The SCMP must be delighted to have a lurid news story to fill its headlines instead of the ongoing Occupy Hong Kong story. (And, yes, I’m equally as guilty.)
For those who aren’t aware of this story, a 29 year old British, Cambridge-educated employee of Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong has been accused of the murder of two prostitutes. He lives in Wanchai, in one of the newer buildings along Johnston Road. Police were called to his flat where they found the body of a woman with multiple stab wounds. Eight hours later they found the decomposed body of a second woman stuffed into a suitcase left out on the balcony. It’s the biggest crime of its type involving a white person in Hong Kong since the Milkshake Murder more than ten years ago.
The identities of the two women have not been disclosed yet but it would appear that they were both women from Southeast Asian countries who were in Hong Kong on tourist visas, meaning that they were likely working as hookers in the usual Wanchai discos.
This inevitably leads to sidebar stories about how rich expats working in investment banks in Hong Kong lead lives of excess and debauchery. Here’s an article from an idiot who seems to be claiming that it wasn’t his fault that he couldn’t exercise any self control because everything is too easily available in Hong Kong. “Leaving Hong Kong saved my life.” Oh, puh-lease.
This one is somewhat better. Over on Business Insider, it’s from someone named John LeFevre (sounds like an alias to me) writing as “GSElevator,” “things heard in the Goldman Sachs elevator do not stay in the Goldman Sachs elevator.”
“I do know that investment banking is a culture of pervasive deviance, particularly in Asia,” he writes. “Hong Kong is a tropical island masquerading as a legitimate city.”
I especially enjoyed this bit. “Before moving to Asia, I highly doubt Rurik Jutting was ever called handsome by anyone other than his mom. He’s what we call a “Twelve” – the term used in Asia to describe an ugly white guy with a young, attractive, usually paid-for Asian girl. He’s a two and she’s a ten.” I never came across that term before!
The thing is that both of these articles treat sex workers like objects and not people. And while it’s probably true that the men are also guilty of this, one would expect that a writer/journalist observing from a distance might take a more enlightened view of what’s going on.
Most of the women who do this kind of work are generally doing it to support their families; their options often being to earn a few hundred a month in their home country working in a McDonald’s or a few hundred a night (if they’re good) in Wanchai. They are daughters/mothers/wives forced into this life by the poor economies of the third world countries they come from, made worse for women by the inequality of the sexes that is especially prevalent in poorer countries.
So what all of this means is blame Hong Kong, blame the women, blame everyone except the putz who killed two defenseless women. At least that’s my take on it.
Wait a few months for the trial. Lots more breathless headlines and lurid tales to follow, I’m sure.