Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tortilleras Unidas! The Radical Feminist Queer Sex Positive Potential of Reggaeton

"Dembow dembow sometimes I use a dildo, oh no, oh no, I even got one that glows."

Celiany Rivera Valazquez introduced me to this amazing video by La Perfomera (Awilda Rodriguez). I love this video and it really nails all the radical feminist queer sex positive potential I see in reggaeton music and culture. Because so much of the discourse about reggaeton focuses on how it oppresses women, we often miss how women are engaging with and transforming the genre into a vehicle to address the complexities of sexuality and desire. The emphasis on reggaeton's hetero-masculinity also obscures how reggaeton, perreo, and la pista, provide spaces for homosocial and homoerotic bonding among women (women dancing perreo with other women is a common sight and practice, although it often gets dismissed as for the benefit of males, which is too simplistic an analysis of whats going on). This video gestures towards the pleasures of reggaeton for women and has fun with it.

Anyway, more thoughts to come, but in the meantime enjoy this fantastic video by La Performera.


n said...

Im not queer. But Im sick of womens sexuality being seen as a commodity that must be guarded at all costs.If I dance with a woman, its not 2 chicks having fun, its some man getting a free show. If I dance with a man and he rubs my ass,Im not getting a free caress, he's getting a cheap feel.

Unless we're getting paid in something other than penis, women are seen as being used when we do anything sexual.That we have desires and our pleasure may be reward enough seems to be a foreign concept.

I dance because I like it. I dance with women because its fun, men be damned. If someone were to tell me I danced with a chick because it pleased men, I'd slap them.How insulting.Same thing when people say things like, "She let him rub on her crotch when they were dancing", as if his leg got more out of it than my crotch and Im too stupid to realize it. Naw. I think I got the better end of THAT deal.Apparently the world thinks women are stupid sheep.

Marisol LeBron said...

Totally, the concept that women are active in negotiating sexuality and sexual contact on the dance floor is constantly overlooked. Yes, sometimes men take advantage of women and cross the line while dancing, but I don't know how this became the dominant model for our understanding of what is happening on the dance floor.

I mean the whole idea of sexual violence on the dance floor seems to be to me more about regulating women's movements rather than protecting them. Its not that a man might cross the line and touch a woman in a way that she is uncomfortable with, its that she might invite sexual contact between herself and her dance partner -- she might be acting "slutty."

I don't know its really complicated. I don't want to make it sound like the dance floor is a completely liberatory space free of all the sexism and violence and racism that structures our everyday lives, but I also am not interested in perpetuating the idea that women are always vulnerable and are never in control of the situation that takes place on the dance floor.

But all and all, Nina I tend to lean towards what your talking about in your comment, I generally feel that the discourse is pretty insulting and not at all nuanced.

Thanks for your comment!


n said...

I agree with you that the issue is layered and quite complex. Female enjoyment of dance is but one aspect of what happens on the dance floor and I try to not speak in absolutes.CERTAINLY we have the same old same old going on there. I recognize that and don't want to seem like I am completely overlooking the negative aspects of the music or the dance scene.

But I also would like there to be room in these discussions (not here, but you know in The World) for an exploration of female desire and autonomy as well as the other issues.I tend to not speak on things that others have covered, and just kick and fuss to make a little extra room for things I believe are being left out.

Oh,I'll just toss this here since I can't figure out where else to put it. Good job! Sometimes I get tired and cranky and don't even want to deal with any of this and it makes me smile to see other people out and about fighting for what is right.

The 18 year old kids of 2 of my closest relatives just came out this year. I may be here more in the future seeing if I can become more aware.