Judgement – With An Ironic Twist

March 24, 2014

So here I am again at the beach warung, relaxing and pondering the manifest benefits of living in Bali. The two twenty-somethings sitting nearby are deep in conversation, discussing and dissecting every man that walks past. They avidly gawk at body shapes, musculature, degree of hirsuteness, perceived cockiness and body language and acerbically comment on each attribute. And from this superficial data, they somehow manage to glean an astonishing insight into the characters, histories, backgrounds and personalities of the men in the passing parade.

“OMG, look at him – betcha he’s a wife-basher!” and “What a creep. He’s gonna hit on us in a minute!” (he didn’t) and “That one’s a rapist for sure” and “Looks like my loser ex-boyfriend.” and “Wow! How arrogant is he?” and “Body like that should be banned from the beach”. This opinionated, ugly profiling goes on for a good five minutes, until another unfortunate male walks past the judgemental duo who are about to rip him to pieces.

They freeze for a moment, because this one has committed the cardinal sin – he is wearing Speedos. Well! He cops the full vitriolic treatment, despite looking quite presentable. His black briefs aren’t overly tight and they are certainly not revealing, except in the vague Christo sense that there may be an underlying architectural structure under the drapery. But that doesn’t stop the peanut gallery.

“Disgusting! Look at that – showing off his junk like that!” “Yeah, I can’t stand exhibitionists! Why don’t they wear proper gear?” (I presume she means those Truly Silly Pants that make grown men look like toddlers wearing hand-me-downs.) “What a sleaze-bag. Betcha he’s a flasher …” and so on until the poor unfashionable man, blessedly oblivious to the slander,  disappears from sight.


Then comes the interesting bit. As the women leave the beach bar, they shed their sarongs, leaving them clad in their bikinis. Both their tops seem to have been carefully selected to show maximum cleavage, considerable side-boob, more under-boob than strictly necessary, and a carefully-engineered gape at the front, which they skilfully employ while leaning over to check their toenails.  Several times, in fact, and always in the direction of an audience.

Their bikini bottoms, which incidentally are about a quarter the size of the aforementioned offending Speedos, are of a pale, clingy material that displays prodigious amounts of gluteus maximus at the back, while their fronts feature astonishingly prominent camel toes of almost gynaecological detail. They make Speedos look like empty garbage bags. Their several slow, deliberate pirouettes in front of patrons as they left the place ensured that no-one, but no-one, would miss their all too obvious gender markers.

And before you leap to attack me, I am not judging these women’s attire, or their social display behaviour, or their right to comment on the physical appearance of men. God knows women have had enough of that from men over the decades, and maybe some feel it’s time for payback.

But I do respond negatively to rank hypocrisy, and to attitudes that are based on “Do as I say, not as I do.” or “One rule for me, another for you.” Maybe some people who hold these attitudes are blind to their part in the grand Game of Life, or maybe some just want to play by their rules alone.

That’s why I suspect that, for these women, the irony of their performance totally escaped them.


  1. Interesting observation,pity they didn’t have any comments about the in black one piece swimsuits worn by so many of the beached whale types that grace the beaches from Kuta to Seminyak

  2. Well, it’s just a female thing. It is necessary for a brace of women to comment on every single person we see. We (the onlookers) are perfect in every way, but everybody else has many, many flaws, and we (the perfect onlookers) are contractually required to mention it. We don’t charge for our judgements and no correspondence will be entered into.
    We see it as a womanly duty and as a public service.
    Men don’t understand this sort of thing. It’s nothing personal.

    • Of course, that explains it! I completely forgot about the Gender Relativity Differential Effect 😉

  3. Isn’t it great to be young, the reality is ‘youth is wasted on the young’ but we only learn this when its all gone ..arr, not to mention that the gender that will suffer most from aging is … yes, you guessed it, woman.

    Their boobs pointing at the ground, tummy flab, cellulite, overweight, and you’re never, ever going to get that skinny body back and always wanting it (it must be hell) and none can escape this inevitability and then it will be the turn of the new 20 something who will be “contractually required to mention it”.

    The reality is that people only criticize and critique others because of their own inadequacies and insecurities (Andra), if they felt secure and where happy within themselves then they would not need to say one word or even think it.

    It would seem that Kuta to Seminyak seem to attract the best of the best. I go there once or twice a month for a reminder on how nice the rest of the island is.

    Say la vie

  4. I tend to find that vacuous judgement is really revealing the judger’s own shadow fears and insecurities. Really it is a little sad especially when on holiday.

  5. Brilliant writing, as usually. We’ve missed you so much; where have you been for such a long time?

    • Thanks. I’ve been practising laziness and procrastination … successfully 😉

  6. Hypocrisy ! I was once chatting to a friend and pointing out the habit of another friend of pointing out faults in people’s characters.
    Mid conversation I realised my hypocrisy and mentioned this to my friend. His reply was “it’s difficult for us not to notice the faults of others, only those of us without fault can do it”.

    Good to have you back Borborigmus.

    • Fortunately, I have so many faults that I am perfectly placed to recognise those in others. Besides, once one is hypocritical about hypocrisy, it’s meta-hypocrisy, and doesn’t count. 😉

  7. Where were you?Someone who can make reference to Christo was someone I would have liked to have met. I lived in Bali for the last few years and was completely starved for intelligent English conversation. My fleeting experience of communication with western tourists and ex pats made isolation seem preferable. I go back from time to time but I don’t have a house there anymore. I have just discovered your blog by accident. I look forward to more of your posts. Cheers.

    • This little interlude occurred at Batu Belig beach. But no doubt variations on this theme can be seen on any beach in the world that has sand, water and humans … 😉

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