The feminist viral choreography “The rapist is you” (“A rapist in your way”) that emerged in Chile continues to cause a stir throughout the world, as it inspires women to protest against sexual harassment and abuse.
A protest took place in Bangladesh, where more than a thousand people protested against the rape of a student at the University of Dhaka. Many protesters sang the Bangladeshi version of the song “The rapist is you.”
“এই দায় আমার নয়, নয় চলন-বলন-জামার
এই দায় শুধু তোর, তুই ধর্ষক ”
And it wasn't my fault, where I was or how I dressed.
It is your fault
The rapist is you.
The protest was held on January 6 in front of the National Museum of Bangladesh adjacent to the campus.
Approximately 500 cases of rape and abuse have been filed in the greater Dhaka area in 2019.
This online television channel made a music video in which he used the Bangladeshi song as background music over and over again in interrogations from different countries. The videos of the interpretations were not transmitted in the popular media, but they became viral in the social media.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCvBafQF3HU (/ embed)
In another video you see some students performing the same song in different places and moments:
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsvR6ENA5K0 (/ embed)
Since then, the Bangladeshi Police have arrested a rape incident suspect.
From Chile to the world
“The rapist is you” became the feminist anthem after Chilean women danced and sang the choreography created by the feminist collective Las Tesis on November 25, 2019, amid massive protests against economic inequality that emerged in October of 2019.
During the protests, police abuse was widely reported. The song, which was written before the protests began, was the feminist response to this type of violence. Nearly 17% of criminal complaints filed against state authorities were related to sexual abuse, according to Human Rights Watch.
This protest has inspired women in Mexico, Colombia, Kenya, India, throughout Europe and in the United States to denounce similar patterns of violence.
This dance was performed by indigenous Kichwa, Shuar, Waorani, Achuar and Shiwiar women from the Amazon of Ecuador:
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQOBQ8nYrH0 (/ embed)
A feminist transition anthem
The choreography was based on the work of the Argentine feminist and teacher Rita Laura Segato, who inspired Las Tesis to show that “rape is not only a crime against individual women, but is the expression of a major social problem,” according to Quartz reports.
Therefore the song is addressed to the institutional pillars: “the Police, the judges, the State and the president”, which, as the lyrics say, are complicit in gender violence.
Athanasia Francis, a PhD student in gender violence in the United Kingdom, told The Conversation that “The rapist is you”, gained international momentum because the systematic gender violence itself is transnational.
This transnational feminist response in the form of a song proposes solidarity and empathy in turbulent political times. It’s calling for an acknowledgment of sexual violence as a systemic and global problem in democratic institutions that, ironically, were created to prevent it.
The response of transnational feminism in the form of a song offers solidarity and empathy in times of turbulent politics. Calls for sexual violence to be recognized as a systemic and global problem within democratic institutions that, ironically, were created to prevent it.
For the Spanish journalist Marta Borraz, the song also frees women from the feeling of guilt they feel after being victims of sexual violence, as the lyrics say: “And the fault was not mine, nor where I was or how I dressed”:
The performance It focuses on the impunity of sexual violence and has become a collective cry that occupies public space, a kind of catharsis capable of concentrating multiple sensations to change the meaning of things and, above all, of guilt.
In Calcutta, New York and Karachi
“The rapist is you” was also sung during the visit of high-level politicians. On January 8, 2020, a feminist collective sang the song in Calcutta as part of a widespread protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the city.
Aopala Banerjee, one of the singers, said on Scroll.in that the group “wanted to highlight the patriarchal violence that Modi's idea of a Hindu Rashtra (Hindu Nation) represents.”
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oEN7zLElrk (/ embed)
Women in New York recently sang the hymn outside where Harvey Weinstein, a former Hollywood movie producer accused of nearly a hundred women of sexual abuse, faces rape trial.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8NUi2CWSj8 (/ embed)
In Karachi, Pakistani women from the AuratMarch2020 movement sang the song in Urdu. They ask people to join them on March 8, 2020, International Women's Day, to the march “for economic, reproductive, environmental justice and for the right to our city,” as they said in their Twitter profile.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuVwD3fRCew (/ embed)