chapter  6
La Lupe, La India, and Celia: Toward a Feminist Genealogy of Salsa Music
Pages 26

Eliding the conceptualization of gender as a social construct, schol­arship on Latino/a popular music continues to ignore female par­ticipation in the salsa musical industry and focuses only on male musicians, producers, and interpreters, naturalizing the unmarked mas­ culine privilege underlying the selection of their objects of study. This gender ideology is less clearly at work, yet equally embedded, in the pol­ itics of citation as well as in the logic behind academic and cultural events on popular music, for which female scholars are invited “ to take care of the gender thing.” 1 I do not question the need-which still looms large-to study and unearth the participation of women in the Latin music industry, a task that necessitates further collaborative work and that, indeed, fuels my own approaches to music scholarship. This area deserves our serious scholarly analysis precisely because it has been neg­ lected by masculinist writings on popular music. Yet the logic that defines gender exclusively as “women” leaves masculinity-as a gen­ dered ideology and social construct-untouched by analysis. It also rel­ egates women to an exceptional category in the musical industry, as if their presence and participation were the exclusive result of a feminist politics of inclusion on the part of scholars.