Tag Archives: Mexico

Salsa and Sexism: Are You Mouthing Misogyny?

By Guest Contributor Rachael Kay Albers, cross-posted from Latina Fatale

It is after midnight and I’m in a taxi on the way back to my barrio, mouthing the lyrics to a song on the radio that I’m proud to know the lyrics of when, suddenly, I stop (fake) singing. Spanish is my second language and memorizing song lyrics doesn’t come as easily to me as it does in English—if I can successfully sing along to a song in a café or on the radio, I wave the useless ability like a flag. But, as I silently croon in my cab tonight, I realize that, in my quest to hone my dual language lip syncing abilities, I have paid absolutely zero attention to the content of the lyrics I’m not singing.

The song on my cabbie’s radio is “Lamento Boliviano,” (Bolivian Lament). You may know it for its famous chorus:

Y yo estoy aquí
borracho y loco
y mi corazón idiota
siempre brillará
y yo te amaré
te amaré por siempre

(And I am here
drunk and crazy
and my stupid heart
will always shine
and I will love you
I will love you forever)

As I listen carefully to the lyrics, I imagine the scene being described: a drunk, desperate man declaring his undying love to his wronged mujer after saying, in earlier lyrics, that he feels there is a volcano of rage inside of him. I have lived this scene. The drunk, desperate man “in love” is not nearly as romantic as the Enanitos Verdes — the Argentinean rock band that croons “Lamento Boliviano” — make him seem. He can be, in fact, quite dangerous, especially when he says he has an, um, “volcano” inside of him.

Ugh — sexist lyrics glamorizing alcoholism and violence in Spanish, too? I think, dumbly. How has the thought never occurred to me before? I mean, what did I expect from the music that just happened to be playing the many times I have been fondled or — I’ll just say it — humped on various dance floors across Mexico? Hip hop gets the rap in the United States for violent, misogynistic lyrics with country music coming in at second place—both deservingly. But, what about the music I’m listening to in Latin America?
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Will DC Comics’ New Gay POC Hero Go Over The Top?

By Arturo R. García

DC Comics has added to the buzz surrounding its’ relaunch with the announcement that Teen Titans will feature a gay POC character starting with the series’ third issue.

On one hand, this is something to be happy for, and Titans artist Brett Booth has already expressed his support for gay marriage and gay rights in discussing the new character, Miguel Jose Barragan, a.k.a. Bunker. But, as Booth wrote on his blog, he’s aware that he and series writer Scott Lobdell are wading into a complicated issue.

We wanted to show an interesting character who’s [sic] homosexuality is part of him, not something that’s hidden. Sure they are gay people who you wouldn’t know are gay right off the bat, but there are others who are a more flamboyant, and we thought it would be nice to actually see them portrayed in comics. Did we go over the top, I don’t think so. I wanted you to know he might be gay as soon as you see him. Our TT is partly about diversity of ANY kind, its about all kinds of teens getting together to help each other. It is a very difficult line to walk, will he be as I’ve read in some of the comments ‘fruity’? Not that I’m aware of. Will he be more effeminate than what we’ve seen before, the ‘typical’ gay male comic character, yes. Does it scare the shit out of me that I might inadvertently piss off the group I want to reflect in a positive way, you’re damn straight (pun intended!)

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Your Biennial Cinco De Mayo Reminder

By Arturo R. García

If you’re going out tonight, be careful and be wary – Cinco De Mayo is amateur hour when it comes to frosty adult beverages. The drinks will probably be cheaper, but the rowdies will probably be taking advantage of that. So watch out for anybody in a cheap “sombrero,” especially on the road.

In the meantime, please check out this little bit of perspective on today’s “holiday,” originally published at The R two years ago today. And let’s all stay safe out there.

Review: Making a Killing: Femicide, Free Trade, and La Frontera

By Guest Contributor The Feminist Texican

Note: Trigger Warning

Since the days of Prohibition, Juarez has been a place for First World visitors to come and indulge in any number of illicit pleasures (alcohol, guns, drugs, sex). It is also the site where global capital has been making a killing to the tune of billions of dollars in annual profit…Because pollution laws are conveniently lax, the factories can emit fumes and dump waste without much concern or coversight. For all these reason, the U.S.-Mexico border has been made into something of an international sacrifice zone.

I’m not sure how old I was when I first heard about the women who were being sexually violated, horribly mutilated, and discarded like garbage in the desert surrounding Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The femicide that has claimed the lives of hundreds of women–with thousands more unaccounted for–began in 1993, although no one can really know for sure. Looking at several of the time frames listed in Making a Killing: Femicide, Free Trade, and La Frontera and doing the math, I was stunned to realize that I’ve been hearing about this femicide for at least fifteen years now. Over the years, I’ve been even more stunned to learn how many people still don’t know that the murders are even taking place.

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Going Native: The Racialicious Review Of Down & Delirious In Mexico City

By Arturo R. García

Toward the end of Down & Delirious In Mexico City: The Aztec Metropolis In The Twenty-First Century, author Daniel Hernandez talks about encountering a group of seven muses. It’s a credit to his craft and this book that he’s able to weave the entire septet together skillfully, not just with each other, but with the whole other array of characters that inhabit the worlds he encounters as part of his own journey.

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Top Gear Update: BBC Shifts Into Neutral, Lawsuit Reportedly Filed

By Arturo R. García

On Thursday, the BBC issued a response to the calls for an apology from the hosts of Top Gear after the program’s hosts engaged in racist rhetoric about Mexico and its’ people earlier this week.

The gist of the BBC’s statement? “It’s just what they do.” Full transcript under the cut.

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Top Gear Goes From Zero to Racist in Under Two Minutes

By Arturo R. García

Top Gear, the long-running British auto review show, is built upon a foundation of “guy talk.” But an outburst by the show’s three hosts this week once again crossed the line from mildly boorish to positively unnerving, this time prompting a political response.

The incident occurred during Sunday’s episode, when the trio – Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May (above l-r) – turned a review of a Mexican sports car into an exercise in racist “banter” about the country and its’ people. Video and transcript are under the cut.

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Sexing Violence in Mexico

By Guest Contributor Michelle García, cross-posted from WIMN’s Voices

Video courtesy of Tell ‘Em Who You Are

He’s dead and she’s half naked. Two images I encounter at every newspaper stand in Mexico City– blood and babes. A magazine cover shows a marijuana leaf and a stiletto heel in the shape of a gun. One newspaper regularly divides its front page with a preening bikini clad woman and cadavers. I’m compelled to believe that the graphicness of the individual images is enhanced when harmonized.

I whipped out a video camera and asked a few questions.

Sex and violence in the media isn’t new; but in the case of Mexico, fantasy is built on painfully real violence. Newspaper vendor Victor Luna tells me the pairing is meant to catch readers with a double barrel shot- the violence of “daily life” and sex, for a touch of “glamour.” One, the sex or the violence is sure to hit.

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