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
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.