I used to be a religious Soap watcher. I believe I started watching Eastenders when I was 8 or 9. It was around the time of the “Who shot Phil?” storyline. More importantly it was around the time Little Mo was being beaten by her husband and then later on raped by him. I don’t really remember if I properly understood what was happening but I was aware that it was something bad and it shouldn’t be happening.
I would say I stopped watching Soaps about a year ago. It was mostly to do with not having time and it was just the same old thing…. Now what I want to address in this post is the more serious subjects which Soaps so often feature. I understand why Soaps so often bring up sexual, physical and mental abuse storylines in order to raise awareness and make more people come forward. My argument is because these storylines are broadcast so regularly, have we become immune to their impact?
As Soap watchers we have a sense of predicting things and seeing signs and yelling at the TV “Why don’t you just leave him/her?” It becomes a form of entertainment rather than a sense of reality, which means we are now less affected by what we are witnessing. The more we see it the more savy we become about the subject and it becomes the norm. We no longer experience the shock factor!
My question is, without the “shock factor” is it affecting us in the way it should?
Another note to make, we so often hear that Violence is encouraged from the gaming industry. The more they play the more it becomes normal. Is this not the same case for Soaps?
The point of this post is that maybe it is time for Soaps to step aside and abandon these subjects. I do believe these subjects need to be dealt with so that more men and women who are affected come forward. However, will this happen if the behaviour becomes normalised?
In other new Trump is now the US President so I guess sexual, physical and mental abuse used in Soaps is the least of our worries.
Good luck World.