Friday, January 21

From Clan TV, pink dogs and other trifles

One year. This week it has been just a year since the 4C’s – Pino Montano Women’s Parenting Group and the Association of Surviving Women (Seville) made a complaint to the RTVE Hearing Ombudsman and to the Women’s Image Observatory (Ministry of Equality) denouncing the sexist content inherent in several of the series broadcast by Clan TV.

We are talking specifically about cartoon programs like Robocar Poli, Super wings (the only one that, to this day, does not continue to broadcast), Paw Patrol and sponge BobThese spaces where female figures do not represent 15-25% of the total number of characters, being they also, most of the time, secondary images that wear pink and that are psychologically defined by their affability, their cordiality and even weakness of character.

The opening song of one of these series, the one by Robocar Poli, is eloquent in this sense when he speaks of “Amber, smart, kind and helpful” next to “Poli, a hero without equal”, or “Roy, bravo, strong and very legal”. And what explanation does TVE give to such trifles? (These feminists are complaining about everything, hey). Well, there is nothing to worry about, we must be calm because, indeed, they recognize that they are “clichés”, but it is that, as Yago Fandiño (Director of Children’s Content of RTVE) said with the security and calm that the fact of knowing doing the right thing, “in communication, everything is cliché” my dear ones.

And since this is so, and nothing can be done by the public entity to remedy it (not even not continue to buy these series or broadcast them), because the best they can think of is to plant a generous helping of stereotypes in the creatures. So, marching one as a pink dog, another as a helpful car and another as an adolescent whale with heart-shaped lips, among others … Of course, let everyone know that they will never be the protagonists.

And it is that, of course, it is not about “demonizing a girl who likes pink”, as they objected from the program RTVE Responds in December 2020. After all, the influence exerted by television is minimal on the behavior of minors (that’s what the family is for, to straighten those trees that are twisted by the social and media influence of the organizations! public!) And how can we think that a girl can identify with a character of the same sex / gender to whom others deny the possibility of standing out or shining with her own light if it is not next to her companions ? Isn’t it, by all accounts, preposterous?

Gentlemen of television, I explain it to you as if you were 5-year-old infants: when girls grow up seeing themselves as minority, secondary characters whose actions are dispensable in the stories in which they appear, they end up getting used to it and in nothing will seem strange to them not to be visible in politics, in the business world or in sports. And that, those of us who fight every day for something else, don’t like it so much anymore …

Thus, unless it is a “very serious case” of sexism, it seems that they do not withdraw any series. And surely more than one will be wondering how they measure the degree of discrimination on TVE … Can we find content that is just a bit sexist? Just a little racist? A little homophobic? How serious is the under-representation of women in children’s programs and the identification of girls with peers who only perpetuate roles?

And, since some of these series are only something sexist or that sometimes include clichés “not very lucky” (as Fandiño recognized in his day), but that some of them come from Asian societies “with a different rhythm than ours”. Why are they bought? Why is everyone’s money still being spent on them? Could it be that public television in this country, even having as its flag to work directly with the Women’s Image Observatory (collapsed, on the other hand, and with little capacity for action), has not yet taken seriously the fact that produce or program with the gender perspective in mind in a systematic way?

Upon Robocar Poli, which the chain stopped broadcasting after receiving the complaint (it is not known if because they already had it programmed like that), it must be said that last Sunday we were able to see it again on the screen … And what about Bob Sponge, one of the highlights of the prime time of Clan? Well, better forget. What this series represents in terms of “parody of society” (essential for a 7-year-old infant to know the ins and outs of neo-capitalist exploitation, of course, but not gender) is already enough reason not to remove it from the grid . Too bad that among the recurring leitmotifs of the charismatic bartender of the “krabby burgers”, social justice for women has so little treatment.

Three years ago, TVE apologized to the audience when two contestants from Operación Triunfo shitted on the Falange.What is it that then makes those responsible for the public network not only not apologize, but to continue trying to take iron out of the matter? Well, simply, it seems that their priority is not to work across gender equality and that the still high tolerance of this society to audiovisual products with sexist content, unfortunately, continues to be the trend. “If these series were withdrawn”, concludes Fandiño, we would be going against the interests of the citizens “(it is not a misprint, no, it is only a capital” O “suprematic). A great obviousness, of course, we all know that those who hold the privileges (thank you, friends of the Marca forum, for making it so obvious), rarely get used to losing them.