Judge This: Middle-Aged White Man And Impoverished Bangkok Girl

Could you describe the girl who sees with this perpsective as in love rather than exploited?  Can this be an ethically healthy relationship?  Is it formally very different from love-relationships oriented around economic security since the dawn of time?  Or do power, class, and wealth disparities destroy any possibility for moral requisites of free consent or relationship virtues of mutualness, equality, and reciprocity?

More or less any poor Asian girl knows that if she lands a Westerner it means security. She needs it and she wants it. Her family is dependent on it and they know if there’s no cash on the table there’s no food in the belly.

Through her eyes: picture a family of eight and where the youngest sister recently returned home with a new born baby, all living in a one room shed. A hole in the floor functions as a toilet and a bucket provides a cold shower. The kitchen is the fire they start outside their wooden entrance and only door.

You get desperate. You need money. You need security and you do not care how. Desperation for survival eats its way inside you.

He feeds you, takes you to nice up beat restaurants, you hold his hand. You sleep with him and he treats you well. He’s a good man. An old man but a sincere man. You get to know more about him and him about you. He tells you he’s lonely and lives in a cold country on the other side of the world.

You cling to him; you feel “love” for him. You tell him you “love” him and after a while he says “okay.”

Your family starts to eat better; the baby is safe and healthy. He gives you money twice a month to help you and your family lead a better life.

Then he’s gone, back to his home country and your whole world falls apart. What now? The desperation you felt before meeting this wonder of a man starts burning inside of you again.

Then he calls: “Let’s go open a bank account and I will transfer the money to you while being home”. You feel relieved. You feel calm and most grateful to this God of a man.

Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.