Reggaeton can also contribute to feminist claims

April 24, 2019

A study led by Mònica Figueras, a researcher with the Department of Communication at UPF, together with Núria Araüna and Iolanda Tortajada, researchers from the Department of Communication at Rovira i Virgili University, published on 25 March in the journal Young.

The study analyses the practices of popular feminism in reggaeton, a style of music traditionally associated with sexism and the objectification of women, and concludes that "it is possible to give a new meaning to sexist musical styles", report the authors of the work. The research is entitled "Feminist reggaeton in Spain: young women subverting machismo through perreo" and it focuses on three projects that "have become a tool to support the feminist movement and redefine this musical genre", the authors suggest.

As the research suggests, the male sexist trend of reggaeton is disintegrating with the recent emergence of young women who have turned these messages around through lyrics that contain a strong feminist message. Specifically, they focused on the track Lo malo, adapted by Brisa Fenoy, with the musical input of Tremenda Jauría and Ms Nina. For the investigators, "they use reggaeton as a parody and a way to respond to everything they do not like about this style of music and society", which they use as a tool for feminist protest. As they state in their work, at the demonstrations of Women's Day on 8 March many banners bore messages of the verses of these songs about equal rights and clear opposition to gender-based violence.

The musical projects studied have also sought to give a new meaning to the body movement associated with reggaeton, known as perreo, now linked to the free choice of women to dance freely "because it makes them feel attractive, not as a sign of submission to men", they state.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Barcelona

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