Two things about this week’s reading really stood out to me. First, the idea of the radio, and how quickly it became an extremely popular and necessary item in Latin American households. And second, of course, Evita. So to start off with the radio. I really like this notion that the radio was a way in which lower class people had a choice in their likes and dislikes. They were able to dictate what songs became popular and what singers rose to the top and which ones did not. They could choose to listen to different stations based on their likings and the way that Dawson describes it “poor Brazilians had more power as consumers of popular music than they did as workers or as citizens” is an extremely powerful statement, and puts things into perspective about how little control these people had over their lives. I also really like the idea of how the radio “blurred the boundaries between the classes”, and was able to bring people of all social and economic classes together. The radio was a way for the people of Latin America to take more control of their lives and dictate what was popular and what really was not. Its a little comical how little control the government had with the introduction of the radio. How they tried to get people to listen to their ideologies, but if people didn’t like what they had to say or simply did not want to listen, they could just change the station!
Second, I loved leaning more about Evita. We have only really heard from a few women with a strong voice throughout the history of Latin America, and it was refreshing to learn about such a fierce and passionate woman such as Evita. How she was able to appeal to huge amounts of people by simply listening to their needs and validating their struggles is something that is unique in a leader I think. The fact that Peronism “became a romantic longing for better times” speaks volumes about the kind of leader that she was, and how much she was cherished by the people of Argentina. Did Eva Perón inspire other women to become involved in politics? Was she able to spark change in some other woman’s heart to follow in her footsteps and break boundaries just like her?