On November 2, an outrage broke out in the Thai world of social networks from a Facebook post. The post was among a series of posts the author has been slamming against the current female Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra as an incompetent leader who cannot handle this flood crisis. However, it is this one post that really stands out. (The post is set as public. Anyone logged in to Facebook can see it.)
I don’t want to say it like this because it sounds insulting to ladies, but it’s true that uneducated or lazy and stupid Northern women usually take a comfortable job that normal women won’t do, mainly prostitution. So, the Northern woman who is very stupid but shamelessly take the position should know which job is suitable for her.
The post was obviously aimed at the current Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Thailand’s first female premier, who is a native of Chiang Mai Province in the north part of the country. It was his use of stereotype against the region-gender identity that triggered the public anger.
Akeyuth later posted a comment after some criticisms.
I apologise if it offends someone, but please read the message clearly. [I] didn’t accuse or insult anyone, but stated the fact, and it should be clear who I meant. I respect the rights and all occupations, but I don’t accept those shameless who damage the society and the country. And prostitutes do not harm anyone, but someone stupid should not take up the [PM] job.
Later on he still maintained that people either misunderstood the message, or just “stupid” followers of Yingluck/Thaksin/Pheu Thai Party.
Honestly, in what way is the post not an insult? If we regard prostitution as a less honourable job, which is implied in the first place (“a comfortable job that normal women won’t do”), then accusing that people from a particular region are more likely to do it sounds like an insult. And even if we do not look down on prostitutes, then describing the job to be “comfortable” and for “uneducated”, “lazy”, or “stupid” still sounds like an insult. (And sure, he tried to insult the PM, which he didn’t really deny.)
I don’t know if anyone who ‘liked’ the post actually mean the opposite, but a portion, if not a majority, of hundreds of people who shared the post did so with negative comments. The reaction I have seen so far is mainly negative, apart from a few supporters on his page. That is at least a relief.
Sure, we do not really have to give value to just a Facebook post like this. After all, there are many tasteless slams on the social networks in the last few weeks (or few years). But for a person who pretends to be an active social critic like this guy, maybe a public opposition is warranted.
A little bit about Akeyuth Anchanbutr. He is an ‘investor’ who was accused for operating a pyramid scheme in 1980s. His assets were seized, but he fled Thailand to escape the prosecution. He returned to the country after the case against him has expired, and came into the limelight again in 2007 after he joined the campaign against then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck’s brother. His name is sometimes spelt Ekkayuth, and he is also known as George Tan.