The church. The temple. The school. What do they all have in common? Authoritative rule. Patriarchal order.
The rule of fear. The wall of silence. The moral code demands conformity, obedience, and submission. The social hierarchy in which the “poo-yai” superior has complete power over the “poo-noi” inferior.
The power gap. The gulf of inequality.
It’s a social structure ripened with corruption, exploitation, and abuse, including sexual abuse and exploitation of women and minors, and yes, even men.
Case in point
At Saturday’s Bad Student rally, 20-year-old Nalinrat Tuthubthim put on a school uniform, duct-taped her mouth, and held a sign that said, “A teacher sexually assaulted me. The school is not a safe space.”
Palang Pracharat MP Pareena Kraikupt threatened to sue her for dishonoring the uniform and the school because she’s no longer a student. Palang Pracharat MP Sira Janejaka agreed, pointing out that she’s causing embarrassment to Thailand and the school, as well he questioned if her cosplay costumes provoke lust.
Conservative society questioned, why didn’t she inform the school or go to the police? Why wait five years after the fact to raise a banner at the Bad Student rally?
In this Thisrupt article, Nalinrat explained her fear of the authorities and her lack of understanding about what she suffered due to her young age at the time.
She discussed her psychological trauma and disorder as a result of the incidents. She said she has been campaigning about sexual abuse for over two years, since before there’s such a thing as Bad Student and the current political protests.
We live in a patriarchal society in which the poo-yai, mostly men, make the rules. There’s the cultural mindset of “เด็กมันยั่ว” (dek-mun-yua, or the kid seduces me) in which society blames the victim.
Nalinrat’s tragedy is a classic example. In a culture that views women and minors as inferior. In a society that expects complete submission and obedience. Those in power can do no wrong. There are no checks and balances on those in power.
When she was a student, Nalinrat was afraid to speak up. Like millions of others, fear ruled her. When she finally spoke up, she was met with a wall of denial and the demand for silence, just as so many other women and children have suffered. When her story became public, she was met with victim-blaming, just as so many other women and children have suffered.
The abuser then gets away with it. Because the authoritative culture doesn’t care and the patriarchal society doesn’t mind.
In fact, the patriarchy would say it’s her fault. See how she dresses? She deserves it, เด็กมันยั่ว.