Essay on Portrayal Of The Hispanic Community

Essay on Portrayal Of The Hispanic Community

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From the mid-twentieth century to the present time, telenovelas have been a huge source of entertainment in Latino households. From comedies to melodramas, the purpose of telenovelas is to offer an escape from the monotony of daily life. Most of the themes that are present are topics relevant to the Latino community. In the words of Cynthia Duncan, “... soap operas tend to promote and uphold traditional values and are generally conservative in nature.” (Duncan 84) Telenovelas focus on family life and how the character’s decisions affect the whole. Those so-called traditional and conservative values tend to imprison women in cliché telenovela characters. Women are always presented as selfless, at times evil, or as women whose sole purpose is to get the man of their dreams. These portrayals of women have been consistent throughout the decades, which means that many generations of boys and girls have grown with the same perception of their gender roles.
One can easily say, or rather blame, telenovelas for teaching or giving bad examples of what is expected of each gender. However, one can also just say that telenovelas are a reflection of what goes on in Latin America. The current argument is that although it is true that telenovelas affect young minds, they cannot be held entirely responsible. Telenovelas are just a reflection of issues that have been pestering Latin America for years. Telenovelas do, however, help perpetuate the notion of male superiority and that women are objects with expiration dates. There was a previous argument that only scratched the surface of the matter and held telenovelas responsible for the mentality of many Latinos. The previous argument stated that telenovelas are responsible for the way women are...

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...chieve comfort and be happy with themselves. Taking gender as an example, in other words the ideas of masculinity and femininity, because of social construction it becomes stereotyped and overgeneralized. In almost every culture gender binary is created by social construction. Gender binary is an oversimplification of masculinity and femininity, because they are set as polar opposites. (Leavy & Trier-Bienek 4) Setting masculinity and femininity as polar opposites takes us back to the definition of machismo and the natural place of women. Men can have multiple sexual partners while women’s virginity is guarded: men work and women stay home. There is no possibility for middle ground. Almost every character in telenovelas fall victims to gender binary. Male and female characters receive roles with traits that are traditionally ascribed to each gender, respectively.

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