Daggering

dancehall

Daggering is a form of dance originating from the Caribbean. The dance incorporates sexual and other forms of frantic movement. The activity of ‘daggering’ has been present in Jamaica’s dancehalls for many years, but only recently has the name of daggering become acceptable. Some argue that it’s roughly the equivalent of the Caribbean’s ‘cabin stabbing,’ another style of music and dance.

‘Mojo’ magazine journalist and reggae historian David Katz attributes the recently gained popularity of daggering to a series of dancehall music videos and artists that promoted the style. Later on, controversial YouTube videos of people performing daggering would spread the trend worldwide. Daggering is performed on Dancehall-music, although some artists have specifically created ‘daggering’ music, such as Mr. Vegas, Aidonia, and Major Lazer.

The spiraling popularity of daggering has led the Jamaican government to take an unprecedented step of an all-out radio and TV ban on songs and videos with blatantly sexual content. The Jamaican Broadcast Commission defines daggering as ‘a colloquial term or phrase used in dancehall culture as a reference to hardcore sex or what is popularly referred to as ‘dry’ sex, or the activities of persons engaged in the public simulation of various sexual acts and positions.’ Therefore, ‘There shall not be transmitted, any recording, live song, or music video which promotes the act of daggering or which makes reference to, or is otherwise suggestive of daggering.’

Also Jamaican doctors have warned of the dangers of daggering, after having many cases of damaged penis tissue over the last year. The condition can result in permanent damage, and therefore must be taken seriously. Jamaican doctors assert that those trying to replicate the powerful moves of daggering in the bedroom can end up with dramatic injuries. They say the incidents of broken penises have increased in the past year, according to an article in the ‘Jamaican Star.’

The community is divided over the dance, with singers up in arms over the ban, saying it stifles their right to free speech and diversity. Andrei Laskatelev argues that in social history numerous dances have been banned (the belly dance, the tango, the waltz etc.) and that it is just a matter of time before the ban on daggering will also be offset.

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