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Thai women in relationships with western men impacted by cultural factors

 

Monday 22nd September 2014 8:57pm

Thai women are better marriage partners

A Scotsman claims Thai women make better marriage partners in an age when we are witnessing major social changes with marriage rates plummeting across the world.

The Scotsman comments come in a long interview with TLL and online news feeds in which he claims that Thai women are better sex partners and claims that if he was living with his Thai girlfriend in the UK he would be accused of emotional abuse.

However not everyone is quite so sure about this point of view: 'We must be careful about sweeping statements on the differences between Thai women and women from western countries,' says Carla Boonkong, a social commentator. 'Women all over the world are advancing their prospects including Thai women and this is not such a bad thing.'

Carla Boonkong is a magazine writer in Bangkok. She is responding to a range of claims by the UK engineer that UK and European women have lost their way and that Thai women are better marriage partners. The comments have been debated online.

M/s Boonkong makes the following key points:

  • Many Thai women like women in America, Europe and Asia are opting for careers over traditional married life.
  • Many educated and non educated Thai women are seeking relationships outside Thailand as a way to find better economic and social opportunities.
  • She agrees that there are many cultural differences between Thai women and western women but points out that Thai women are already taking on many western opinions and fashions although traditional Thai culture is an active and powerful force in their lives which is a good thing.

'I think it is true to say that the increase in relationships between Thai women and foreigners is broadly a healthy development, this is increasingly being recognised both in Thailand and in developed countries'.

Aberdeen born man scathing about western relationships

M/s Boonkong's remarks were in response to an Aberdeen engineer who is planning to marry his Thai girlfriend of four years in December. He is scathing about the changes in western society and describes Thai women as the best balance between east and west.

Colin Mc Cracken, a trim 54 year old, hails from Aberdeen but now spends his life between Bangkok, London and assignments for an international oil company that takes him around the globe. He is living in Bangkok.

Thai women and social changes in Thailand

It has emerged in recent years that Asian women as well as their western counterparts are moving to change their status and relationship with men. Carla Boonkong accepts this: 'There have been significant economic changes and social ones too, all women in all parts of the world are seeking opportunity, it is perhaps remarkable that it is often women that are taking the lead, this is really true in Thailand you know.' M/s Boonkong points out that Thai women lead Thai men in utilisation of the internet as well as occupying more places in university and across the Thai civil service.

A recent report by one of Thailand's leading commercial bank identified a large population of Thai women over 30 who were not married and a growing trend among educated and affluent Thai women to put off marriage while a certain proportion were looking for foreign partners. While Colin Mc Cracken's Thai girlfriend is 32 and has a university degree, she doesn't quite fit the profile. 'Minnie has never had a full time job, she has worked as a model alright and I'm not her first foreign partner,' says Mc Cracken.

According to Carla Boonkong there is a large number of affluent Thai women with secure jobs who are opting not to be married ' I think they are comfortable and are only interested in marriage with a man who offers better prospects, many Thai men might a bit intimidated. A proportion seek out or at least explore foreigners on the dating websites but there is still a little taboo about this among some particularly in the right circles,' she explains. 'Some Thai women see a foreigner as a good status indicator and in general foreigners have better incomes than Thai men, this is important for Thai women.'

Economic reports point to Asian women being 'on strike'

What might surprise some including Colin is that Asian women are following their western counterparts and turning their back on marriage. In Asian countries as in western ones this has involved an increased emphasis on education and a 'strike' on marriage among women who have reached new heights of opportunity. In Thailand, while many educated women seek foreign partners as a way to enhance their status while others simply remain single, it is also a phenomenon. 'Many western men say that Thai women are better or different to western women but I think it's just that they are living in different circumstances and in a different culture,' says M/s Boonkong. 'It can be very difficult for an educated Thai woman to find a suitable partner in Thailand or at least one that she can feel happy with and also Thai society is more old fashioned than the ways things are in Europe.'

Carla argues that Thai women like their western counterparts are looking for a better deal and an opportunity to advance themselves. However she does concede that western societies could learn a thing or two about family culture in Thailand. 'In Thailand there is no government welfare or state involvement , families must support each other and Thai women have been thought to take on this role, it is one of their greatest strengths and attributes,' she says.

Thai women are better at dating and marriage

Colin Mc Cracken in an email submission and interview with the TLL News Centre goes further claiming that Thai women are better dating, marriage and relationship partners than most western women: 'I am an educated man, I've been around the world and what I say is not a rant from some guy that's been dumped. I have no problems finding a relationship with a western woman but I prefer Thai women and I'd like to put all of this out there even if some people don't agree with me.'

