It’s been 10 days since the release of the iconic ‘WAP’ by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, and the public remains stunned. The song is a celebration of female sexuality, liberation, and pleasure in a space so long dominated by men—naturally, it has caused great controversy and enraged many conservatives.
Last week, American political commentator Ben Shapiro filmed an awkward reading of the song’s lyrics, censoring the word pussy as the “p-word” while making a dig at feminism. Shapiro then continued to take his criticism of the song onto Twitter, stating that vaginal wetness is a sign of a bacterial infection or an STD, and must be treated. Yes, you read that correctly.
Shapiro, who seems to have taken the lyric “bring a bucket and a mop for this WAP” a bit too literally, advised women who experience vaginal wetness to see a doctor—claiming that this statement comes from his wife, Mor Shapiro, who is a medical practitioner herself. Shapiro continued by publicly announcing that he had never made his wife of 11 years, and the mother to three of his children, wet through sexual arousal. Naturally, the video and his ridiculous statement turned into a viral meme in no time.
It is important to point that Shapiro specifically talks about what he considers to be ‘excessive’ vaginal wetness, as it is unclear whether he means wetness all together—however, even then his statement is deeply misinformed. Vaginal wetness is essential in keeping the vagina clean and protecting it from injury or tearing, and it doesn’t necessarily come from arousal only, but is common and natural during sex. It can make vaginal penetration easier and often more pleasurable, and there is no ‘right’ amount of fluid as it varies for everyone.
While Shapiro’s ridiculous comments make great memes and entertain us, they are part of a bigger problem, as they highlight the stigma and lack of knowledge around female anatomy and genitalia. Vaginal wetness should not be considered abnormal nor taboo, and yet it is by many. A lot of the stigma can be attributed to the lack of general sex education, which is especially limited in traditional school curriculums. This lack of information then leads many women into feeling insecure about their natural vaginal form or basic bodily functions.
According to a 2017 survey conducted by The Eve Appeal, 500 out of the 1000 men interviewed were unable to identify where the vagina is. In heterosexual relationships, women have fewer orgasms than men on average, which is known as the orgasm gap. A 2016 study by the Archives of Sexual Behaviour found that 95 per cent of straight men report they always climax during sex, compared to only 65 per cent of straight women (in contrast, lesbian women who claimed to have always climaxed with their partner averaged in 86 per cent).
Some women are unable to climax regardless of their partners and still endure a pleasurable experience. Although orgasms are not the end goal of sex, the orgasm gap is steep. The study finds that women who orgasmed more frequently were more likely to receive oral sex, be generally satisfied with their relationship, and feel comfortable communicating their wishes to their partner. Shapiro’s suggestion that women who experience wetness as a result of arousal have a disease only goes to show how negligent and misinformed straight men can be in relation to their sexual partners.
The worst part of all this, however, isn’t the fact that women who sleep with these men are receiving mediocre (at best) sex—it is the fact that it is conservative men in politics like Ben Shapiro who are making decisions for our bodies. The majority of US laws banning or restricting access to abortion have been disproportionately voted on by conservative, Republican men, and if anything, this is proof that it is not their place in doing so.
And yet, Shapiro’s sensitivity to ‘WAP’ shouldn’t come as a surprise. In 2005, a 21-year-old Shapiro published a book titled PORN GENERATION: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future, in which he critiqued the representation of sex in culture, complaining that sexual liberation is destroying our core values as a society. Therefore, it is unlikely that his ignorance and overt negligence over female arousal and pleasure comes from a place of confusion—it is a choice.