On 16 April 2021, an 18-year-old girl was lured by a girlfriend to be gang-raped by one adult and three teenage boys.
On 28 August, the incident was exposed on Clubhouse.
On 29 August, Police Colonel Thamrong Jikitsilapin of Mae Wong District, Nakorn Sawan Province, told the media a full investigation is underway.
Why has the case been silenced for months?
The colonel said he would investigate the officers in charge of the case and punish them.
Again, it takes social media to expose for the police to act.
What is there to say? How many times must we condemn corrupted and incompetent officials and the broken system? The answer is, we should never stop doing so. We should never stop exposing the wrongs in society.
But also, we must point to the “rape culture” of Thailand’s patriarchy.
The rape culture that to this day still have female characters in soap operas falling in love with their rapists and live happily ever after.
The rape culture that still has male police officers interviewing rape victims with such questions as: “What were you wearing?”
The rape culture that has society look at rape victims as “tainted.”
The culture that rapes the rights and dignity of women and girls long before any actual physical rape happens and long after. And let’s not forget, males can also become rape victims.
In a more civilized society, “victim” isn’t the word used anymore, as it has a negative connotation that spells hopelessness. Instead, the word is “survivor,” which gives hope for a better future.
But in countries like Thailand, we victimize those who have been raped.
We do so through the rape culture that teaches women and girls their “proper place” in society as the back feet of the elephant (ช้างเท้าหลัง), to suffer in silence rather than risking embarrassment for family and society.
We do so through the patriarchal mentality that continues to rape the victims/survivors by stripping them of human dignity because we treat them with carelessness, view them as an embarrassment, and force them to bear the “shame.”