In Peru, television programs broadcast on an open signal are very popular, since many Peruvians can not pay for cable television and coverage does not reach all corners of the country. The television and radio media reach more Peruvians and in many cases these programs influence the opinion of the people, misinforming or maintaining a culture of stereotypes that has been dragged down through history.
This country has always been characterized for being pluricultural and diverse. This has generated the division not only of social classes by economic level, but also by race or place of origin. In the country, there are three well-marked geographical regions:the coast, mountains and jungle.
Recently, four women from Cuzco,—Cecilia Paniura Medina, Rosa Supho Ccallo, Irene Quispe Taboada and Rosalinda Torres Morante—tired of the misinterpretation and the damage done to the image of the Andean woman by the media, filed a lawsuit demanding the cancellation of the television program “La Paisana Jacinta”, a production performed by a Peruvian comedian who characterizes the protagonist, a woman of Andean features, as toothless, and poorly dressed in costumes that are commonly worn by women in the field, rather than in public. However, the program shows a n erroneous stereotype of Andean women. It highlights negative characteristics, such as the Spanish being a second language. Many men and women learn Spanish as a second language, since they have Quechua or Aymara as their original language.
In addition, the character emphasizes a naivete as characteristic of Andean women to the point of showing her as a stupid person lacking any common sense. It also shows the woman walking like an idler, accustomed to sleep, not at all hard-working and not very clean.
The Peruvian comedian who plays this character previously had to suspend another of his characters, the “Negro Mame” character with African features, that denigrated the image of the Afro-Peruvian community, the character was taken off the air precisely because of the discriminatory content of its interpretation. The transmission of the program was canceled and the interpretation of said character by the Peruvian comedian was prohibited.
On this occasion, the lawsuit filed by the Cusqueñas was declared well founded. Here is one of the arguments cited by Cecilia Paniura. “This character of La Paisana Jacinta makes us unworthy because she makes us see all the rural women as stupid, filthy and ugly, when It is not like that. We are capable and we work hard every day. We ask that the Judicial Power respect all the women in the fields”.
With the sponsorship of the Association for Life and Human Dignity and the Legal Defense Institute, Cusco women, who managed to obtain a court order cancelling the transmission of said television program as well as the elimination of the videos of that character on its YouTube channel and on social networks.
This is a great step in the fight against any kind of segregation in the Peruvian nation, a nation that by the way has a highly macho, discriminatory and classist character which can only be changed through the development of educational policies that are the engine of change in the mentality of Peruvians, creating true awareness among its citizens.