In The Closet Soap Viewers
Not the baby mommy! (Soaps.com)
Male Soap Opera Viewer’s Surprise – Women Lie About Watching Soaps!
I’m surrounded by women these days. As circumstance has it, my house consists of my wife and daughter and as I am currently without a job and no real hobby, I take in a lot of my wife’s fitness classes as well as hang out at the local coffee houses to write. These places are frequented by women and women only. Most of 2009 and all of 2010 has been like this. I spent the greater part of 2009 watching soaps and the “Game Show Channel” with my mother, who was in In-Home Hospice then who were also all women. It is the major reason I ended up writing at Soaps.com. I wrote out some rants and thoughts about soaps and my being raised by women and living with soaps my whole life which led to my being a contributor for them. “So great!” I thought. I can use the new soap opera writing gig for small talk at my wife’s classes or perhaps when I’m eavesdropping on the Tuesday knitting group at the coffee house. That I could attract readers and hear some comments about how cool that is. It hasn’t worked out very well, so far. At my wife’s class as I was setting up my weights, I mentioned to this woman nearby that I’m doing some writing for Soaps.com now. “I don’t watch soaps”, she politely explained. Nor did the woman next to her or the two behind us and especially not the brave couple of women who setup right in front of my wife.
None of them watched soaps anymore?
It was a tad disappointing. I mean, certainly I didn’t expect them all to be watching soaps but I figured they were women and the odds were good that most of them did. My wife watches two soaps regularly, although she doesn’t talk about them a lot. “Hmmm,” I thought as I noticed that a couple of the women in the corner were talking about Greenlee (Rebecca Budig) from All My Children. There we go. They were talking about how she came back from the dead. A few of the other women by me were nodding their heads. I don’t watch the show much but remember her as that girl who did the Evel Knievel like jump over and over in the TV commercial promos several months back. I guess to her death? Like anyone really dies on a soap!? Several discussions were now starting up where the ladies in my wife’s class were comparing notes on who was cheating on whom and did they hear that the baby wasn’t Ashley’s? Then she realized that was on The Young and the Restless, another soap she didn’t watch much.
"I thought none of you watched soaps?" I called over wanting to see them come clean and maybe even head over to Soaps.com and read my articles. They confirmed that they didn’t watch very much – honestly - but it sure seemed to me that they did.
I wouldn’t have thought much about it except the same thing happened at the coffee house. I recognized that one of the ladies in the corner was someone I used to work with and she was sitting with the knitting group. I thought to myself, surely they were avid soap watchers. I went over to her group and mentioned how I was actually writing about soaps and every single one of them denied they currently watched them until I brought up Greenlee. They all started chiming in how she was back from the dead. Then we talked about how no one ever dies for real on soap operas and they all could come up with several recent examples to support that thought.
What is the name of that river in Egypt again?
I tried to bring up the idea that a lot of soap viewers don’t seem to want to admit in mixed company that they watch soaps but even that seemed a bit taboo. When I was a kid, housewives, as they were called then, didn’t mind admitting to which soaps they watched. As I remember, there was usually a network loyalty where you watched only CBS or ABC or NBC Daytime soaps. And weren’t we all watching "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" for awhile there? Be honest.
Watching soaps was so in vogue when I was a kid that there was a TV sitcom about them called, "Soap," starring Billy Crystal. But now, I guess it isn’t so cool for some folks. I can understand that men aren’t ready to admit when they watch for fear of ridicule – cowards! But I never realized there was a trend for many women to deny it as well. If no one is watching then how do these shows dominate Daytime television? No, lots of people are watching. My theory is that women deny watching because they don’t want to fall into that stereotype of a bon-bon eating soap watching "housewife" who sits down and turns on her favorite network as she puts her big fuzzy slipper feet up on the table all morning – then quick dusts before the man of the house comes home. You’ve come a long way baby, but maybe it is time to admit that you can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan and watch the soap operas the same as your man?