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Is the Internet Changing Vietnam’s Perception of Sexuality?

Over at Vietmeme, one of our favorite local blogs, Mai Huyen Chi takes a closer look at the recent scandal surrounding the bra-less Facebook sensation, Bà Tưng and how the web is shaping sexual discourse in Vietnam.

Chi does a great job of putting Vietnam’s recent sexual ‘scandals’ into perspective, showing how the country’s increasing internet use is gradually changing social norms. It seems that the Vietnamese have learned what the West has known for decades – one can become an instant star by creating controversy around taboo subjects. Bà Tưng, a relatively unknown actress until the release of her braless, hip-gyrating video, leveraged this concept perfectly.

Though comments from the public on Tưng’s video range from support to contempt, Chi thinks one thing is clear – Vietnam’s internet growth over the last 5 years is changing the way people view sexuality. She compares the public’s reaction to the current controversy with the sex tape of teenage TV star, Hoang Thuy Linh, which was released in 2007:

"Following the scandal, in which Linh was revealed to have played no role other than that of a willing but unwitting sex partner to her actual boyfriend at the time, the young actress was forced to make a tearful and humilating public apology to her audience on national television.

Six years later, with Mrs. Loony deliberately and unashamedly flaunting her bosoms behind thin fabric, Vietnam and its cyber world have changed. A notable difference in Mrs. Loony’s case is that she is so direct about what she is doing, looking directly at the camera, flipping off her viewers while teasing them, and candidly confessing to scandal-mongering."

Head over to Vietmeme to read the full article in addition to other well-written, thought-provoking pieces.

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