This topic has been something that pops into my mind every now and then but after the release of the newly debuted TV series, TharnType, I would like to talk about it. Sexual harrassment in dramas and the selective outrage from viewers.
In terms of how long I have been watching Asian dramas, I would be considered young; I have only been watching them for three years. The majority of the dramas I watch are from Thailand or China. One of the things that I have noticed in a lot of these dramas is the romantisization of bullying, sexual harrassment, and rape. And long story short, IT BOTHERS ME.
It’s such a terrible thing to try and romantisize yet people love it for some reason. And romantisizing these things seems to be the most prominent in BL dramas. It’s no secret that I enjoy BL dramas. This whole blog is practically dedicated to them. But why do people turn a blind eye to abuse, bullying, and harrassment when it’s BL? If it were a heterosexual relationship, many people would be up in arms, with their torches and pitch forks ready to burn down the writers and producers.
But if it is BL, then “it’s cute”, “it’s fake so people need to relax”, “people need to get over it”, “they have such strong chemistry”, “but the scenes are so hot”, and whatever other bs excuses people try to come up with. It’s absolutely disgusting to me.
For example, The Addicted/Heroin series from China. This series is nothing but aggression, sexual harrassment, and nonconsent. The “love interest” even goes as far as tying up the guy he likes, blindfolding him, and kidnapping him! The show places obsession, control, and molestation on a pedestal and tries to pass it off as romance!
Yet soooo many people love this show! It’s not romantic, It’s disturbing.
I’ve seen so many comments telling people that are upset with the series that they are being too serious and even calling them immature for being bothered by what is shown. And that’s the disgusting attitude that keeps real rape, molestation, and harrassment victims from speaking up. People retaliate with very nasty comments and tell them that their feelings and experiences don’t matter because the only thing they care about is seeing a “hot love scene”.
It absolutely blows my mind.
Now, TharnType just released. Only two episodes have aired so far and people are in outrage. People have taken to Twitter, Tumblr, and other online platforms to rant about how terrible of a show TharnType is because there was a nonconsensual kiss in the show.
I do not condone nonconsent. But these are the same people that fell in love with the Addicted/Heroin series. Where was all the outrage while watching that series? What makes TharnType so bad when there was only one nonconsensual kiss when Addicted/Heroin had them in every single episode plus much more?? In the books, one character actually full-on rapes the other and they still end up together! Yet, people also rave about how good the books are and that the couple is a fantastic couple.
Someone help me understand because I am at a loss. If you are going to be mad about sexual harrassment in one series or movie, then you need to get mad at the sexual harrassment in all series and movies. You can’t pick and choose because harrassment is harrassment regardless. Rape is rape, regardless. Molestation is molestation, regardless. Bullying is bullying, regardless.
So why all the outrage with TharnType? Why now? And why at all?
There are plenty of other examples but these two series are what spurred this blog post.
I just wish that these writers and directors would stop writing and showing such stories. Those terrible things do not lead to love and they are not romantic. I can’t believe how many twisted people there are out there that think such actions showcase love.
I am in a discord server and a new show that is coming out is a very serious and dark story. Someone in the server actually posted that they could not wait for the rape scenes and I swear my body didn’t know how to react. I wanted to throw up yet I felt my body get hot with rage at the same time.
Another instance was when I was reading a story on Wattpad. There were two characters who were joking around and one asked the other to do something. The other asked what the first person would do if they refused and the person responded by saying that they would rape them.
So I left a comment and said “Woah…this is a joke? This isn’t funny.”
That’s literally all I said. And some person took it upon themselves to go off on me about it. When I told them to leave me alone, they went ballistic and start calling me stupid and other names and saying I was too sensitive and young and that I shouldn’t read anymore if everything makes me cry so much.
Like, what. the actual. fuck.
These people exist. People who like and condone such actions. People who degrade and belittle others who want to speak out against it.
