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.
This Morning, 7 August, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion released their new track ‘WAP’ along with a music video just in time for the weekend. Unsurprisingly, the song and the new video are both as extra and in-your-face as the two rappers. With surprise appearances from Kylie Jenner and Rosalia, here’s everything you need to know about ‘WAP’ and why it is the greatest celebration of women we’ve seen so far this year.
‘WAP’ stands for Wet Ass Pussy. The track is Cardi B’s new single for her upcoming second studio album, Tiger Woods. It’s the first collaboration between Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion as well as Cardi’s first release of 2020 since her solo single ‘Press’.
On 29 July, Cardi B teased the existence of new music with a promo for her website on Instagram, and on 2 August, uploaded a video to her Instagram suggesting there would be an announcement the following day. Finally, on 3 August, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion both revealed the song’s name, cover art, and release date on their Instagram.
Yesterday, on 6 August, Cardi B revealed that the music video would be released alongside the song, and posted a teaser for the video later that day. Minutes before the release of the song, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion did a live-stream on YouTube titled Live with Cardi B.
The music video for ‘WAP’ takes place in a luxurious mansion and starts with a shot of a fountain out front featuring two female statuettes, which is just a little teaser of what’s to come over the next 4:12 minutes. Hint: Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion have never been scared to show a little bit of skin.
“I just want to let y’all know, I wanna give y’all the heads up, the music video is going to be the censored version of the song, because the song is so nasty that YouTube was like, ‘Hold on, wait a minute, someone might be too Goddamn nasty,” Cardi B revealed on Instagram before the release, encouraging fans to listen to the full ‘nasty’ version on streaming services.
Many will have spotted cameo appearances from Kylie Jenner—we’re not joking, Normani, Rosalia, Rubi Rose, Sukihana and Mulatto. The video is full of two things: females and latex, and we’re so here for both!
Appearing on New Music Daily for Apple Music, Cardi B said: “I wanted a lot of different females, not just female rappers. Y’all going to see it on the music video as well, from models to influencers and everything.”
Speaking about the lesser-known artists featured in the ‘WAP’ video, including Rubi Rose, Sukihana and Mulatto, Cardi B said “These are the girls that I personally like. That I like their music. That I really feel they are going to go mainstream.”
Kylie Jenner can be seen in the video walking in the house’s corridors in a tiny leopard body while Rosalia appears dancing in a dark room in a dreamy red latex outfit towards the end of the song.
The song’s crude lyrics highlight Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s aim to make women feel empowered by their sexuality. The lyrics “There’s some whores in this house” celebrate the fact that women get horny too. Feeling like you want more? Do you want to get freaky? Well, ‘WAP’ tells you: just do what you want, get it, no shame.
Women are still underrepresented in the world of hip-hop, without a doubt. Female artists either stray closer to pop or to R&B, playing it safe. Cardi B doesn’t care about any of that. She proves once more to be an empowering voice for women, along with the impressive Megan Thee Stallion.
Both rappers are not afraid to sound loud and proud in a genre ruled by men who objectify women as a selling point for their music. This time, they’ve turned the narrative around. ‘WAP’ sounds, looks and feels like the start of a long-needed change in music.
It looks like Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion just saved 2020.