Author Topic: Why does victim-blaming persist in Thai culture?  (Read 114 times)


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Why does victim-blaming persist in Thai culture?
« on: September 26, 2023, 01:14:32 AM »
If they were being stared at, who’s to blame? Women.
If they were sexually harassed or assaulted, who’s to blame? Also, women.

If their sex tape is leaked without their consent, who’s to blame? Still women.

Women are still blamed and are often expected to take responsibility for gender-based crimes against them, be it sexual harassment in real life or online. The victim-blaming-and-shaming attitude still exists in Thailand and elsewhere due to an existing gender bias against women.

On the brighter side, people nowadays are not afraid to speak out and have come together to protect women from being socially victimised.

-What has happened?-

Thai netizens took to Twitter (X) last week to show sympathy and support for a female Thai artist, known as “Beer the Voice”, after an alleged sex video of her was leaked on social media. Many of them came together to protect the artist, condemning men who harassed her online with sexually inappropriate comments, including women who were curious to watch a snippet of it.

Netizens said that people should never objectify nor sexually harass the artist, even though she is known to have a sexy image, and people should always bear in mind that sharing the leaked video “for fun” will add to the trauma and suffering of a victim.

The online conversation has pushed the hashtag as the top-trending topic on Twitter (X) for a few days. Moreover, netizens and fellow celebrities took to the artist’s Instagram to provide their support and encouragement in light of the incident.

The artist has eventually apologised for the leaked video, which she said, came from one of her former boyfriends. She also explained that she used to believe that filming sex videos is an individual preference and that both her and her ex had consented at the time. There were, however, also shots where she did not know that she was being filmed.

The artist also lamented that, if she could go back in time, she would have asked him to delete all of the videos, adding that just because someone agrees to be filmed does not mean that they agree to have their videos published on social media.

Within the same post, she did not forget to question Thai social norms, asking why society still condemns the victim.

“Why is it always the victim who is ostracised by society? Why is it so easy to ruin someone’s life on the Internet? Why do most people still enjoy such things without considering the pain that victims have to go through? And most of all, why are perpetrators still being praised for their wrongdoings?”

-Why the blame?-

“Though I am not surprised that most of these rude comments came from men, rude comments coming from women made me realise that the world is not evil as such, it’s humans,” the artist complained in the same post. “This is 2023, but why is it always men that “gain” something and women that “lose” something when it comes to sexual relationships? Or, is it because society has set it like this, so women always have to lose whenever there’s an incident like this?”

Sadly, society has always objectified women’s bodies, as if it is something that men can always make fun of. For the case of “Beer”, when people are reminded of her name, most of them think of her sexiness, rather than her singing. Not many people are aware of her musical talent or how sweet her voice is.

In fact, women’s bodies have long been objectified in mass media, in films, magazines and the list goes on. Especially in the old days, when people are way too familiar with gossip tabloids publishing stories of female celebrities showing off their cleavage at red carpet events, replicating the male gaze in the Thai media and society as a whole. When readers are used to seeing such content, they think it is normal to comment intrusively about women’s bodies. At the same time, whenever women are sexually harassed, their choice of clothing is the first thing that they are blamed for.

“No one has the right to harass me because of the way I dress,” the female artist said at one point during her previous interview with The Matter, which resurfaced on social media in light of the controversy.

At the same time, women of conservative Thai upbringing are raised to uphold the value of being “ladylike” – from dressing modestly, having a humble and sweet manner and, most importantly, to “reserve” themselves from mingling around men and not engaging in premarital sex.

For this reason, Thai women have always been told not to approach men first, unlike men, who can hit on as many women as they wish. This is heavily rooted in Thai history, which often emphasises the patriarchal belief that men can have a number of wives and concubines, while women are restricted to only one husband and one marriage.

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