Latin American soap operas really changed in the past 30 years. One thing that’s new is the quite stunning promiscuity of the positive female characters who travel from one bed to another, sleeping with complete strangers, and still remaining positive characters. The male characters receive it completely in stride, never saying, “hey, you were sleeping with my brother earlier today, give it a few hours, maybe?”
Needless to say, this doesn’t reflect the attitudes of actual Hispanic people. A friend once almost ended a 10-year marriage when she discovered that the husband had slept with somebody else a week before meeting her. “Why do I have to stay married to this whore bastard?” she screamed. If she were a guy, I don’t think the marriage would have survived.
Another thing is a different understanding of pregnancy. In the novela I’m watching, a female character gets pregnant for the first time in her late thirties. An ex feeds her drugs that make her miscarry. When she finds out, she takes it quite calmly but freaks out completely when it’s revealed that the ex had cheated on her.
Thirty years back, characters who suffered from unrequited love – both male and female – didn’t sleep around while waiting for the object of their love to notice them. That all changed.
In this novela I’m watching, a working class Mexican dad discovers that his daughter moved in with a much older guy she met a few days ago. His reaction is to invite the guy to a neighborhood party.
It’s a different world.