"Qué Dice Usted?": Discourses of Femininity in Nueva Trova Cubana
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Following the Revolution of 1959, the Cuban government implemented policy reforms geared towards increasing women's rights. Despite these efforts, however, sexism persists in Cuban society. This difference between rhetoric and reality is reflected in the song genre, nueva trova, which foregrounds a progressive agenda for women's rights but continues to marginalize their participation. Prominent nueva trova performers Silvio Rodríguez and Pablo Milanés advocate women's rights in their songs, but their music remains couched in patriarchal structures that prevent women from speaking for themselves. Sara González, one of the first prominent female nueva trova composers, was able to integrate into government-supported trova institutions by adopting a masculine, revolutionary aesthetic, which she then adapted to feminist themes to combat the ideological disparity. Recent performers have split between a more complacent attitude, found in novísima trova, or a direct challenge to the patriarchy centered on an aesthetic of contestation in rap cubano.