I’m a night owl. I get this burst of energy right after the sun leaves the sky. So, it was no surprise that I was wide awake on Friday, vacillating between everything Netflix has to offer and Instagram. I was just about to get really desperate and click the Amazon Prime Video app when Cardi B came across my screen and said, “We about to go live on YouTube!” My fingers couldn’t move fast enough. After Salted Caramel Talenti Ice Cream, Cardi B going live is my favorite thing. And then my memory was jogged, Yes, I remember now! The WAP video! I thought. She dropped some dope album art earlier in the week and promised us something dope was coming and well…here it was.
After watching her and Megan Thee Stallion (with faces fully beat to the God’s) chat about how fun it was to shoot the video the screen faded to black and the video started. 4 minutes and 13 seconds later the internet lost its damn mind.
I loved it. But I was immediately worried. I knew what would come. I knew what people would say, because they say it every time a woman shows a little hint of titty (or the entire one in Cardi’s case) and shakes her booty. “What kind of example does this set for little girls?” and then “They are attracting the wrong type of attention” and “This doesn’t empower women!”. Being a woman, a mother to a little girl, and a creative I decided to explore these arguments a bit more.
What kind of example does this set for little girls?
It should not set any examples for little girls. This song is for grown ass women. If your daughter is listening to the explicit version of WAP or watching the video I would question your parenting. This is adult content. Just like Rated R movies and White Castle burgers parents decide whether their kids should consume it at their own risk. But here’s the thing- when my daughter is a grown ass woman, I want her to watch WAP. I want her to know that if she’s a sexual woman who enjoys having amazing sex with her partner that she should not be ashamed of it. There are scores of women who do not have orgasms, who need Detective Pikachu to help them find their clitoris, and the only hands that have touched their vagina belong to some guy named Ray who messed up their credit. That is more alarming to me than a woman celebrating her WAP.
They are attracting the wrong type of attention.
I think this is the exact type of attention both of them want for their careers. Cardi B and Meg have both long served us with songs that talk about being authentically and unapologetically themselves while securing their riches and not taking lame dudes too seriously (I mean, yes!). It is not a huge leap to think that these women would team up for an anthem about the luxuriousness that is the female vagina. I was waiting for it. It’s exactly the type of attention they want. And I don’t say that as a negative thing. As a creative you’re supposed to make things that express your beliefs and solidify your message and image. What we know from this song and video and all the others that they have produced previously is that they are PROUD of their sexual prowess. How are you going to be a ‘Hot Girl’ and then be like “Yes, I do engage in coitus on occasion at my betrothed’s request.” Nah, you have to be say, and I quote, “I want you to park that big Mack truck right in this little garage.”
This does not empower women!
From what I understand, female empowerment is not some blanket act or statement. It’s nuanced. It’s a systematic freeing of women from patriarchal ideals in multiple areas. After exploring some of those areas of improvement to support women’s empowerment, I do believe WAP does just that. Let’s take a closer look at the song.
In verse 1 Cardi B raps:
I don’t cook, I don’t clean
But let me tell you how I got this ring (Ayy, ayy)
This clearly demonstrates that the historical roles of the woman as a homemaker and caretaker are not the only roles that constitute “wife material”. There are other things that can make her desirable such as her mind, her sense of humor, or her ability to wear a disguise during role play. It’s all about balance.
Meg Thee Stallion has always been about her education. She made waves and received big congrats when she announced that even though she was a chart-topping rap star she was still enrolling in college to get her education. She knows that investing in herself through education is key. And, as we know, education is expensive and there are many men that are willing to support the instruction of women with and without WAPs. Let’s look at Verse 2 from Meg for clarification:
Pay my tuition just to kiss me on this wet-ass p***y (Mwah, mwah, mwah)
Being poor is not ideal. Not having adequate income limits where you live, how well you eat, clothing, medical care, education and so much more. Like all of us, if we have an opportunity to legally change our financial circumstances we would. Smart businesspeople seize opportunities. They see investors in every interaction. People WANT to help, so let them! Meg said it best:
Ask for a car while you ride that d***
You really ain’t never gotta f*** him for a thang (Yeah)
He already made his mind up ‘fore he came (Ayy, ah)
Let’s open with some points from Meg:
I tell him where to put it, never tell him where I’m ’bout to be (Huh)
I’ll run down on him ‘fore I have a n**** runnin’ me (Pow, pow, pow)
The most powerful position in our nation has ever only been held by a man. The men running this country have consistently ignored women’s issues or failed to protect our rights entirely. We can not continue to have leadership that is majority male. They can’t run a country inhabited by 50% women without the input of women. *MLK Jr. Voice* We must ruuuun doooown on these men and demand that we hold a seat at the table. It’s the only way to move toward equity.
I’m just going to pull this directly from the article because its soooo good. Curatolo writes that psychological empowerment is so important because “it transgresses the “traditional and patriarchal taboos and social obligations” and lets women go beyond what’s expected of them in society. This can build self-confidence, help women recognize their self-worth, and gives them the chance to take control of their income and body.” WAP in its entirety is about two women saying that they get what they want and give it just as a good to their partners. They are celebrating the equality and reciprocity of intimacy that many of us desire. They are not afraid to take charge or be vulnerable. Whatever they feel like on a given day is what they express.
There’s nothing wrong with having a positive view of your sexuality and understanding that for what is given much can be expected. Besides, adequate lubrication is a sign of good vaginal health. What’s more cause for celebration than a healthy WAP? I appreciate these two ladies for making this song. The beat is fire, the lyrics are catching and affirming, and they look absolutely stunning in the video. And guess what? As a college educated woman, a writer, a wife, and mommy to two kids, I will still drop and twerk for my husband with WAP banging on in the background.