top-rated free essay

Critique Paper on Gloc 9's Sirena

By BromthymolBlue May 01, 2013 1214 Words
BANTA, MARY JILL IRA 120411
EN 11 - R51
Sirena: An artistic attack on machismo and the societal perception on homosexuality
Known for his music that grapples social issues, Gloc-9 creates another socially inclined song that scrutinizes gender inequality, especially towards members of the gay and homosexual community.
Entitled "Sirena", Gloc-9's song speaks through a homosexual's point of view and how he describes himself as a sirena, the Filipino version of the mythical mermaid. The song explicitly narrates the protagonist's hard knock life, from the gay tendencies he exhibited during his childhood years to to the physical and emotional abuse he received due to flaunting his homosexuality in the latter years of his life.

A situationer

At the start of the music video, a young man in a duster (a feminine outer garment) was being dragged out of the house by his father. The father furiously questioned his son, "lalaki ka ba o babae? (Are you a man or a woman?)", to which the son replied, "babae po (I am a woman)". This earned his head a harsh dunk in a drum of water, thus coining the term sirena as a metaphor to illustrate how he was getting used to 'plunging' into the water, as punishment for exhibiting his homosexuality .

From the lyrics, it can already be said that the song denounces abuse and discimination on homosexuals. But more than anything else, the song attempts to discuss how homosexuals are like any other people, and implicitly states that they are equally important to the society.

The song is basically a situationer, a manifestation of how homosexuality is being dealt with in the Philippines and on how Filipinos respond to it. Based on the latest Global Gender Gap rankings by the World Economic Forum, the Philippines rank 8th among 138 countries in gender equality. This could have been good news, had the report included developments on the treatment of LGBTs (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders). However, it was only limited to determining gender gaps between men and women. It did not extend to responses towards the LGBT community, which could have opened the eyes of the public on the reality that some individuals do not experience equal rights contrary to what the report says.

Gloc-9 touches this aspect through the song's music video, where it is shown how drunk bystanders laugh and mock at the protagonist because of his sexual orientation. This, per se, represents the general response to homosexuals in the country - that homosexuality is a taboo in this society, that it is a cause of ridicule in most cases.

Gloc-9 incorporates this idealism which was dictated by the society (and by religion as well) in the lyrics as he asks the public: Ano bang mga problema nyo? Dahil ba ang mga kilos ko'y iba, sa dapat makita ng inyong mga mata? (What's your problem? Is it because my actions are different from what you normally see?). This part implicitly points a finger to the society and blames it for first, creating these so-called standards on a person's sexual orientation and second, for choosing to conform to these unjust standards.

Manlier than a man

The homosexual in the song is seen to have high regards to his father as he speaks of how he atempts to obey his father's orders of becoming a 'straight guy' (Tama nanaman itay, di na po ako pasaway. Di ko na po isusuot ang lumang saya ni inay), to which he fails to do so. The song then fast forwards to his adulthood, wherein the tables were turned. From the macho, brawny man who used to beat the young gay to 'cure' his sexual orientation, the father has turned into a thin, weak man who was diagnosed with cancer. In the video it can be seen that everyone in the family had lived separate lives and it was only the gay who returned to his father's side to take care of him.

In this part, the father left his son with a few memorable words, for which many consider as the most powerful line in the song: Di sinusukat ang tapang at ang bigote sa mukha dahil kung minsan mas lalake pa sa lalake ang bakla (Strength and courage is not measured through the physical aspect because sometimes, a homosexual is manlier than a man.).

This part of the song sparked emotions among its listeners as it produced a strong message to the public. The message conveys a subtle but bold statement that lashes the concept of machismo. It criticizes male chauvinism and it reiterates that brawn and physical strength do not make a person manlier, rather, something deeper than the arrogant and haughty aura that a stereotypical man possesses defines a true man.

Gloc-9 feels that the “true measure of manhood is how you accept and handle the responsibility that’s given to you regardless if you’re wearing pants or skirt."
"For me also, if you’re engaged in a worthy cause or something with a good purpose, you have every reason to say you’re man enough", he adds in an interview in Yahoo Philippines.

Reactions

Since it was first released in August 2012, the song has reached almost 4 million view on Youtube and has caught the attention of the public partly due to its catchy tune and mainly due to the message of the song. It's amazing how a song was able to impart its message to the listeners while catching them singing to the tune of it. The unusual mix of artistry, and rebellion to the societal perceptions on homosexuals, has made it an artistic attack to the status quo.

