Pattaya Daily News

02 July 2008 :: 14:07:49 pm 22286

The Perils Of Being A Woman Among Male Predators

If the experiences of UK?s top media stars is anything to go by, Thai ladies of all persuasions need to be fully prepared to thwart the unwanted come-ons of male predators. This applies particularly to those in the limelight like movie stars and those likely to be involved in chat shows, but it can equally apply to any lady, anywhere. The saucy comments of some UK presenters, particularly to women, have landed them in deep water.?
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BBC newsreader Fiona Bruce, who came to prominence as the presenter of popular UK TV series “Crimewatch” gives general advice in her recently published “Savvy” book to women about how to avoid unwanted sexual come-ons. She advises women about such safety issues as choosing a late-night taxi and flirting in a pub/bar.

This would apply in Bangkok, especially, where stories are rife about women being drugged in taxis and being abducted, only to wake up and find themselves en route to sex-slavery in such locales as Dubai and Turkey. Though the opportunities are less common in Pattaya, due to the prevalence of song taews rather than enclosed taxis, there are still vehicles of this sort that ply their trade in “Fun City” and unscrupulous people, usually men, who recruit for sex slavers.

Fiona said of UK experiences: ‘Most women – and I cannot base this on anything other than gut feeling – have had some low-level unwanted sexual encounter – a groper on the Tube, or a flasher. It’s incredibly common.’ To translate into the Thai context: a “groper” is a person who touches people intimately, the “Tube” is the London Underground, similar but much larger than Bangkok’s MRT, and a “flasher” is usually a man, dressed in a raincoat, with nothing on underneath, who suddenly exposes himself to unwary women, frequently in lonely places, such as Pattaya 2nd Road late at night.

Fiona revealed recently that she, herself, was sexually assaulted by a hooded man when she was in her early twenties. She relates how she was walking home alone at night when she realised she was being followed. She tried to go faster, but the man also increased his pace and then grabbed her from behind. He put his hand between her legs as she stood frozen by fear. He then walked on ahead and she continued: ‘As I stood there wondering if he was going to come back and have another go, it dawned on me that I could probably overpower this guy – he looked like a real wimp. I remembered my self- defense training and thought this would be the time to use it. But I just couldn’t. I was too frightened, even of this pathetic character, who can’t have been much over five feet. He looked at me for what felt like a minute or two and then turned on his heel and loped off.” She stated at the time she was ‘utterly paralysed’ by fear, and was later furious with herself for not hitting out at her ‘weedy’ attacker. What it showed her is how difficult it can be for women to defend themselves, and remember she had taken self-defense lessons as a student at Oxford.

Another UK radio and TV presenter, Gloria Hunniford, has criticised Jonathan Ross, a chat show host, for only wanting to show off his lewd wit and talk about his guests’ sex lives. When David Cameron, the British Conservative leader, appeared on the programme in 2006 Ross caused a furore by asking the politician if he had ever had sexual fantasies about Margaret Thatcher, (the iconic former Conservative PM dubbed “the Iron Lady”) when he was a boy. Another media personality, Gweneth Paltrow, was told by the saucy chat show host that he would like to have sex with her. Gloria suggests the best way to avoid unwanted sexual come-ons is by turning a cold shoulder, that is ignoring them.

Granted, Thai TV is much tamer than that of the UK, but if you just so happen to know someone famous like Gop Suwanan or Tata Young, just warn them about how to counter lewd suggestions by chat show hosts. Of course, ordinary ladies, not just movie stars, are just as likely to be approached. Perhaps they should all take advice from Pattaya bar girls who regularly have to contend with both welcome and unwelcome advances and seem to be well able to handle themselves; having a sharp tongue and being able to “paak ma’ (insult) probably helps.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Lifestyle

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