Shakira: Do women “make money” or take action and fight?

The lyrics of Shakira’s latest song have caused uproar. Is she empowering women? Is she objectifying them? Is she sororal or not? Is she feeding into economic liberalism? And a long list of opinions. Here we will take a look at some of the aspects of this debate.

 By Flor Salgueiro

A few days have passed since the release of the song written by Shakira and produced by Bizarrap, but it already has millions of plays. Also thousands of lines have been written analyzing the lyrics, the context, the artists, the message and a long list of etcetera’s.

“I don’t even know what happened to you. You’re so weird I don’t even recognize you”

The critiques to the new Shakira song poured down from different angles. For example, for the eventual “suffering” it will cause to her children by critically mentioning their father, or by singing about making money. She was also called out for her lack of sorority, for objectifying women, for being patriarchal. From another point of view, in turn, some women have stated that her song would be a new feminist anthem…

“This is so that get mortified”

Possibly, the critiques that enrage us the most, being anti-capitalist feminists, are the ones coming from most macho and rancid social sectors. They always have a double standard, othe rules, when it comes to commenting on the actions of men or women in any setting.

For example, there were no desperate cries complaining about the harm done to the children when the macho Piqué appeared publicly with Clara Chia in the middle of their separation process. Nor when he came to witness the third date of the Kings League 7-a-side-football game driving a Twingo to promote his new business and to make a profit. And neither when, with his son by his side, he made fun of Shakira in front of the media. Macho attitudes must be rejected.

“I just make music…”

Shakira is nothing more and nothing less than an artist, a renowned singer that writes her own lyrics from her life experiences, personal situations and feelings. It is a very important point because we believe that we should not apply a feminist-o-meter to every song that does not consider itself feminist. The song is that: lyrics and music that express a subjectivity. Not every artistic expression made by a woman must go through the sieve of feminism, which is very broad and multi-shaped.

In this case the lyrics have phrases that, even in a distorted way, can express a certain empowering women go through. On the other side, it is positive that we are not singing only about hegemonic romantic love anymore and that we are talking the economic income women generate. By the way, Shakira became a millionaire by writing and singing songs in which tackles topics of her personal life. And she did it under the rules of the capitalist market, professionally, without the male chauvinist being outraged, criticizing her or dedicating hours of analysis to her lyrics.      

“You though you hurt me and you made me tougher”

It is no news that the in the feminist movement many debates emerge, as expressed in the last few days. There are those who criticize the lyrics for lack of sorority with Clara Chía. But what is meant by sorority? Because I am a woman, do I have to be sororal with everyone? In my case, I would never be sororal with the Queen of Spain; with Ursula Von der Leyen, president of the European Commission; with Kristalina Georgieva, head of the IMF; with Rocío Monasterio or Macarena Olena, spokeswomen of Vox, and a long list of bourgeois women, who from their places of power defend exploitation and oppression. No sorority unites nor will unite us with them. Everything separates us.

“You traded a Ferrari for a Twingo, you traded a Rolex for a Casio.”

The phrase in Shakira’s song that refers to cars and watches can have different connotations. One is the objectification of women, although in this case we understand that it has a character of irony. But it is true that the derogatory reference is to items that are not top-brand, expensive and luxurious. In reality, millions of women and men would be very happy if they could have “even” a Twingo or a Casio. It is obvious that every opinion is relative to the social position of the person giving it.

What if instead of “women make money”, women fight?

While thousands and thousands of people are now following the Shakira-Piqué case like a Turkish soap opera, reality gives us no respite. In Spain, in the first 18 days of this year there have already been four femicides. Several were committed by violent repeat offenders, meaning that the State did not act to prevent them. In addition, gang rapes continue, as in Castelldefels. The PP-Vox tandem decided to move against legal abortion in Castilla y León. And of course, the wage gap continues to the detriment of women, the care system has not been resolved and the situation is even harder for immigrants.

Beyond our opinions on Shakira, it would much better to change “women make money” for women organize and fight. Because even if it is their right, women who “make money” are a small minority. It is necessary to retake the road of mobilization and boosting the general strike for next March 8. The majority leaderships of the feminist movement have to call for massive mobilizations in defense of our rights, but institutionality and bourgeois feminism are not the way out. That is why we invite you to organize in the anti-capitalist and revolutionary feminism.