Everywhere I have traveled there has been a decided belief that women from the USA are sluts of the highest degree. We are evidently easy, have no morals, and will fuck anyone, any time, in any possible position.
In Korea, every ex-pat woman (that I know) has been on the receiving end of unwanted advances. Oh, I’m not talking about a guy saying, “Hey baby,” and acting like an asshat. I’m talking about being flashed, someone peeking over the bathroom stall, being grabbed, or in 2 of the women’s cases, nearly raped. Sometimes it’s not a sexual thing, too. Sometimes it’s just someone believing that because we are foreigners they can reach out and grab our breasts or whatever. We aren’t permitted our personal space at times.
When asked why these guys do this, overwhelmingly we hear “you’re foreigners/American. You like it.” WHAT?
I’ve also heard a number of times during my travels that men should be more careful with American women because we have a higher incident of HIV.
As an American woman that has done a fair amount of traveling in foreign countries, I have to say that personal space is an issue and the fact that foreign men seem to have this idea that American women are whores, especially in the middle east. Also, according to the statistics that I have seen, American women are less likely to have HIV or AIDS than the countries we visit in Asia, which seem to have an extremely high incidence of HIV and other STDs, so I don’t know where those ideas are coming from. Perhaps from the media. I’ve never had any strangers try to touch me in any asian countries, but it was a problem when I was stationed in Bahrain, and I never dressed provocatively while I was there. I think some people just don’t have manners.
Is this something specific to American women? Women who travel / foreigners? White women? How did we (whoever “we” are) get this reputation? Feel free to share your stories and opinions.
My personal story is that I occasionally go to the jimjilbong (basically a spa/hot tub space that is women only. The men have their own section.). I quit going on weekends or when there would be Korean women there because I got tired of the women trying to touch my ass and breasts. Just for the record, I never felt like it was malicious or had an ugly intent behind it. It was more curiosity. I’ve also had a mole or two removed because I was tired of people reaching out to touch me without permission. That creeped me out. I’d be standing in an elevator and reading when all of a sudden a hand would sneak around to touch my face or body.
I have found things like this differ in different regions. I have found men to be a little more “bothersome” in Central America than other places. A lot of it is to do with the Machismo here. I lived in Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. In Guatemala, women have very little rights. Men don´t always take “no” to mean “no.” That said, I have very rarely felt in danger. Just a little more than annoyed. I found Belize to be the worst though. Maybe because I couldn´t pretend that I didn´t speak their language. I have heard people say things about white women being sluts, but I think the majority of people don´t have this thought.
I thought men in Asia were much more respectful. I have lived in Malaysia and very rarely had any problems with men. In Africa I found I got touched a lot, but that was more out of curiosity and nothing was sexual at all about it.
In Paris, I went down to the Seine to read a book on my last day there. (By the way, I had no problems in Paris prior to this – the people were respectful, the men flirtatious, everyone exceedingly helpful/friendly). I had to leave because men kept approaching me. I just wanted to read my book dangit! It turned out I was in a particular part of the area where people would go for anonymous liaisons. A kind Parisian woman informed me and told me where I could go and not be approached. Of course at that point I had to decide if I wanted to be approached or not. 😉
Yes, curiosity. I was talking with an African co-worker here the other day. We were comparing notes, and he said that the Koreans are always so curious about him as well. They all ask him, “How many wives do you have?” He tells them the truth but always is tempted to say, “Only one wife, but 279 concubines.” 🙂