Comment from 'Bluebird',a Thai woman on the topic, I now want to draw your attention to it.

Ugly western men have regularly made offensive advances to Bluebird, she says, on the assumption that 'all Thai girls are for sale'. How can these men expect happiness if they take on a Thai wife years their junior, expecting her to be 'a docile mouse who'll be their whore, nursemaid and housekeeper'.

In my Comment that follows hers, I then regret the fact and ask why Thai womanhood has got this terrible reputation of being open to all offers. Is it their fault, the fault of Thai men who accord them too lowly a status or governments that have connived at rampant sex tourism?

So let's revisit that blog article, please read Bluebird's new Comment and let battle recommence. The truth is out there somewhere!

TO FIND the February blog article, "'Thai Girls' v. Western Ones"...

....scan down the right hand margin to 'Blog Archive', click on February, scan down to 'Blog Archive' again and click on the article's title that should appear.


Stefan said...

First of all I should say that I agree with Bluebird to an extent - obviously a woman has a right not to be treated like a prostitute.

What gets to me a little is the "ugly western men" part. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, just because you don't like someone doesn't mean nobody else will, and taking an interest in someone should not be perceived as an insult.

I never considered myself attractive, but every now and then stunningly beautiful girls are interested in me. I usually have problems to comprehend it, when it happens - quite a few times I missed a chance just because I couldn't believe it. :-)

As for age differences ... I have a very good friend who is a decade older than me, and I have some friends who are considerably younger, too. I think this idea that age is so important in an intimate relationship is strange. Admittedly there are practical limitations - if you plan to share your life, then one person likely dying much earlier is a consideration.

However ultimately you need to love each other and care for each other - share interests, support each other and make each other happy. There are many women my age, who I couldn't live with for a month. (There are certainly many I could live with too - just saying that age is not an overriding consideration, not that all women my age are bad.)

I'm married to a Taiwanese woman myself - she's beautiful and educated, comes from a well-off family. When we met I thought she was older than she was, she thought I was younger. We had so many things to talk about, and had so much fun together - when we found out there was a 13 year age difference it seemed too late to worry about it.

Thaibar girls said...

sounds like men are still interested in bluebird,

mike said...

I read somewhere that foreigners only account for 5% of commercial sex in Thailand, which has long been commonplace in Thailand. If this is true, then sex tourists are not a significant factor.

One possible problem is that foreigners who visit Thailand, but are not accustomed to the endearing nature of the Thai people, often mistake the friendliness and sweet smiles from young Thai women as flirtation - and then behave inappropriately.

Mike C.

Pauline said...

I agree with a lot of Bluebird's insightful comments but mainly I appreciate what she has said because it is great to hear the point of view of a women in this blog where the voice of Eve's daughters are largely silent. Well I daresay the voices of whores, nursemaids and housekeepers have always remained silent down through the ages. Talking of history possibly the situation for women in the north of Thailand is similar to what it would have been for women in England in the early 1800's - where the only career choice open to women was marriage; and it was imperitive that the woman choose a man who was best able to protect her and give her economic security.To remain unmarried or to make the wrong choice in a husband was to face grinding poverty, prostitution, even starvation. Andrew talks al lot about poverty in the north of Thailand. Poverty is really what brings this situation about in Thailand where older, snoring men of the long-nosed variety can be seen as desirable and wonderfully attractive to young women half their age. These western men have the opportunity to acquire their delightful girlfriends, sex partners and wives in Thailand, particularly the north of Thailand, whereas in their own countries of origin they would not have a 'snowflake's chance in hell' of cracking onto someone old enough to be their daughter.Having said that, once the deal is struck, I can fully accept that love matches are made just as they are in any situation where a man and a woman learn to live with each other,respect each other and understand each other in the intimacy of their marriage.

Thai Girl said...

Some really interesting and well balanced comments. Thanks for these.

Yes, a thousand times it's about poverty... and also about the low status of women in this society. These things explain everything.

Mike, your point was one I meant to mention in response to Bluebird. Any suggestion that the farang invented sex as an economic exchange in Thailand (longtime or short) simply isn't correct. I'm sure the moralists would point fingers at the influx of American soldiers on R and R during the Vietnam war but their seed most certainly did not fall on stony ground.

And finally a wild card!

We often characterise the farang in these strange pairings as grotesque and ugly and as falling into the arms of sylph-like goddesses.

Ask a Thai and they'd tell you that the farang generally end up with women who are as ugly as hell!

How does that now threaten the stereotyping and the balance of the whole debate?

Andrew Hicks

Stefan said...

Don't know Andrew, but it does seem that some Asians have unrealistic views on how attractive a Western's girlfriend ought to be.

When we are in Taipei my wife often gets to hear comments along the lines of "well she is not so beautiful, why is he together with her?" It's a little flattering I suppose, but I don't like it when someone hurts my wife's feelings. I asked her to tell me when it happens, so I can say "gao pi" (="dog fart") to them...

She never got to hear that when she had Taiwanese boyfriends, so apparently she is considered to be sufficiently attractive when not with a Westerner?

Of course I sometimes get nasty looks when a western women sees me with her, too. So then I'm not considered to be attractive enough for her.

To be frank - I think it's just ordinary racism at work, masked as concern for the foreign person.

Being concerned for the poor Asian girl is a lot more PC than being jealous of her, isn't it? "Poor exploited Asian girl" does sound better than "we don't want your sort here".

And dismissing the Westerner's taste makes it much easier to handle that he thinks *that* girl is more beautiful (in a woman's case), or that she prefers to be with a Westerner (in a man's case).

Well, I can't see in people's hearts, so maybe I'm totally wrong. I wanted to add this view to the discussion, though.

