El Violador Eres Tu / The Rapist is You: Protest Performance

Femicide – A word, which is unknown to many, has become the source of violent acts around the world. The relentless killing of young girls and women, generally due to their sex, has sparked outrage in predominantly Latin American countries. Many of these crimes against women include: intimate and non-intimate femicide, honor killings, sexual orientation hate crimes, murder of aboriginal women / girls, organized crime femicide, and killings of women in armed conflict. The word femicide was created due to the increased murders of women specifically, rather than labeling it as homicide, as has been done in the past. These senseless murders have been faced with silence from governments of countries like Mexico and Chile, which outright ignore the cries of women being oppressed for simply being women. A movement has sparked from this outrage, however – one that embodies activism through art, and has fostered continuous resistance against the violent misogyny that plagues today’s society. 

“Un Violador En Tu Camino” or “A Rapist in Your Path” is a dance that started in Santiago, Chile to protest the lack of action towards ending femicide. It was first performed on November 25, 2019, on the International Day of Elimination for Violence Against Women. The dance was created by protest group known as Las Tesis, and inspired by the work of feminist Rita Segato. They premiered the protest piece in front of the Supreme Court buildings, and from there, has inspired numerous performances around the world. 

The dance is accompanied with powerful lyrics that are shouted passionately, as women sway and squat to the rhythm of a beat. They say:

“El patriarcado es un juez, Que nos juzga por nacer.”

// “The patriarchy is a judge, That judges us for being born.” 

As they go through the lyrics, they sway back and forth together, in a collective group, and continue with the lyrics. The choreography is strategically chosen to represent degrading positions for body cavity searches (the squats), and they point directly at the audience when they say the iconic line:

“El Violador Eras Tu.” 

“The Rapist was You.” 

This dance, since its first performance in Chile, has now been performed from Turkey to France, and from Mexico to the United States. The seriousness of the lyrics enhance the dangers of living within a patriarchy that does not recognize women as equal beings, but rather, as objects for those in power to control. Women are rising up against the governments that refuse to turn their heads, and because of it, the world has begun to listen.

Kingston, New York was meant to hold their own “El Violador Eres Tu” dance performance on March 29, 2020. Due to the Coronavirus, it was postponed until a later date. 

Lyrics (Spanish and English) 

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 el asesino

Es la desaparición 

Es la violaciòn 

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

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

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

Y la culpa no era mía, ni dónde 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.

El violador eres tú. 

Duerme tranquila niña inocente,

Sin preocuparte del bandolero, 

Que por tus sueños dulce y sonriente 

Vela tu amante carabinero. 

El violador eres tú.

El violador eres tú. 

El violador eres tú

El violador eres tú 

The patriarchy is a judge

That judges us at birth 

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 you don’t see.

It’s femicide.

Impunity for the killer.

It’s disappearance. 

It’s rape. 

And the fault wasn’t mine, not where I was, not how I dressed
And the fault wasn’t mine, not where I was, not how I dressed 

And the fault wasn’t mine, not where I was, not how I dressed

And the fault wasn’t mine, not where I was, not how I dressed

The rapist was 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 was you.

The rapist is you. 

“Sleep calmly, innocent girl

Without worrying about the bandit, 

Over your dreams smiling sweet,

watches your loving cop.” 

The rapist is you.

The rapist is you.

The rapist is you.

The rapist is you. 

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