TEST YOURSELF: Double standards

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On Thai TV, men can kiss but women cannot.

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Read the following story by Melalin Mahavongtrakul from the Bangkok Post. Then, answer the questions that follow.

It’s been hard to miss the rise of the Yaoi or Boy's Love genre -- both on screen and in bookstores. In cinema, television and streaming content, young male co-stars kissing has become common.

However, the same thing can't really be said for Yuri, or girl-on-girl romance, which is rarely a commercial hit or as widely accepted.

Earlier this month, the third episode of Angkarn Kloompong removed scenes of two women kissing. The censorship was applied to the show that aired on GMM25, but the kiss was shown in the streaming version on AIS Play.

The episode's director, Mui Aticha, revealed on her personal social media account that the decision to cut the scene came as an order from the channel. The reason being that these scenes, she was told, were "contrary to good morals".

It should be noted that GMM25 currently broadcasts popular Boy's Love series that involve men stealing, having affairs, fights, love scenes, violence and much more.

Of course, this incident also took place during the same month that Channel 3 faced criticism after one of its current dramas showed rape victims being treated with disgust by both family members and society. There was a public call to ban this soap but so far it’s still on air.

So, men kissing? Go ahead. Women slapping one another over a guy? Normal. Rape? Been around for decades. But can two women kiss on Thai television? No. I acknowledge it's unfair to group a gay kiss, melodrama and rape together but, really, what sort of standard is our showbiz operating on? Why is it OK for men to kiss but women get censored?

Although Boy's Love is getting a lot of exposure, there are still some problems. In Nithan Pan Dao, now airing on GMM25, a change was made to one of the character's jobs.

A soldier in the original novel is a forest ranger on the TV show. Can't a soldier be gay? This argument broke out online during production last year. The novel's author said on Twitter that "it's something the producers have no control over" and that if the team was "insistent" about it, the series may not air at all.

Section 1: Write the correct answer in the space provided.
1. Yuri is less popular than Yaoi. True or false? …………….
2. Where can you stream the scene of two women kissing? …………….
3. Mui Aticha decided to cut the scene from the show. True or false? …………….
4. The public were recently upset by a rape story on which channel? …………….
5. The Nithan Pan Dao TV show is about a gay soldier. True or false? …………..
6. A novel’s author said a soldier cannot be gay. True or false? …………….

Section 2: Read the following passage. Then, fill in the blanks with the correct words from the choices given.
A Thai transgender model just …7… part of a girl group this month. Following the famous 2002 Ratri, which …8… together some of the top female singers of GMM Grammy, a new group of women has …9… together for the new 2021 Ratri. New transgender member Blossom is best …10… from The Face Thailand Season 3.

7. __A. been             __B. became                __C. become
8. __A. brings                 __B. brought               __C. bring
9. __A. brought            __B. came               __C. come
10. __A. know            __B. knew                __C. known

Section 3: Find words that match the following definitions.
11. removing anything offensive from books, films, etc ……………
12. standards of good behaviour ……………
13. a strong feeling of disapproval or dislike ……………
14. firmly saying that something must be done …………

Answers: 1. true. 2. On AIS Play. 3. false. 4. Channel 3. 5. false. 6. false. 7. b. 8. b. 9. c. 10. c. 11. censorship. 12. morals. 13. disgust. 14. insistent.


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