(Girl 1 by Sofia Maldonado, 2006. 120 cm x 270 cm.)
#1. I just read the paper "Análisis de la imagen de la mujer en el discurso del reggaeton" by María José Gallucci (2007). The analysis is extremely narrow and simplistic, a great example of the serious amount of work to be done on the topic. As stated in the (full of grammatical errors) English abstract provided: "Considering exclusively the criticism about the sexual orientation and woman belittlement expressed in the reggaeton lyrics, this investigation [...] aims to describe how man present women's image in reggaeton lyrics." Gallucci draws the following conclusion from a discourse analysis of 10 of the most successful songs by Daddy Yankee and Don Omar: "Through this investigation, one can conclude that, even when in many cases the lyrics do have a heavy load of sexual content; it is also true that, in other lyrics, the singer (re)presents woman from his feelings, and in situations that are not unusual to our everyday life." Flojo.
#2. I found more useful "El reggaetón y sus audiencias femeninas: una mirada al universo cultural de las adolescentes de hoy" by Wilma Guzmán Flores (2007), presented at the national conference of the National Association of African American Studies & Affiliates. It's based on very limited ethnographic work with teenage women in Puerto Rico, fails to draw linkages between reggaeton and other (past and present) musical/cultural expressions and often takes at face value what the informants are saying. But her ethnographic efforts still tell a fascinating story that, of course, is as much about the informants as it is about the researcher.
I appreciate the author's earnest questions regarding how much "control" women actually have when they're dancing (her informants explain it is women who have the power/control in perreo matters). Guzmán Flores, in this case, is unwilling to accept her informants' opinions uncritically and is puzzled by the codes of what's acceptable and what's not for her informants. She asks (but leaves unanswered): Why would these young women object to being touched by their dancing partner's hands and not by their crotch? Great question to follow up on. It reminds me of Nina La Bandolera's thought-provoking blog post detailing her version of perreo @ the club rules of conduct.