There are always two sides to every story, and we’re currently seeing it play out between Rosalía and Rauw Alejandro fans regarding their breakup. Yesterday (Aug. 10), the Puerto Rican singer released “Hayami Hana By Raúl,” a heartfelt song for Rosalía, his ex-fiancée. While some praised his willingness to be open, others, like Rolling Stone, felt it was unnecessary. The result of polarizing opinions pervading online? An outdated discussion about how we perceive breakup songs based on gender roles and overall masculinity as a society.
Rolling Stone described the five-minute love letter as a song “that we could’ve all lived without” and one of his sentiments as a “Hallmark card-meets-highschooler-love-letter line.” Though the publication also praised Rauw’s vulnerability, it sparked conversations online about the double standards we hold as a society about post-breakup songs depending on the artist’s gender.
“He is literally a singer and it’s the way artists drain and process things, just like everyone else Adele, Shakira, etc. does,” a social media user wrote about the media outlet’s thesis. “I don’t understand the need to complain about Rauw doing it 🤷🏻♀️.” Another social media user echoed the same sentiment: “Keep the same energy next time Shakira drops a song about Pique.”
However, the conversation reached beyond the publication’s social media thread. “[It’s] very funny that they criticize Rauw Alejandro for his song and him not respecting the grieving, blah, blah, blah but, had it been Rosalia, they would be applauding him… as well as Shakira, Karol G, Selena Gómez… 🙄,” another online user said about the overall reception of “Hayami Hana By Raúl.”
Why is it that social media users applaud Karol G when she drops another song about Anuel but criticize Rauw when he drops his first-ever public post-breakup track? Would it have been different if Rosalía had dropped her own “MAMIII” kiss-off version of their story first? Or a Bizarrap session, which many fans asked for?
This situation also opens the conversation about how we treat machismo culture and men’s mental health within our communities. In the song, Rauw even says he has a hard time expressing himself—who are we to discourage a man’s openness that could possibly inspire others to do the same?
“Tripeense a Rauw all you want for his breakup song but the reality is a lot of men wish they could take off their masks and admit they are not okay. I’m so disgusted by toxic masculinity 🤮,” an online user wrote.
On the flip side, others are theorizing ulterior motives: “The song of rauw alejandro is very nice, but NOT EVEN ONE MONTH HAS PASSED AND HE IS ALREADY PROFITING FROM THE BREAKUP AND ALSO VENTILATING THE INTIMACY OF THE RELATIONSHIP!!! it is very clear that he wants to clean up his image, everything he says in the song could be sent to her in a message.”
Phew! Whether or not you agree with the Puerto Rican’s decision to let it all out, he’s an artist. He’s going to be inspired by his intimate highs and lows. And do we really expect Rosalía not to mention who she once described as the “love of her life” on her next album?
At the end of the day, this is a private matter that has been made public and discussed publicly by people because of the nature of their jobs. And while we can talk circles around their breakup, upholding machismo by telling a man not to express his feelings only perpetuates old, harmful stereotypes that don’t let the culture move forward.