Ganggoolie defends video of him dancing on woman's back
Controversial dancehall artiste Ganggoolie has found himself the topic of discussion once more, after a video of him dancing on the back of a woman has been making the rounds on the world wide web.
In the video, the entertainer can be seen standing atop a 'big-boned' woman, as he performs his song, Boom It Up. The video lasts for a little over two minutes and Ganggoolie uses the woman's back as a stage for more than half its duration.
At one point, the deejay invites another woman to join him atop the woman's back, and they dance with each other for a brief moment before losing their balance and falling.
The video, having gained some traction on social media, raised questions about just how much women will endure for the limelight and how much respect men display for women in the dancehall space. Some social media users were outraged that the woman would allow the deejay to stand on her. However, in an interview with The STAR, Ganggoolie said he doesn't see why people are upset, as that kind of behaviour is expected in dancehall. He explained that these 'outrageous displays' have always been part of dancehall, but have been magnified because of technology.
"Just because camera phone come out now, a das why it look extreme. Nuff more thing dan dis a gwaan, not just inna dancehall alone," he said pointing out that he meant no disrespect by his actions. "Me respect and love all woman, is just people weh nuh understand dancehall ago talk a bag a rubbish. If you turn it around and it was the female on top of Ganggoolie, would it be the same reaction. This is just entertainment. Inna real life, I wouldn't be standing on a female."
While Ganggoolie may have meant no harm, at least one women's human rights activist finds the video and its content 'scary'. Tambourine Army's Latoya Nugent says that while the deejay's actions may not be particularly new in dancehall, she found it 'frightening' that the woman would allow herself to participate in the deejay's antics. "What concerns me ... unwilling but was later convinced or compelled to participate," she said. "It seems dancehall has no limit and men and women seem to believe it's 'fair game' to debase women to get 'likes' and 'blanks'. Some of us have now grown accustomed to watching women allow men to jump on them from out of trees and other high places to 'dagger' them."
Cultural analyst/senior lecturer at the Institute of Caribbean Studies and the Reggae Studies Unit, Dr Donna Hope, disagreed with Nugent somewhat. Hope said she doesn't believe women in dancehall 'allow' themselves to be taken advantage of. Instead, she thinks they partake in these extreme situations often initiated by men because it has become a normal part of dancehall.
Many people don't see it as being objectified, they see it as having a chance to dance and be seen," she said. "They are there to dance and show whatever skills they have so they can get on the video. For them, it is a part of what they are supposed to be doing."
Hope also pointed out that the increasingly explicit nature of dancehall is as a result of the social media culture and persons competing to go viral.
"It's not just a Jamaican thing. The people who do the most extreme things are the ones getting the most likes and the most hits on social media."