Prisoner of Love
Sexual Violence on Thai Television
Author: Rebecca Townsend
Sexual violence is prevalent as a plot device in Thai primetime television dramas, called lakhon. In the dramas, it is common for the hero to rape the heroine as part of a plot in which the two are fated to be together. The act of rape, and sexual violence more generally, is contextualized by narratives and ethical frameworks that make sexual violence comprehensible and legitimate. Gender violence is grounded in historical notions of sexual authority that deny female sexual agency. Thai lakhon, being the main form of televised domestic entertainment in Thailand, represent a critical element in the regulation of gendered forms of behavior and contribute to a culture in which women are subject to judgment and punishment.