FEMINIST FRIDAY: Bad Bunny Flipping Off Gender Norms & Supporting The LGBTQ+ Community In His Music Video “Yo Perreo Sola”

Welcome to another edition of Feminist Friday – our weekly column where we share 3 of our fave videos of the moment, centered around an intersectional feminist theme. This week it’s all about how women, race, activism and empowerment intersect in the videos below.

First up is the viral music video from Puerto Rican artist Bad Bunny, who’s track “Yo Perreo Sola”, released on March 27, is currently the most-watched Latin music video worldwide, according to Billboard! The song and music video push gender norms, which are typically very conservative among Latin culture, as well as Latin music. But Bad Bunny has never been the type of artist to follow the rules and has no problem being outspoken about issues he cares about.

Unapologetically dressed in full drag get up, the song pushes the message of female empowerment, and also speaks out about the importance of supporting the trans community. As reported in We Are Mitú, “Bad Bunny was very outspoken about Alexa Negrón Luciano, a trans woman who was murdered in Puerto Rico and misgendered in media reports. The singer was on ‘The Late Show starring Jimmy Fallon’ and used the moment to protest the treatment of Luciano’s legacy. Bad Bunny wore a shirt that read in Spanish, “They killed Alexa, not a man in a skirt”.”

Tacking homophobia, misogyny and toxic masculinity in one fell swoop, the fact that this video has gone viral is an encouraging reminder of the power of artists to change culture for the better. Watch “Yo Perreo Sola” below:

The second video this week is a powerful TED Talk from public policy expert Heather C. McGhee, who explains how systemic racism has a cost for everyone, not just the person it is directed toward. This is a MUST-WATCH for everyone, but especially Americans as we head into another presidential election where talk of “white economic anxiety” becomes the narrative that often gets used in place of racism. As Heather expertly explains, the two are intertwined, and always have been in this country, but we have an opportunity to change this.

She is speaking from personal experience, recalling an incident on live TV where she had a conversation with a caller on C-SPAN who admitted his prejudice toward the African-American community, but finished his statement by asking her what he can do to change. It has become somewhat of a lightning rod moment amidst so much political noise in the news media, that we need to be reminded of how one-on-one exchanges like this can be the catalyst for systemic change and cultural progress in a positive direction.

“Our fates are linked,” she says. “It costs us so much to remain divided.” Watch the video below and share it with your community as a conversation starter or as food for thought.

The final video this week is part 2 of a documentary series that underscores how the music of Bob Marley was not just revolutionary, but inspiring and empowering for a number of female activists. As part of the Bob Marley Legacy Series, this installment of ‘Women Rising’ showcases how his music left an indelible mark on women who are carrying out important work, fighting for rights because of what the legendary reggae artist did with his life and artistry.

As Essence mag reports, “Though Marley’s music is renowned, in part, because of its mass appeal, women, in particular, have found comfort in his words. His primary message of emancipation, rebellion against systems of oppression, and fighting for rights are now a part of his legacy of female empowerment. The documentary shows how it helped Seyi Akiwowo, a British-Nigerian women’s rights activist find her political voice and find a level of relief in the midst of chaos. At 15 she was activated by her friend’s murder, choosing to enter politics and become a positive force in the movement to elevate women,” writes Tanya A. Christian.

“To think he inspired and empowered so many women across the world is incredible,” says daughter Cedella Marley, featured in the documentary along with Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt, and Marcia Griffiths, known collectively as The I Threes.

“With millions of Mothers, daughters, female doctors, nurses and carers contending with so much right now, we are reminded never to underestimate our own individual and collective power,” Cedella told Essence. Watch the documentary below:

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