Colin describes his relationship with his Thai girlfriend Minnie as the best that he has ever had. He points out that he is a successful businessman conducting an international business with experience of relationships on both sides of the world. 'I am senior partner in a management consultancy firm and I've dated women all over the globe at all stages of my life. I like to think my view point is objective, it is high time that we did away with a lot of the nonsensical myths and stereotypes that I hear about Thailand and Thai women,' he says.

More UK women over 30s opt for careers

Figures both in Thailand and in the United Kingdom (where Colin also has a home) show more women over 30 opting not to marry or settle down and have children. Thailand, like many Asian countries, now records figures in excess of 30% for women over 30 who have not yet found a marriage or relationship partner. International experts studying the trend in Asia and Europe including in depth studies in countries such as the United Kingdom, Sweden, Korea and Singapore confirm that there is such a trend noting that it appears more educated and affluent women are opting not to marry while less educated and financially secure men are finding it more difficult to find marriage partners.

'In a recent UK survey however a Newcastle based researcher found that many of the men marrying Thai women were business owners with mortgage free properties although this in fact still matches the profile showing that UK women may be opting for more secure, professional and higher educated partners,' says James Blunt an internet commentator and international journalist in Bangkok who writes about the growing number of Thai women forming communities in western countries through marriage migration.

'This also fits in with the trend towards lower marriage rates overall among younger western men and women.' His comments are confirmed by recent information from the UK's Office of National Statistics which show marriage rates are at the lowest levels for nearly one hundred and twenty years.

UK women highlighted in drink driving report

We are speaking to Colin McCracken in a week when further research in the UK appears to show a dramatic spike in drink driving incidents among single UK women over 30s leading professional lives. The UK survey showed that the rate of drink driving among predominantly middle class UK women had doubled in the last 15 years. The Direct Line survey quoted a UK woman from Fulham who was arrested after been reported stumbling into her expensive black Mini was quoted as saying to arresting police officers: 'I can't believe this, I've made a big mistake.' Many commentators in the UK have linked this trend to a particularly high reduction in marriage rates among UK women over 30 who pursue higher education and career prospects.

Thai women singled out as 'gold diggers' - not fair

Mc Cracken is not surprised pointing out that the drink driving report 'tells us something' about social life in the UK. He says that he is particularly aggrieved that Thai women have been singled out in the UK as 'gold diggers: 'I see a lot of talk about Thai women looking for money. Yes, I think it is true that a lot of Thai women out there have a materialistic sense and expect a partner to take care of them, I'll give you that. ' But he points out that most UK and western women do not understand and appreciate the culture and motivations of women in Thailand.

UK man rules out dating and marriage with UK women

He goes further and says that in recent years he has ruled out the prospect of marrying or even dating a western woman. 'I am dismayed at the sense of entitlement of young women in Britain today. Everywhere I look I see it and it's even worse in the US. It's across all classes in society, it's judgemental and men are expected to conform.'

Colin says that he prefers dating Thai women and is contemplating his marriage to his Thai girlfriend in December and being a married man for Christmas. He says the main reason for his change in attitude is that western society has become 'unhealthy' since he was young in Britain during the 1970s.

Researchers have identified UK men seeking Thai wives

Colin's point of view is reflected and identified in a continuous stream of reports by academic researchers who have identified that a certain segment of the male populations in countries all over the world from the United Kingdom, Australia , America and European countries, even in an Asian context in Singapore, are attempting to find more traditional marriage partners by finding marriage partners in foreign countries. As one sociology researcher puts it: 'These men are trying to preserve traditional gender roles and negotiate additional cultural scripts for marriage.' These reports use feminist terms and have described the phenomenon as 'transnational patriarchy'.

UK engineer says Thai women combine best of East and West

It is a startling fact to many that there are many Thai women who financially assist their foreign or 'farang' boyfriends according to Carla Boonkong in Bangkok. 'This one comes as a big surprise to many but it is true,' she says. 'Of course no woman wants to support a man but it is quite common for Thai women to support Thai men and sometimes this applies also to foreign boyfriends or husbands when the going gets tough. Of course, in such circumstances it is likely the relationships will break down but there is a Thai cultural script where it is the woman who takes care of money and who must manage to make ends meet.'

