In the Mozambican capital of Maputo, young women’s sexuality has become an issue of public concern, as popular culture as well as changing socio-economic landscape change female identities and pave the way for emerging forms of female agency and sexual assertiveness. In this article, I analyze how a highly erotic concert performance in 2007 by the pregnant music star Dama Do Bling accentuated certain ideals of femininity and revealed a set of ideological contradictions concerning sexuality and femininity in Mozambique. ‘The Bling scandal’, as it was called, served as a can opener in terms of making women’s sexuality publicly debatable among and between young women as well as among the media, politicians, organizations and religious leaders. While some young women see ‘the Bling scandal’ as a denigration of womanhood others see it as a sign of increasing freedom for women that involves transactional sexual relationships with sugar-daddies.
- erotic expression
- popular culture