00:06 GMT +319 February 2019
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    Revelers douse each other with water during the Songkran water festival on Silom road in Bangkok, Thailand

    Bangkok Awakes to Sex Harassment Backlash as #DontTellMeHowtoDress Goes Viral

    © AP Photo / Karly Domb Sadof
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    A social media campaign compared to the #MeToo movement has erupted in Thailand after celebrity Sirinya Bishop responded to the call from authorities in Thailand for women to dress modestly to avoid unwanted sexual attention during its water festival.

    "Women have the right to dress however we choose, as long as it's not illegal. Sexual assault and harassment is never the woman's fault!!" Sininya Bishop wrote on Twitter. "Tell men to keep their hands to themselves!"

    The post by the presenter of Asia's Next Top Model's has been viewed and re-tweeted hundreds of thousands of times with women joining in and sharing experiences of sexual harassment during the three day Songkran festival.

    READ MORE: Thai Women Urged Not to Look Too Sexy — Reports

    She told Bloomberg: "Maybe the reason this is taking off faster is because they're not coming out and accusing anyone. Our society is quite conservative, and for someone to come out and point a finger at someone who's assaulted her is huge, I don't know if we're ready for it yet."

    'Me Too'

    The rhetoric #DontTellMeHowtoDress behind the hashtag resonates with the recent #MeToo campaign which was adopted by people sharing their experiences of rape and sexual assault following the exposure of the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein as a sexual predator.

    READ MORE: Weinstein Co. Files for Bankruptcy, Allows Abuse Victims Among Staff to Speak Up

    The original 'me too' movement was founded in 2006 to help survivors of sexual violence, particularly from Black and minority ethnic communities be "at the forefront of creating solutions to interrupt sexual violence in their communities." 

    Twitter and Instagram are used around the world to share experiences and express solidarity with other survivors of sexual violence. The #IBelieveHer hashtag recently went viral after two international rugby players in Northern Ireland were found not guilty of raping a 19 year old girl. Despite the unanimous 'not guilty' verdicts, support for the accuser accelerated on social media. 

    READ MORE: #IBelieveHer Trending After 'Not Guilty' Verdicts in Ireland Rape Trial

    'Kinky Boots'

    However, not a million miles away from the #DontTellMeHowtoDress backlash in Bangkok, it's emerged trainee female barristers in Britain will be penalized in exams if they wear short skirts or "kinky boots".

    A list leaked by blog Legal Cheek reveals how many points trainees will lose for wearing a skirt above the knee or revealing their bra in someway. "Shirt should be predominantly done up, cleavage should not be on show."

    The handbook is given to students on the professional training course at BPP University which trains solicitors and barristers across the UK. A spokesperson told London newspaper The Daily Telegraph, "the list has not been revised for a long time, and will be reconsidered before the next publication."

    Hashtags are fast becoming digital archives of everyday experiences of sexual harassment, reported in real-time. The Everyday Sexism Project was founded in April 2012 and aims to document examples of sexism from around the world using the hashtag #everdaysexism in a recent article for the Guardian, founder Laura Bates said the past five years had been "more hopeful than despairing."


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    sexual harassment, sex abuse, rape culture, sexism, rape, Hollywood, United Kingdom, Ireland, Thailand
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