Mexican City Takes Action Against Misogynistic Songs

The city council of Chihuahua in northern Mexico has approved a measure to impose fines on live performances of songs that are considered misogynistic. The move comes as a response to the alarming rate of gender-based violence in the country, with the United Nations reporting that ten women and girls are killed every day in Mexico. The fines imposed can reach up to 1.2 million pesos, and they aim to discourage the playing of lyrics that discriminate against or demean women. This new measure is an attempt to protect the dignity of women, uphold human rights laws, and address the “pandemic” of gender-based violence in Mexico.

Chihuahua has previously taken action against songs that glorify drug crime, and this latest measure expands the scope to include lyrics promoting the “denigration, discrimination, marginalisation or exclusion” of women. The city councillors behind the measure argue that it is necessary to protect women and families, as domestic violence remains a pressing issue in the region. Mayor Marco Bonilla highlighted that seven out of ten emergency calls in the city are related to domestic violence, particularly against women.

While Chihuahua recognizes the importance of freedom of speech and cannot ban groups that perform songs denigrating women, the fines collected from such performances will be allocated to shelters for abused women and violence prevention programs. Mayor Bonilla believes that this approach can make a meaningful impact in supporting those affected by gender-based violence and working towards its prevention.

However, the measure has faced criticism. Congressman Francisco Sánchez from the wider Chihuahua state dismissed it as “useless and anachronistic.” Local media also raised concerns about its potential impact on future concerts by popular reggaeton and corridos tumbados artists such as Peso Pluma and Bad Bunny, both of whom have faced controversy over their lyrics.

It is important to note that this is not the first time Chihuahua has taken action against music performances associated with violence. In 2017, the renowned Mexican band Los Tigres del Norte was fined for performing a narcocorrido, a song that glorifies drug trafficking. However, the sanction did little to diminish the band’s popularity.

This latest measure in Chihuahua follows in the footsteps of Cancún, a popular resort city in Mexico, which recently implemented a ban on events deemed to “promote violence.” As a result of the new measure in Chihuahua, singer El Komander canceled his concert in Cancún, further illustrating the impact and reach of these regulations.

The fine system for misogynistic songs may provide a deterrent for performers and encourage them to be more mindful of the lyrics they choose. The measure also aims to raise awareness about the issue of gender-based violence and support initiatives that combat it. However, it remains to be seen how effective these fines will be in practice and whether they will have a lasting impact on the prevalence of misogynistic songs in Mexico’s music industry.

As this measure targets a specific genre of songs and their lyrics, it is crucial for authorities to uphold the principles of freedom of speech and avoid any potential infringement on artistic expression. Additionally, there may be a need for ongoing dialogue and engagement with artists, producers, and the public to address the root causes of gender-based violence and encourage positive change within the music industry.

Overall, the move by the city council of Chihuahua to fine performers of misogynistic songs reflects a commitment to improving the representation and treatment of women in music. By taking a stand against discriminatory lyrics, the hope is that it will contribute to a safer and more equal society for all.