FEMINIST FRIDAY: Feminism In Reggaeton & A Series About The Fight For Equality In The Music Industry

Welcome to another Feminist Friday column! That part of our week where we “YASSS QUEEN!!” about our fave videos that expand and help define what intersectional feminism is today. This week it’s all about women in the music industry dismantling stereotypes and breaking barriers. First up we’re showcasing a short film from Red Bull Music titled ‘Hasta Abajo: Feminism, Sexuality and Reggaeton’.

Directed by Jazmin Garcia, the film spotlights pioneer artist Ivy Queen who rose up in the reggaeton scene at a time when it was very much all about the men. Her 2003 track ‘Yo Quiero Bailar’ became a breakthrough moment inspiring a number of other female artists in the genre for the way she called out sexism in the scene.

“When I’d go clubbing, I’d see all the pretty girls and men would just grab them and take them to dance. It was very aggressive contact, there wasn’t an elegance. All the women were like, ‘Ugh, this guy.’ That’s where ‘Yo Quiero Bailar’ was born,” she says in the video.

A handful of up-and-coming artists in Reggaeton are also highlighted, including women like Riobamba, Rosa Pistola, and Yaya Mala, who talk about how they and other artists are flipping some of the sexist tropes about women on the scene and injecting some empowering narratives around sexuality especially.

“The biggest stereotype is saying that it’s marginalizing women; it’s bringing women down. Demonizing women’s sexuality is really the problem. It’s not what she’s doing with her body; it’s how people perceive it,” said artist Yaya Mala. A number of the female artists address race and class issues in their lyrics, talking about what dance culture means to them as women, and are solidifying a strong female empowerment contingent in reggaeton today. Watch and learn below:

The second feminist video this week comes all the way from Australian punk band VOIID who just released the music video to their track ‘Not For You’ which is getting us fired up! Since the Women’s March in 2017 which saw the beginning of the #resistance against Trump and his political party, the rise of women’s voices and the social and cultural impact we are having in numerous ways is our feminist dream come true. But of course we are still a long way off from where we want to be in terms of intersectional equality, so we must continue to fight, march, protest and be LOUD!

VOIID’s music video is a great reminder of the history of feminism, paying homage to some of the most prominent public spaces that were taken up by the movement throughout the years. It is relevant today, and this video is serving as our inspiration for why feminism is important to us.

Our final video this week is an episode from a mini web documentary-series called ‘Artist Stories’, from a company called Amuse who are the world’s first record company in an app. Based out of Stockholm, Sweden, Amuse also offer free distribution for their artists as well as 100% royalties. We highly recommend checking them out if that sounds like your jam, and we also recommend taking a look at their new series.

‘Artist Stories’ was created in order to tell the stories behind the artist, behind the music. The second episode follows artist LNKAY who started a collective called Musikgäris in the Fall of 2016 as a separatistic music collective for women, non-binary and transgender people in the music industry. With over 3 000 members in the closed Facebook group, Musikgäris functions as a forum and meeting point meant for dialogue and exchange of experience and knowledge, with the purpose to work towards an equal music industry.

Musikgäris also creates platforms for the members in the form of club nights, events, workshops, and panels. Their goal is to eventually no longer exist, as they are fighting for equality in the music industry.

“In the best of worlds, a separatistic collective wouldn’t be needed. Equality in the music business would be a given. But that’s not the situation today. And as long as we are needed, we will keep working. It would be great if this portrait of me and my journey could inspire others. If it could make more people reach out and help others, to stand up for each other and raise their voices. Give more people courage. Courage to not stay silent,” said the artist about her work. Watch the episode below and subscribe to the Amuse Youtube channel to watch every episode of the series.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: FEMINIST FRIDAY: Common, Priyanka Chopra & Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Share Powerful Social Messages - GirlTalkHQ

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