Sep 4, 2007

Darwin's Finches and The Asian Woman

In an article entitled Kampung Girls, Ross with Indonesia Matters muses not only over the seasonal migratory patterns of a specific subset of the Indonesian female but then delves into an empirical comparative analysis where he mulls over the reasons why Indonesian men would elect to mate with what he perceives to be an inferior subject, which by Ross' analysis should be nonetheless reproductively isolated. Ross comes to the conclusion that Kampung girls are "better", based on his observations that they seem to be more suitably adroit with child-rearing and various other skills needed for the propagation of the species... where to begin?

While I can in some respects agree with some of Ross' observations, I think that Ross attached little significance to beauty and physical attractiveness which are undeniably the primary characteristics that men use in evaluating a prospective mate. And in the spirit of Charles Darwin, I'm also inclined to believe that to establish an analytical division such as Ross does, one needs to understand the Indonesian ecosystem, the effects of urbanization, migratory patterns and the adaptive strategies employed by female Indonesian "birds" in their quest for a suitable mate.


Over the last twenty or so years urbanization has had an interesting effect on the mating patterns of women in Southeast Asia. Unlike in the past, today you would be hard-pressed to find an exquisite specimen such as Amber Chia in the kampung. It's not to say that you can't find a beautiful Asian women in the kampung anymore, but from my own observations there seems to now days be a much higher concentration of stunningly beautiful Asian women in the major Asian cities now, rather than the remote rural villages. Perhaps urbanization's effect on the migratory patterns of the Asian female from the 'kampung to the city' and Darwin's theory of 'decent through modification' might be able to provide some insight as to why.

It's through Darwin's study of finches, that we have come to understand that any population consists of individuals that are all slightly different from one another. Confirming what women instinctively know about what men want and cognizant of the fact that they possess a variation that gives them an decided advantage over the plethora of pug-nosed, short and stumpy Asian females in the kampung, tall, svelte ultra-feminine Asian women represented by Chia typically waste no time in migrating to the country's urban centers such as Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur as soon as they graduate from high school. Needless to say, life in the congested urban centers of Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur differs in many ways from life in the kampung. Fresh from the kampung, the women find themselves having to quickly adopt adaptive strategies and traits in an effort to hopefully exploit the underlying 'sperm competition' between the pool of eligible males and at the same time they often end up spending a tremendous amount of their energy fighting off the other female contenders in a 'survival of the fittest' battle that the males often times are conspicuously eager to exploit.

The females that are eventually successful at landing the man of their dreams will typically end up like Ross so skillfully pointed out, neurotically overdosing on the face whitening cream and slimming pills, spending hours in the spa and then lazing the afternoon away sipping cappuccinos at Senayan City with her friends while Ahmad fetches the children from school.

The females that are unsuccessful will often times eventually succumb to their own promiscuity and find themselves either banging bules for bucks or "comforting" the unhappy and sexually frustrated husbands of the Senayan City ladies in the hopes that they might eventually find themselves sipping cappuccinos at Senayan City while Ahmad fetches the stepchildren from school.


  1. Patung2:15 PM

    I think your article is somewhat based on a false assumption, that kampungs are only in rural areas. Most people in Jakarta live in kampungs, ie., a traditional neighbourhood unit - and there is certainly no shortage of "beauty and physical attractiveness" in most of them!

  2. Now Now Patung, I think by now that I'm well aware of what a kampung is.

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