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Posted 2013-02-15 11:03:29
Thailand's Prostitution Image Is Embarrassing
BANGKOK: -- Prostitution has become so widespread in Thailand for so long that it has become world famous for it. Many foreigners in other countries associate Thailand as a place where prostitution is its major industry. Some even make jokes about it. But the reality is not that funny for the prostitutes.
It is well known that being a prostitute in Thailand is considered a scornful job by Thai people in every level of society. But some people may tolerate or even defend prostitution, or see it as something honorable to entertain people in an erotic way.
Although it is labeled as such a disgraceful job, Thailand has become famous for prostitution around the world. Or perhaps “infamous” would be a better word. Recently, the well-known American TV show, “Saturday Night Live,” had a short comedy skit, “Rosetta Stone Thai,” which insulted Thailand.
It showed foreign men wanting to learn the Thai language, because they wanted to visit Thailand to talk to Thai prostitutes and pay for their sexual services. So the comedy actors were learning Thai phrases like, “How much?” and “Is that for the whole night?” It is noteworthy that audience members were laughing very loudly, showing that Americans knew all about Thailand’s sex industry.
After that embarrassing episode, Mr. Sonthaya Khunpluem from Thailand’s Ministry of Culture sent a letter to inform the U.S. Embassy in Thailand. He explained that the TV clip really damaged the image of Thailand and requested that whoever posted it to remove it. The comedy clip only shows a one-sided view of Thailand, Mr. Sonthaya protested. More preferable would be a documentary with a more balanced view of prostitution, instead of treating it as a joke.
To be honest, prostitution is a reality in Thailand because of so many poor people who are barely surviving. However difficult it is to accept that reality, prostitution has always existed and not just in Thailand. There are many venues of prostitution, ranging from women selling themselves on the streets, or in entertainment centers, or even advertising online.
The question is, why has prostitution become so huge inThailand that it is now famous for it? Although it is illegal, prostitution is still going on nearly everywhere in Thailand, especially in the big cities visited by tourists like Bangkok and Pattaya. Surprisingly, Thailand is a Buddhist country, which makes it seem strange that prostitution would be allowed to flourish. Thai women love to be prudent, yet there are a still a lot of working prostitutes.
For the most part, when the prostitutes are asked about why they are in the sex industry, they tend to give similar reasons. They might say their friends persuaded them to be waitresses or bar girls. But soon enough they discovered that giving “extra service” could earn them a lot more money. Then they got to enjoy having a very good income, which they often send back home to support parents or their children with no father.
Most Thai prostitutes grew up in very poor families. So they had to struggle, and ended up working in the entertainment spots, which don’t require them to have any degrees or special skills. Prostituion is a shortcut for so many women, and can make them successful in a very short time.
Naturally, since visiting tourists come to spend their money on prostitutes, it has become so well known in cities like Bangkok. So the foreign media have portrayed Bangkok as a city of sexual pleasures. Most Thai people are embarrassed by this labeling of Bangkok as a giant brothel. But many Westerners completely see Bangkok in that way.
However, Thai people have to accept that prostitution in cities like Bangkok are not falsehoods that the Westerners are making up. It is the reality that we have to find the solution for, and start to do something about the shameful image of Thailand that began decades ago.
Thailand has become a desirable place in the minds of foreigners to have sex cheaply with attractive Thai females. On the other side of the coin, a growing trend for male prostitutes is emerging, with people in its inner circles knowing where such services exist.
As long as the laws against prostitution are not enforced, and no reasonable alternatives are available for poor women, Thai people have to accept the truth that prostitution will continue in Thailand and remain widely available all over the country.
-- Pattaya Daily News 2013-02-15
Posted 2013-02-15 11:10:49
Unfortunately a true fact ... I guess if tighter laws against prostitution appear a lot of men wont come to Thailand anymore .... but maybe more families will replace them also . It could be interesting to see how many prostitute female or male are in Thailand.
Posted 2013-02-15 11:11:51
The author has led a sheltered life. Cute to read.
Anyway, Amsterdam has the same image, also among Thais, yet it doesn't bother too many people.
I strongly suggest that Thai people stop worrying about image, and work on improving life for all Thais. A draconian enforcing of prostitution laws deprives consenting adults from remaining options they do have. That's having it ***backwards.
