'WAP' Enjoys a Time-Honored Tradition of Men Being Mad at Women in Charge of Their Own Bodies

'WAP' Enjoys a Time-Honored Tradition of Men Being Mad at Women in Charge of Their Own Bodies
Screenshot:Atlantic Records

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s ode to good pussy hasn’t even been out in the world for a week, thrilling countless women who have spent their entire lives searching for an empowerment anthem about a natural biological fact. As is the case whenever a woman deigns to express agency over her body and what it does, though, concern trolls threatened by both a good time and, presumably, a wet ass pussy, had a lot to say.

Despite “WAP” being a song primarily for women looking for a succinct way to express the depths of their desire without sounding like a herb, a wide swath of men crawled out of their hidey-holes to clutch their pearls at the audacity of two women proudly declaring that their pussy’s arousal is such that it requires a bucket and a mop. In an interview with Far Out, Ceelo Green, a man who pleaded no contest to drugging a woman with MDMA in 2014 and has terrible opinions about rape, said the following:

“Attention is also a drug and competition is around,” suggests the singer. “Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, they are all more or less doing similar salacious gesturing to kinda get into position. I get it, the independent woman and being in control, the divine femininity and sexual expression. I get it all,” for Green, he can’t help but ask, “it comes at what cost?”

Ceelo Green’s opinion on this matter is not relevant, but that could be said of many of the other men who have deigned to share their thoughts. Ben Shapiro, a man who has apparently never made a pussy wet in his entire life, suggested that Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion have medical conditions. Another man, Robby Starbuck, purportedly a music video director for the likes of Eve and Snoop Dogg, flapped his jaw in a way that is just unremarkable enough to ignore.

Tired of the discourse, Megan Thee Stallion made an excellent point on Twitter that neatly points out the hypocrisy inherent in all the criticism of the song, which feels quite obvious.

For the uninitiated, “Slob On My Knob” is a Three Six Mafia song that operates very much in the same way “WAP” does, but for men. “Slob on my knob/like corn on the cob/check in with me/and do your job,” the song states, before launching into four minutes of explicit instruction on what to do with a dick. Songs of this nature have been around for years—the natural result of a music genre long dominated by men and fueled by macho boasts of sexual prowess and dexterity in the bedroom—but has been largely the domain of men. In the video for “Tip Drill,” for instance, Nelly swipes a credit card between a woman’s ass cheeks; Trillville’s “Some Cut” features a masterful sample of squeaking bedsprings as the chorus begs the age-old question of whether or not a man can “get in them guts.” While I can’t imagine there wasn’t outrage around any of these tracks when they were released—“Tip Drill,” for instance, sparked a protest at Spelman College—songs celebrating the seemingly-miraculous nature of a man’s ability to achieve an erection and his numerous demands on what should be done with the dong abound.

Songs that center female pleasure with directions as clear-cut as “WAP” presents are less represented, though they have a long historical precedent. Adina Howard gave agency to freaks looking for a rough-neck brother in 1995. Khia produced an anthem that is nothing short of canonical: “My Neck, My Back” is a brief instruction manual for eating pussy, with clear-cut directions on how the act should be done and what the results could look like. “WAP” enters the canon specifically because the filth is just as explicit as the work of the men that came before, leveling the playing field in a way that, for some, likely looks like a threat.

It’s worth noting that of all the rap songs I could think of that fit in this genre, only one that acknowledges agency for both parties was a hit: “What’s Your Fantasy (Remix)“ by Ludacris featuring Shawnna, Foxy Brown, and Trina gives space to the women in question to explain just how they’d like it done. The original centers Ludacris’s desires, blessing us with the vision of getting railed on the 50-yard line of the Georgia Dome—a line that will stick with me likely until I die. The remix of this song allows Trina, Shawnna, and Foxxy Brown to issue a response of sorts. “You know what I need,” says Trina, “Somebody that can come li-li-lick the clit.” It’s a rallying cry for women looking for someone, anyone, to service the kitty in the way it should be done. While others will scream that demanding cunnilingus from a partner and describing in great detail how it should be executed is not empowering for women, Cardi and Megan Thee Stallion flipped the script in a way that puts the power firmly back in their hands.

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