Niel said...

"Methinks the lady(Bluebird)doth protest too much!"
Yes, Im one of those longnosed farangs, older than 50 and with a fast reclining hairline. Ugly as f... so to speak! For others like me, I'd like give some hope for the future! You can, like me find yourself a Thai girl to marry, AND be happy. My wife, whom herself would not win any beauty contests, is the most wonderful, gentle and loving girl. I absolutely adore her and we make each other very happy indeed. We have been married for near seven years and I personally cant wait for the next seven. People look at us suspiciously when we walk together both here in my country where we now live, as well as in Thailand when we visit there. I simply don't care! My wife and I know what we have in each other, and that is what is important. So, the bottom line is simple - Don't let bitter remarks by other people ruin what could be a wonderfull and happy relationship. We only get one life so why not enjoy it while you can!

Bluebird said...

Oh don't misunderstand me Stefan you never know how something will turn out until you try, but its the way men try that is distasteful. After all I believe no woman should ever need to be rescued by her male friends, because some guy reacts like a spoilt child throwing his toys out of the pram, simply because she isn't interested in his advances...there is something to be said for a little grace.
And yes I do get a fair bit of attention from older men & have done so since I first started visiting my stepfather on Koh Samui at 12.
On the flip side how would you feel about some man (older or not) interacting with your sister, daughter, granddaughter the way you see men interact with thai girls both in thailand and abroad?

The sex trade is definitely not exclusive to thailand and the far east, and was there long before tourists arrived. But the problem comes when those same tourists return home telling tales, but people act differently on holiday, less these sterotypes are coloured by these actions.

But it is also true there is a reason relationships with such extreme age gaps are almost universally frowned upon. I wonder when does the gap simply become too big to be tolerated?
A 45 year old man dating a 17 year old girl in any culture is distasteful... how is it any different when the women is 20 and he 48.
Please note I said woman not girl, it's kind of telling when some you guys refer to your partners as 'girls' rather than the women they really are.

My main point in all of this is that many (not all) often don't respect asian women, the social norms and constructs we live by are thrown by the wayside and they behave like misogynistic cavemen.
And yes I am protesting perhaps too much because this has become an irritatingly common occurrence in my day-to-day life.

Respect is the key and if you don't give it, how can you be surprised when you're rebuffed?

Stefan said...

I think this story could be interesting. German politician Franz Muentefering and his girlfriend have just moved-in together:
He is about 40 years older than her - to my knowledge people in Germany don't seem to be particularly concerned whether it's distasteful. Though some people pointed out that the lady picked an old house for them to move into. ;-)

I think what people find distasteful (if it's not merely a mask for jealousy - as I suspect applies in some cases) is exploitation. Here the woman is thought to be one of the up and coming politicians in the party, and certainly old enough to make her own decisions. (It probably also helps that he acquired a reputation as a decent guy when he resigned the party chairmanship to care for his terminally ill wife.)

Regarding your other point: I think the difference between 17+45 and 20+47 is this: in one constellation the women is old enough to make her own decisions. I think it's also a matter of respect to accept that women are able to make decisions about their lives by themselves, that they can and should bear responsibility for the outcome of these decisions.

This of course also means that it's completely unacceptable that an adult should approach a child with sexual intentions. Because a child can not make these decisions and should not be put in a situation where such a decision is required.

I'm really sorry to hear that some men would have tried to approach you when you were a child - that's horrible.

I don't really know much about Thailand (apart from a few blogs I follow and of course Andrew's excellent book). So far I've only seen BKK airport when transferring to Taipei. So I don't really know what it's like in places like Koh Samui.

On a lighter note, if I may: babies throw toys out because they start to develop an understanding of reality - that things are around even if they can't currently see them. It's not spoiled behavior, just an important
game they need to play. Don't get angry
at your (at some point in the future
maybe) daughter when she's doing that,
play along. :-)

BTW: I liked that you called us guys when arguing the merits of the term "women". ;-)

Anonymous said...

Bluebird, I am a 40yr old quite reasonable looking English man who has lived in Koh Samui for the last 8 years, although I travel extensively to the Middle East for work I have many Thai friends both male and female from all walks of life on Samui, you are obviously very well educated, I would very much like to have a coffee, or indeed a cocktail with you to debate our respective views, please feel free to email me at anytime, I am very much intersted in meeting you for cultural conversations, my thai mobile no is +66 872799220, I will be next in Samui on 28th Novemeber until mid Jan 2010, great comments and interesting conversation.


Generic Viagra said...

Perhaps there is certain danger of being gobbled up by those two gorgeous girls. I wouldn't mind to be in risk of that as well as I feel well in that relationship.

Viagra Sales said...

You seem to be such a happy family, and I am surely glad for it. In fact, I would like to know that every family on world is having a nice time as you are, shamefully, it still isn't like that.

Anonymous said...

Hi, respect is the key and blue bird seems to lack some of this. My wife is fillipino and we were both born in 1965, l had a lot of western girlfriend but left it too late to settle down due to a job that had me traveling alot. When you get to 40 single girls are far and few between and even fewer that either don't have baggage or mandatory check lists that no man can measure up to. I continplated getting a wife from thailand or somewhere else but meet my wife through friends. She has plenty of baggage don't get me wrong but she has a lot of atrbutes you don't find in western women. Western men should respect Thai women and there maybe something in that where some are still single but to suggest that calling a woman a girl makes you a pediphile or that men that date asians are pediphiles damages your credibility.
Respectfully Scott

Anonymous said...

I know the teacher of the picture "Patie" How did you get this picture?
thanks for your reply.