Man Without Qualities

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

How Feminism Got Its Groove Back (Or, What's In A Name?)

Negril, like some resorts in the Dominican Republic and Cuba, is known as a place where white middle-aged women come in search of what they call the "big bamboo". British researchers Jacqueline Sanchez Taylor and Julia O'Connell Davidson found that the usual analysis of sex tourism did not allow for the possibility of women as buyers of sex, because "prostitute-users are, by definition, male, and this assumption is shared by many researchers and theorists".

The two researchers interviewed 240 women holidaying in Negril and two similar resorts in the Dominican Republic. Almost a third of the interviewees had engaged in sexual relationships with local men during their holiday. Though 60 per cent admitted to certain "economic elements" to their liaisons, they did not perceive the encounters as prostitute-client transactions, nor did they view their sexual partners as prostitutes.

Those who admit to coming to Negril for sex believe they are helping the men and the local economy by giving them money and gifts.

Ms Sanchez Taylor and Ms O'Connell Davidson suggest that the reason many female tourists are able to delude themselves into believing they are not prostitute users lies in their racialised power over the men: "Racist ideas about black men being hypersexual and unable to control their sexuality enable them to explain to themselves why such young and desirable men would be eager for sex with older and/or overweight women, without having to think that their partners are interested in them only for economic reasons."

This is a Maureen Dowd column waiting to happen!

Her intense hostility towards men - especially men of African descent who challenge her view of the world - is well represented by the racist, anti-male stereotyped thinking that allows these women to do what they are doing and think they are just helping the men and the local economy by giving them money and gifts. Big Mo should adore these women. And no doubt those bonobos would be pleased with what's going on here, too.

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