Edited by WinnieTheKhwai, 2013-02-15 11:16:50.
Posted 2013-02-15 11:13:38
This is the most stupid biased and uninformed article i have read in awhile
To the author; wake up moron!!
Posted 2013-02-15 11:16:52
Tourists scams, tuk tuks and jet skis mafia and rising criminality are much more embarrassing.
As for the prostitution start to give equal chances in education for every young from every social class for start.
Posted 2013-02-15 11:17:28
Funny how a while ago on a previous thread topic people were stating that prostitution is not illegal, yet here it states it is illegal.
Posted 2013-02-15 11:20:13
Who's embarrased? The sellers? Not apparently. The buyers? Not apparently.
Maybe it is those who are in denial, and do absolutely nothing to change the reality of the state of Thailand who are embarrased.
Posted 2013-02-15 11:27:22
The fact is the Thai government and Thai population endorse and allow prostitution. If they didn't then something so obvious on their streets would not survive, or at least have resistance. Only 10 minutes in Pattaya or Phuket will show you there is no resistance. So this story is just another news clip that gets thrown out every few months to try and make it look like Thais care about this subject, which they dont.
Posted 2013-02-15 11:32:08
The real embarrasment is Thai pplitics, where a politician famous for ear-ache says that giving gifts to police is culturally ingrained in Thai society, and therefore acceptable. That should be world news, not the fact that there are a lot of hookers in Thailnad
Posted 2013-02-15 11:35:28
How about Thai people using the sex industry?
Isn't it easier to blame the Farangs rather than to see the whole picture?
Posted 2013-02-15 11:36:17
indeed, the writer has the voice of a 12 year old.
the funniest thing about it is the paper it is published in.
Posted 2013-02-15 11:39:20
At least 80% of prostitution in Thailand is for Thai men. At the very least.
Maybe the Culture Minister should have a word with his family who run Pattaya and ask them to tone it down a bit.
The author is a moron.
Posted 2013-02-15 11:39:25
This is not just a 'tourist' problem. The Thais seem to ignore the 'domestic' problem on the assumption that foreigners don't know about it. Every city in Thailand has various centres where sex is readily available.
Karaoke clubs, massage entertainment centres, etc. in every city and town in Thailand - catering not to foreigners, but to local Thais of every class.
What Thais may be more concerned about is the reputation that could be gained if foreigners started frequenting places like Ratchada where most of these huge entertainment complexes, up till now geared to service mainly Thai businessmen, and owned by prominent Thai businessmen, police, army and dare I say possibly people related to the government.
Posted 2013-02-15 11:41:42
The article yet again skirts around the 2 major issues.
1. The massive amount of income generated by this industry going to senior police officers and others in positions of power and influence. These people ensure pimps, procurers, massage parlours, etc. keep running smoothly.
2. The massive domestic market (i.e. for Thai males) which makes up way, way over 50% of the industry.
Prostitution is here to stay. That's a fact.
Posted 2013-02-15 11:41:43
You think that's embarrassing, you just wait until you figure out how the rest of the world considers your level of corruption!
Posted 2013-02-15 11:42:14
"The question is, why has prostitution become so huge inThailand that it is now famous for it?"
Are you serious? You don't know? It may be illegal on paper, but in terms of reality it is not only legal but almost impossible to avoid. Laws mean nothing if they are not inforced. I can't even take my 6 year old daughter bowling without seeing 65 year old men groping and grabbing teenage hookers in their underwear. If a family wants to come to any of the cities in Thailand and not be exposed to prostitution, they'd better stay locked up inside their hotel.
"Thailand is a Buddhist country"
Thailand CLAIMS to be a buddhist country. I have studied buddhisim and very very very little, if any of the every day behavior in the populated areas of Thailand has anything to do with the teachings of buddhisim.
"He explained that the TV clip really damaged the image of Thailand"
I've said it before on here... It's always amazing how the actions and policies of the Thai's, especially the government, are never considered damaging to the image of Thailand.
Posted 2013-02-15 11:45:27
You think Thailand's reputation is going to get worse if foreigners start going to Rachada? It would just sink into the mire even further. Until they do something to change the reputation, they are going to have to put up with the periodic international sniggers. I suggest they grow some thicker skin.
