Photo via the LA Daily News

According to the Daily News, Kenneth Ng, a professor of Economics at California State University Northridge, has been running a website (called BigBabyKenny, which is gross in its own rite) that teaches men how to navigate the Thai sex trade — or as he calls it, the Thailand Girl Scene.

All was well and good in Ng’s little world until he pissed off the owners of a Thai bar/brothel called the Big Mango Bar:

“[It] was a post he wrote on another website, run by owners of the Big Mango Bar in Bangkok, that triggered the organized campaign against him. In it, he instructed men to look for women near a particular Buddhist shrine.

‘The naysayers will say its creepy to be hanging around the Muariti Shrine, hitting on the emotionally vulnerable girls desperately praying and paying Buddha for a better love life but I beg to differ,’ Ng wrote. ‘Buddha works in mysterious ways.'”

The owners felt as though the post was disrespectful to Thai culture (weird!) and started spreading the word about Ng and his hobby. Well, Ng defended himself on his own website, and I think he really makes a few great points:

The article specifically recommended hanging out at a popular shrine in downtown Bangkok where women with romantic problems go to make offerings and ask the shrines’ god to deliver themselves from bad relationships or help them find a good husband.

My suggestion was to dress nicely, politely approach women who were leaving the shrine after asking the shrine’s god for relationship relief, introduce themselves, strike up a conversation and ask them to share a cup of coffee at the nearby mall.

Hey, you know what that reminds me of? The part in Wedding Crashers when Will Farrell starts crashing funerals. Really a high point in a man’s life.

But anyway, this miiiight be passable as just some innocent advice to someone looking for a girlfriend, if a) it weren’t on a website dedicated to finding prostitutes, and b) the site weren’t peppered with comments about non-prostitutes such as “I wonder if I could girlfriend her for 30K a month?”

In other words, it sounds a whole lot like Ng is suggesting that any Thai woman is a potential prostitute, if only you approach her correctly. Just like I wouldn’t want anyone to assume that I’d make a really stellar secretary because of my gender, I’m pretty sure that women who aren’t employed as sex workers (willingly) don’t appreciate the assumption that they might become one if only you are charming enough and offer them enough money.

Of course, being a John in and of itself is not a problem, as far as I’m concerned. But Thailand unfortunately does not have the best reputation when it comes to working conditions for sex workers, and Ng doesn’t appear to make any effort at all to help other would-be Johns distinguish between brothels where the women are their of their own volition, and others where women and girls are not. And it’s not for lack of knowledge on his part:

Ng said he went to Thailand several years ago on vacation and became intrigued by the culture, the politics and the class structure that he said forces some women to work in bars or become “professional mistresses.”

From this enlightening experience, Ng gleaned the following:

“The Thailand Girls Scene is all about expanded opportunities. It allows you to do things that just cannot be done in ‘The World’ or lowers the cost so much that a guy with a normal income can do things which he could never afford in ‘The World.’

Right — since many of the women are “forced” into sex work, you can pay them less.

The Thai community in Los Angeles has been less than thrilled with the whole situation:

The site helps feed “the insatiable appetite of the sex tourism industry in Thailand and leaves in its path victims of the worst human rights abuses, namely Thai women and girls who did not choose to engage in sex work but may have been trafficked and coerced into a depraved, tortured and hellish existence,” [said said Chanchanit Martorell, executive director of the Thai Community Development Center].

But as far as CSUN is concerned, Ng hasn’t done anything wrong:

Ng said he notified university officials about his site and was told it was acceptable as long as neither CSUN nor Ng were named and no university equipment was used… “Nothing has come in that has led to any reason to look into it,” said Penelope Jennings, associate vice president for faculty affairs.

Normally, I don’t believe that a person’s personal life — particularly their sex life — should have any bearing on the way they are treated in their day job. I’m a pro-Clinton gal, if you will. But there are a few particulars about this case  that make it creepy (slight understatement?). For instance – on his site, Ng comments on photos of girls dancing at a Thai club:

If I could only fuck one, I would choose the third one from the right in the second picture from the top.

I like the fact the she is giving the audience the finger—- on both hands. Shows spirit, intelligence, and a refusal to accept the Thai class system. Clearly an independent thinker whose independence and creativity would carry over into a superior banging experience.

You know why this is creepy? (OK, you probably do, but allow me an indulgence…) Because this guy teaches women the age of the girl in the photo all day, every day, at CSUN. So it’s nice that he finds young women’s “spirit, intelligence” and refusal to accept a class system a good reason to fuck them, rather than, oh I don’t know….teach them.

And hey, maybe appreciating a girl for her spirit isn’t such a bad thing — despite the fact that he doesn’t know this girl, but is evaluating her “bangability” from a photo. But his site is public. His students can access it. And I’m not sure how inclined I would feel, were I a student in his class who read this, to then go on and demonstrate my “spirit and intelligence” anywhere near him.

Oh, and his suggestion as to how to find out whether the dancing girls are available for anything more than just dancing?

Maybe if you hung around the Khon Kaen university [link ours] cafeteria you could talk to them.