Saturday, August 6, 2011

Patrolling cheating men in Singapore's red light district

What would you do if you thought your partner was cheating on you? Would you want to catch them in the act, or prefer to remain in denial?

So if you're a woman reading this, what would you do if you thought your partner was visiting prostitutes like these in the red light district?
Well a lady of my age who found out her boyfriend of six years was doing so, caught him red handed leaving a brothel.

I don't think most women would at best do much else apart from get rid of the idiot, and try to move on as best they could. But this lady went on to found Geylang Checker, the "whistle-blowing" website which monitors cheating men in Geylang (which for those of you who aren't living in Singapore is our red light district).
She and her team of volunteers patrol the streets of  Geylang collecting and posting up photographic evidence of the suspects, at the request of women who want to know whether their other halves are doing the dirty.

It's a pretty brave  - and potentially dangerous - effort in my book as the lady behind the mission has received numerous death threats. Perhaps these men rather than getting angry at her (sounds like a guilty conscious right?) should have a stab at being faithful instead?

Last month the founder issued a "50 comment challenge" where she stated she would shut the website down if it did not get 50 negative comments about Singaporean men's infidelity. It's very interesting reading the 'for' and 'against' comments on the site.

One person said "Please mind your own business, while your effort is to uncover "cheating" men; the process will cause the family to break down leaving the innocent kids and also the wife suffering. You think the guy that get caught in the pic will simply turn over a new life? What about those who visits KTV, and carry out such activities (ex-geylang)? You are simply diverting men to look else-where and go underground - ie there are other places to seek sex. And worse, these are not controlled ...."

That's a fair point on the fact that someone who wishes to cheat will simply find somewhere else to do it. But perhaps it's better to uncover a cheating man sooner rather than later, to start anew without them and rebuild a life, rather than at 60 when the kids are all grown up and it's much harder to do so. It's a tough call. I know many people who grew up with cheating fathers and it did not make for a happy environment to grow up in.

But on the flip side you have comments like "if the guy wants to fool around, then they must face the risk of getting caught. This website could also help prevent the transmission of undesirable diseases back to their faithful partner."

For sure - I know from my work as a volunteer with Action for AIDS Singapore there are a fair few cases of married men using prostitutes and picking up STDs or worse still HIV/AIDS and then passing them on to their wives who unbeknown to them about their husband's activities and due to their trust in them also have sex with them without a condom.

So anyway it turns out they won the "50 comments" challenge with 67 posts. Because of the sheer bravery of the lady and her team of volunteers behind this, I'm glad they did for their efforts whether people think what they're doing it right or wrong. With the increasing number of members of their forum - now standing at 97 - it looks like for those at least who need to seek advice and support will have a growing support network to turn to.

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