The Burden of Being a Prominent Thai Woman–and Being Called a Slut


From Manager, November 22, 2012
Left: He… You! Not every Thai woman is like a Patpong woman.
Caption: Thai woman scolds womanizing farang men in the past
[Patpong area on Silom road in Bangkok is known for its prostitution industry.]
Right: Hey… You! Not every Thai woman is like the Thai Prime Minister.
Caption: [Thai woman scolds womanizing farang men] today
[Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's opponents harshly criticized her for her body language towards U.S. President Barack Obama. Such criticisms and insinuations of being a slut are often leveled at high-profile Thai women.]


From Thairath, November 25, 2012
Cartoon title: Thailand, the land of smiles
[This cartoon series has a couple of interesting examples of the chauvinistic attitudes towards females acting in nontraditional roles.]
Top left: Smile at the surveillance camera eyes of Sgt. Choey [Sgt. Choey is a police dummy installed mostly at traffic lights across the country.]
Top middle: Smile at the Comfort 100 in cars [Comfort 100 is a brand name of portable toilets for usage in cars.]
Top right: Smile at independent teenagers who have their equipment injected to expand their sizes. [refers to young Thai men who receive injections in their penis' to enlarge them--often resulting in severe health problems]
Lower left: Smile at the G to G rice trading deal, the government’s top secret. [Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom, claimed that the government made a deal with the Chinese government on a government to government basis to export rice to China. When asked for more details, Boonsong declined claiming that it is a government secret. The opposition doubts the truth of the deal since, to comply with international trade agreements, the price of the rice would have be commensurate with the inflated prices the government is paying to farmers for the rice.]
Lower middle: Scandalously smile at Obama
[Reference is to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's gestures and smiles toward Barak Obama which have been fiercely criticized by government critics in Thailand for not being appropriate. In the Thai world, being called a "slut" like this is an extra burden women in public positions have to bear.]
Lower right: Smile at the confession: “Yes, I am Thaksin’s lackey. Have you just found out, Khun Somjit?”
[The speaker is Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Ubumrung. He said the quote in reply to Miss Somchit Navakruasoonthorn, a reporter for Channel 7. During an interview, Chalerm was upset with Miss Somchit so much that he accused her of being biased toward the Democrat Party and announced that he would not give any interview if Miss Somchit was among reporters. Miss Somchit asked Chalerm back what he would do if she accused him of being Thaksin's lackey. Chalerm replied by admitting that he has been Thaksin's lackey for a long time. Often boisterous male Thai politicians like Chalerm or the late Samak take a threatening or aggressive stance against female reporters who speak up to them.]


From Manager, November 21, 2012
In the U.S. President Barack Obama’s hand reads: Thaa
President Obama: I don’t want it… But she forced it [into my hand].
Caption: A souvenir from Yingluck
[At Obama's side is the U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. On the building's stairs are Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Foreign Minister Surapong Towichakchaikul. The point being made is that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra 'gave thaa' or 'hai thaa' to President Obama. 'Hai thaa' in Thai is saying means 'flirting' or 'seductive.' Like other women who dare to present themselves in a prominent way in the Thai world, Yingluck is criticized for being flirtatious.]

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6 Responses to The Burden of Being a Prominent Thai Woman–and Being Called a Slut

  1. albert park says:

    Thanks for showing us (again) how Neanderthal the media can be.

  2. Albert Tatlock says:

    Thanks for showing us (again) how neanderthal the squabbling local elite can be. The neanderthal media are a mere reflection of the very long-term exploitative reality here. Yingluk is more than a bit like Margaret Thatcher. The accolade for being the first woman PM is almost entirely missing. Most people are fully aware that she brings nothing uniquely feminine to the post, since she is obviously a mere proxy of the Old Snake’s Head in Dubai.
    Oh sorry for that Albert! I weren’t bought up nice and proper PC. The dishonest world of politics and the media is bringing out the neanderthal in me. I will however avoid using sexist epithets – mainly because my mother always told me that such words are not nice.
    The original neanderthals are truly unfortunate in being tarred with the same brush as contemporary populist politicians. There is actually very little evidence that cavemen acted in the knuckledragging way we almost always associate with such sloths.

  3. albert park says:

    Yes, thanks Tatlock, I should have pointed out that such views are more widespread than the media, not least on the blogs which seem a license for bile. You demonstrate that very well.

  4. Tatlock says:

    I have never been tempted to blog. Most blogs are about as turgid and uninteresting as a wet Wednesday in Wednesbury. I do have a moped license – but I’m still riding it on L plates.
    You are of course suggesting that I have a flux of bile myself. Well, yes! All the symptoms demonstrate that very well. There is, however, no master-plan here to goad the electorate into complacent inertia with small change, shameless propaganda, threats, bullets and fire. I must admit though, that I can become quite bilious when I see the various forum pundits trying their hardest to produce a political silk purse out of yet another sow’s ear of a government. ‘Appeasement’ is the word that always springs to mind – although it is usually now fashionably termed ‘reconciliation’ by those with a continuing hidden agenda.
    ;-)

  5. Wiz says:

    Albert Tatlock, let’s see when that secret video clip on that woman kept by Ai Chaloem has been leaked into the public …

  6. Pingback: Politische Cartoons - Seite 2

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