The sexualization of a global pandemic

We didn’t want another article about Lisa Blackpink, really.

But then again, even our first two articles this week weren’t really about Lisa.

As per usual, they are a critique of Thailand’s cultural mindset.

The Facebook Page “ไทยรู้สู้โควิด” (literal translation: Thais know/fight COVID) has 3.4 million followers. The page belongs to the Ministry of Health, and we Thais rely on it for “factual” updates of the COVID-19 situation.

The Department of Health and the Health Literacy and Communication Promotion Division is also under the Health Ministry and among those producing content for the page, including the one we are discussing.

Catching the Lisa fever, they thought it prudent that a sexualized cartoon is the best way to promote “Universal Prevention” in light of Thailand’s plan to open the country in the coming months.

A split-second glance at the female character, and you know who it represents.

She carries the sign: “Allow me to rely on you for the strictest level of COVID-19 prevention, na ka.”

The elderly man leering at her thinks: “So cute, uncle likes likes…phew…”

As per usual, social media went nuts, and the post was deleted.

But the post echoes the misogynistic mindset.

In the year 2021, the government (in regards to something as serious as a virus that has taken 14,765 Thai lives as of yesterday) thought it prudent that an old man leering at a young woman as a sex object is the best way to communicate to 66 million Thais about the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The only upside is, there are enough forward-thinking people in Thai society to call out, causing the Page to delete the post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.