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Culture and politics forum

Thailand for sale

Posted by somtam2000 on 6/10/2009 at 15:00 admin

The very good Thai politico blog khikwai.com has just published a very interesting story on Thailand, and how the sex and political "industries" are intertwined.

You can download the full story here (in a 12 page PDF format).

A lot gets written about Thailand's sex industry -- much of it bland, boring and, more often than not, just plain wrong --this is certainly not the case with this particular piece.

It does concentrate on the farang side of the industry, barely touching on the seamier side for locals, but that fault aside, it's a well worthwhile read.

#1 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,498
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Posted by MADMAC on 6/10/2009 at 15:30

This is another one of these "the poor girl who is forced to work as a prostitute" line is that it doesn't ask the question "What if she could not work as a prostitute?" A number of these women make significant money in this field, and that money sustains them and often their children, mothers and fathers back home. You can't prevent a woman from selling her nookie - in one way, shape or form - if she is inclined to do it. What you can do is make that endeavor more dangerous and less financially beneficial for the woman.

Additionally, social commentaries about how "society views ______ (fill in the blank)" are a collosal waste of time. Social attitudes don't change because people like "Kiekwai" comment on them. Sea changes occur when populations are ready for them to - not when bloggers think they should.

Men are willing to pay for sex and women are willing to sell it. That's a universal truth. Whining about it is a waste of time.

#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957


Posted by MADMAC on 6/10/2009 at 15:36

Also, the author wants to venture into an inside out analysis of how Thailands "elites" are "parasitic" and how upcountry folk are being put down and kept down (the author is assuming a western model would be superior here - ignoring the massive prostitution industry in Europe). I am EXTREMELY sceptical of these types who want to indict entire socio-economic systems, which is what's going on in this article. This is where Mau comes from, where Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot... all the "change the world" types. They change it alright.

#3 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by somtam2000 on 6/10/2009 at 15:37 admin

The story covers topics like what they could earn in other fields, how it helps them support their families etc...It isn't talking about preventing them working in the field...

Don't you mean "What you can do is make that endeavor LESS dangerous and MORE financially beneficial for the woman."?

Did you read the story?

#4 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,498
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Posted by MADMAC on 6/10/2009 at 15:40

Yeah I read it - frankly I find this kind of pontification annoying. Thailand is what it is, and if the Thais want to work to change it - fine. It's not up to people who aren't Thai to go about telling them how screwed up they are.

Prostitution is the least of the countries problems.

#5 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by somtam2000 on 6/10/2009 at 15:42 admin

Fair nuf.

#6 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,498
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Posted by furneburner on 6/10/2009 at 19:37

Somtam, i will read the story and post my thoughts.

However, having not been posting here for long, i am already "aware" you are totally against the industry, just by what others have said.

However, i would be interested to hear your views on the industry, as all i've seen is what other people "think" you think, if that makes sense.

Having a father living in patong beach and running a bar for 12 years, i would like to think i know quite a bit about the industry, and the stereotypes that go along with it.

#7 furneburner has been a member since 5/9/2009. Posts: 180

Posted by furneburner on 6/10/2009 at 20:22

Read it.

Very good, probably one of the only stories i've read that i agree with most of. Saw a couple of trivial things i know aren't correct, but this person has obviously done huge amounts of research.

#8 furneburner has been a member since 5/9/2009. Posts: 180

Posted by somtam2000 on 6/10/2009 at 21:13 admin

"However, having not been posting here for long, i am already "aware" you are totally against the industry, just by what others have said."

Well, if that is what you think, I guess that's a great indication of why you shouldn't rely on others to characterise what my opinions are lol!

We made a decision early on that sex tourism wouldn't be discussed on the site -- many reasons for this, but primarily because there's a bucket-load of other sites solely dedicated to this topic. My personal opinion on the industry is irrelevant.

I posted the link because I thought it was a particularly well written and thought out piece -- a lot better than most of the stuff on the topic. Yes, there's a few probs with it -- notably that the local "scene" gets scant mention, but that is a different beast to what the author is writing about.

Anyway, glad you found it of interest -- that was the point in my posting it.

Cheers

#9 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,498
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Posted by furneburner on 7/10/2009 at 05:31

Well there you go, suppose i can't rely on what others say!

With regards to "the local industry", i suppose people skim over it because it's not what the readers wanna hear, and at least this piece does mention it, as opposed to ignoring it.

I guess it's also a more controversial topic involving more references to "sex slaves", underage workers,immigrant sex workers and whatnot.

I wonder if someone can get in trouble in thailand for writing about the local sex industry, as in they will get charge for "slander" against thailand or something similar, kind of like that the producers of that show "trouble in thailand" and being done for....

#10 furneburner has been a member since 5/9/2009. Posts: 180

Posted by MADMAC on 7/10/2009 at 20:59

"I wonder if someone can get in trouble in thailand for writing about the local sex industry, as in they will get charge for "slander" against thailand or something similar, kind of like that the producers of that show "trouble in thailand" and being done for...."

Probably not. Slander is not an easy charge to prove, even in Thailand. Now, you might get brains blown out if you start naming names and trying to make powerful people look bad. Thais will kill without a hesitation if provoked.

#11 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by somtam2000 on 8/10/2009 at 12:13 admin

yeah I agree with MadMac, the sex industry in Thailand has been written about at length -- nobody seems to get too excited about it.

I think in both the local and sex tourist scene you get the elements mentioned by furneburner in #10 (bonded/immigrant labour etc), but I think the local scene is ignored largely because nobody outside of Thailand is particularly interested in it.

For example when Thailand made a concerted effort to push underage prostitution out of the sex-tourism scene, scant attention was give to the similar local scene -- I'd argue because the former was "bad for business" -- out of sight, out of mind. It's the same in Cambodia, where foreigners caught with the underaged get a lot of attention, but the local's scene is largely ignored.

#12 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,498
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Posted by MADMAC on 8/10/2009 at 15:30

It reminded me of that girl who posted not longer ago who said "I can't stand to see older foriegn men with thai girls half their age"... yet seeing an older Thai man with a Thai girl half their age doesn't seem to concern them at all. In fact, I doubt they even notice it.

#13 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by furneburner on 8/10/2009 at 15:41

Not to mention the fact that most westerners would have no idea of an asian girls age.

My GF is nearly 28, and most people think she is a fair wack younger than 24 year old me...

#14 furneburner has been a member since 5/9/2009. Posts: 180

Posted by MADMAC on 9/10/2009 at 12:13

Was having lunch yesterday at a place I enjoy on the Mekong... in walks this absolutely stunning woman. The man in her company at least 30 years her senior. Both Thai. He must have had real money.

#15 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957


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