Stickman Readers' Submissions October 21st, 2008

A Thai Girl’s Take on Contra Jayson

I normally hate to classify people because I don’t believe in labeling social classes. However, I’m using classification in this submission in reference to the Contra Jayson author. I’m writing this from my experience, what I know and what I’ve seen growing up and living in Bangkok among these “upper” class Thai girls for a few decades. (Why does my stomach turn when I use the classification?)

To give readers some idea about my background and before you start questioning how authoritative this woman thinks she is to talk about ‘upper’ class Thai girls: I was born and raised in Bangkok in a Chinese family. All my grandparents emigrated from mainland China. Not a drop of Thai blood in my veins but I do identify as a Thai and consider myself Thai. My parents provided the best education possible, foundations in the best schools in Bangkok, all my siblings were able to get into one of the best and most competitive universities in the country, Chulalongkorn.

mens clinic bangkok

I made it further than my sisters who earned ‘only’ Master’s degrees from Chula. I had a chance to study for my master’s program in the USA, came back to Thailand to work for a few years, then back to the same university in the US again for my doctorate. I spent about seven years there altogether in one of the best schools in my field. All three girls in the family had taken private music lessons from a young age and continued until we were accepted into Chula.

In my career I meet and work with people with high government ranks, social status, ambassadors and consuls, and my works even received recognition in person by Princesses who graciously presided over the event(s) in which I was part. I’m sure the Contra Jayson author wouldn’t mind labeling me “refined.” However, my siblings and I were down to earth. We earned our own money giving private music lessons and paid our way through our university programs, and I even worked an additional job, earned a scholarship, and paid for all my own tuition and expenses in the US during those seven years. We stopped asking for allowances from our parents from the time we graduated high school. This is very unconventional for an ‘upper class’ Thai family.

What Jayson wrote had grains of fact in it but the sweeping generalization(s) are too great. The same goes for what the Contra Jayson author wrote. I feel uncomfortable every time someone lumps Thai women all together and put a single label on us. Bargirls are all the same, upper class girls are all the same, Thai girls are all the same. We’re not all the same. One label can’t and doesn’t fit all. You don’t need to be a genius to figure this out. You just need to stop acting or being ignorant.

I think the Contra Jayson author has a superiority complex. He seems to believe he’s better than both Asian men and white men in Thailand. Or maybe he’s just generalizing too much. He says, Asian guys in the US lust after white girls but can never get laid, and at the same time Asian girls there only want white guys and not them, this just isn’t true.

Certainly not all Asian girls in the US only want white guys. Not even most of them. Roughly about one in maybe twenty Asian women I knew back in Farangland was dating a white guy. They mostly dated their own kind for whatever reasons. Language barrier? Xenophobia? Who knows. And bedding girls the world over is all about personality and who you are. It’s THAT universal. Race is not an indicator whether or not you can succeed. Girls don’t like wimps unless she has the intention to control them. If you are a real man and are confident enough to reach out for her and ask her out, you would certainly stand a chance.

A good Thai friend of mine just now crossed my mind. He was in a Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He’s an artsy Thai guy, 5’11”, well built, a very talented saxophone player. He dated attractive white girls at his school left and right. He always succeeded with them. This is one intelligent, witty, and confident guy though I wouldn’t comment on his looks. It’s all about attitude and how you treat your woman. I also had white female friends at my school in the US who dated Asian guys. If the author ever made it across his own country to Southern California where I lived, he’d know an Asian guy with a white girl is not an odd sight at all. A good friend of mine here in Thailand is half German half Thai. Guess what, her father is Thai and her mother is German. The mom was a nurse and the dad was in the Royal Thai Navy. They met in the US and have been happily married for over 50 years.

