Editor’s note: When the original Daily News story about BigBabyKenny.com was published, the Daily Sundial wrote several articles about the site.
I contacted the Sundial editor and asked them if they would publish an editorial about BigBabyKenny.com and the Daily News articles. The editor enthusiastically agreed.
When they received my piece, the editor insisted that the piece be rewritten and the content changed.
The edits they required were substantive and would have meant changing the content of the article and, more importantly, would have required me to express thoughts and ideas which I did not agree with or believe in.
I refused to make the changes.
I appealed to the editor that it would be good journalism and boost their readership if they would publish a contrary opinion and, also, appealed to them that basic fairness required them to allow me to defend myself.
Personally, I felt an open debate where all sides were allowed to express their opinions would not only have been educational and good reading but would also provide a good example of how newspapers and a free press are supposed to operate in an open society.
The editor refused to publish.
Anyway, the article submitted to the Daily Sundial in May 2010 is published below.
By inclination, training and profession, I am a social scientist and economist. When I encounter interesting or unusual human behavior or see people in unusual situations, unlike a priest who climbs into his pulpit and delivers a sermon railing against the evils of the world, I am compelled to study the behavior, situations, and people involved and try to apply economic theory to understand what is going on and why the world is the way it is.
When U.S. blacks were emancipated, given no government assistance, and thrown into the marketplace to die or survive, I wanted to know not only how they fared but also explain how they were able to compete effectively with whites in certain labor markets.
When racist whites gained control of local school boards and state governments in the post Civil War South they diverted school funds from black schools to white schools, I wanted to know not only how much was diverted but, also, why some schools diverted more and others diverted less.
Property Ownership and Educational Discrimination in the the South, Dennis Halcoussis, Kenneth Ng, and Nancy Virts, Journal of Education Finance.
Determinants of the Level of Public School Discrimination 1885-1930, Dennis Halcoussis and Kenneth Ng, Journal of Education Finance.
During my first Thailand visit, I felt like an alien visiting another planet. Thailand is a Buddhist country, there is a king with actual power and moral authority, the country is poor, there is no social security net, people live as part of large mutually self supporting families, private property rights are weakly enforced, court decisions, even in criminal and capital cases, can be bought, the press is censored, and the rural poor are currently engaged in a determined fight to establish a real functioning democratic political system and wrest political and economic power from long established elites and the military. Thailand is the opposite of the United States in so many dimensions.
During my first Thailand visit, everything about the place fascinated me. Over four years, I spent the summer and winter break there. I enrolled in language classes and over three years of study became functional in conversational Thai and am currently learning to read and write Thai.
I made many Thai friends from all social classes and made friends with the many foreigners who live in Thailand.
I roamed far and wide, buying a small motorcycle to explore Bangkok, leased a car to explore outside Bangkok, and lived briefly in several small outlying cities tourists seldom visit and where white people are a rarity.
And I went anywhere and everywhere in The Thailand Girl Scene (slang for the dating scene in Thailand) and just like I learned about Thai culture, Thai politics, Thai food, Thai language, and Thai law, I learned as much as I could about dating, love, sex, and marriage in Thailand.
I experienced and learned a ton about The Thailand Girl Scene partly because I am single and unattached and partly because by inclination, training and profession, human behavior fascinates me. Call it practical and intellectual curiosity foot loose and fancy free in the real world.
And I started BigBabyKenny.com — the subject of the current controversy and several recent Daily Sundial articles and editorials.
You can read the back story behind BigBabyKenny.com here:
BigBabyKenny.com was an open uncensored forum where anything and everything having to do with Thailand and The Thailand Girl Scene was written about and discussed. To give you an idea of the breadth and reach of the site here are just a few of topics of BigBabyKenny.com articles (some of which were submitted by readers and published on the site):
1. Are guys who prefer sex and relationships with cross dressing men and post op transsexuals (ladyboys), homosexuals or are they just bored heterosexuals?
2. How is the Thai mistress market organized and what are the nuts and bolts of its operation, i.e. where do rich Thai guys go, how much do they pay, what do they get, and what are the backgrounds and motivations of the Thai girls who end up being mistressed?
