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The Plastic Women

Rong Wongsawan

Translated by Chamnongsri Rutnin

จาก "หันหลังให้ พ.ศ.2517" ของ 'รงค์ วงษ์สวรรค์ ศิลปินแห่งชาติ สาขาวรรณศิลป์ ประจำปี 2539

Photo 51581 Pixabay


On a nondescript day belonging to no particular season, she walks by - completely naked.

An artificial product of great beauty from the factory of a dirty-minded scientist (who wishes to remain anonymous).

Hair of black nylon

Brilliance of diamonds for eyes

Teeth... a mixture of powdered pearls

and tiger fangs

Breasts... made of a lush and creamy

extraction from jungle plants

(so punchable!)

Synthetic skin of top-grade fiber

treated with sunlight and moon-gleam.

She is exactly the woman she should be. A townspeople follow her in curiosity and wonder.

Birds perching on trees watch her gaiety with envy, because gaiety has disappeared from the face of the earth long, long ago. The kind that comes in cans on supermarket shelves is far too expensive for poor, or even middle-class, people.

She doesn’t flinch at staring eyes or at anyone’s feelings about her

because she has no feelings.

“Goddamit! I never thought I’d live to see such a thing!” exclaims a car-repair man lying flat on his back. His glance races way up her thigh.

“Depraved!” a sex-charged socialite spat her wrath.

“Advise me, oh, God-above,” prays a preacher.

“Oh no! What are they protesting now?” the district governor asks his secretary while stroking the provocative swell of her hip.

“Go! Interview her. Get at least 200 words,” a monthly magazine editor tells his columnist. “A slap in the face for our rivals if we get her story first.”

“No doubt about it, this is the capitalist’s propaganda,” the communist mumbles with annoyance.


The plastic woman reaches the house that has been rented for her. In keeping with her personality, it is luxuriously endowed. Her life progressed with hectic placidity. Men turn up in torrents to request for appointments - for all the world like rationing in times of extreme scarcity.

She is busy day and night.

“It doesn’t matter whether we are the first or the last,” the deputy-chairman of the Beggars’ Association shouts into the microphone at their monthly meeting “but we must lay her at least once in a life-time.”

“I’d gladly cut the biggest chunk out of my fortune to give to her!” a business mogul growls behind his glass of martini.

“The sight of her makes me think of chewing curry tablet while masturbating,” an astronaut confides to his friend.

“A hellish trick of the communists,” rages the director of the Department of Anti-Threat to Democracy.

“Doesn’t Satan ever respect goodness in mankind? ” a nun moans in front of the candle.

“Am I dreaming?” the communist says, mockingly. “This is the signal of capitalistic degeneration.”

“Oh, Dhamma ! Is morality coming to its final disintegration?” Fumed an ascetic who has descended the mountains bearing the weight of human sins. Having to wait his queue for several more nights is the cause of his rage.

“I am disappointed,” the public relations officer of the Birth-Control Association complained as his hand crept into his pocket to scratch a sensitive organ. "I can’t be of any service to her because she has no uterus!”


Her duty is to serve sexual needs of the public, free of charge! Her plasticness has no demands - not for food, dress, sanitary napkins, medication, air-conditioning, stereophonic record-player or encyclopedia. But men’s egotism and selfishness set them competing in showering her with gifts.

diamond necklaces


panties of woven gold

government bond

shares in international airlines


several herds of milk cows


concessions for transportation of arms to powerful countries

oil fields

political influence


She sells all these love tokens to the society propelled by the turmoil of human cravings. She has become rich!


All the flesh women hates the plastic woman. She doesn’t understand their emotion.

“Why do they hate me?” she asks the banker.

“Because they don’t have what you have.” Men try to explain.

No matter what, she cannot understand.

A psychiatrist advises “You should hate back. It is always the effective kind of revenge.”

But she has no hatred for anything or anyone.

“Why are they cursing me?”

“Because it is the last thing they can do, beside pleading with the God above.”

The plastic woman smiles.

She fears nothing and no one.


The preacher begins to feel a tendency to hating her, too.

“Why? When I am perfectly glad to give time to religion?” she wonders.

“Because you are the cause of his realization that he has wasted to much of his life in front of the altar.”


The communist reaches the decision that she is an enemy.

“But why?” she asks the economist, “I made him moan like a cow last night.”

“It’s because you are rich, and because you are partly responsible for the failure of some of his theories.”

“I’ve never thought that far.”

“But he has. I’d like to advise you to laugh at him sometimes to make things better. It may a little old fashioned but it’s still women’s best weapon.”

She isn’t interested in laughing at anyone.


Tides of trouble sweep towards her - for reasons that people cannot explain and therefore take her to be devoid of shame, and people in her own era can still find no answer.

A policeman, who wallow in old-fashioned views, threaten her with antiquated laws. But finding nothing illegal, he justified his stupidity with some difficulty before begging her to give him the first place in the queue. His selfishness is native to the corrupt system of the past centuries.

As usual, she refuses.

