WAP: Let's talk about it
Empowering or Degrading? Expression of female sexuality or unladylike? Many questions continuously float around as people form their own opinions on the release of the song WAP by both Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. Some audiences find the song to be degrading towards women. Other audiences find the song as a mere expression of female sexuality. The debate on whether or not artists should release explicit content given their platforms and level of influence is nothing new. Regardless of what era of music we’re in whether it be the golden era of hip hop or the current rise of female rap one thing is certain, women’s capability to express their sexualities freely will always be a hot topic of debate.
Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s recent release of their single entitled WAP is coming under fire for its vulgar content. The acronym W.A.P stands for the phrase “Wet A** P****”. The phrase “ Wet A** P****, is used to describe the level of lubrication from a women’s vagina once sexually stimulated or aroused. Throughout the song, both Cardi and Megan freely express their sexuality by continuously acknowledging they have their own WAP’s. Furthermore, both emcees address what their expectations of their partners are before and after becoming sexually involved. The chorus along with other various lyrics exhibits the overall tone of the song.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Fans that follow both Cardi and Megan Thee Stallion are aware that this isn’t the first time that the rappers have displayed such explicit content in both their music and on social platforms. In 2019 Megan Thee Stallion released visuals for her single entitled “Big Ole Freak” that helped catapult her into stardom. Additionally, before Cardi B’s rise to fame as a rapper, she was known for both her comedic and captivating personality on social media where she often shared her own opinions and experiences about sex.
In addition to some of the general audience expressing backlash towards the song artists along with even politicians have chimed in on their dismay of the single. Republican politician James P Bradley shared his unwarranted opinion through Twitter on the song after accidentally hearing it. “ Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion are what happens when children are raised without God and 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!” Another public figure expressing their dismay of the song is Ceelo Green. Ceelo Green stating his thoughts of the song during an interview says, “There was once a time when we were savvy enough to code certain things. We could express to those it was meant for with the style of language we used. But now music is shameless, it is sheer savagery” he also carried on to say “ A lot of music today is very unfortunate and disappointing on a personal and moral level.” Though Ceelo expressed his disappointment in the vulgarity of the lyrics many people on social media have called out the R&B superstar on the vulgarity of some of his own lyrics deeming him as hypocritical.
Since his recent statement, Ceelo has apologized for his comments claiming that his quotes were “misunderstood” and that he even considers Cardi B and Offset family. Furthermore, he also acknowledges both Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion as powerful and influential women.
Though many people have expressed their overall concern with the message of the song, the single has also received lots of support. Celebrities from Christina Aguilera, Viola Davis, and even fashion designer Alexander Wang have shown their support of the song. Furthermore, even doctors are coming out in support of the song after conservative commentator Ben Sharpio made claims that women who have “WAP’s” should seek medical attention. “My only real concern is that women involved who apparently require a bucket and a mop get the medical care they require”. Doctor Jen Gutner a Canadian American OBGYN and author of the book “ The Vagina Bible” quickly condemns Sharpio’s statement by addressing how women are often misinformed and “mansplained by their partner” when it comes to their bodies during sex.“I see so many women who have been mansplained by their partner that they are too wet. It’s medically incorrect, infuriating, heartbreaking, and harmful”. Other medical professionals coming out in support of “WAP” suggesting the general public to educate themselves about the overall benefits of having a WAP while experiencing sex.
The vulgarity of lyrics and whether or not they should be allowed for the general public to hear has been a topic of debate for centuries. Artists and the entertainment industry as a whole do have a major part in influencing young impressionable minds. It wouldn’t be right for me to not acknowledge that, however, this could present itself as an opportunity to have more open and honest discussions about sex as opposed to refusing to speak on such topics with younger audiences. And no this doesn’t mean that elementary school-aged children should be allowed to sing WAP in the classroom, however, once age-appropriate deemed by the parent, there should be a start of an open and honest dialogue.
Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion are women in Hip-Hop. Hip-Hop has been known to primarily be a male-dominated field. Men in Hip-Hop have been known on numerous occasions to speak about their sexuality and even use it as a tool to degrade women.
Speaking on your sexuality is exactly just that, speaking on it, nothing more or less. There is a sense of power in deciding that as a woman you will choose to speak on whatever and express yourself however, especially when once upon a time women were to be seen and not heard. The idea that “nice women” don’t speak on those things or that ceratin topics are unladylike to address, has the potential of perpetuating a dangerous narrative that “ true ladies don’t do such things”. That same narrative can ultimately have the potential to support certain ideas and beliefs constructed by older patriarchal societies that vowed on silencing women’s voices as a whole. Furthermore, it’s potentially harmful to associate the way someone conducts themself in either private or public settings to the level of self-respect an individual has.
Though I understand the concern of younger audiences mimicking what they see and hear or even internalizing a message that they’re too young to understand, this does give the parents an opportunity to be open and candid about sex. Furthermore, given that we are considered to be in the midst of the information age there is only so much that we can hide from younger audiences. In conclusion, I think both Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion are two beautiful influential women who should feel free to speak on what they please.