Multimedia Collection

Men are Human, Women are Buffalo: Violence Against Women in Thailand

29 min
HV6250.4 .W65 M46 2008 DVD

Men are Human, Women are Buffalo combines interviews and shadow puppetry to tell five stories about domestic violence in Thailand. A country that is promoted to western tourists as a fairytale land of beautiful beaches, pristine countryside, cheap vacations, and a thriving sex trade industry, Thailand is also one of the developing countries with the highest incidence of violence against women. According to Prof. Maytinee Bhongsvej, the Executive Director of the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women (APSW) in Bangkok, approximately 44 percent of women in Thailand have indicated that they had suffered sexual, physical, and emotional abuse by a partner or a stranger.

In this moving documentary, five women share their personal and compelling stories of abuse. One woman is the head nurse at a large hospital in Bangkok. Her husband mistreated her for years, even to the point of taking a “second wife,” a common practice in Thailand. According to this nurse, Thais believe that “A man is looked up to if he dates many women or has a very young wife. On the other hand, a woman will be looked down on for the very same practice.” A successful business woman who owns a number of restaurants and other businesses, endured years of infidelity, as well as emotional and physical abuse before she finally left her husband. Three younger women recount their experiences of rape and violent relationships. One fifteen-year old from a poor village in northern Thailand who worked in her aunt's small store was raped by a local man who threatened to ruin her reputation if she told anyone what happened. Another young girl was gang-raped by members of a local gang, while a third, whose boyfriend abandoned her when she became pregnant, may be forced to give up her baby because she has no means of support.

Cast: Budsaya Pattanapong, Pranee Ariyatrakul, Phumisa, Mai, Walai.

Dialogue predominantly in Thai with English subtitles, some dialogue in English. Credits and intertitles in English.

Distributed by New Day Films.

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