Old white women and sex tourism? You read that right.
The woman's comment made my eyes bulge out. A sixty-plus woman, posting on a Facebook page for over-fifty travelers, listed Eat Pray Love as her reason to head to Africa.
She was looking for the love of her life, she said, and she was inspired by the book. Had anyone else had any luck by trolling overseas in underdeveloped countries for love?
In a world where millions of women stalk, throw money and their personal integrity at a greedy boy child (please see https://www.inputmag.com/culture/will-white-tiktok-fandom-gen-x-middle-age-women-drama?utm_source=pocket-newtab), I should no longer be shocked. I mean, really.
This is who we are? I guess so.
However, the responses to her post were highly instructive. Several women claimed they had found the Love of Their Life (caps intentional) in Nigeria and other far-flung places.
You will forgive my guffaw. Honey, talk to us in a few years when your retirement is gone and Mr. Wonderful is chasing after another idiot old White lady who doesn't have the sense God gave a goose. He is, after all, using YOUR funds to fund his extravagant lifestyle with lots of younger women.
You REALLY thought that young man, whose eyes are forever roving over the luscious curves of all the lovely locals when you are out together, is in this for YOU?
Call me cynical. But call me smart enough to smell a scam when I see it.
I had a long talk with a girlfriend of mine in Nairobi last year. This is a friend who moved to Kenya from Denmark, still young enough to be able to have kids. That is the ONLY coin of the realm in this part of the world. The very moment you enter menopause, your social value plummets to net zero, but for your ability to cook or heal. If you can do neither, you may well be declared a witch which spells death. That is particularly likely if you have valuable land or animals or both.
Unless, of course, you are White, and if you are White, then you are rich.
Period. Full Stop. The correlation is baked into the equation like raisins in your breakfast bread. Dumb White women, seemingly dumber as they age, head out into the world precisely the same way Dumb White Men, also dumber as they age, seek very young girls in Thailand. Or wherever the sex slavery industry proffers them, including right under your nose in your town. Do the research, it's there, otherwise why did Florida mandate prevention training for K-12?
There's no difference. The main thing that happens is that for these White women, who don't seem to understand the implicit social contract, it's all about Love Love Love.
For the men, it's all about the Money, Money Money.
Look, it's not limited to White women either. How Stella Got Her Groove Back author Terry McMillan did precisely the same thing. Turned out that the young man in McMillan's true life story was gay, and he gamed her big time to get married, move to the States and fleece her badly.
Again, you talk to ANY stooped, sloppy, ancient but well-to-do White man dragging a girl younger than his granddaughter around the beaches in Phuket. For her it's about the money. For him?
We are stupid. We are stupid. We are STUPID.
We are unforgivable morons if we actually believe that some desperate young man, especially a handsome one, is going to get all starry-eyed about our wrinkled, saggy asses, all in LOVE LOVE LOVE with us, and be our One and Only FOREVER.
Cheat, Prey, Lose.
The idiocy of this just sucks the breath right out of me. Yet there it was in black and white on the FB page, this sixty-plus woman about to go shopping. She is, in fact, going to get every penny siphoned out of her bank account. And while I am sorry for it, you pays your money and you takes your chances.
My ex-pat friend shared several stories; the worse of which were tales about women my age who traipsed to Tanzania and Kenya to check out the goods. You read that right. It wasn't about the safari, nor was it about the education one might gain from international travel. They'd read Eat Pray Love and like the insufferable fools they were-and kindly I do NOT feel kindly towards such people- they decided to head over and do some surreptitious checking out of the available merchandise.
If you hear racist undertones to this you heard me loud and clear.
One story was about a man I knew, and knew well enough to otherwise respect. He worked for an Italian safari outfitter. Big, strong, well-educated. Knew his business. Apparently his "business" wasn't enough for him. He had flirted with a client. Said aging susceptible White female client decided that it was LOVE LOVE LOVE THE REAL THING.
The hook was set and he reeled her in.
Over the course of a few years he managed to bilk her out of close to fifty grand, all the while she was convinced it was LOVE LOVE LOVE. Over here, he spent the money on women, women, women.
The outfitter got wind of this indiscretion, and gave him a severe warning, stop or be fired. Having fallen far more in love with the income stream than his job, said gentleman was drop-kicked by the older woman who had finally gotten wind of his shenanigans. He proceeded to repeat himself with other gullible women clients, then set up all kinds of scams to skim even more clients, which made the outfitter blow his top. He got fired.
His is just one of many, many stories.
Rinse, repeat. My friend, who desperately wants kids, reports that she herself, without even realizing what she is doing, is shopping for sperm. The men she dates, all of them locals, see her as a meal ticket. She is exceedingly poor, but she is White. These men milk her for her contacts, to help them build guiding businesses, for money she doesn't have but they believe she has. What she gets in return?