3. When you get pulled over by Thai policemen on your motorcycle, how much bribe money are they expecting and what is the protocol for actually paying them off?
4. Is Japanese style testicle massage actually therapeutic?
5. Are custom fit condoms worth the money?
6. Where can you find the best English breakfast in Bangkok?
And there were many articles and much discussion about foreign men dating Thai women. Here is just a sampling of aspects of dating in Thailand that were written about and discussed on BigBabyKenny.com.
1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of dating and possibly marrying women who work in the nightlife areas?
2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of dating normal Thai woman, i.e. those that have had nothing to do with foreigners and the nightlife industry and where can you go to meet such women?
3. What is life like for the typical girl working in Bangkok?, e.g. what are their living conditions, how much money do they make in non-nightlife jobs, how much do they make if they work in bars, how much money are they required to send home to support their extended families and what happens to them when their nightlife careers are over. The posts and discussion even got down to level of discussing what percent of the girls working in the bars have to go back to their families to help out with the rice harvest.
4. Why do many Thai girls and women frequently prefer foreign men over their own countrymen?
5. And spread throughout the site, were professional quality high resolution photographs of everything. I took my camera and documented places that had never been documented before. There were pictures from the inside Thai G-Clubs where rich Thai men find their mistresses, pictures of normal discos in towns near the Cambodian border where local Thai bands play their own version of Western alternative rock but with a Thai flavor, pictures from invitation only parties at private men’s clubs, pictures of street prostitutes, pictures of Thai guys street racing their modified motorcycles in impromptu drag races in the middle of the night, and pictures of Thai policemen taking bribes from motorists caught in minor traffic infractions.
The Daily News labeled BigBabyKenny.com as a site which promoted sex tourism and told foreign men where to find prostitutes in Thailand.
Anyone who spent 30 minutes browsing through the restaurant reviews, hotel reviews, bar, club, and disco reviews, and the articles and wide open discussion about The Thailand Girl Scene, would discover right away that BigBabyKenny.com was not a site promoting sex tourism.
BigBabyKenny.com was also in no way a commercial enterprise. The site cost me about $100 a month to lease a private server and generated less than $25 in total revenue over its’ whole run.
What BigBabyKenny.com did was provide a comprehensive, accurate, and photographically documented picture of love, sex, and marriage in a poor Third World Asian country.
Anyone reading the site, got an eye opening education about what it means to be a woman in a country and culture where not only do most women start off life poor but where most of the normal paths to upward economic and social mobility are blocked by age old laws, values, and government interference in the free market.
Although not intended to be an educational site, regular BigBabyKenny.com readers got the most accurate and comprehensive real life look at the nitty gritty details of women’s lives in Thailand available anywhere on the internet, or in mainline books, newspapers, and magazines.
Plus the articles and discussion were hugely entertaining, engaging, and funny — which explained why the site became so popular over time.
Anyone reading the site learned more about women’s issues in Asia than they get in a semester-long Women’s Studies or Asian studies course at most universities.
So I just don’t accept the idea pushed by the CSUN Asian American and Women’s Studies Departments that BigBabyKenny.com “perpetuates the cultural prostitution of women in Thailand and beyond” (http://bigbabykenny.com/?p=79).
And I don’t accept the idea pushed by those departments that the university should condemn sites like BigBabyKenny.com.
CSUN is a major university educating tens of thousands of students every year.
University professors are not grade school teachers whose textbooks, assigned readings, and course content have to be approved by local school boards, politicians, and outside interests with hidden agendas.
University professors are free to tell it like it is. No Hidden Agenda, No Censorship, and No Bullshit was the BigBabyKenny.com byline but it could just as well be the byline of any properly taught university course.
A University professor’s job is to expose students to the real world not present some type of sanitized, politically correct, cartoon version of the world that is palatable to politically correct western values.
A University professor’s job is to expose students to the real world–the good, the bad and the ugly and provide them an intellectual framework, such as economic theory, so they can understand it better.
Life sucks for women in Thailand because of the poverty, culture, and legal environment.
BigBabyKenny.com depicted, analyzed, and discussed that life.
What’s wrong with that?