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Pattaya Daily News

15 February 2013 :: 09:02:00 am 71556

Thailand’s Prostitution Image Is Embarrassing

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.
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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.

Photo : Internet   Category : Society

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