Colin Mc Cracken, the UK engineer, repeats this assertion while insisting that Thai women have a gotten a bad break from media in the west where they are portrayed as materialistic. He claims that Thai women have a better attitude when it comes to relationships: 'It could just be that Thai women are experiencing the western lifestyle for the first time but there is something healthier about the way they deal with life, they enjoy things more. Many Thai women date men with for little material wealth and will even find money to help their boyfriends.'

UK man is not anti western women

Colin who divides his time between work all over the world and homes in London and Bangkok even has a good word for feminism and would like to see conditions for all Thai women in Thailand improve. He is anxious to point out that his criticism of western women is not because he is anti woman: 'It might sound like I am just some way out of touch misogynist or women hater, no I'm certainly not that, quite the opposite. I respect women and when I see some things that go on in Thailand, I can see why sometimes feminism is no bad word and I am delighted that western women have come so far but I wonder have we lost something in the transition?'

Colin believes that western society in it's rush for economic development may have lost something very important and valuable in terms of quality of live. He says he has a deep respect for the way many or at least Thai women go about dealing with personal relationships: 'It is sometimes only the Thai women in Thailand who have been abused or let down who go looking for a western partner, these women have a positive attitude to their relationships with a man. I really feel there is something valuable here that we need to reimport into relationships in the west'.

My Thai girlfriend has the right priorities

Colin points out that his Thai girlfriend, who comes from a poor family in Thailand's Northeast Isaan region has the right ideas when it comes to material things in life: 'My Thai girlfriend has lived with me for four years. We have a top rate condominium in Bangkok and she lives with me in the UK for three to four months of the year, she has a visa and all that. We travel all over the world. She is a stylish lady and knows what quality is, she has some nice jewellery, clothes and handbags but then she is not extravagant or wasteful at all. She regularly shops at a second hand shop in Bangkok and looks for them everywhere she goes.'

Engineer says Thai women can 'apply' better than UK women

Colin is obviously proud of his Thai girlfriend and has identified a key quality that finds wanting in many of the women that he has dated in the UK. 'My Thai girlfriend has a special English word she uses all the time. It's the word 'apply'. She reads a western fashion magazine and within hours she has 'applied' the ideas and looks like a fashion model. There's this nonsensical idea that Thai women are not smart. I tell you now they are super smart and have this great ability to get on with life and enjoy it without hangups. They simply 'apply' what they have going for them. That's it.'

UK man is concerned for his young daughter in the UK

Mc Cracken is 54 years of age. He has had two serious relationships one with a UK woman and one with women from Luxembourg. Each relationship lasted over seven years. He has two adult sons and a daughter in university in the United Kingdom. He wants to emphasise that he is grateful to his previous love partners but would just like to see an honest discussion on the way society is changing. 'I think some western women are stunningly beautiful and I have had wonderful relationships. Thai women are said to be the most beautiful in the world. Actually as a white caucasian and permitting myself a certain latitude, if a beautiful white caucasian woman turns on the style, I'm lost but they don't anymore, you see. It's the way Thai women, all of them, present themselves. There are little boutiques, hairdresser and nail shops all over Thailand. And maybe it's an economic thing, western women now want to or have to work, no time to pretty themselves but it's not just that, I took my Thai girlfriend to the UK for three weeks in July, she was shocked, I mean in a state of disbelief at English women drunk on the street one night in Southend with matching bare bellies, I mean good god. I have a young daughter, I know she'd never behave like that but what I'm not sure about is whether she will find real happiness as maybe society is pushing young women is the wrong direction.'

UK women have become too rigid with modern ideas

Colin believes that for a sizeable proportion of men in the UK the prospects of marriage with a Uk woman are dim because of 'rigid' attitudes towards relationships. When Colin's second relationship broke down ten years ago, he tried dating again in London. 'My experience with English women and women in other western countries is that they now start with rigid ideas about a big house, big car and the perfect man. He's got to be modern like in touch with his feminine side but he's got to be an all man macho man too, it's bloody confusing. Thai women simply make the best of what they have going for them. I've been with Thai women and stayed in five star hotel suites but they'd far rather do without the ostentation and live comfortably. We have a lot going for us in western countries but we've lost touch with reality, that's what I'm saying.'

His Thai girlfriend Minnie is thirty two years of age and has worked in Bangkok as fashion model.

What's wrong with women making men happy?

The UK man, who is originally from Scotland points out that it has become a 'sin' for UK women to consciously try to make men happy. 'I read an article in a Sunday newspaper this week about couple married for over 70 years. Some idiotic commentator online suggested that any relationship over twenty years should be vetted by an independent party because after this period of time, surely someone in the relationship is being abused! How can you win with thinking like that?'

