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Why I Hate The K-Drama Wrist Grab


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There’s something that’s been bothering me. I’ve seen it, you’ve seen it; we’ve all seen it. Let’s talk about the K-Drama Wrist Grab: it’s an inescapable sight to bear, men forcefully grabbing women by the wrist. It’s used in one of three major ways (yes, there are more): one, to stop a woman in her tracks. Two, […]

The post Why I Hate The K-Drama Wrist Grab appeared first on Soompi.

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Guest Mongrolian

Totally on board with what you said up there. It's a thing I hate to see (along with a few other behaviors) in dramas, and the message and repercussions and whatever all add up to bad things. I really hated when my (middle-aged) sister took a stance in defense of the practice, and like I hate that anyone could take that tack about it. Like the pool responses are depressing. But yeah, all the things you said. Like it's not really that far removed from hitting her to get her to act like you want.
Like I don't know if the "context" they say may be appropriate is like what the other responder says about physical danger, but that's clearly not what the article is about - and from what I can tell, the wrist grab is mostly used in dramas (again) like mentioned in the article. Like why would it ever be okay? Seriously. Why would it ever be okay to force a woman into any behavior?

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Guest Rirura

I would say it depends on the context. I feel that this wrist-grabbing is more similar to the situation of a mother grabbing her child when the kid is misbehaving. I am not saying that this is acceptable but I have been grabbed by a guy before and the only reason I did not slap him across the face is because I know him, I have certain feelings for him (not necessarily love). I mean if somebody really feels offended by such an a situation, punishment is not an option but a reflex. However, in all the dramas mentioned above, the female characters have some feelings (yet again not necessarily love) towards the offenders, thus no slap follows. Though no title comes to my mind, but I believe there were some dramas in which such wrist-grabs were punished.

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Guest rebrebreb

Thank you! Glad someone finally called it out! I don't care what the context is, I think, some people don't realize how much it hurts. Especially if the person who grabs you, tries to drag you somewhere. We aren't children. If you really need to get us somewhere, aim for the hands, or hold our shoulders as you maneuver us.. or use another method to get our attention! Just be gentle! The wrist grab only looks good on screen. It does not feel that way at all in real life. (I also enjoyed the points you made too)

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Personally it doesn't bother me. Of course, it depends on the context! If a man grabs a woman for no reasons, too many times or just to make himself "the man" who must posses his woman and at the same time he yells, I hate it. Otherwise, in other situasions I may even like it; like a man who sees the woman he loves go away or to another man and gently takes her wrist to stop her... Everything depends on HOW and WHY you do it.

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Women grab men as well. I really really don't CARE - if the guy is a neanderthal, he'll do a lot worse than just grab her wrist. You can always twist away & kick (a move I've DEFINITELY seen in KDramas) & yep, the 2 guys fighting over a girl is childish - but very common in REAL life (depicted by the double wrist grab which I do believe is just a meme) - men DO get childish when flooded w/testosterone - true fact. If all they do is turn into toddlers I'm ok w/that. It's when they get totally mean & aggressive that I have a problem - which is MORE than just a wrist grab.
Now if I had tendinitis I expect I'd be cringing at every wrist grab as well LOL

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Guest Krista Beacher

I've never liked the wrist grab. Maybe it's a cultural thing, but here in New Jersey if you grab someone's wrist like that you are likely to end up on the receiving end of a fist in your snout. I'd rather see, if it must happen at all, a hand grabbed, not the wrist. If you grab my hand, you probably aren't trying to cut in front of me in line or steal my debit card PIN number.

Side note: If there is a train about to hit me, please grab my wrist, my hair, my big toe, whatever you need to grab to get me out of the way,

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Guest delightful

Good thing you don't watch Thai series, there's always a slap/kiss scene in almost every single Thai series I've seen. Some of them have rape between the main couple too. They have wrist grabbing too, but that becomes a small issue when I'm seeing a guy literally forcing his mouth onto a girl's mouth and more. -__-

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Aside from what image they paint of South Korea, the image they give about romance and relationships is far more damaging. Many fans, domestically and abroad are young women. Even teenagers are among them, despite the age rating.

I don't care if someone dislikes a country without looking into it further, but I do care about girls thinking this is normal behavior from men and what they deserve to get from them. And since abusive elements and characters being romanticized is a global problem in romantic fiction, it is one which has more power to influence perceptions on that than on one country.

Yes, I hate wrist-grabs and forced kisses and all manner of such disrespect. You yank someone's members to save them from a truck (of doom), not to discuss your dinner plans or keep them away from whoever they want to interact with.

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If I look back to when I started watching K-drama's it was one of the most awkward things to watch on screen. It annoyed me it just looked so strange. It honestly looked like bad acting LOL! Now when I watch it I HAVE become de-sensitized to it...which I can't say is a good thing. Some cultures do things differently and unless it's hurting someone, I'm not going to pass judgement. Do they really do this or is it like just a drama thing (like everyone fainting or the cure all IV's they get ;)? I live in California; people all over the world have a misconstrued idea of how I must live just because I'm in California because of all the movies they see. Watching "Heirs" was a huge eye opener as to what they perceiving living in my state is like...hilarious but also sad. I don't live in Korea so I'll be the first to say I don't know what's real or reel! But yes, wrist grabbing is still awkward and seems backwards to me.

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Guest otty

Take the School 2015 scene above ... Eun Bi is caught in the middle and the wrist grab is appropriate in a time limited medium. The wrist grab as an action captures the conflict and emotion brilliantly. You have to remember drama and films are time limited. If you didn't have the wrist grab there and a conflicted Eun Bi as seen by the viewer could you even have four or five more episodes? The three would be having a serious conversation on a sidewalk and we find out Eun Bi only likes one boy as a friend. Drama over. Context is King (or Queen whatever you prefer) and context is the entire drama too knowing the beginning, middle and end.

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I've never liked the wrist grab. Maybe it's a cultural thing, but here in New Jersey if you grab someone's wrist like that you are likely to end up on the receiving end of a fist in your snout. I'd rather see, if it must happen at all, a hand grabbed, not the wrist. If you grab my hand, you probably aren't trying to cut in front of me in line or steal my debit card PIN number.

Side note: If there is a train about to hit me, please grab my wrist, my hair, my big toe, whatever you need to grab to get me out of the way,

U just cracked me up, lol-ed 4 long! Ur my goddess, bowing in respect!

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It's indeed a bizarre scene to a western viewer to even begin with; and quite offensive, too. However, if we put everything in the r8 perpective, it might have a reasoning (slightly, tbh).

As a non-Asian myself, I've frequently observed those societies to be far less emotional than, let's say a South American or a European one. So in order to depict a minimum amount of some kind of emotion, k-dramaland usually chooses some unsophisticated cliches such as grabbing, screaming or even hitting.

Especially that awful wrist grab thing seems to be deeply rooted in older/ancient times when a woman's wrist was probably the only part of her body closest to her bare hand - since the rest was pretty much covered under multiple layers of clothing. So a frustration between people who rarely touch each other (not even a simple handshake seems appropriate for that matter) may look way over the top when it's depicted on our screen.

Nontheless, physical force is unacceptable in nowadays societies and the entertainment industry should reconsider those old characteristics (though I perfectly understand they're used as k-dramas' trademark in the global market)

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In my opinion... as a western viewer whose been watching kdramas since forever.... I always cringe when they do this. 1) it looks like it hurts and 2) not respectful of the woman personal space. That's why when I was watching Liar Game (kdrama vers) I was so ... "holy crap did that just happen?" when the Lee PD did the wrist grab to Kang DoYoung.
Personally I hope the tend dies down.

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