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Monday, January 03, 2005

Women don't like to work

From the New York Times:

"If you don't go to Thailand and you are a young woman here, what can you do," said Ye Xiang, 20, whose features still had the pudgy look of a teenager's. "You plant and you harvest. But in Thailand and Malaysia, I heard it was pretty easy to earn money, so I went."

At least 20 other young women from this tiny hamlet, which clings to a hillside just off a side road near the Mekong River, have headed off to foreign lands to work in the sex trade. "All of the girls would like to go, but some have to take care of their parents," Ms. Ye said. In this regard, there is nothing peculiar about Langle, at least nothing peculiar for this part of Yunnan Province, whose women are favorites in the brothel industry from Thailand - whose national language is related to their own dialect - to Singapore.

Experts say that in some local villages a majority of women in their 20's work in this trade, leaving almost no family untouched and the young men without mates. Not long ago, many of the recruits were kidnapped to become modern-day sex slaves, but these days the trade has become largely voluntary.

One of the aspects of feminism that I've always found particularly amusing is the way in which it dances around a basic and apparently universal fact of life: most women don't like to work* and they won't if they can avoid it by having sex instead. Although I suppose it's remotely possible that an early feminist capable of long-range strategic thinking may have known the likely economics effects of doubling the size of the work force and hoped to use falling real wages to force women out of the home if they wished to maintain a normal standard of living.

Now this desire to avoid work could be equally true of men, but we'll never know since no one is willing to give us the option of escaping the daily grind in return for regular access to our beautiful bodies.

*Work is defined here as something that you would never consider doing of your own volition unless someone paid you to do it. Taking care of your children, washing the car and doing the dishes may not be fun-filled leisure activities, but they are not work.

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