Sherezade y el sultán, en el siglo XXI

Posted on February 12, 2010.

Diana Cariboni

817478sherezade1Espero entre indignada y divertida el próximo 8 de marzo, Día Internacional de la Mujer… El anterior me deparó una pasmosa sorpresa. Sobre mi escritorio había una enorme rosa de pétalos amarillos y bordes rojos y una tarjeta dirigida a las mujeres del siglo XXI, en su día.

“Las mujeres han seducido a los literatos, han vuelto frescos a los piadosos, han empobrecido a los ricos…” “… para ellas se construyen los palacios, se tienden las cortinas, se compran los esclavos y corren las lágrimas…” “para ellas son el almizcle, las joyas y el ámbar, por su causa se reúnen los ejércitos, se construyen los cuarteles, se almacenan las provisiones y se cortan los cuellos…”

El texto es una cita de “Las Mil y Una Noches”, la célebre compilación de cuentos árabes del siglo XI. Y el remitente del supuesto elogio al eterno femenino, Random House Mondadori.

¿Por qué escogieron este texto los encargados de relaciones públicas de Random House Mondadori? Apuesto que les pareció un conjunto de alabanzas y zalamerías exóticas, impactantes y perfumadas.

Pero, ¿cuál es la imagen femenina que describen estas citas? Una creada en el medioevo por el mundo masculino. La mujer era capaz de enloquecer o arruinar al hombre, de hacerlo embarcar en las empresas más locas, audaces y crueles, un ser por el que valía la pena saquear, esclavizar, matar…

Ese ser, casi mítico, funcionaba como justificación literaria y poética de las reglas de juego que regían el mundo masculino de entonces: el dominio a toda costa y la acumulación de territorios y riqueza.

Las mujeres reales de esa época, a las que se dirigían esos dudosos elogios, permanecían, por ejemplo, esclavizadas en un harén.

“Las Mil y Una Noches” es un relato que da a pie a otro: El sultán Shahriar asesina a su esposa cuando descubre que le es infiel y, a partir de entonces, ordena que se le presente cada día una nueva mujer, que pasa con él la noche y al amanecer es ejecutada.

Una locura cruel. Pero con nuestros ojos del siglo XXI podemos verla como lago más: una perfecta muestra de violencia sexista, perpetrada con total alarde de poderío.

Entonces, la joven Sherezade rompe ese círculo de muerte: urde el plan de fascinar al sultán con el relato de un cuento y dejarlo inconcluso justo al amanecer, con la promesa de terminarlo a la noche siguiente. Así logra sobrevivir mil noches y, al final, consigue que el castigo le sea perdonado a ella y a todas las que la hubieran seguido.

Sherezade es un símbolo, como lo es el sultán. Hoy, la elección de la cita elegida por el gigante editorial también tiene significado simbólico.

Random House Mondadori Sociedad Anónima es, según su propia definición, uno de los líderes en edición y distribución de contenidos escritos en lengua española.

Es un emprendimiento de riesgo compartido entre Random House, división editorial de Bertelsmann AG, la mayor empresa internacional de comunicación, comercio electrónico y contenidos interactivos, y Mondadori, editorial que posee un tercio del negocio de libros y revistas en Italia, una de las propiedades del primer ministro italiano Silvio Berlusconi.

Random House es el mayor grupo editorial del mundo.

Desde 2001 forman parte de Random House Mondadori todos estos sellos:

Areté, Beascoa, Caballo de Troya, Debate, DeBolsillo, Collins, Electa, Grijalbo, Lumen, Mondadori, Montena, Plaza & Janés, Rosa dels Vents, Sudamericana.

Distribuye y exporta sus títulos a más de 45 países de América Latina, Asia, Europa y Estados Unidos.

Bertelsmann AG opera en 63 países y da empleo a más de 100.000 personas. Posee empresas de radiodifusión, editoras de revistas y de libros, sellos discográficos, el mayor grupo de distribución de libros y de música, logística, diseño y contenidos multimedia, entre otros negocios.

Literalmente, grupos como Bertelsmann AG tienen el poder de imponer ideas, modelos, contenidos. Decenas de miles de periodistas, escritores y comunicadores trabajan para estas empresas.

Pero su influencia va mucho más allá, porque crean y sostienen cultura y formas de ver, que se reproducen fácilmente en cada sala de redacción, por pequeña que sea. Y en cada calle. Son un posmoderno sultán Shahriar.

¿Qué es lo mínimo que la sociedad de hoy debería exigir a medios tan poderosos? Por lo menos que los contenidos con los que dejan semejante huella cultural sean un reflejo de este mundo, el del siglo XXI, y no uno del siglo XI.

Claro, este mundo no es precisamente un mar de rosas.

Las mujeres siguen siendo objeto de violencia y atropellos, aunque ya quede mal decir que todo se hace en nombre de su belleza. Y la presencia femenina sigue siendo poca y distorsionada en los medios de comunicación.

El 10 de noviembre del año pasado, el Proyecto de Monitoreo Global de Medios llevó a cabo su cuarta investigación para evaluar “cómo ha ido cambiando la representación de género en los medios de comunicación” de distintas regiones del mundo. Los resultados estarán listos a tiempo para la conferencia que las Naciones Unidas celebrarán en marzo, en Nueva York, con motivo de los 15 años de la Cumbre de Beijing.

Algunos resultados del estudio anterior, de 2005, indican que las mujeres eran apenas 21 por ciento de los actores de las noticias (y los hombres el restante 79 por ciento), 17 por ciento de las fuentes expertas y 14 por ciento de las portavoces, pero duplicaban a los hombres entre las fuentes que eran víctimas.

En fin, no necesitamos más sultanes, ni tampoco queremos más Sherezades. Necesitamos estar alerta.

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