Castration comics from Mary Roach and Ariyana Suvarnasuddhi

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My last book, Bonk, has a chapter about penis transplants and reattachments. It includes the story of an epidemic of penile dismemberments in Thailand during the 1970s. In the wake of a well-publicized case, more than 100 angry Thai women hacked off the penises of their adulterous husbands while they slept. Often the women threw the severed organs out the window in disgust, attracting the attention of the livestock that hang out in the shade beneath the elevated homes of rural Thailand. (Oddly, it was ducks, not pigs, that went after the penises -- often enough that there's a saying in Thailand now: "I better get home, or the ducks will have something to eat.")

A couple months ago, a young Baltimore comic artist and illustrator named Ariyana Suvarnasuddhi sent me these amazing panels inspired by the story. "When I first read that passage about the epidemic I remembered thinking 'Of course!'" she told me in an email. "Not just because I'm Thai, but because any reference to Thailand in American entertainment seems to be about either prostitution or transvestites."

Click the images to view them larger. You can see more of Ariyana's work at


  1. One of many parts of that book that creeped me out a little. Is it really hard to get a divorce in Thailand or something?

  2. Either Boing Boing has it in for ducks and is making this stuff up, or it is part of Boing Boing’s mission to expose ducks for the scary monsters they truly are.

  3. Either Boing Boing has it in for ducks and is making this stuff up, or it is part of Boing Boing’s mission to expose ducks for the scary monsters they truly are.

  4. i work with a lot of filipinos, they have a very similar term for punishing an lecherous husband called “feeding the swans”. i love how the asian cultures turn a horrific mutilation into a term that sounds like a day at the park.

  5. Wow, imagine the reaction if 100 men had cut the vulva and clitoris from their cheating wives and fed them to the ducks.

    Art like this showing the perpetrators breathing fire, and possessed of righteous fury might be seen as a little offensive to the other gender but since men are the victims here its obviously ok.

  6. The punishment is way out of proportion to the crime. It has always annoyed me how many of my female contemporaries think castration is funny, then complain that feminists are unfairly tarred with the misandry brush.

  7. It’s great the way the women look so magical and powerful as they deal out unaccountable justice based on suspicion and personal insecurity. Pretty much the only thing that could top this would be a collection of famous rapists waving bowie knives and riding lightning bolts.

  8. When the quantity of castration and its celebration in media exceeds the quantity of rape and rape culture’s celebration, then you can complain about misandry and being fair and balanced.

    But until then, there’s an awful lot of castration to go before we realize equality.

    1. Yes, Yamara, because two wrongs make a right, because permanent and lifelong removal of the genitals is the equivalent of rape.

      I do see nothing inherently offensive about the panels though.

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