Trafficking in Thailand

touts, pimps and perverts

Posted in Bangkok by constancedykhuizen on April 29, 2010

this guy. this guy makes me angry:

“Economics professor Kenneth Ng is the scribe behind (), a site that guides tourists through Thailand’s sex trade.

The Los Angeles Daily News reports:

At (), users can access a wide range of tourist advice about Thailand, including restaurant reviews and stories about riding motorcycles around Bangkok.But its main focus is sex tourism, or what Ng calls “the Thailand Girl Scene.” Ng and other bloggers offer their take on where to find the prettiest and most eager “bar girls,” and how to negotiate a fee.
While postings do warn men to stay away from underage girls, they also make references to paying adult women for sex.

In a recent post on his site, Ng defends his freedom of speech and his right to portray the “real Southeast Asia.””

i took out the name/link to his site cause i will not be responsible for sending anyone there. ng, a professor at california state university northridge, has since responded to criticism and “reluctantly” removed that part of his site. sure, he might be within his right to freedomĀ of speech. sure, he might not have broken any laws, but have we no moral or possibly legal grounds to penalize this guy? fire him? boycott classes? publicly flog him? one of the many, many problems inherent in the sex trade is that it’s made up of people not doing anything explicitly wrong — there are very few legally punishable offenses taking place. the entire bangkok bar scene was created in such a way to protect the people profiting from the sex trade. men go to “dance bars” where they can pay bar fines for the “company” of any of the “dancers” (enough “” for you?) of their choosing. nothing wrong with that. the club owner, the mamasans (pimps) and the patrons themselves could claim ignorance that money is being exchanged for sex. the only vulnerable person in this equation is the thai woman herself (very few foreign men are ever arrested and it’s difficult to prove guilt anyway).

ng was making it easier for men to visit the brothels. is that illegal? no. but his role is essentially that of a bar tout who stands in the street at nana or patpong inquiring of every passerby “ping pong show?” (hint: NOT a show of the beloved sport of ping pong). while neither of these roles are explicitly wrong, the sex trade will continue to profit and flourish until men in these roles are punished. the laws (in both america and thailand) are crafted in such a way that the bar owners, the mamasans, the touts, the recruiters, the security are not doing anything punishable by law (unless lines are crossed, etc.). the only person in the sex-for-money equation breaking the law is the girl selling herself, and she is by definition and precedent, the weakest person in that situation. i have been to some of the bars, bars with names like g-spot and casanova, and met these women. of the women i talked to, all of them were from the poor, rural north. i’ve met women who were raped, women who are drug addicted and women supporting children. these are the sexy girls, the dancing girls that ng is promoting. furthermore, the thai women are further punishable by being ostracized from their communities, burdened later in life with disease and they bear children they cannot support once their short-lived careers are over. to end this injustice, touts (like kenneth ng) need to be arrested, mamasans need to be put in jail for human rights abuses and sex tourists and pedophiles should be vilified instead of courted by vulgar businesses.

in my mind, kenneth ng is directly responsible for promoting illegal activity (though laughable, prostitution is illegal in thailand). if he were promoting the drug trade in mexico or making it easy for people to illegally enter canada, he would be fired for publicizing that type of illegal activity. but since it involves a wink wink industry in which everyone looks the other way and the only people really hurt are poor, rural thai women, no one cares. it’s only a freedom of speech issue. like an assault-rifle toting tea-partier, ng is well within his legal rights, but it nonetheless seems unnecessary and highly questionable to promote an illegal activity in another country. if i went to california state university northridge you better believe i would boycott his classes, probably result to even pettier behavior like egging his car (not right, but i’m being transparent here). if you would like to email or call kenneth ng and tell him what you think of his site and his past behavior (he has taken it down, to be fair), you can find him here.