What Farangs Don’t Get About Thai Women – Part 2
Although I have lived in Thailand for just over 5 years, I have only just read Jayson's extremely interesting article (dated July 2005).
Although there is a hell of a lot of truth in it, there are also some blindingly untrue generalisations. Stickman is partly right when he says Jayson is spot on. In places he is. However, in other places, he is way off the mark. This article seems to cater to those who have been living in Thailand for a short time. However, the longer you live in a country, the more you learn.
There are reasons and explanations which he has left out (and I would be very surprised if he was unaware of them). Firstly, he mentions that Farangs are perceived as whore-chasers. Yes, a lot of them are, but what many people probably don't realise is that only 5% of prostitution in this country is "consumed" by foreigners. Farangs may be "visible" whore-chasers, as Patpong, Cowboy and Nana are infamous venues in Thailand for this kind of thing, but what of the other 95% that's "consumed" by Thais? A male Thai friend of mine once told me that the excesses enjoyed by the Thai whore-chasers (the 95% of Thai prostitution) would make your average fat 55 year-old German "sex-pat" look like a eunuch. <You miss the point. He means that many Thais believe farangs are whore chasers, and guess what…many do! – Stick>
I first came to Thailand as a full-time musician working in Patong and the farang bar manager there told me that the only Thai women interested in foreigners were whores. "White-skinned Bangkok girls all think farang men are white pigs" he also informed me. Some of us actually fell for this pack of lies. After getting to know this guy, we realised what he really meant was that the only Thai women interested in HIM were whores.
I fully understand the skin colour issue in Thailand. I agree that an uneducated girl with all the grace and manners of a jackhammer (from a village or a city) is a big turn-off, but comparing someone with dark skin to an obese American woman just does NOT make sense. My wife happens to have dark skin, comes from Isaan, and has a Masters degree, has worked in the education industry all her life, is extremely elegant and has more intelligence and common sense than most English women. She is someone who is a credit to her family and probably a far better catch than most men (Thai or Farang) could imagine. When a foreign man first arrives in Thailand, he finds dark-skinned women attractive because they are the first females he sees, usually in bars. However, there is a great deal of difference between a holidaymaker and someone who lives in Thailand. Someone who has lived here for a considerable time gains valuable experience, unless he lives with his head in the sand, which brings me to my next point.
Jayson mentioned a "GQ guy" that he works (or worked) with and his "hideous" girlfriend. Jayson says it's pointless being a young, good-looking guy in Thailand and that a good-looking farang guy would attract the same kind of woman as the fat 55 year-old sitting in a bar. That simply is not true! I'm not saying this for the good of my health, but through experience. I have had more Chinese-Thai girlfriends than Isaan ones, and so have a lot of my young Western friends. Yes it's true that most Thai men find Isaan women unattractive, but it's equally true that many farang men find them unattractive too. For those of us with an open mind and a brain in our heads, we have taken time to look around and realised that it's not only Isaan women that are available to us younger guys.
There is another point to be made here; a lot of non-Isaan women are "paired-off" by their parents to marry Thai men that they are simply not attracted to and have nothing in common with. They have no choice in the matter, it is their parents' decision. I work with one Bangkok girl who doesn't love her Thai boyfriend, but her parents do. She is not allowed to leave the house until HE chooses the clothes she wears. When she goes out with her friends, one of them has to call him to confirm where they will be, so that he can make sure she's telling the truth. Perfect trust – what a great basis for a happy marriage!
My final point is how female farangs (and there are more in Thailand than you realise) are perceived when they have a Thai boyfriend. When I say a Thai boyfriend I am not talking about Somchai the motorbike taxi driver, but just your average Thai guy with a fairly good job. I have taught many Thai men English over the last 5 years and most of them said they would love the opportunity to date and get to know a farang woman. The fact is, most farang women with a Thai boyfriend are perceived by their colleagues as "scraping the bottom of the barrel". I also disagree with this opinion. The main point that Jayson has missed is that we are all attracted to something new and different (especially the opposite sex). This is why his "GQ" friend (I'm surprised this guy remained his friend after reading what he said about his girlfriend) fancied a girl that Jayson would cross the road to avoid and why farang men turn their noses up at their female colleague when they find out she is dating a Thai man. Yes, of course there are gold-diggers around and anyone who lives here and dates bargirls needs to see a psychiatrist as soon as possible, but I think you'll find there is far more wealth with Hi-So Thais than there is among foreign expats.
I believe there is far too much discussion – from The Bangkok Post, to Ajarn to Bangkok Chat – about the differences between Thais and foreigners. If we look closely, I think we would find we have a lot more in common with each other than many would dare to admit. Maybe that thought is too scary for all of us. But maybe that's the point!
I agree that yes, we have more in common than not, but that is sort of like saying that a Doberman has more in common with a poodle, than not. There are plenty of differences too – and some are biggies.
Jayson did make some generalisations, as many writers do, but for the most part I think he was close to the mark with what he said. There will always be exceptions to generalisations.