Singer/rapper Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion recently released a song named WAP. Chances are you have heard it/heard about it. If you haven't, you can listen to it here.
As you can tell, the lyrics of the song are bold. Something, that has invited a hell lot of criticism for the artists.
They have been called 'bad influence', 'vulgar' and many other harsher things, which I will avoid going into right now.
My question: Why? The song is about two women owning their sexuality and terms often used against the gender. And yes, they are talking about sex; but, that's kind of the point of the song. So what really is the problem?
Conditioning is what, expecting women to feel what they are told, is what.
Now, since the matter blew up, we decided to decode it a bit.
The controversy around WAP picked momentum after comedian Russell Brand uploaded a YouTube video, titled WAP with Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion: Feminist Masterpiece Or P*rn?.
With respect to the 'male gaze', a commonly used tool in art to get attention, he pointed out the 'flaws' in the video, saying that it was still catering to the same ideas:
I am saying that, in a sense, it's still the same metric it's still the same aesthetic, it's still the same values, it's still the same ideals. It's still ultimately a sort of capitalist objectification and commodification of, in this case, the female.
For this, he received a lot of criticism and people called him out for mansplaining the concept to women artsists.
Congratulations to Russell Brand for mansplaining to women how they should enjoy WAP & their own sexuality. pic.twitter.com/SlXZuFEUc1— JenBren Tha Funkee Homosapien (@jenbren1976) August 15, 2020
Before Russell, James P. Bradley, a Republican, had tweeted saying 'this is what happens when kids don't have a strong father figure'.
Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion are what happens when children are raised without God and without a strong father figure. Their new "song" The #WAP (which i heard accidentally) made me want to pour holy water in my ears and I feel sorry for future girls if this is their role model!— James P. Bradley (@BradleyCongress) August 7, 2020
Adding that he respects Cardi B's right to freedom of speech.
Secondly, while I personally take offense to the lyrics and messaging of this song, I absolutely respect her 1st Amendment right to make it.— James P. Bradley (@BradleyCongress) August 7, 2020
Also surprised that twitter doesn’t mind this kind of free speech but has a problem with conservative free speech.
Which is an odd chronology. If you actually 'respect' someone's freedom of saying what they want to say, you criticise them respectfully, too. You don't say they grew up without a father figure.
Anyhow, a week later, he called the song 'trash' and that was that.
Last week I came out against the song #WAP because I didn’t want our nations children exposed to that type of trash.— James P. Bradley (@BradleyCongress) August 12, 2020
Now Kamala Harris is the VP nominee & this woman literally released campaign videos dancing to Cardi’s music.
Is that the influence we want on our youth?
This demands some introspection: About the society's conditioning of how women are supposed to behave and the leeway it gives to men.
If you have been a fan of English rap music, you know that the lyrics used by the artists are often explicit.
The genre is based on that. But while male rappers often dodge the scrutiny, the same cannot be said for the women.
In fact, explicit is just one part of it. Men like Eminem and Snoop Dog have called women 'gold-diggers', made comments on their characters, suggested highly sexual stuff, and that is something everyone has grooved to.
But how dare women talk about their OWN bodies? SHAME!
The song uses strong words, sure, but the artists never claimed otherwise. And if you look at the lyrics, you will find that men have said a lot of stuff in their songs - about women - that has never been called 'inappropriate'. In fact, those songs have been huge hits. For instance:
"WAP is so vulgar! This is why female rappers are terrible! All they talk about is sex! Maybe try some THOUGHTFUL lyrics??"— goddammitBilly🌱☭🏴 (@billllyum) August 13, 2020
The white male rapper they love: pic.twitter.com/JRM6Wt1BXv
Now, one can or cannot have an inclination towards this kind of music but the sheer amount of hate Cardi and Megan are getting for their song being vulgar is something unwarranted.
But you will find it in abundance (just a reminder, even these reactions have been filtered out, from tons of others which were offensive to a disturbing degree).
I don’t get WAP lmaooo. Like it’s the single most vulgar song I’ve ever heard. What’s the appeal? Is it boobies?— Exapein (@krcollectables) August 10, 2020
WAP is vulgar n it represents the ONLY thing most women can offer https://t.co/AdR0oi6nex— Deshon Elz (@seamoregooddick) August 10, 2020
The song wap sounds fucking disgusting and the reason why it's wrong for them to do this is because of little girls looking up to them most little boys love athletes over rappers n entertainers so they ain't singing n dancing to vulgar shit— Shaqs uchiha (@shaqsuchiha) August 13, 2020
However, thankfully, the army of people supporting Cardi and Megan is also huge, and at this point, Twitter is filled with messages supporting the rappers and putting the double-standards into perspective.
boys be like “WAP is so vulgar how can women talk about their bodies like that it’s disgusting” while listening to every single male rapper make the same “beat up the pussy call peta” like and call it poetry— itsmaddo (@itsmaddo) August 16, 2020
Wait wait, I’m seeing everyone talking about WAP being too vulgar like I don’t have vivid memories of watching Snoop Dogg’s Doggiestyle which was literal hardcore porn hahaha. It’s wild how far the bar moves when Black women are involved 🙃— Dewayne Perkins (@DewaynePerkins) August 11, 2020
WAP by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion is portrayed as vulgar on face value, but in actuality it’s a feminist anthem that challenges the narrative over women’s sexuality in rap music, shifting to the female gaze that reclaims the hypersexualisation of our bodies. In this essay I-— 𝖊𝖒𝖔 𝖒𝖔𝖒 (@YasmineSumman) August 15, 2020
Me trying to understand how someone finds WAP vulgar after they listened to little Wayne through their youth pic.twitter.com/Z14USOmvgm— Edward Ace. (@PeddieAce) August 16, 2020
As for Cardi, this is what she had to say about the whole issue:
I always encourage people to be confident, especially when it comes to your sexuality. Some of these men are uncomfortable, they’re not even comfortable being sensual. Maybe you’re conservative, but everybody got a little freak inside them, you know? Every single person. Everybody gets horny, everybody gets a little tingle down there, you know what I’m saying. Just embrace it. Don’t be scared about it.
Megan, too, took a dig at people criticising the song, saying that the same men who are calling her out, casually say the most sexual things. Very often.
Lol dudes will scream “slob on my knob” word for word and crying abt WAP 😂 bye lil boy— HOT GIRL MEG (@theestallion) August 11, 2020
For now, the song is breaking the internet, which gives everyone associated with it, a big reason to celebrate.
The same is true for us. Not only does the song embrace sexuality, it celebrates it. And something like that, takes courage in the world we are living (as it must be evident by what happened).
Here are two women talking about their genitals, because you know what? It's okay. It's great. In a society where women are told to 'keep it dry', they are celebrating the 'wetness' in all its glory.