- BBC News World
“I’m in heat, ‘I’m in heat, I open myself on all fours’, put a fan on me.”
These are some of the phrases of the controversial song “Perra” by the Colombian reggaeton artist JBalvin and the Dominican rapper Tokischa, whose video clip, described as “sexist” and “racist”, was removed from YouTube.
After its launch a few days ago, the subject unleashed a great controversy in Colombia. Even the vice president Martha Lucia Ramirez He called it “macho, sexist and misogynistic.”
After the complaints, not only by Ramírez but also by other politicians, journalists, artists and citizens, the official video was removed from YouTube.
In an open letter, the vice president and chancellor referred to the content of the song and stated that “it has direct and open expressions sexist, racist, macho and misogynist that violate women’s rights. “
“To objectify women is to fail as a society,” reiterated Ramírez, who publicly invited JBalvin and the music and record industry to subscribe a pact that includes commitments “for the promotion of the rights of women in music and the prevention of violence against them”.
The song also provoked the vehement rejection of several figures who dared to ask for judicial punishment against JBalvin, as was the case of the Colombian-French writer Florence Thomas.
Thomas told Semana magazine that he saw the video with “great difficulty” and criticized the meaning that the singer gave to the lyrics, because for her it is clear that he does not speak “of the female of the dog”, but “bitches, whores, bitches.”
“It is not just a macho thing, it is much more than that; for me that guy deserves jail, for all the fibers of what we have fought for years, decades, women, and not just feminists, to have a minimum of dignity and respect. Jail for JBalvin!“, he asserted.
In that sense, the congresswoman of the Green Party Katherine Miranda considered it meritorious that the authorities “take action to defend the rights of women” and asked the singer make public excuses.
“This song is denigrating from beginning to end. It objectifies women and promotes gender violence. That is why action is warranted, we cannot allow women’s rights to be violated,” she told Semana.
In the midst of the strong criticism that multiplied on social networks, there were some who accused those who demanded respect for women of double standards.
The professor and doctor in Feminist Jurisprudence at Harvard Isabel Cristina Jaramillo considered that the affirmations of the vice president are out of context and leave aside “women who they like perreo, sex “and that they feel openly” sexual beings “.
“Of course they are controversial and shocking statements, but I do not think it is a white woman, from the establishment, the one that can lead that debate, “he added.
For her part, Nuria Net, journalist and co-founder of La Coctelera Music, affirmed that the lyrics of the song are not “macho at all”, because, according to her, “it is one of the few songs in which a man and a woman sing to each other about their desire.”
However, the creator of one of the most successful female podcast platforms acknowledged that the video is “despicable and racist.” Still, he opined that removing it from YouTube is an act “coward that doesn’t solve anything”.
Neither JBalvin nor Takischa have spoken.
Although it is not clear if the video clip was removed by YouTube or by JBalvin’s own team, the audio of the song and other unofficial captures with thousands of reproductions can be found on the platform.
The song, which makes a comparison between the zeal of the canine female and the woman, was recreated by both artists with Afro-descendant women with muzzles and neck chains being hauled or into what would be cages.
In the video, which was shot in the Dominican Republic, there are men, women and children with the faces of dogs.
JBalvin recently starred in another controversy with the Puerto Rican singer René Pérez, better known as Resident, who harshly questioned the Colombian’s position on the Latin Grammy Awards.
The two exchanged messages about whether Latin urban music is well valued by the Latin Recording Academy.
A controversy of years
It is not the first time that reggaeton has been singled out for being sexist, macho, misogynistic and for showing the woman as a sex object.
Even the first representatives of the gender marked as a trend in their video clips images of semi-naked women and lyrics referring to female subjection and sex.
Despite the fact that in recent years the genre has had an opening towards female artists such as Karol G, Becky G and Natti Natassha, among others, criticism for the content of the lyrics and the videos remains.
At the beginning of this month, the Spanish reggaeton Cesar Tangana caused a controversy with his video “Atheist” recorded in the Cathedral of Toledo that had “a provocative visual content.”
The dean of the Cathedral, Juan Miguel Ferrer, resigned after acknowledging that he should have been present at the time of the recording.
Now you can receive notifications from BBC Mundo. Download the new version of our app and activate them so you don’t miss out on our best content.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.