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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The influence of soaps on real life

No-one can deny that daily soaps have a great impact on the daily life of its viewers. In a soap, the writers can use difficult themes as they like, and most of the time the response of the public will be ok, making this theme discussable.

Take my own favorite soap, Thuis. It has been going on for nearly twenty years, and since then a lot of themes have come up.

In one of the first series, the daughter of Frank and Jenny was raped. Follows the murder of the culprit by Jenny, and Frank burries the corpse. Just like in real life. Can you imagine your child being raped and the court system doing nothing to get the rapist behind bars? Of course, in the soap both Frank and Jenny are arrested but at the trial they are found not guilty. (This could be different in real life, of course.)

Later on, Dr. Anne falls in love with a woman. In those times, lesbian relationships existed, but they were  not year recognized. Nowadays, lesbians and gays can marry and they can have children. Now Anne is together with Mayra, and they have one daughter, with a second of the way.

Frank's son Franky is also gay. He marries nurse Thibo and the couple moves to America.

In the last series, young Emma chats a lot with an unknown friend on the computer. She disappears later on and we can assume she is held somewhere without her permission. Most parents found this a good move of the producers, because so many young children don't know the dangers of the internet. It is not yet know who has abducted Emma, we'll have to wait until the new season starts in September. I do have my suspicions, though.

In a way, I also try to do the same in my classes. I try to make students aware of what the world is about. Some of my lessons have nothing to do with the languages I teach. But when you have students who are unaware of how a budget is made, I try to explain it to them.

We ourselves were not overprotected at home. Already at a very young age (2 or so) our parents and grandparents made us aware of what could happen if you took candy from a stranger, or went to see the little kitten... They taught us to think for ourselves and never follow the example of others. Nothing bad has happened to us. The only thing that ever happened to me was when I was 18. I had to take a late train home, and found myself alone in the car - or so I thought. After a while, a man (not a nice one at sight) came to sit opposite of me, and not much later his hand went to my knee. I slapped on it, but he tried again, and this time his hand went further up. I shook it off again and told him I'd pull the alarm (my dad made me sit under the alarm all the time) and HE could explain why the train had stopped. He took off and I never saw him again. Of course I reported this to the police and the man was arrested later on. Apparently he had accosted other women before me.

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