In this article, I feel that Tania is focused on the plight of women from a largely different approach when compared to other feminists. The feeling in the text is a justification of the presence of soap operas in the local Television series as well as the argument that women are entitled to watch and fully enjoy the never ending conspiracies, theories, emerging subplots and villain characters.
Behind the curtain of peer reviewed language, Tania cleverly crafts and supports a movement that would otherwise result to preconceived notions and prejudices when reading the work (Modleski, 12).
The main argument of the article
Paying tribute to lip service, the question of how women should be viewed and their roles in the family has largely been dominated by patriarchy. The major efforts to decongest overreliance on men’s dominant view have been taken up by feminists who approach the subject with strong words and options.
This in turn spoils the intended work despite it being desirable. This is the main argument by Tania and she cites reason why modern melodrama, in form of soap opera, is a good and new ground to ‘liberate’ the woman (Modleski, 14).
Tania asserts that women being the machinations that run the house, they never realize full satisfaction because they suffer from loneliness when children leave and the husband is busy. At other times, they are left only with the husband as a source of consolation, just like the way the soap operas depict. She observes that soap operas are watched in the highest percentage during the day, and that female form the highest target number of these movies (Modleski, 12). This sets the reader anticipating the reasons for this observation.
How the author proves her argument
The author offers a serious discussion with references from other works to show that it does not matter whether the masculine gender approves soap operas or not. The fact is that soap operas offer an alternative to female pleasures, which are different from men; and therefore must be allowed to carry on (Modleski, 15). This occurs to me as defense of what is purely identified by women all over the world and a statement of true feminism.
Tania observes that the presentation of families without serious social stratification in soap operas where women take central role is a major credit to family setup. Since they occur during day time, they present the housewife with a time for entertainment amidst work because she doesn’t have enough or lacks time for that. Where the woman is presented as the passive source of wisdom for her children, it is a clear statement that she serves a role that is God-guided and everybody draws from her well hence the society (Modleski, 17).
Effectiveness of the author’s argument
Accordingly, I feel like she examines the role of the mother in the television. The mother is presented in two lenses where we have the passive feminine that supports her family by learned wisdom and guides them through their faults, and the villain who, through the same wisdom, manipulates the members of the family to her own conceived notions and inadequacies.
The depiction of villainess in the second lens is a commentary that sometimes women are their own source of misery and evil. Anger emanates and is invested back to women. I feel the writer justifies that if the operas depict this to illustrate that the approach on feminism should be both from without and within (Modleski, 13).
In her argument, Tania revolves around the presentation of women in the modern 20th and 21st century as contrasted to the 19th century women. The writer discusses the effects of personalized and intimate concerns that affect women as the center of any society. She argues that soap operas do not need to serve the purpose of commenting about the social problems in the society, but rather should be a yard stick.
This should continue just like the soap operas themselves. Women’s lives are explained in terms of ‘connectedness’ and judging the unspoken emotions that they go through in their daily life. The writer supports her evidence by quoting other scholars arguing that women live by distraction, repetition, and interruption as opposed to men’s labor force which is based on continuous flow of energy use and thought day in day out (Modleski, 18).
This seems like a lamentation of motherhood where a woman serves as the center of problem solving, starting from the children to the male adult in the house. Thus her life is that of a decentralized experience that gets interrupted now and then, forcing her to abandon what she is doing to attend to a new ‘emergency’.
Tania argues that this is characteristic of the television experience of breaking the soap operas in interludes and commercial breaks. The writer supports the proliferation of soap operas in the day time as the exact need replica of a house wife’s way of life (Modleski, 19).
The writer also roots for feminism presence and the attention to women power. In the reading, Tania comes across a genius who values amicable and well thought-out solutions. In this effort, she down plays the forceful non strategic feminism that starts an attack without prepared defenses. She notes that soap operas may bring in the power of women politically through entertainment as a two way processes (Modleski, 21).
This article helps to emphasize on ‘women films’; that they should be limitless just like the soap opera and this should define the voice of how women should be seen, judged and allowed to behave. In a powerful commentary, Tania observes that the narrative pleasure women get from the soap opera is furnished by extensive language exploitation backed by listening that does not compel one to do something.
Modleski, Tania. “The Search for Tomorrow in Today’s Soap Operas: Notes on a Feminine Narrative Form”. Film Quarterly 33.1, (1979): 12–21, print.