Global Man Meets Local Women: Examining Public Health, Fertility Regulation, and Gender Equity in Chile

by Jadwiga E. Pieper Mooney

Jan 1, 2008
In the 1960s, a new educational film, Family Planning/Planificación Familiar, made its debut in Chile and throughout Latin America. The animated movie, produced by Walt Disney in English and Spanish, introduced its viewers to a cartoon husband, claiming to represent the "Common Man," and to Donald Duck, the narrator, who led the audience from one theme to the next. After describing the dangers of overpopulation and underdevelopment, the Duck concluded that family planning, which would lead to smaller families and to population decline, was the only way to ward off poverty. When "Common Man's" cartoon wife popped up intermittently, she had doubts, though she was too shy and embarrassed to speak. The wife only managed to voice her doubts about family planning by whispering into her husband's ear while he articulated her questions to the audience. The narrative concluded with an interpretation meant to assure the concerned woman that family planning was not only socially acceptable, but was indeed indispensable to the healthy future of a woman's family, her community, and humankind as a whole.
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