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Acoustic Patriarchy: Hearing Gender Violence in Mexico City’s Public Spaces

Acoustic Patriarchy: Hearing Gender Violence in Mexico City’s Public Spaces Acoustic Patriarchy Hearing Gender Violence in Mexico City’s Public Spaces Anthony W. Rasmussen coso callejero (street harassment) is an insidious form of gender violence normally executed in public spaces between strangers. In Mexico City, Aacoso callejero oft en manifests sonically and may include whistles, whis- pers, grunts, shisteos (e.g., ch- ch- ch), attention- demanding calls (e.g., “Hey!”), ver- bal greetings, and piropos, “verbal expression[s] that men  .  .  . use to express their opinion of the physical aspect of a woman.” Such sounds may precipitate overt physical contact or contact disguised as an accident. In other cases, acoso calleje- ro may be decidedly silent and consist entirely of unwanted physical contact or insistent gazes. Whatever the manifestation, these acts serve to “exert power over another . . . in a physical and/or symbolic form.” Despite the rapid proliferation of media technology and the privatization of wealthy enclaves in Mexico City, face- to- face encounters in public continue to be, for many, sites in which relations of power are laid bare. Frequently sonorous, such encounters mark momentary, territorial occupations characterized by “a con- stant state of active contestation. Because sounds are ephemeral, a regular stream of sonic acts is necessary to maintain the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture University of Nebraska Press

Acoustic Patriarchy: Hearing Gender Violence in Mexico City’s Public Spaces

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © Suzanne G. Cusick
ISSN
1553-0612

Abstract

Acoustic Patriarchy Hearing Gender Violence in Mexico City’s Public Spaces Anthony W. Rasmussen coso callejero (street harassment) is an insidious form of gender violence normally executed in public spaces between strangers. In Mexico City, Aacoso callejero oft en manifests sonically and may include whistles, whis- pers, grunts, shisteos (e.g., ch- ch- ch), attention- demanding calls (e.g., “Hey!”), ver- bal greetings, and piropos, “verbal expression[s] that men  .  .  . use to express their opinion of the physical aspect of a woman.” Such sounds may precipitate overt physical contact or contact disguised as an accident. In other cases, acoso calleje- ro may be decidedly silent and consist entirely of unwanted physical contact or insistent gazes. Whatever the manifestation, these acts serve to “exert power over another . . . in a physical and/or symbolic form.” Despite the rapid proliferation of media technology and the privatization of wealthy enclaves in Mexico City, face- to- face encounters in public continue to be, for many, sites in which relations of power are laid bare. Frequently sonorous, such encounters mark momentary, territorial occupations characterized by “a con- stant state of active contestation. Because sounds are ephemeral, a regular stream of sonic acts is necessary to maintain the

Journal

Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and CultureUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Sep 4, 2019

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