This is a well-educated woman who can only think with her empty uterus.
These old broads apparently are only thinking with empty heads.
I read the book. Decades before Gilbert I had thrown myself into a four-year adventure hitching around Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. I was nowhere near the writer Gilbert was at the time, but by god I had one hell of an adventure. However, I did not fall in love, nor did I make some of the same mistakes around expectations. I made PLENTY of idiot mistakes, as we all do on such trips. But I didn't go looking for LOVE LOVE LOVE.
I'm not making fun of the great and aching desire to be loved. I am indeed calling out the idiot racism of such White women, who seem to be primarily American or at least Western, who comb the beaches of Zanzibar, for example, for virile young Maasai men who travel there for that express purpose.
No, really, it's a thing.
Hotels have put their staff in what appear to be police uniforms to scare them off.
It's the White women themselves who are the predators.
You can argue, and I think with validity, that these women deserve precisely what they get.
A good friend of mine is a PhD in biology who was the first White man to take Americans into the deep Peruvian Amazon. Paul Beaver, PhD, was an innocent. That became obvious when, after taking plenty of increasingly popular trips made up of White middle-aged American women to this jungle, he realized what was going on in the tents at night.
The local men were clamoring to be his guides, women were clamoring to go on the trips.
Locally, he had gotten a reputation for running sex trips in the jungle. That was years ago. He cleaned up the trips, reworked his agenda and the message. Still, while he looks back on that with humor, what that says about society is difficult.
What it says about the predatory nature of women in our society is even more difficult to comprehend, albeit I understand desperation on both sides.
It has become much more obvious to me as I've aged and continue to travel that I am a target of such men. Their attentions, which might normally be considered mildly flirtatious and friendly, most assuredly have an undertone. I could give a shit. I am not in the market, and the sexploitation of such men in these countries is an affront to my integrity.
I have been out in the bush, and have on occasion recognized a particular Maasai warrior after having seen him in another part of the park. If I make the mistake of mentioning this, simply as a way of being friendly, for his part that's the moment to move in for the kill. He's been Chosen.
Nope. Big cultural divide. I've learned to say nothing. The behavior of my silver sisters before me for decades, if not centuries, has set you and me up for gross misunderstandings. Of course, cultural cues are vastly different, which is another part of the problem. To wit: on the main island of Fiji, I was informed in no uncertain terms that for a woman to walk outside at night was interpreted as an invitation to be pulled into the bushes.
Who knew, right? You have to ask. Otherwise, it's a nasty surprise.
Still, one would wish for a smidgin more cultural consideration as well as more mature behavior from women past fifty, an age which, before I reached that very important milestone nearly twenty years ago, I honestly thought women got wise.
Given that in my own experience, wisdom is a very fleeting thing indeed, I am regularly reminded that age conveys little other than some unfortunate and often hilarious physical changes.
Just as it should be to my silver sisters, who seem to consider the smorgasbord of young strapping men in poor countries little more tropical fruit to be sampled.
To that, then, there's this:
From the article:
Experts say some thrive on the social status and financial power that comes from taking much poorer, younger lovers.
“This is what is sold to tourists by tourism companies -- a kind of return to a colonial past, where white women are served, serviced, and pampered by black minions,” said Nottinghan University’s Davidson.
I cannot, cannot get past the obvious racism. It not only embarrasses me it offends me mightily.
I feel for my friend who most desperately wishes for a sperm donor if not love itself. As long as she lives here she is seen primarily as a meal ticket. People do find love, but you and I would be fools indeed if we ignored the deeply-ingrained belief that all White people are rich, and therefore are saviors, and have money to burn.
Greed disguised as romantic overtures have left more than a few folks bereft, including people close to me, one who died penniless as a result of such a person.
White folks who choose to live in other countries, especially older women (this of course touches me for I am considering doing this very thing) are targets in every way, for the wealth we have long flouted in front of the rest of the world, wealth ill-gotten at the expense of those countries.
I find our female behavior reprehensible because of the condescending racial overtones of doing our shopping where so many have so few options. At some level, I have to believe (albeit I may well be proven quite wrong) that these women know damned good and well that their financial resources are the only charms they offer to a kid whose future consists otherwise of shining peoples' shoes on the sidewalk, or breaking into the neighbor's hovels for bread.
Now you may see that as an exaggeration, but sadly, in too many cases, it's not.
However as with all things, if we are dumb enough to be looking for love in all the wrong places, we bloody well deserved to be preyed upon financially and emotionally. We should know better.
But all we can think of is what WE want, not what that costs someone else, as well as what it costs their culture.
That is where all lose. Such attitudes are rife with racism and privilege. So you will forgive me if I have little sympathy for those who have been preyed upon and lost.