You have almost definitely already seen Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s latest visuals for track WAP. But, just in case you haven’t, let me do the honours.
And just in case you’re not entirely sure what WAP actually means…
That’s right, track title WAP actually stands for Wet Ass Pussy.
The track is raunchy, explicit and by design shocking. So it’s no surprise that people (men) have had many an opinion on it.
The reaction from many has been, to put it simply,’Slut Shaming’.
Artist CeeLo Green hit out at the female rappers by suggesting “A lot of music today is very unfortunate and disappointing on a personal and moral level..But now music is shameless, it is sheer savagery.”
He then goes on to make the inference that this music, these visuals, and the female artists in question are simply seeking male attention.
Crazy, I know.
I find more than one issue with this, I could write about it for hours. In fact I already have, my university dissertation discussed this exact issue ,what does hyper-sexualised female rap means for modern day feminism in the west?
But for now I’ll say just a few words.
Firstly, the suggestion that WAP is designed for the pleasure and attention of men perpetuates the suggestion that women exist only for the purposes of men. It’s a classic rhetoric of women’s sexuality, being and body catering to, not themselves, but the whims and wishes of men.
False. The entire point, from my perspective, behind this sexualised style of female rap is that a woman can be sexual for her OWN pleasure. WAP and tracks like it are domineering, powerful and commanding. Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion are in the driving seat, celebrating their bodies and sexuality in a way that does not beat around the bush.
Secondly men have been profiting off women’s bodies in the rap genre for decades.
A feature so commonplace now that we rarely notice it. Just watch Nelly’s Tip Drill video from the noughties, or if you fancy something more recent try Chris Brown’s Heat video. This sexualisation of the female body is normalised.
So why is it an issue for women to partake in what can only be described as tradition to the genre? Why do we find acceptability in a man sexualising a woman’s body but not a woman owning the sexuality of her own?
Bottom line why is the world still SO terrified of female sexuality? Lots of questions without any reasonable answers.
I’ll end on one final note, and share my opinion on the relation between feminism and music such as WAP.
Feminism is about equality, opportunity and most importantly choice. It is about women having the space to express and conduct themselves in whichever way they please without the constraints of gender roles and stereotypes that dictate the acceptability of our being.
I love WAP, I love the expression of female sexuality, I love how powerful a space it occupies and how empowering I think it can be seen as. WAP abandons all shame that is so often attached to female sexuality.
Love it or hate it, but I think you have to respect it.