This article revisits cultural controversies over female public nudity in Thai society. It uses Songkran’s topless dancing in 2011 and bare-breast painting performance of the Thailand’s Got Talent Show in 2012 to explore cultural and emotional clashes in Thailand’s 21st century. It shows that these two cases of female nudity in public drew deep and divergent emotional responses from different groups in Thai society. Obviously, the cases revealed a clash in viewpoints with regard to Thai notion about feminine respectability which is associated to national identity and women’s sexual expressions. On the one hand, the controversies had prompted moral panic and backlashes against women’s sexual rebelliousness. On the other hand, they set off counter-backlashes against hegemonic discourses that tend to normalize sexual oppressive culture, nationalism and totalitarianism.
Moderator: Dr. Dusita Phuengsamran
February 24, 2016 Time: 12:30 – 13:30 hrs. Room Srabua 109