Netflix just released the fourth season of The cable girls, a series of Spanish fiction that not only has a costume that makes us fall in love, but tells the story of women whose friendship and struggle for equality is marking the whole story in the series.
Blanca Suárez, Ana Fernández, Nadia de Santiago, Ana Polvorosa and Maggie Civantos are the undisputed protagonists of a series that began with a telephone company, the first in Madrid, and women who were in charge of the switchboard, but What is the story behind which he was inspired?
The beginnings of telephony
The first phone call in history was that of Alexander Graham Bell in 1876, as explained by the communications operator Masvoz, and very shortly thereafter, the switchboards that we can see in the Spanish Netflix series were launched.
At first the operators were men, but soon this profession became fundamentally feminine. The operators manually connected the calls by inserting the sockets into the plugs to put the interlocutors in contact, exactly as they did in the first season over and over again Lidia, Carlota, Marga or Angels.
The cable girls, began its journey in 1928, but in Spain it is said that in 1886 there were already operators in the telephone service of Madrid, and in Cuba, Spanish territory at that time, in 1877.
The real cable girls
Throughout the 20th century, Spain had manual switchboards until 1988. In them you could see women working and getting in touch with people from all over Spain and even from other countries, such as when Ava Gadner spoke with the US in the Madrid of the 60s in Madrid burns.
The National Telephone Company of Spain (CTNE), founded in 1924, was guilty that many Spanish women could access a job that gave them the opportunity to work outside the household chores.
The cable girls Netflix began their journey the year that Alfonso XIII made the first transoceanic call from the Madrid Gran Vía Telephone Building, as can be seen in the series.
The true cable girls of the time, needed to meet several requirements to present themselves to the oppositions, such as being single, being between 18 and 27 years old, not wearing glasses, being able to separate the arms 1.55 meters. In addition, they performed several aptitude tests such as dictations or a test with the headphones.
They were also an example of feminism
The telephone operators of that time were also an example of feminism, as are the protagonists of the series. Women who went beyond the standards that had been imposed on them for years, who enjoyed an enviable freedom and that allowed many of them to enter the labor market that, at that time, was no place for women.
They were prepared, competent, responsible and hardworking, and marked a before and after in the working world of women.
It is true that certain concepts do not correspond to the reality that telephone operators lived at that time, but they are licenses that fiction is taken to get a story that gets even more hooked. For example, women could not work once they were married, premise that Marga is not met in the series.
But even though fiction never surpasses the reality that all these women lived, The cable girls they are a beautiful reflection of a work that was another step of feminism in Spain. A step that was the precursor of an equality now much more palpable.