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Chilean Song ‘The Rapist Is You’ Becomes A Symbol Of Global Feminist Protest As Women In Kolkata Sing It To Protest Against PM’s Visit

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When people hear what I do for a living, they often ask me what drove me to pick this profession. Obviously, it’s not the money.  And so, I think back to how way before it became about the byline, it was about the story. It was about knowing that your story is not yours alone, and that someone somewhere might feel the exactly same emotion you are feeling. It was about forming that connection,  through words, and realising that I was grateful to have a voice that could be amplified by a platform. A sentiment that still stands behind all of my writings, and was recently reflected by a group of Bengali women in Kolkata, who too, after being moved by the feminist Chilean song ‘The rapist is you’, used it to express their own emotions.

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United by sentiment and emotion, if not necessarily by religion, distance or nationality, today the women of this world stand together in fighting the age old patriarchy in the system. Experiences, feelings, news, initiatives are no longer restricted to the victims alone, but travel across borders and inspire other women to join in to become a unified voice of reason and change. As has happened, when the brave feminist women of Kolkata, inspired by a movement that started in Chile against the gender-based crimes, adopted their song, ‘The rapist is you’, to protest against the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the city.

A woman from the collective in Kolkata who performed the song said, “We wanted to highlight the patriarchal violence that Modi’s idea of a Hindu Rashtra represents.” It was performed by women on 4th January outside the New Market, after the collective learnt that the PM was making a visit to the city.

A song, that has emerged as a symbol of the global feminist protest, came about when a four women collective in Chile in 2019, came together outside the Supreme Court in Santiago to protest against the government and it’s complacency in dealing with the increasing number of rape and assault crimes. Supported by 10,000 other women, this has emerged as a global anthem and for all the right reasons. Originally titled, ‘Un violador en tu camino, el violador eres tú’ that translates to ‘A rapist in your path, the rapist is you’, the song was a way to call out the inadequacy of the government in keeping its women safe.

And from there, the anthem has traveled to become a movement in itself, especially with women across the globe adopting it to put the same concerns forward. Chanting it in their own language and renditions, women collectives have been coming together, making choreographies and singing along the very hard-hitting lyrics of the song with black blindfolds on and implying how the women have been failed because violence against women is a global issue now.

Similarly, spreading it to Paris, Mexico, Bogata, Milan, Barcelona and now Kolkata, the message the women are sending across is loud and clear and already trending. The chant that talks about patriarchy goes like, “Patriarchy is a judge who punishes us for being born and our punishment is violence that you don’t see.” Governments and society everywhere is responsible for letting its women down, and now when the push has come to shove, women are fighting with voices that are echoing throughout the globe.

In fact, the movement has also spread itself to the States, as a mob of women were captured chanting this song in front of the courthouse where the #MeToo accused Harvey Weinstein was going to be tried for sexual abuse crimes. Clearly, women are done being pushed down, it is now time to step up and make ourselves heard.

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