Colin says that he started many years ago to avoid dinner parties at home in UK because of what he describes as the rapidly changing 'atmosphere' in UK society. 'At dinner parties everyone must adapt the feminist mantras and men must submit. In Thailand my Thai girlfriend is always thinking of ways to make me happy. In the UK, she would be told off by her peers, for sure. One reason why I'm not coming back to live permanently in the UK and that's that.' But does this make him an emotional abuser? It is the Scots man that asks the question.

UK man points to new UK laws on 'emotional abuse':

Mc Cracken, who is now officially resident in Thailand but spend 3- 4 months of the year at his home in London is critical of new emotional abuse laws being proposed by UK authorities relating a criminal offence where 'emotional abuse' is proved to part of the relationship: 'We have new laws being discussed in relation to emotional abuse. So clearly now any man who has a woman who is taking care of him is emotionally abusing the woman, this is my thinking of the way it's going in the UK. What is wrong with a man seeking what he wants in a relationship and being happy to get it. To a Thai woman this is the name of the game. Tell my Thai girlfriend she's my best wife and she's really happy, she takes pride in making me happy. Is there something in our culture which rejects this idea? It looks like it.'

Sex with Thai women is better says UK expat

Mc Cracken isn't shy to talk about sex. Thai women are better at it. 'Thai women in a strong relationship or even casual one are open to having good sex. In the west they are labeled as 'prostitutes' My Thai girlfriend will want to stay trim. If I say I like her hair a certain way she will ask me why and then I she will wear it that way because she wants to please me. I tell her I want to her to be herself as I do but what she really wants is to please me. Talking like this sounds downright creepy in western society. Same thing in bed. If I like this or that she finds out why and she 'applies' it. Thinking about it, it must be our western hangups about sex, I mean if a woman sets out to please a man sexually then our culture says there is something dubious or questionable about that. In Asia this is the way that life works and I think in that respect they have the better idea, at least from where I'm coming from.'

Thai women are bet marriage partners for a family

Colin Mc Cracken says he still wants more children and regrets that that his past relationships broke down even though he is grateful to his former partners in the United Kingdom and Luxembourg. 'Our culture and society has shifted inexorably in the last fifty years is that now families are under attack from society as a whole. That's my line on it now. I have always been looking for a women to stick by me and I have been let down in western relationships and society. I'm not saying I'm perfect there's got to be something not working right when nearly half of marriages end up in divorce.'

Engaged to his Thai girlfriend

The UK man is getting married later this year to his longterm Thai girlfriend. They plan on three different ceremonies in Roiet in Thailand, Bangkok and London. 'I am engaged to my Thai girlfriend and over the last four years I've become pretty sure that she has what it takes to settle down with and to begin a family. She has expectations of me, don't get me wrong. A man has to provide but I know we will support me and I am looking forward to having children with her.' Colin says he is aware that some marriages between Thai women and foreigners also end up in divorce. He has also had his girlfriend sign a prenuptial agreement both in Thailand and the United Kingdom. 'I've no illusions but this time I believe I've a better chance, I have many friends in Thailand and I've seen some wonderful relationships here.'

Knows what to expect from Thai woman's family

Mc Cracken says that the Thai cultural tradition where Thai women will try assist their families has been a plus in his relationship with Minnie. 'I've heard a lot of talk about Thai women supporting their families and expecting their husbands to help, it happens and it's not always what I'd wish for. I have been through this with Minnie and over the years I have gotten to know her family. This is what makes me trust my future wife more because I've seen how she deals with the problems that arise when family members needs each other's help. I am no walk over but I see the loyalty within Thai families and it is inspiring, we have in the UK too but in modern times we're losing it, that's what I believe.'

Thai women take pride in good relationships

Colin believes that Thai women have a lot of pride deep down but there deepest instinct is to manage relationships and resources. He believes the respect that Thai women show to their extended families and parents augurs well for his future marriage 'My Thai girlfriend will always present me in the best light even if I am not in agreement with this request or that request. Thai women are bridge builders, I suppose I should say good Thai women are. But I think how it good it will be to have sons and daughters with my Thai girlfriend who show such respect to their parents. Surely we have a lot to learn from thailand even though they are learning from us through Thai women meeting foreigners very day'.

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Thai women in Thailand make better marriage partners than UK women says Scots man
A Scottish engineer plans to finalise marriage with his Thai girlfriend of four years. His views on marriage and relationships with western and UK women are controversial as official marriage rates decline both in the United Kingdom and Thailand.
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