The year 2020 has been a rough old ride that none of us were strapped in – or on– for. From wildfires and flash floods, to health pandemics, swarms of locusts and Olly Murs sticking his dick in a pringle can; this year has provided us with a sleuth of random catastrophes that it seemed nothing could suprise us anymore. That was until the little dangley things at the back of our throats were thrust (quite literally) to the centre stage of our air waves. As the Summer nights began to close in on us and we looked to the possbility of a bleak Winter, two women were gearing up to usher the wet season upon us before August was out. If being locked in our homes and physical touch – aka shagging- becoming illegal wasn’t enough to turn us all into rampant horn bags, a song that celebrates the aroused state of womens vaginas was about to be the ahem, tip of the iceberg. Of course, I’m talking about the sex positive anthem of the century- W.A.P which stands for Welsh And Proud, sorry – I mean Wet Ass Pussy.
Rappers Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion joined forces to alleviate female sexual pleasure to the forefront of conversation. Persistently viewed as scandalous and it’s importance often downplayed, the fact that women enjoy sex is a hard-truth that many still struggle to swallow, as shown in the backlash and disgust againstW.A.P and it’s lady gushing lyrics. Don’t get me wrong, W.A.P is a heavy hitter. The first time I heard it I was shocked too, to see two women rolling around in leopard printed nipple pasties singing about oral sex was… a lot. “Is this ‘too’ much?” I thought. But I soon picked apart the internalised misogynistic views that had been enforced upon me from a young age and that had led to me believe that women talking about sex in public was ‘too much’, and saw the song for what is: a feminist fucking masterpiece.
That statement will upset some people. That statement will upset some feminists. But here’s why W.A.P is a movement of the ages. The core belief of feminism is equality. It’s sole end goal is for all genders to be treated equally. Men have been talking and singing and rapping about sex for decades with little to no consequence or resistance. Hell, even the ‘Macarena’ is apparently about threesomes! (finally an excuse to ban it from all family gatherings, you’re welcome). From as young as I can remember, I have listened to male rappers calling women bitches and hoes and describing what they want to do to them. I learnt what the phrase ‘head’ meant after Eamon told Frankie very un-politely– F U. I proudly sang along to Shaggy telling his mate to lie about cheating on his Mrs in the shower. I grasped that big-boobs were desirable from Ludacris singing about Double-D’s and milking the cow. And I received confirmation that 50 Cent was not the Willy Wonka lollipop fanatic I thought he was when I inserted my ‘Candy Shop’ CD into the PC and album art of topless oiled up women touching eachother in a bath appeared on my screen. All of this happened before I hit the grand old age of thirteen. Us women have been sexualised and objectified in lyrics and music videos for decades, we just weren’t allowed in on the joke.
The backlash against Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion isn’t a random attack; many female artists have come under fire in the past for stripping off and twerking in their music videos. From an oiled up Nicki Minaj to a stripped bare Little Mix and that Miley Cyrus ‘Wrecking Ball’ video, female artists have constantly been told to cover up because they’re ‘bad role models’ to children or other women, a responsbility not held in such high regard by their male counterparts. But what seems to of offended people the most about W.A.P is not the sexual music video, although this too has faced criticism, but the explicit lyrics which accompany it.
Only when you’re driving along in your car and the song comes on on the radio do you realise just how much NSFW content is in the lyrics. I want to give a pat on the back to whoever’s job it was at the radio station to sit in their small cupboard and bleep out any pre-watershed content, which is errrrr about three quarters of the song- and then ask them why they decided to bleep out the word bucket? There’s no mistaking the meaning behind the lyrics, there’s no weird metaphors that have you guessing if they’re really just eating cake by the ocean, or what the hell watermelon sugar is*
*ORAL SEX BY THE WAY. WATERMELON SUGAR IS ABOUT ORAL SEX AND SPECIFICALLY CUNNILINGUS AND NO ONE IS KICKING OFF ABOUT THAT BEING PLAYED ON THE RADIO OR HOW SEXUALLY HARRY STYLES STROKED AND ATE THAT DRIPPING WET WATERMELON IN HIS MUSIC VIDEO BECAUSE IT MADE ME FEEL SOMETHING DOWNSTAIRS OKAY?!
Now we’ve identified that Harry styles eating juicy Watermelon slices is my weakness, where was we? Oh yeah, Cardi B singing about Offset eating her juicy Watermelons. What makes W.A.P so iconic and controversial is that it unapologetically discusses sexual acts which are undertaken to provide pleasure to the woman, or see the woman taking control in the bedroom. Historically, we have been taught through the media, through our upbringings and through our education that women do not enjoy sex, and they certainly don’t go around telling people about it because that would be un-lady like *rolls eyes in 1920s*. In school, boys are taught about penises and wet dreams whilst girls are taught about periods and childbirth and then all genders are shown some photo slids of gonnorhea and syphilis just to be triple sure that we are never going to have sex unless it is to make a baby. You’re never taught as a female that you can get any pleasure from sex, which is why we go into our young adult lives not knowing where the clitoris is and faking orgasms to make guys feel good about their dick sizes. It’s why a lot of guys roll over once they’re done instead of thinking of returning the favour to the woman lying next to them who’s just relieved them of their blue balls. And it’s why guys are still intimidated when they learn that their partner masturbates or uses sex toys when they’re not there.
In a World where stamping barefoot on cow pat is recognised as a sexual kink, female pleasure is still viewed as a taboo. Only acceptable when being explored through awkward jokes made by middle-class white women- Fleabag anyone?- society as a whole discourages the discussion around women enjoying sex, but W.A.P challenges that. Cardi and Megan unashamedly took on centuries of oppression placed on womens vaginas and threw in some ass-eating for good measure. They knew that as women, they are expected to behave a certain way when it comes to sex. They know that as women in the spotlight, they are told that they represent women. That they have a responsibility. That they must be good role models. They know that women are judged for being sexual. They know as black women, they will be judged more harshly for their choices and for the sexualisation of their bodies. And yet they came out on the World stage in their thongs and nipple covers to issue a reminder to everyone during a World Health Pandemic that women like to cum too. It is fucking iconic, and I for one will never stir a pot of macaroni cheese the same way again.