Sep 1, 2007
ONLY "SEÑORAS" WATCH TELENOVELAS?
Recently, the interesting video blog of blogs Telúrica, "Tu blog en TV" published a reaction to my post TELEVISA V. YOUTUBE--WHO WINS? NOT THE AUDIENCE, OF COURSE
Telúrica's comments are always smart and loaded with a mix of humor and information. However, those contents are also a reflection of society and culture. As a scholar dedicated to the study of the links between media, culture and society, I can't avoid noticing the set of ideas that underpin Telúrica's reaction to my post about Televisa and Youtube, and the loss of telenovela material on Internet:
- Telenovelas are watched only by not-so-young women who have nothing important to do with their lives
Telúrica's narrator in melodramatic tone:
"Thanks to Youtube, many ladies can re-live the glories of Colorina, Rosa Salvaje or Cristal..."
"And to think that this is the only option left for these ladies (esas señoras)..."
The myth that telenovelas are only watched by women with nothing else to do, or by women from low socioeconomic levels is just that: a fallacy. When we analyze the ratings and shares of telenovelas in the countries that consume these shows, we find that telenovelas are watched by men and women of all ages--from childhood to the golden years. These men and women belong to all socioeconomic and educational levels.
Moreover, when we observe Internet bulletin boards, fora and chatrooms dedicated to telenovelas, we clearly see that they are dominated by teenage and young adult males. Partly, this is an extension of the demographic trends in Internet. But, this pattern is also a reflection of the demographics of current telenovela followers.
As media products, Telenovelas present us with a paradox. They are a highly successful media product (most watched TV genre in the world), and, at the same time, they are disdained and denied even by those who watch them loyally (and in secret). To be sure, the telenovela isn't the only media/cultural product falsely associated with female consumption, that is disdained by many.
In that sense, Telúrica's post is a reflection of society's disdain towards telenovelas, and general minimization of women's--"esas señoras"-- roles, tastes and media consumption.