WAP: (W)hy (A)re (P)eople Angry

By Kendyl Brower 

“Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion are what happens when children are raised without God and without a strong father figure,” according to James P. Bradley, a California congressional candidate. Ever since the release of hit song “WAP,” an absurd amount of backlash has flooded  Cardi B and Meg’s Twitter. Critics abhor the provocative song, concerned with the vulgar message it spreads: the objectification of women and the genital health of ‘WAPs.’ 

The amount of hate “WAP” receives baffles me. “WAP” is not the first raunchy rap song created, nor will it be the last. No one bats an eye for Three 6 Mafia’s sexual lyrics, “slob on my knob,” or Lil Wayne’s song titled, “P**** Monster.” What distinguishes “WAP” from any other promiscuous song? Short answer: women. The music industry constantly bashes women, critiquing them under a microscope. Women are too prudish, too provocative, and never enough. In 2018, Grammy President Neil Portnow told women to “step up” after only one woman walked away with an award, essentially blaming women for their own lack of inclusion. Moreover, countless double-standards plague the industry, as men like Cee Lo Green claim “there should be a time and place for adult content,” while having dirty lyrics of his own such as “very naughty necrophilia… I drove her home when she died, s*xy suicide.” The only time Cee Lo comments on the horrors of vulgar lyrics is when they come from a woman’s mouth.

Additionally, the media scrutinized “WAP” for its supposed objectification of women. One-time Congressional candidate DeAnna Lorraine argues the song sets “the entire female gender back by 100 years.” These preposterous claims illustrate how sex only becomes a taboo when women explore it. The media allows naked women as background dancers in a man’s music video; as soon as she grabs the spotlight the issues arise. “WAP” celebrates independence, self-love, and confidence. In a genre that often degrades women, Cardi and Meg rightfully reclaim the narrative of femininity. Men have capitialized off of women’s sex appeal for centuries. Cardi and Meg play into this profitable erotic capital, helping to take back women’s autonomy. 

The countless worrisome comments regarding the health of a ‘WAP’ truly demonstrate why we need to rethink sex education. Too many critics lack a basic understanding of female anatomy. Conservative talk show host Ben Shapiro states, “women with a wet a** p**** should get the medical care they require.” With a doctor as his wife, it is quite concerning how Ben Shapiro fails to recognize that vaginal lubrication is completely natural. Medical director of the Northwestern Medicine Center for Sexual Medicine and Menopause, Dr. Lauren Streicher, informs the public that “vaginal lubrication is a good and healthy thing.” Sex education needs to better address the uncomfortable conversations about female pleasure and anatomy. Most citizens recognize the basic concepts of male genitals; however, they lack the same knowledge with females. ‘WAP’ is not a radical concept. The storm of controversy this song brings highlights how sex education needs a larger focus on the female body. 

Provocative language, objectification, and health concerns have brought mass amounts of hatred to Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion. Although most rap songs contain these same ideas, none undergo the same resentment “WAP” receives. Is it the vulgarity that people dislike? Or is it unapologetic women that angers listeners?