The Rapist Is You: Chilean Artists Who Created Viral Feminist Anthem Named as TIME's 100 Most Influential
LasTesis created the song 'The Rapist is You' in 2019 to call out gender violence and hold those in power accountable | Image credit: Twitter
On November 25 last year when the world observed the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a group of Chilena protesters took to the streets with a powerful song against rape and sexual violence.
- Last Updated: October 5, 2020, 16:16 IST
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The global anthem "The Rapist is You!" from 2019 has landed its Chilean creators a spot in Time Magazine's 100 most influential people of 2020.
The protest song, which became a mighty roar in 2019 following a series of rapes and rising cases of violence against women, was created by four performing artists who were part of a Chilean feminist group named "LASTESIS".
It highlighted sexual violence against women and soon spread to several parts of the world including India which at the time had been rocked by the Unnao and Hyderabad among others.
What is "The Rapist Is You"?
First performed in the port city of Valparaiso on November 20, in the space of a few weeks it has been replicated hundreds of times around the world, and videos of flashmob performances have gone viral. On November 25 last year when the world observed the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a group of Chilena protesters took to the road outside the Supreme Court in Santiago, Chile, and performed the angry and lyrically evocative song called 'The Rapist in You (or the Rapist in your Path) against gender violence. The flashmob was joined by hundreds of women who took to the streets to protest the rising cases of femicide and gender violence as well as rape and sexual assault in Chile. As per reports, there are 42 cases of sexual assault reported within one day in Chile. That means nearly two cases every hour. The song quickly went viral as a feminist anthem across the world.
What is the symbolism of "The Rapist is You" dance?
The powerful lyrics of the song are accompanied by a series of carefully choreographed steps such as squatting, to represent the disrespect meted out to women when they are made to strip and squat upon arrest. Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova writes in Time that the step is inspired by the real-life disgust women undergo in the name of law and order.
Who is LasTesis?
LasTesis Collective is a feminist artist group that uses performative art focusing on finding solutions to gender inequality, sexism, and violence by holding those in power accountable. They recently released a new song in collaboration with Russian feminist group Pussy Riots about police violence against Latin American women and women of colour. Due to their performative demonstrations, the group is currently under investigation for the alleged intimidation of cops. The group's main aim is to bring forth feminist theories to the masses. The women from the group said they never imagined their protest anthem, and its powerful message against macho violence would be so quickly and energetically echoed around the world.
Why were they named as Time's 100 Most Influential People in 2020?
Las Tesis's song went viral in 52 countries from across the world and went on to become a global feminist anthem against gender violence as well as organised negligence on the part of those in charge of maintaining law and order. Issues like victim/survivor shaming, slut-shaming, and downplaying women's subjective experiences of sexual violence at home and the workplace continue to remain rampant. With rising cases of violence against women around the world, it becomes essential to raise questions and fix accountability to make each and every country safer for women.