“Zorra”, the song chosen by Spain for Eurovision, provokes the ire of feminists

Seeking to reappropriate a sexist insult, the pop song selected to represent Spain in the next Eurovision contest has sparked outcry from feminist movements, leading the government to take a stand.

France Télévisions – Culture Editorial


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María Bas and Mark Dasousa, in Benidorm (Spain), February 4, 2024. The duo Nebulossa will represent Spain at Eurovision 2024. (MANUEL LORENZO / MAXPPP)

The Nebulossa duo was chosen on Saturday evening February 3 in Benidorm (south-east of the country) to defend the colors of Spain next May in Sweden with a song entitled Zora, which literally means “vixen”.

But the word also has another meaning in Spanish, that of an insult to designate a prostitute or a woman who has multiple partners, which could be translated into French as “female dog” Or “whore.”I know I’m just a female dog (…) the misunderstood one”, notably sings María Bas, accompanied by keyboardist Mark Dasousa.

“I have often been called a female dog. This title is a way of transforming this word into something beautiful”in the sense of “know what you want”explained the 55-year-old singer to Spanish Public Radio and Television (RTVE) after her victory at the Benidorm festival, which each year designates the song representing Spain at Eurovision.

Lyrics and a message denounced by several Spanish feminist associations, who demanded the withdrawal of the song from Eurovision. The song “insults women in a macho way”launched the Madrid Feminist Movement in a long press release, calling it‘”absurdity” the fact of “pretending to wash away the offense by repeating that it is about giving more power to women”.

A “funny song, which breaks stereotypes”

The controversy led socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to speak out on the subject. “Feminism is not only right, but also entertaining, which is why this type of provocation must necessarily come from the culture“, he commented on Monday on the Sexta channel. The Minister of Equality, Ana Redondo García, also defended a “funny song, which breaks stereotypes”.

The organizer of Eurovision, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), validated the choice of this song to represent Spain by stating that it understood that it existed “many interpretations of the song title” chosen by RTVE. Quoted by several Spanish media, the EBU therefore “concluded that the song (was) eligible to enter this year’s competition”.

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