“I will pound you in the kitchen.”
“She likes to be pumped with gasoline.”
“She likes to be hit hard and eaten up.”
Alejandra Hernandez, a graphic design student at Bogota’s Panamerican University, is waging a war against these reggaeton song lyrics.
To express her distaste with the thumping urban genre and protest the ways in which it objectifies women, Hernandez and her friends decided to come up with the following depictions of reggeaton lyrics, which are going viral on Facebook profiles in Latin America.
“I’m going to pound you in the kitchen.”
“If you were a nail and I was a hammer I would nail you down.”
“She likes to be hit hard and eaten.”
Hernandez created the images in April for a college assignment in which her design professor asked her to tackle a social issue.
But they began to spread widely on Facebook in May, after Hernandez and her friend John Mello, created a Facebook page called “Usa La Razon,” [Use Your Reasoning] and placed the pictures there.
That page has turned into an international social media campaign, which is protesting the objectification of women in music, and invites young people to think about what they’re listening to.
“Our goal is not to ban reggaeton and other urban rhythms,” Hernandez said over a phone interview. “But maybe there can be some change, maybe lyrics can change so that women aren’t mistreated.”
“People may listen to these songs because they like the rhythm,” Hernandez added. “But when you really start to look at the messages they’re leaving, you think wow, this is quite awful.”
Of course lyrics like “she wants to be eaten,” are not literally telling men to be cannibalistic, but meant as sexual metaphors. The same goes for this Daddy Yankee classic “Gasolina” which tells the woman she wants to be pumped with gasoline.
Hernandez argues that the lyrics promote violence against women because they depict females as sexual toys for men to play with. She defends her gruesome pictures, even if some people have criticized her for going over the top.
“As designers we had to do something that was shocking, or otherwise no one would pay attention,” Hernandez said. She noted that it was fairly easy to make them. “All we had to do was to literally follow the words of the songs. We didn’t make up anything here.”