According to Gloc-9, it is the first time that a song about a gay man is presented in a first person's point of view. This could be another reason for the song's instant popularity despite being released only two months ago.

Prominent members of the LGBT community such as Boy Abunda, an influential TV peronsality and Danton Remoto of Ladlad partylist, appeared at the last part of the video, which added glitz to it.
Support from humanitarian and LGBT groups have since then flown to Gloc-9 for his song while others think that the title of the song was derogatory to the image of the gays. Others were moved while others remained firm to their stand against the prevalence of homosexuality.

The song may have offended-slash-pleased some individuals but one thing was clear in this picture, Sirena was reactionary and Gloc-9 was able to touch , if not, shudder the emotions of the public, the LGBT community and even the conservative ones and was able to break the passivity on the way people react to social issues like gender inequality and gay discimination.

References:
Maghirang, T. (August 17, 2012). Gloc-9: ‘Minsan mas lalaki pa sa lalaki ang bakla’. In Yahoo Philippines. Retrieved October 10, 2012, from http ://ph.omg.yahoo.com/news/gloc-9--%E2%80%98minsan-mas-lalaki-pa-sa-lalaki-ang-bakla%E2%80%99--20120817.html.

Remo, M. (November 3, 2012). Philippines ranks 8th among 135 on world gender equality. In Global Nation Inquirer. Retrieved October 10, 2012, from http: //globalnation.inquirer.net/16879/philippines-ranks-8th-among-135-on-world-gender-equality.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Gay Marriage Critique Paper

    ...Jackie Lien English 101 Critique of Bennett’s “Gay Marriage: Not a Very Good Idea.” Gay Marriage is always an argumentative topic in our society today, or perhaps the most controversial issue in 21st century is the concept of accepting homosexual marriage into our life as a way that we viewed the normal marriage. Gay marriage is always...

    Read More
  • critique

    ...York, 2006: 50-76. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Marxist-View-Of-The-Great-Gatsby-586201.html The voice of working class in narrating “The Great Gatsby” And Materialism critical point of view Sareh Ramezan Islamic Azad University, Karaj Branch Dr. Tafreshi: Writing Rese...

    Read More
  • Critique Paper

    ...Jia In 9/29/12 Summary-Critique Essay Assignment Chris Neary’s Overcommitment to His Business This case study was pulled out from an accounting seminar textbook, which contains a variety of ethical dilemma cases among business societies in different kinds of business industry. Most people encounter ethical decisions in everyday lives as...

    Read More
  • Critique Paper

    ...ENC1102 25 February, 2013 Critique Paper Nutritious or Not? In Kristen Weinacker’s essay “Safer? Tastier? More nutritious? The Dubious Merits of Organic Foods”, she makes a claim of fact that organic foods may not be more nutritional than conventionally grown foods. Weinacker does an exceptional job supporting her claim effectively wi...

    Read More
  • Critique Paper

    ...Running head: A CRITIQUE OF "DO VIDEO GAMES KILL?" A Critique of "Do Video Games Kill?" A Critique of “Do Video Games Kill?” In the essay, “Do Video Games Kill?” Karen Sternheimer takes on the topic of media’s influence on teen and adolescent violence in America. She focuses primarily on video games, particularl...

    Read More
  • critique paper

    ...SOWK 503-Spring 2013 Assignment #1: Article Critique Family as Navigators and Negotiators: Facilitating Culturally and Contextually Specific Expressions of Resilience Tiffanie Walker 1/26/14 Professor Chan Purpose: The purpose of this reading is to show how children become resilient and the factors tha...

    Read More
  • Psychology Paper Critique

    ...Anorexia Nervosa In Men Cristy Honeycutt Stanly Community College Abstract This paper is about the research of men with anorexia. Is it the same as female anorexia or is it something different? Also researchers are trying to see if it requires a different type of treatment verses the types of treatment they use for females. It also talks a...

    Read More
  • Song Content Analysis of Gloc 9

    ... rap artist grow rapidly in different styles. One of the most popular artist is Gloc 9. His rap music is filled with social commentaries of the present socio-political situations of the country. One of his award-winning songs, Walang Natira is the subject of this paper. The song, a form of recorded communication is desired to be content analyzed...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.