Ironically, if people outside Thailand actually realised how enormous this industry actually is in Thailand, it would probably cause more head scratching and bemusement and pity, than ridicule. Most think it is limited to supplying foreigners, but in reality it is 10 times larger.
Posted 2013-02-15 11:46:50
Watch the Saturday Night Live sketch "Rosetta Stone Thai"
Posted 2013-02-15 11:49:40
What statements in the article do you take issue with, and why? Im trying to help you flesh out your thinking beyond the admirable "wake up moron!!" level.
Posted 2013-02-15 11:54:56
In my view us farangs are a bit to blame. We come here with a view "ahh well what harm can it do" "they come with me and I give them money, everyone is happy". "the girl looks happy"
What we don't realise is that this line of work (unless they get lucky and marry or go abroad) after years of doing it will more than likely end up with the girl being mentally and physically in bad shape. Years of having sex with different men, lying, drinking, smoking and then the biggest pyschological problem from years of earning alot of money too easily and for not much effort is never good for the mind. So by their mid 30s they have either been lucky and met their knight or thats it, career over. Now they are mentally and physically ruined, they cant ever go and work in a normal job because after years of getting maybe 30,000+ a month there is no way the mind can work 5 times longer for 5 times less the wage. So the only option is to have a baby girl with a Thai guy who will probably be lazy, not work and eventually leave. And then guess where that girl will be heading when she is 15/16......................and here the whole process starts again.
This is really the process that has been going on since the Vietnam war where most of this all started and wasn't put down ever since. Now Thailand has a generation of girls and women who are unable to break out of the cycle.
So all in all i think the blame is a mixture but ofcourse Isaan in history has always been more neglected by Bangkok so its no surprise that this is all convenient for Bangkok.
As with alot of problems and as proved by the story above Thai people are always more bothered about the exposure of a problem rather than the problem itself. As we all know Thai peole are unable to think long term. The long term benfit to getting rid of prostitution would ofcourse be great but all the time this industry is making an immediate income then Thais will always endorse and allow.
Edited by rinteln, 2013-02-15 12:02:13.
Posted 2013-02-15 11:56:43
Me think Thailand should be very embarrassed of the unbridled massive corruption
and nepotism that is rife here rather than to worry too much about prostitution,
as corruption can cost life as oppose to prostitution....
Posted 2013-02-15 11:59:13
Points of view:
1. Bar girls----- This money is great, I am going to go buy a new Iphone 5 !! These farangs are so easy to control!!
2. Punters----- Love this cheap pussy !! I am coming here on my next vacation....
3. Police----- Shaking down these prostitute bars for money is like shooting fish in a barrel!!
4. Government------ Thank Buddha all these wacky farangs support the Isan farm girls, otherwise we would have to.
5. Punters in Pattaya------ Man this is like living in paradise, wonder who I should boink today....
6. Upcountry punters with wives from a bar------ I am sick of these farangs coming to Pattaya and taking advantage of these poor girls...
7. NGOs------ Let's go rescue a few more bar girls so our donation money can keep rolling in. I need another SUV.
8. Thai guys-----We have a good thing going with endless cheap girls for us to boink, hope the farangs do not mess it up..
Posted 2013-02-15 12:00:10
If they were to do a documentary that was factual about prostitution in Thailand that would be even more embarrassing to the country, as documentary film makers would surely follow mama-sans on their trips to Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos to recruit young girls into brothel service. Thai's have a long history of exploiting their neighbors as well as their own people.
Posted 2013-02-15 12:00:37
There's a joke people used to say around my parts. How are fat girls and mopeds the same? They are both fun to ride until someone sees you! I think is really the same case in Thailand regarding this issue. Nobody has a problem until people on the outside start taking a closer look at Thai society, and there are many facets that the good government representative don't want to face, let alone address.
Namely, the reason why the prostitution game is tolerated in the kingdom is because Thai society is inherently, at its very core, an unequal society. Exploitation in whatever form of the lowly minions by societal members on the top of the sakdina chain is and always has been totally acceptable in Thai society. It only becomes embarrassing when outside viewers see it and actually mock you for it.
Changing the underlying problem would require a sea change which isn't happening anytime soon.
Posted 2013-02-15 12:01:01
On the other side of the coin, a growing trend for male prostitutes is emerging, with people in its inner circles knowing where such services exist.........Guess they haven't checked out the BOY GOGO BARS in the past 30 years or so!
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