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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Battle of the Sexes

Battle of the Sexes

I can only hope Mr. Davies was being facetiously provocative (Money, Sex and the

Male Economist, Phnom Penh Post, Mar. 26) in his cries of sexual inequality for men.

To even start such a piece of social analysis based on the idea that the feminist

imagines "things are now a bed of egalitarian roses" makes the piece seriously

flawed. There are many women who know, from experience after experience, that the

fight is far from over and that there is still much to be achieved in the revolution

. Writings like this just add more proof to the pudding.

How could women possibly see themselves as having won a revolution. Look around Phnom

Penh and you will see: no women in senior UNTAC positions, no women in the SNC, no

women heading any of the parties running in the election. Beyond these structures

you have don't have to look to far to see women in Cambodia working at least 16 hours

a day, while having an average of five children in a country with one of the highest

maternal/child death rates in the world. Most of these facts should hardly have escaped

Mr. Davies attention as they were the subject of a full page newspaper advertisement

in this paper, the one all the "top people in PNP want to read" only several

weeks ago.

All this, and Mr. Davies has the hide to talk of the male in Phnom Penh being viewed

as a "major exploitable asset". Oh, please-that sort of cry in a city where

every night hundreds of UNTAC soldiers drink excessively and harass both local and

foreign women, then pay money for a dance partner and a bit more.

I have been playing the social dating game for some years now and I can assure you

I have never assumed the man will pay. Any meal shared is on the assumption it's

a 50/50 split and if not, one of us pays for the sake of convenience on the understanding

that the next time the other pays. While I wouldn't presume to generalize about the

attitude of all women, as Me Davies has, I believe this to be the case with many

of my contemporaries. Having said this I find myself tempted to say that if ever

I was silly enough to get myself in the situation of having to endure a dinner with

the likes of Mr. Davies ie. a man who sees nothing more in the occasion that the

prospect of having my face framed by his pillow, or who thinks I am simply there

to look glamorous while he, the 'poor' fellow, tries to be interesting about himself

('tries' being the operative word), then I may well let him pay the bill.

There are many battles still to be fought in this revolution and undoubtedly they

involve the need for enlightened and changed attitudes on the part of both men and

women. I will not dispute that inequalities exist on both sides and that discussion

of such is needed. But any attempt to do so must be balanced and rational. The generous

splattering of sexist language and attitudes throughout this article is outrageous

and makes a joke of any such discussion.

Finally I would suggest that poor old Mr. Davies try and endure the long 15 days

while his wife is away, control his "unrequited lust" and stick to crosswords

and economics of the more pure kind without worrying too much about supposedly sexist

economic terms. I can assure you, after reading articles like this I know we have

far more pressing matters to worry about at this stage.

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