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Outrage on Twitter as rape scenes continue to be portrayed in Thai soap operas



PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

It’s a debate that’s been raging in Thailand for years now, and yet, little appears to have changed. The portrayal of rape in Thai soap operas, done in a manner which critics say normalises sexual assault and victim blaming, is once more under fire. Thai PBS World reports that yesterday, the hashtag #ข่มขืนผ่านจอพอกันที (#NoMoreRapeOnScreen) became the fastest trending hashtag on Twitter, featuring in 275,000 tweets. Another hashtag, #BanMiaJumPen, was used in over 204,000.

The social media backlash was a result of a rape scene in the popular soap, Mia Jum Pen (“Wife on Duty”). In the scene, the rapist filmed his assault of a female character. In another scene, the victim, who has been hospitalised, is asked how many times she was raped, but the scene that has provoked the most fury is one that shows a male character’s “disgust” with the rape victim, when he thinks his wife was raped.

Angry Twitter users accuse soap opera makers of reinforcing victim blaming and rape culture in Thailand, a country where women are often blamed for men sexually assaulting them.

Amanda Obdam, Miss Universe Thailand 2020, also took to Twitter to vent her fury:

Outrage on Twitter as rape scenes continue to be portrayed in Thai soap operas | News by Thaiger

Meanwhile, others slammed the statement made by the soap opera’s producer, in which she tried to justify the scene.

“I want to show that being kidnapped or being abused is scary, therefore, women should learn how to be more careful and aware.”

Her words only served to fuel the Twitter fire, with netizens accusing her of victim blaming, instead of men being shown that they need to respect women. Some of the comments are below.

“It’s bad enough that Thai TV dramas are still full of rape scenes, the heroine falling in love with the hero after he raped her, “bad women” punished by rape.”

“The media is a significant contributor to the rape culture in Thailand. We’ve seen many Thai soap operas creating scenes where the male lead rapes the female lead. Although people have been calling for an end to such narratives, they are still everywhere, and those scenes imply that rape is somehow acceptable, because in the end, the male lead, who raped the female lead, will live happily ever after with her without being punished.”

Thai soap operas have long used rape scenes in their storylines, usually involving the lead male and female characters, with the female subsequently falling in love with her assailant. Critics say such depictions condone rape, which continues to be a serious issue in Thai society.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World


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