I’m not sure what led the Contra Jayson author to think Thai women don’t find Asian or Thai guys attractive when most married couples in the country are obviously Thai. I’d want to think there must be levels of attraction out there. I’m not denying that we don’t generally find Western physical features desirable, but big cities like Chiang Mai and Bangkok are not all of Thailand and what the Contra Jayson author is experiencing there is in no way representative of Thailand as a whole. The majority of the population is in other provinces and most of them have no access to Hollywood films. These up country girls wouldn’t be seeing Brad Pitt pictures or movies often but for sure they have easy access to images of Thai movie stars and singers. Soaps on free TV are their favorites. They discuss the characters as if they were real people. These Thai male beauties on TV set standards of desirable Thai physical traits. You’d be surprised how bad looking certain country singers can be (flat nose, flat cheekbones, flat forehead, small eye sockets way too close to his temples, etc) but they’re considered to be so hot in the Isaan region. Their looks DO sell or else the whole Thai entertainment and show biz would’ve gone south.

wonderland clinic

What bugged me about the Contra Jayson submission is the author seems to talk down to other white men in Thailand while he doesn’t seem to have been around that much himself. It’s a big insult for my expat friends here. How he described things also reminds me of a guy I dated a few times who said that all Thai people were genetically stupid but I was so smart because of my Chinese genes. I was very offended because I consider myself Thai. Now it feels strange to me how superior the author could feel to other men of his own race. What makes a person worthy is not what class they appear to be in. Being low class cannot overrule being nice and/or decent. We’re not in India..

I’ve met a LOT of “refined” white men in social and cultural events in Bangkok over the years, a LOT with GQ looks. The author must’ve been hanging out in all the wrong places so he never met his fellow “refined” expats he’s been craving to meet. These are professionals and probably don’t hang out in “commoner’s” RCA clubs that the author seem to frequent. Though they used to be a long time ago, RCA clubs are not where upper class Thai girls go anymore. Those places are where vocational schools or college girls go. You can go hook up with college girls for a one night stand, or with freelancer college girls for some fees. There might be some upper class girls there but for sure most upper class Thai women go to clubs in Thonglor and Ekkamai. Places like the one near a condo construction site on Thonglor 10.

He also seems not to have heard about social gatherings like the Rotary Club in Bangkok where expats regardless of skin colors gather in various locations in every corner of the city once a week, or chamber of commerce networking. Expats here do have social connections of “real worth.” These groups have their strengths and have been recognized in Thai society to a significant degree due to their contribution to Thai society. Talking about connections, if there is something you don’t see or don’t know about, it doesn’t necessarily means it doesn’t exist.

And the Contra Jayson author says that white men can only be with an upper class Thai girl if he has social status to offer, or else she would just go with Thai guys who outdo most farangs in Thailand in that regard. This is not entirely true. Even though I have to admit that upper class girls have a long list of hang-ups, it would eventually come down to how you are as a person. Of course we’d get in trouble if we brought home a smelly long tangled up sticky haired Khao San Road backpacker who smokes weeds and is covered with colorful tattoos cursing the world. But if you appear to be normal or even just look normal, I don’t see what keeps you from approaching us. Show us your good qualities and that you are fit to be our man. I’d take a guy who’s positive, enabling and makes me feel secure about who I am over any GQ-looking successful music producer from Hollywood any day. It’s not all about looks or social status. A self professed “refined” young expat who appears to be full of himself won’t cut it. It’s all about who you are.

I never thought I’d be interested in a relationship with a white guy, even after the first two years of my Master’s program during which I had been staying in a dorm complex with all these cute white men. Not until I was exposed more to them during my doctoral years spending more time with them studying, working, or hanging out, that I’d learned more about how they operate. I found that they had qualities most Thai men don’t normally have.

I’m not testifying for that famous “Thai men no good” line, but white men or western men in general tickle my brains more. White people (no offense, but I can only count black guys I know with the fingers on one hand) that I’ve known are more logical and outspoken than Thai men. White men I date make me feel special. I like that. But the most important thing is I feel I connect better with them. I gradually lost interest in Thai or Asian men over time just like when you’ve lived in an Asian country for so long and you’re no longer interested in Western women.

If an upper class Thai girl is not interested in a relationship with a farang now, it’s probably because they don’t have enough exposure to farangs. If I hadn’t been in the US for such a long time, I wouldn’t have been interested in a relationship with a white guy myself. (Not just ANY white guy though.)

Don’t be discouraged. Approach us right. Make us feel feminine and special. Show us you can be our man.

Regardless of class or upbringing, we’re women after all.

Stickman's thoughts:

It's really great to get a Thai woman's perspective on this issue.

Personally, I still think the basic premise of what Contra Jayson said rings more than some truth. Not with every woman of course, but I think there is much to what he said.

nana plaza