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Women Worldwide Protest Against Sexual Assault

“A Rapist in Your Way” (Un violador en tu camino) is a feminist outcry against sexual assault and the violence of the state against women protesters. Originating in Chile, where people are rising up against austerity and the repressive Piñera government, this performance piece has been adopted by protesters worldwide.

Julia Wallace

December 24, 2019
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Image: AP/Silvia Izquierdo

It began in Chile. For months, protesters have been marching against economic inequality and austerity. Led by the youth, the movement has been in the streets—protesters are banging pots and pans, carrying out general strikes, setting up barricades, and fighting against the repressive police.  

The state has used brutal tactics to quash the uprising, and there have been hundreds of denunciacions of  sexual assault by the police while in custody. 200 cases of sexual violence have already been officially documented, and over 100 legal motions have been filed against authorities for sexual assault and rape. But the women in Chile are not staying quiet; they are denouncing patriarchy and the repressive state with their bodies and their voices.

Left Voice has been on the ground in Chile, reporting from the streets and interviewing protesters and our comrades of the Partido de Trabajadores Revolucionarios. Help support our coverage!

The performances of “A Rapist in Your Way” are a powerful show of women’s protest against state brutality and sexual violence. Most, though not all, of the participants are women. They wear blindfolds to bring attention to the cruelty of the Chilean police, who have been shooting protesters in the eyes, inflicting serious injuries, blinding nearly 250 people. The participants also wear green scarves, a symbol of the fight for reproductive rights. 

The choreographed dance, also called “The Rapist Is You” has made its way to other countries in Latin America, to Kenya, to the U.S., and to European and Middle Eastern countries. Like the women performing the piece, the words of the song point directly at the institutions of the state—the police, the courts, the government—denouncing their role in the perpetration and perpetuation of violence against women. 

Here are some of the performances of “A Rapist in Your Way” being staged by women around the world:

Kenya

San Francisco, United States

Los Angeles, United States

Turkey

Women all over Turkey have been arrested for participating in performances of the song. In response, MPs performed the song in solidarity with the detained protesters.

Lyrics (English)

A Rapist in Your Way

The patriarchy is a judge

that judges us for being born

and our punishment

is the violence you don’t see.

The patriarchy is a judge

that judges us for being born

and our punishment

is the violence  that you’ve seen.

It’s femicide.

Impunity for my killer.

It’s disappearance.

It’s rape. 

And I’m not guilty, not because of where I was or how I dressed

And I’m not guilty, not because of where I was or how I dressed

And I’m not guilty, not because of where I was or how I dressed

And I ‘m not guilty, not because of where I was or how I dressed

The rapist is you.

The rapist is you.

It’s the cops,

the judges,

the state,

the president. 

The oppressive state is a rapist.

The oppressive state is a rapist.

The rapist is you

The rapist is you

“Slumber gently, innocent girl

without worrying about the riff-raff,

in your sweetly smiling dreams,

will be revealed your loving lieutenant”*

the rapist is you

The rapist is you

The rapist is you

The rapist is you

Lyrics (Original)

El patriarcado es un juez

Que nos juzga por nacer

Y nuestro castigo

Es la violencia que no ves

El patriarcado es un juez

Que nos juzga por nacer

Y nuestro castigo

Es la violencia que ya ves

Es femicidio

Impunidad para mi asesino

Es la desaparición

Es la violación

Y la culpa no era mía, ni donde estaba, ni cómo vestía

Y la culpa no era mía, ni donde estaba, ni cómo vestía

Y la culpa no era mía, ni donde estaba, ni cómo vestía

Y la culpa no era mía, ni donde estaba, ni cómo vestía

El violador eras tú

El violador eres tú

Son los pacos

Los jueces

El Estado

El Presidente

El Estado opresor es un macho violador

El Estado opresor es un macho violador

El violador eras tú (Paco culiao)

El violador eres tú (Paco culiao)

Duerme tranquila, niña inocente

Sin preocuparte del bandolero

Que por tu sueños dulce y sonriente

Vela tu amante carabinero

El violador eres tú (Paco culiao)

El violador eres tú (Paco culiao)

El violador eres tú (Paco culiao)

El violador eres tú (Paco culiao)

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Julia Wallace

Julia is a contributor for Left Voice and has been a revolutionary socialist for over ten years. She served on the South Central Neighborhood Council in Los Angeles and is a member of SEIU Local 721. Julia organizes against police brutality and in defense of LGBTQ, women, and immigrants' rights. When she's not actively fighting the patriarchy, white supremacy and/or capitalism, she enjoys many things: she loves Thundercat, plays ultimate frisbee and is a founder of the team, "Black Lives Hammer."

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