I worry for them. And I worry for the people around them as well. Mindsets like these are dangerous and the only thing seperating them from the people that actually do it, is the action. But in my mind, enjoying such actions, even if you are not the one doing it, is equally as disgusting as the person doing it.
If a story/movie/series contains such matters then it needs to actually be addressed in the show and handled appropriately. Making the two characters fall in “love” while never addressing all the toxity is where the major problem lies.
In general, I really hope that such storylines can stop being made and I hope more people can see how toxic and degrading they are. I also hope for more people to speak up and not let other people’s opinions silence them in matters like this.
Speak out. Even if others try to stop you, speak out.
I have watched the Addicted series and I have spoken out on the toxicity that was shown. I am currently watching TharnType, and I choose to speak out about the bad things in my blog posts.
You don’t have to agree with me, but the selective outrage has got to stop. Rape, bullying, harrassment, and assault is not sometimes bad and sometimes romantic. It’s all bad! Tf…Follow me on the interwebs:
I just read your post by hazard or chance maybe, and Wow. Finally ! Finally someone who make sense.
I was so shocked when I saw “Addicted” but like you said people seems to enjoy it.
So I told to myself hum… ok maybe you overdramatise.
And again when I read the plot of TharnType I was O_o ok How can someone fell in love whith the guy who rape him ?? How can people could agree with it. How can this novel can be so popular ? Why ?
Is-it me the problem ?
But you spoke, and I’m so so so agree with all you said.
So I’m here, I rarely read posts, I rarely post comment. But with your article I neeeded to !
So Thank you ! Really !
I have also a little hope in authors when I saw “The Effect” (Didn’t know if you saw it) I hope that will make thought some BL’s fan. (Even If I was in rage when I saw some people tag it like “Romance” O_o)
I’ve heard of The Effect but I did not watch any of the episodes. I kept hearing that the show wasn’t going to be completed. It was advertised as 12 episodes then all of a sudden, they only aired 3 episodes and said it was the finale. But, it did give me hope that the writers of this show would handle something as traumatic as rape properly. I might watch the episodes to see how it is addressed. I just haven’t decided yet.
But thank you for reading my posts and expressing your thoughts!
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This is related in a way.
I have read only five historical romance novels. There was always something about them that bothered me in my teen years and so I stopped reading them.
When I was much older and trying to become an author myself, I read a post by a traditionally published author. She revealed that the contract that publishers wanted authors to sign, had to have the female raped by the male protagonist in some way and then fall in love with him.
And that’s when it finally hit me why I detested those books. I don’t like stories in any way where rape or sexual harassment is romanticized.
Have you ever seen Boy Over Flowers? I still to this day can’t understand how that lead guy harassed that girl so much, almost got her raped and she still fell in love with him.
I’ve never seen it but many kdrama fans rave about it and I’ve seen the show called “one of the best” since it was one of the dramas that supposedly catapulted kdramas toward the western (American) audience. I have a strong distaste for bullying and sexual harrassment storylines so I tend not to watch them. I made the mistake of watching “Addicted” and I 100% hate that show.
It’s a shame that authors have to sign a contract where they have to include such elements in their stories. I find that so terrible and such a horrible thing to promote. And then people wonder why men get away with doing such things. Um HELLO?? Everyone allows them to, and fuels the negative behavior by normalizing and romanticizing it!
Ugh. It makes me so mad.
Stumbled upon your article years later and LOVE it. PREACH! I have noticed recently more and more BL stories coming out that do NOT fall into this romanticizing rape/bullying trope. Or maybe it is because i don’t bother with any of these toxic rape BLs. It may be fun or interesting to do a follow-up post on if this idiotic trope is starting to die or not, and why, either way. Like, it times are changing, is it due to generation gap…like ate younger people less interested in bullying/rape than older audience? Or is it that authors are chqnging or society changing? OR maybe it would be cool to list great BLs that do NOT have this toxic trope in it or ACTIVELY fight against it by showing it to be WRONG. Anyway….your post has me thinking lots.