Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion’s Sexually Explicit Song Is Important for Women

Cardi B may have opened up her explosive new song with Megan Thee Stallion by declaring herself a “certified freak,” but that’s not the only skill on the impressive rapper’s resume. The talented star has often made headlines for her outspoken political views and tendency to put her own personal life front and center.

Cardi B is unafraid to be herself regardless of what criticisms have been lobbed her way, and the confidence and transparency have made her practically unassailable. Fans know exactly where she stands, and there are little her critics can do to change their minds about the star. 

Now that “WAP” — the sexually explicit hit that’s absolutely lighting up the internet — has come out, a whole new crop of critics are ready to tear Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion down, but the rappers are holding firm in their stance that their work and their personas are empowering women. 

‘WAP’ is sexually explicit and bold 

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There is absolutely no denying the raunchiness of “WAP” The very title — which stands for “wet-ass pu**y” and is repeated over and over again in the song — makes the explicit content clear. Every verse seems like an attempt to overtake the last in its sheer shock value when it comes to brazen and unapologetic sexuality.

From graphic descriptions of sexual interaction (“swipe your nose like a credit card”) to playful suggestions of the power of sexual skill (“I don’t cook, I don’t clean, but let me tell you how I got this ring”), Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion have put together a catchy, clever hit that showcases women’s sexual prowess from start to finish. 

Cardi B
Cardi B | Prince Williams/Wireimage

The video is definitely designed to match. Primarily featuring Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion themselves — with a controversial cameo from Kylie Jenner and some other celebrities — the video has the two singers exploring a fantastical hallway full of doors in luxurious, flowing lingerie.

Behind each door, there’s a new scene featuring the women in tantalizing clothing dancing either solo or together as they rap each verse. For all the talk of sexual interactions with men — including several innuendo-laden verses like “not a garter snake, I need a king cobra” — there are no men in the video at all. It’s simply women presenting themselves as confident and having fun with their own sexual expression. 

Critics have called the song damaging

Conservative critics are having a field day with this song. Perhaps most notably, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro took to social media to read out the lyrics in an increasingly exasperated voice, attempting to showcase that it was inappropriate.

At the end of his rant, Shapiro sarcastically stated: “This is what feminists fought for. This is what the feminist movement was all about, and if you say anything differently it’s ’cause you’re a misogynist, see?” The implication is that Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B are doing damage to women’s rights. 

According to Insider, Cardi B was unfazed by the criticism. She responded: “I can’t believe conservatives soo mad about WAP” before re-tweeting multiple fan-made videos mocking Shapiro’s tirade. 

Fans insist the song is empowering to women

While critics are calling the song damaging to women’s rights, plenty of fans — notably many women themselves — are heralding the song for its empowerment. One fan took to Instagram to post a sex positive message of feminist inclusion and commented that if feminism didn’t make room for women’s sexuality, sex work, and the right for women to choose their own modes of sexual expression, “[t]hen your feminism is conditional, not intersectional or inclusive and non-intersectional and exclusive feminism is oppressive.”

What some critics see as distasteful, many fans see as simply shining light on the hypocrisies that have existed within the entertainment industry for centuries. Women’s bodies and sexual expression have long been commodified and sold for profit, but it’s rarely the women themselves who see the fruits of that labor.

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion flip the script by ensuring that they are the ones to benefit from and have control over their sexual expression, and they sure look like they’re having a lot of fun doing it.