It’s so easy for us Westerners to criticize isn’t it?. We have our safeguards like government welfare programmes that protect us should we lose our jobs. We have our pensions when we grow old and retire. We need never find ourselves without a roof over our heads if things really get that bad even.
We also enjoy free education and advanced healthcare. We can afford to go abroad for our annual holidays to tropical destinations if we want to and we can enjoy the luxury of our own homes if that’s what we desire.
But for most Thais, society offers none of the things considered normal in our part of the world. If Thais don’t work, they don’t eat. It’s that simple. Nobody will provide them with shelter and welfare institutions simply don’t exist. What’s more, children are expected to provide for their parents from a very early age even though wage levels are abysmal by Western standards.
Look around you the next time you go to Thailand. How many Thais do you see dining in even cheap restaurants? And by cheap, I mean around 100 Baht for a main course. At current exchange rates, that’s about 2 Euros or US$3. I’ll tell you: that figure is a big zero. Why? because 100 Baht is too expensive when the minimum wage is only 280 Baht a day. That’s what the Thais you see working as chambermaids in hotels earn, as do farmers and factory workers.
So before you criticize Thai women, place yourself in their shoes for a moment. Bar girls earn on average 8000 Baht a month for a 48 hour working week. They can supplement their income further by selling so called “Lady drinks” for which they receive 40 Baht a time on average. During the peak season, they might sell 10 drinks a night, but even then, their monthly income is still only 18,000 Baht. Divide that by 45 to convert to Euros, or by 33.1900 for US$. So how does the idea of living on 400 Euros a month grab you?
In addition, out of that final figure, they’re expected to give a substantial proportion of their income to their parents. Family ties are very strong in Thai culture and children are taught; brainwashed even if you like, to feel indebted to their parents for bringing them into the world and caring from them until they reach the age when they can begin to repay that debt. The fewer children in the family, the more the unfortunate individuals are expected to cough up.
Since it costs 5000 Baht a month to rent a room in places like Patong Beach, these girls will exist on little more than subsistence level if they don’t find an alternative source of income. They will never go abroad on holiday and most of them won’t even have a passport.
Prostitution provides a means of bringing them in contact with affluent men whom they are otherwise unlikely to meet. Their primary goal is to try and develop a relationship with someone who will provide for them for the future. Also, more often than not, they will have children of their own who have been left without a father after he skipped the nest as soon as he discovered his girlfriend was pregnant.
Most of the girls who work in the sex industry were born in the northern Province called Isaan. Isaan is farming country and the source of Thailand’s biggest export which is rice. There isn’t any other prominent industry in the region which offers an alternative means of employment.
So the girls come south to Bangkok, Pattaya and beyond and are attracted to men who they perceive to be wealthy and therefore potential partners.
Men in the 18-30 age group who flock to Thailand every year view these women as little more than sex objects to be enjoyed and then left to fend for themselves. And preferably for as little outlay as possible.
From the girls point of view, the 50+ age group is a much more attractive proposition since these men are perceived to have accumulated sufficient wealth by that age. That’s the main reason you see older men with younger women in the main tourist resorts like Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket. Older men are also likely to be a lot more caring since they will have passed the wham, bang, thank you ma’am era of their youth.
Yes there are a few bad eggs among them in the same way as there are men who will exploit them, but given their circumstances, I for one would never criticize them in the manner of some of the comments I’ve read in this thread. Their lot in life is a pitiful one with very few prospects for the future especially if they’re single parents themselves already. Yet they will always project that warm smile towards everyone they meet.
I love each and every one of them, bless their little hearts, Terry
This was a comment to “Do Thai girls really like older men?” but we posted as a post since it was very well written and fun. Please comment of your view on this never ending subject.