During the wee hours of Friday morning, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion dropped the song and music video for their much-anticipated collaboration “WAP” — which, in case you haven’t figured it out by now, is a filthy acronym. It’s more shit-talking than Shakespeare, but there are quotables galore. “Punani Dasani.” “Swipe your nose like a credit card.” “Let him taste it, now he’s diabetic.” There’s a semi-truck horn that comes at the perfect time. It’s a fun, funny, and ridiculous song in the way that songs boasting about sexual prowess often are.
It’s nothing we haven’t heard before. Missy Elliott, Foxy Brown, Trina, Lady Saw, and Lil’ Kim — to whom Meg and Cardi pay homage in the video via a stone fountain of themselves posed in the iconic Hard Core spread-eagle squat — were boasty about the power of the pussy and lyrically loose-lipped about their sexual exploits 25 years ago. So was Adina Howard, a self-proclaimed “freak,” and before her, a long list of women, including Millie Jackson and Ma Rainey, who were equally explicit about their sexual desires and expectations.
Men boasting about their sexual prowess is so common, it’s cliché. Yet when women declare they, too, like and want sex? On God, we’re all doomed, B.
And yet, nearly 90 years after Bessie Smith sang about wanting “a little hot dog between my rolls,” menfolk (and women too) are out here clutching pearls because Cardi said she wanted “a King Cobra” that could “touch that lil’ dangly thing that swing in the back of [her] throat.” A whole lot of women loved “WAP” and laughed along with it — but plenty of others are big mad about the lyrical content. “What about the children?!” they ask. “Hoe culture is the downfall of the Black community!” they declare. “These women need fathers! And God!” they proclaim.
I’m so confused by so many things about this outrage, but let me start here: Where is all this ire when male entertainers rap about sex? I mean, when the Ying Yang Twins were whispering, “Wait ’til you see my dick” — as if no one had ever seen a penis and it was really something special to behold — no one called them hoes. Akinyele instructing women to “put it in your mouth,” Biggie bragging about “tongue delivering” and women “shivering,” Kendrick Lamar (of all people) crowing, “I know you want this dick”: None of it raised eyebrows. Men boasting about their sexual prowess is so common, it’s cliché. (Even Safaree popped out of the woodwork yesterday to drop the least-anticipated remix ever, “BAD,” using an acronym I’ll let you decipher yourself.) Yet when women declare they, too, like and want sex? On God, we’re all doomed, B.
Help me understand because the logic is off: Men who say they desire sex with women are upset that women want to have sex with them too. Don’t these things go together? If she wants sex and he wants sex, isn’t that just another thing two people who could eventually undress have in common? And if you’re a man who wants sex and you shame women who want it as “hoes” and “whores” who are leading to the downfall of the community — and who need God and their ass beat, but not in that order — aren’t you really just creating an unnecessary roadblock to access the sex you want? Or is it that you prefer to manipulate women to get it or take it by force rather than having WAP shared eagerly?
I’m gonna guess there are other factors at play here to explain why rapping about lady parts is so damn offensive. I’m sensing maybe a loss of control? A bruised ego? A fear that if a woman is sexually empowered, maybe she’ll have high expectations and you might not measure up? I’m not gonna bullshit you; yes, that’s likely to happen, and yes, it could be troubling for you. But is the solution here really the continued browbeating and slut-shaming of women — or is it something as revolutionary as respecting women enough to listen to them and learn what they like?
Granted, you could continue to try it your way in the Year of Our Lord 2020, but I should warn you that you won’t get far. And you won’t get WAP either.