Watching a Thai Lakorn (drama) makes you realize we've built a society based on male entitlement, we romanticize rape and domestic violence and often blame victims for their circumstances. As a drama watcher of 12 years, I can tell you, there's no drama like a Thai Lakorn, especially a slap/kiss Lakorn, a slap/kiss is basically a revenge drama with a twist. The man blames the woman for what her father did, what her sister did, what he thinks she did, or maybe mistaken identity, he decides to take revenge often with a contract marriage or he'll turn the girl into his mistress; mistreat her, rape her (because she deserves it), physically, emotionally, and mentally try to break her, and Oh, after all that, they fall in love and live happily ever after. THE END.
I've watched some slap/kiss dramas and also, some comedies that allude to rape and domestic violence and I wonder why anyone would think this was the best ending. My blogger friend and I had a conversation about the slap/kiss , Sanaeha Sunya Kaen (Bittersweet Promise of Revenge) how sad and insane the plot was and how this is not something we should be teaching the younger generation. Bittersweet Promise of Revenge is a drama where the main guy's fiance died after hitting our main girl with a car and he decides to take revenge years later. 1. Hire's girl's sister at his company 2. Hire's the girl to be a live-in nurse for his sister, 3. Makes the girl fall in love with him (he falls for her) 4. Breaks the girl's heart and 5. Rapes and Abuses her, and at the end, she gets pregnant and wants to leave but she loves him and everyone convinces her to stay and they end up together and all is forgiven.
Before you start saying, I'm judging another culture or that, this is horrible, glad that this doesn't happen in my country; think about what we teach little girls about boys who like them. When a boy hits you its because he likes you, or how we downplay abuse when we think it's cute, that our boyfriends get mad when we talk to other guys or tells us what to wear, OR even now, think about the recent rape cases where judges are blaming victims, protecting predators, UN workers are raping the people they're suppose to protect, or how a woman went to jail for shooting a warning shot against her abuser. As a Lakorn watcher, you know what I've learned about rape, domestic violence, and being a woman? Everything that happens to you is.....YOUR FAULT!
It doesn't matter if you're a good or bad girl, you'll get raped and beaten, it's your fault. You should have kept your legs closed, you should have listened, you should have been weak, strong, you shouldn't have worn what you were wearing, well if you gave it up freely you wouldn't be in this predicament, or well, look at the environment she's from, its bound to happen. But what about the perpetrator? Well, he wouldn't have done it if she didn't, boys will be boys, and my favorite, he is a victim of his environment.
The Worst Part of a Slap/Kiss: When the guy basically says, he loves the girl that's why he hits or rapes her because he wanted her so bad. Why is that the worst? We basically, teach girls that if a man loves you he hits you or if he loves you, you should have sex with him and if you resist well, it's your fault. WE ROMANTICIZE ABUSE/RAPE and downplay the actual problem. In the end, we've built a society where men feel entitled to a woman's body and women are... well, what are we? If you don't give it up, you'll be punished. People will shame you, women, in particular, will shame you. Remember the Steubenville, Ohio rape case where high school boys taped the rape of their classmate; I remember that most of the negative comments came from grown women who were mad at the girl, blamed her for putting herself in that situation, and said, she had ruined those boys futures. I was so shocked because there was no concern for the girl's safety or future, but I wasn't shocked because this is how our society is.
This is why people asked what Rihanna did to provoke Chris Brown after he beat her, why we police girls school clothing so they won't be a distraction not only to boys but to the male teachers. Why it's so easy to dismiss Lindsay Lohan's domestic abuse claims because of her past behavior, or why it was unbelievable that Johnny Deep would ever hit Amber Heard -how some people said that they'd want to be hit by him. How police are protecting the Stanford rapist, oh, I mean the ex-swimmer who is too traumatized to eat his favorite foods. How Twilight was advertised to Tweens as the ultimate romance movie but in reality, Edward was an abuser who emotionally scarred Bella, found fault in her, mocked her sometimes, did that push and pull thing we are taught is a romantic tool, and left her in the middle of a forest and disappeared. Watching Lakorns shows me how much we value women and how our view of rape and domestic violence is so skewed that we've trained little girls to believe that, that is love and teach boys that it's okay to rape and beat a woman because that's what it means to be a man in control.
There've been campaigns to stop the romanticization of rape in Thai Lakorns, we have Joe Biden, who wrote a solidarity piece to the Stanford Rape Survivor, there's been a Project Consent Movement, social media movements, and individuals rallying behind domestic violence and rape victims, even in India, schools are teaching students what a good touch bad touch is, and you even have NFL players speaking out against domestic violence and sexual assault.
Films/ TV/ and Literature often depict situations in our community(good or bad) in this instance, an issue that society does not want acknowledge. I don't know whether Thai Lakorns will reduce the amount of slap/kiss dramas or when we as a society will stop victim blaming, but until that happens, we're going to create another generation of entitled men and victimized women