A Question of Choice & Free Will
As morally repulsive as it may be, the girls in the photographs don't seem appeared to coerced into being with the tourists. I disagree with the idea that "oppression" is equal to "unequal access to resources which leads to individuals doing what it takes to survive." My wealthy employer has far greater access to financial resources than I do, and I have to wear a shirt and tie at his schedule in order to earn enough money to survive. Am I being "oppressed?" I don't think so.
Some would say it's a matter of choices - that those in poor nations are afforded few choices. But that's true anywhere - some people have more choices than others. A guy with an Master's degree in electrical engineering has employment choices that are closed off to me. College dropouts are closed out of certain opportunities that are open to me. Fair?
As unpaletable as it may sound, the presence of sex tourists in Thailand does increase the choices avaiable to Thai women, doesn't it? Absent the sex tourism industry, Thai women would be obviously be occupied with other lines of work - but it appears prostitution (to many people)is preferable to its vocational alternatives. Do developed nations OWE 3rd-world countries something simply because we are wealthier?
Fetishization, Race, and Sexuality
This is a much larger topic that I am currently trying to turn into an article I'd like to submit for publication in Salon. It's a touchy topic that is likely to ruffle a lot of feathers - but one worth tackling.
- Why do so many Asian men and Black women quietly resent interracial relationships?
- What are the factors that drive the widening disparity (according to 1980 US Census data) 72% of Asian-White marriages are AF/WM ... and that same percentage - 72% - represent the ratio of Black-White marriages that are BM/WF?
- Oftentimes, "the media" is blamed for perpetuating stereotypes. To be sure, interracial couples in movies and television overwhelmingly reflect tired cliches (Jungle Fever, Joy Luck Club, etc). That said, I suspect that male-female interracial marriage disparities are a permanent reality of any society - even apart from any sort of influence from popular culture. What are the evolutionary biological factors that influence mate-selection behavior and what are its consequences in a mixed-race environment?
Will probably spend some time this weekend to get a working draft of an essay ready for submission. In the meantime, I highly recommend reading Steve Sailer, whose thoughtful and well-researched piece Is Love Colorblind explores some of these issues.