The US rappers Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion have actually done something stinky normal. You have released a song with an accompanying video. Wap is both lyrically and visually as obscene, explicit and about it as it should be for pop and rap in the 21st century.
But that’s where the stink normal thing about the video ends. On the one hand, the two have an unprecedented success with it – the video is only two weeks old and has already been viewed more than 136 million times; no video was streamed more frequently in the first week after release in the US. On the other hand, they have a debate about female sexuality and empowerment , which is currently being hotly contested in the USA.
Republican politician James P. Bradley wrote on Twitter: “Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion are the result of an education without God and a strong father figure. I accidentally heard her new ‘song’ and wanted to pour holy water into my ears. I feel sorry for future generations of girls if these are their role models!”
“Here are whores in the house” (with the line the song starts) is probably clearly too much for Republican politicians who only know how to help themselves with the extreme (holy water!).
The message of the song (We are horny and want sex) as well as the drastic descriptions (Wap may refer to: Wet-Ass Pussy, so “clapping soaking vulva”) nothing extraordinary, if you look at what else ends up in the hit parades. The decisive difference: Sex is so explicitly sought only by men.
Wobbly butts in a different way
And this applies not only to the texts themselves, but also to the visual representation in the videos. Naked, wobbly butts are not an invention of Cardi B, but unlike much of men’s rap, Cardi B and Megan don’t treat anyone as an object. What we get to hear and see instead: Two women with little clothes who describe their wet genitals and tell what they intend to do with them (“I want you to park that big Mack truck right in this little garage“).
Men’s rap, on the other hand, isn’t just full of “Dicks” and “Lollipops“, but also from “bitches” and “Hoes” and how little you have left for them. The fact that this explicit sexuality is not (anymore) perceived as particularly offensive in public discourse is one thing, the other is: Songs by men are usually not questioned about their gender politics. Cardi B and Megan, on the other hand, must now be pilloried as female role models and asked what exactly they are doing for female empowerment.
It’s about the soaking wet V-word.
Commentator Ben Shapiro complained in a video about Wap: “That’s really what feminism is all about. It is not a question of considering women as independent, complete human beings. To show beings. It’s about the soaking wet V-word.”
Sure, the video is obscene and can also be found badly. Everyone as he likes. The problem is that two women are condemned here because they fantasize about consensual sex, and at the same time countless rappers who humiliate women in their songs are not even recognized as problematic. Especially given the fact that the sexuality of black women is so often reduced to an object state.
So whoever is misogynistic here does not show the video, but the debate.