As seen in part 1 and 2, there are plenty of examples of people ignoring the facts and writing from what their preconceived conception tells them to write. Even journalists from the best newspapers sometimes fall prey to preconceived myths and write about them as if they were factual.
This part talks about New Zealand’s top and most respected newspaper falling prey to those myths about Thailand’s nightlife. Straight off from The New Zealand Herald in an article The Big Read: Inside Thai sex trade.
Without going into great detail, once again the story looks very prewritten with the occasional bits and pieces of the real world to make it sound authentic. It reads as a documentary narrative in some parts as if the journalist was standing over the bed taking notes when a couple was having sex. Even after a person has been arrested for any crime, the amount of detail and journalistic flair seen in this story goes miles past any police report. That crime can be about anything, and facts are very dry and to the point on police reports. Words like tears or crying you would never see on any police report.
Other phrases like sold into slavery is totally untrue. Anyone who has spent any time in Thailand knows that 99% of the young girls enter the sex industry out of love for their parents. They want to pay their parents back in some financial way and the sex trade offers significant returns. All but the bare essential money they need to survive is sent home to make their parents lives better. Building a new house for their parents is very common. Sure they could have taken other work if they wanted, but they openly elected to enter the sex trade. With that said, it is not uncommon for university students to do some freelance work between classes, or someone who has an office job during the day.
The other 1% tend to be naturally self-centered and do spend the money on themselves. However they are the exception and not the rule. They may suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder. As with narcissistic people, they find themselves incapable of empathy and their Facebook page only has photos of them. Some women may go for breast augmentation, but for the 99% they see that as a business investment where the other 1% see it as a way they can make better photos for their Facebook page.
Facebook or other social media is a clear way to discredit that a person was sold into the sex trade. If they have a Facebook page, you can be 100% assured they are working in the sex industry because they want to. People that are trafficked simply do not use social media as it offers a way for them to be found. All the dark stories about human sexual trafficking say that victims somehow disappear from the face of the earth, so a page on Facebook amounts to setting off a tracking beacon. Girls in the sex trade can easily afford a top of the line Smart phone and a high end data package from any one of the Thai phone services.
In 2009 when Thailand’s economy turned south along with most of the globe, the number of people in the sex industry soared by about 300% for about 6 months or so. Just because the economy is bad, it does nothing about the need to put food on the table. The fact that those people came and went from the sex industry is substantial proof that selling someone into sexual slavery is not only inaccurate, but highly unlikely for a Thai.
However someone who may be from another country can easily fall prey to sex traffickers and their manipulation, that part is true. But to say Thai families do this wholesale is about as accurate as saying you regularly have sex in public places. Some do for the thrill of the moment, but it by far is not any sort of daily behavior.
Back to Part 2