The Literary and Arts Magazine of Lehman College

Lo Que Siento: The Spanglish Deconstruction of Toxic Masculinity


Kat’s Music and Comics Corner Vol. 2 Issue #12

I took three years of Spanish back in high school and you’d think, at this point, if someone were to approach me speaking solely Spanish that I would be able to hold my own. Ha… no. It’s truly shameful because had I actually dedicated myself to my studies I would have gained a really useful language skill, but even better, I would have entered the beautiful world that is the Spanish language. I’ve always thought the Spanish language sounded super romantic and spicy, but I didn’t realize how poetic it could be. Then, I heard Cuco’s “Lo Que Siento” and now I can’t stop listening to it on repeat. There’s no better season for this level of audio cheese. 

So it’s cuffing season. I just recently learned what that is. It’s the season to pair up with someone and become a couple. It’s funny how much like wild animals we can be. Searching for someone to mate and hibernate with to survive the winter. It’s an emotional survival of the fittest. Cuco’s music is a healing balm for the cracked, crumbling souls longing for love. I will admit the first time I heard “Lo Que Siento” I didn’t really like it. I thought it was so corny and cliche, way too saccharine for my tastes. But then, like a victim of cupid’s bow, I got trapped in love’s spell and all the sickeningly sugar-coated sentiments in Cuco’s song became endearing and real. Both the English and Spanish lines are written pretty well, but it’s lines like “Sin ti mis días son largos y se sienten tan amargos (Without you my days are longer and they feel bitter)/Me ahogo en un lago de mis lagrimas que hago (I drown in a lake of tears that I make)” that really make me want to curl up in the fetal position, eat a pint of Häagen-Dazs, and silently cry.  Cuco, real name Omar Banos, is only 19 but his lyrics are so blatantly filled with sensitivity and vulnerability, which is something bold and even dangerous for a young, Latino male to express openly about.

The best part about Cuco’s “Lo Que Siento” is that it’s a public display of a young man’s emotions for someone. In a culture where you’re supposed to be filled with machismo or male pride, Cuco shows other young men that it’s cool and a-okay to cry and be lovey-dovey. I mean, his twitter handle is @icryduringsex which kind of speaks for itself. These types of personality traits would usually be shunned in the Latino male community and be considered something to be ashamed about. Often times, in music both visual and audible, women are overly sexualized and objectified so it’s refreshing to hear Cuco’s romantic ode to his beloved. We need more music like this to break down and dispose of toxic masculinity. ‘Lo que siento’ translates to “How I feel” and I think that’s all we really need to hear rather than “What I desire”, “What I want”, or “What I lust”. Not that those aren’t normal things to feel, but I think that there should be more recognition and attention for feelings and emotions of the young men in our urban community. These are our fathers, sons, teachers, politicians, artists. We need to nurture them, not emasculate them by feeding into the idea of toxic masculinity and machismo. 

– Kathryn “Kat” Fornier