Thursday, December 7, 2023

Feminists fight back after videos mock anti-violence performances

Feminists responded on Friday to a video in which players of the under-17 team of the Mexico City soccer club América mocked the feminist anthem A rapist in Your Way.

A video emerged last week that showed a handful of teenage América players in a locker room laughing and dancing to the chant written by the Chilean feminist collective Las Tesis that condemns rape, sexism, impunity and the “oppressive state.”

Club América said it would investigate the incident and punish the players who took part. The club also said that its youth teams would attend an awareness course that covers violence against women, machismo and social media best practices.

“We are cooperating and attentive to whatever the disciplinary commission of the Mexican Soccer Federation may decide,” Club América said in a statement.

The statement didn’t satisfy the Las Del Aquelarre feminist collective, which demanded a public apology from the owner of the club.

“A statement is not enough . . . because [the players] mocked thousands of women who have disappeared and been raped . . .” the collective said.

Feminists gathered Friday at the Glorieta de los Insurgentes plaza in Mexico City, where they burned the América flag and wrote a message to the club on the ground that translates in less offensive words to “screw you.”

The feminists also took part in a rendition of A rapist in Your Way in which the words were altered to accuse soccer players, among others, of being rapists.

The emergence of the Club América video last week was quickly followed by two others that also mocked the chant that has been performed in cities around the world and across Mexico in recent weeks, including in Mexico City’s zócalo on November 29.

In one of the videos, two men who appear to be Mexican marines gyrate and swivel their hips to the chant. The footage, which seems to have been recorded in military barracks, was especially “troubling,” the Associated Press said, “given that Mexican soldiers and other security forces have repeatedly been implicated in human rights abuses including torture and rape.”

The Navy Secretariat said in a statement that it was investigating to establish the identity of the “presumed members” of the force. The department sought to distance itself from the men’s actions, stating they don’t represent the navy’s “institutional posture.”

A third video mocking the chant was shared on Instagram by MC Babo, frontman of the well-known, Monterrey-based hip-hop group Cartel de Santa. The footage shows scantily clad women dancing suggestively to a soundtrack of A rapist in Your Way sung by male voices. The video also shows a frightened woman with her hands tied surrounded by a group of masked men.

Maynné Alexa Cortés, a 26-year-old feminist psychologist, told the Associated Press that the videos show “not a single ounce of empathy” and that gender-based violence is “made invisible” among many men. “They do not understand what is going on.”

Source: Expansión Política (sp), The Associated Press (en) 

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