“First come first served. You have to wait two months,” she flips the pages of her calendar. “Saturday 29th, 30 minutes after midnight”

He is angry but he has no choice if he wants to use her to release his lust.

“You ought to be grateful. I tell you, you’re the only corporal to down for March. Your inspector has to wait until the end of April.”

The editor of a woman’s monthly magazine is also full of frustration. She has been unable to discover the plastic woman’s concept of happiness. Not even though several philosophers have tried to speak for her... not even when at least two famous artists have coloured their canvas with their own ideas of her happiness.

“I don’t know what happiness is”

That is how she cut short her television interview.


Men cause her no end of complications.

No matter whether they are clerks or an electronic manufacturing tycoon, a thief or the Director of the Department of Moral Issues, a tinsmith or a gardener, a garbage collector or a researcher in the fields of agriculture... the ingrained instinct for monopoly, that has been handed down through age-old teachings, has made them all speak of their animal lust as 'love'.

“And what is love?” the plastic woman asks back.

None of the men can answer her.


The response she gets is anger. Several of the men leave her for the cradling thighs of women at the clubs (for an ideological revolution) or for Institutions for the liberation of sex slavery.

“Was I wrong? Can plastic women ever be better than flesh women?” jeers the wife of the Deputy Director of the Department of Computer Affairs.

The preacher shrugs “The church has decided that she is Sin in its newest guise, and must be destroyed.”

“Exploitation of the people’s energy!” screams from the pages of The Communist’s Party’s announcement.

“Sexual fascism!” The capitalist draws up plans for counteraction.

“See her wickedness?” the owner of the cows who supplies milk for her bath is boiling with resentment, too.

“Haven’t I warned you?” the public relation officer of the association for birth control says with a touch of sarcasm. “Deep inside her there is a void.”

Poets and artists also concludes that she has no substance.

“The vile thing,” they complain noisily. “She has never felt how all my words copulate with one another with the ultimate purity of Art.”

“Her lust is never aroused by the erotic movement of my colors,” growls the artist.

“She only takes. She has given nothing to society,” the hire-merchant vents his rage.

The men hurl abuses at her in hatred and disgust. They seem to have forgotten that, not so many nights ago, her thighs were the challenge that they had aspired to climb - the very summit of their desires.

In the heart of the men, age-old rottenness remains.

Rots and rots!


No one saw the fisherman, reeking of fish, enter. He heard almost every word. Neither clever nor stupid, some of his theories have grown out of his knowledge about lives of fish.

He shrugs, “Can’t anyone accepts changes where women are concerned?” he murmurs.

No one heard him.


In the midst of the confusion and denunciation, the fisherman, the last man in the life of the plastic woman, comforts her and tries to protect her - but, it is too late. The people have been turned against her in hatred.

The men who once whispered love the most lovingly are the ones who shouts the loudest, and have become the leaders of the protest against her.

“You can always play with one man at a time, but never with all of them at the same time,” says the fisherman with a sad smile.

He tries using other terms, “You can be a promiscuous woman, but you can’t be a whore without charging your customers.”

She doesn’t understand.

She still doesn’t understand.

The crowd is pouring in,

pulling her from her stained bed.

The plastic woman doesn’t resist or beg for mercy

She doesn’t put up a fight

The crowd rips out her limbs

Tears at her black nylon hair

Smashes the diamonded brilliance of her eyes

Burns her breasts with cigarette ends

Her synthetic skin is peeled and thrown in the dust

“Scoop out her heart!” some one yells,

But she doesn’t have a heart

“The fiend!” spat a female anti-syphilis activist.

“Don’t ask me whether she will go to heaven or to hell, but my prayer has been answered,” the preacher puts on an expression to match his words.

“With reason, we have destroyed a part of the evils of capitalism,” the communist waves the sacred texts of Marx and Lenin in triumph.

“This is the end of the conspiracy to create sexual turmoil by the evil mind behind the Iron Curtain,” mocks the capitalist.

“Our birth-control project can now go on without obstruction!”

“Our institute has discovered a new antibiotic to eradicate sin within 30 seconds!”

“Congratulations to flesh women for the victory!”



The fisherman feels sad, the same sadness as the sea on a certain kind of days, as he collected what is left of the plastic woman’s organs. He drops them altogether in a bag - eye lashes, nails, a few body hair, an ear, nose tip, gum, intestine, liver, lung, anus, lips and clitoris.

He isn’t quite sure whether he should let these sweet remnants sink to rest at the bottom of the sea, or to cremate them and keep the ashes for remembrance.

“Changes in women are their unchangeability,” he tells himself in tearful whispers.

With the bag slung over his shoulder, he walks pass the preacher, the poet, the politician, the butcher, the garbage collector, the corporate chairman, the scientist, the thief, the billionaire, the beggar and others who consider themselves civilized.

He moves along quietly until he hears an announcement from the city tower booming out the news that yet another spaceship has reached another distant planet. Only then does he burst out laughing.

He wonders how people who lived as long ago as 1974 thought about the Sexual Revolution.

“Where is he heading - the son-o-bitch who screws fishes?

He heard drunks asking one another on the roadside.


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