WITH two half-naked megastars writhing around singing eye-poppingly explicit lyrics, it’s no surprise WAP is the most talked about song of the year.
Rappers Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s single has spent two weeks at No1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, hit No2 in the UK and has been viewed more than 135million times on YouTube.
But not everyone is a fan.
The lyrics are so X-rated that attempts to censor some of the words have left UK radio bosses scratching their heads at how to play a single with so many bleeps.
The cleanest line in WAP is, “I want you to park that big Mack truck in this little garage”, and the video shows the singers performing the splits in thong bodysuits and simulating sex, with a cameo from Kylie Jenner.
The song title is an acronym and even that is too explicit for us to print in a family newspaper.
Google it, but you have been warned.
Some have condemned the song as soft porn aimed at men, while others argue it celebrates female sexuality and desire.
Celebs have been quick to wade into the debate, with Russell Brand posting a 17-minute video claiming the song is “objectifying” women.
But he was slammed for “mansplaining feminism”.
And now the song has spawned a TikTok challenge, with hundreds of thousands of young girls imitating the rappers’ raunchy dance routine.
Here, Fabulous writers Almara Abgarian and Tanith Carey give their verdicts on whether the song is feminism or filth.
'Females like sex – why is that horrifying?'
says Almara Abgarian
When WAP was released, I wasn’t the slightest bit surprised at the prudish comments that followed.
Any expression of female sexual pleasure in this way was always bound to get a dramatic response, especially with the word p**** said with such glorious pride. But it’s infuriating nonetheless.
In my opinion, WAP is a masterpiece.
Not just because of the catchiness of the tune, but because it’s all about ownership of pleasure, with Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion telling the world exactly what they expect from their lovers.
And why shouldn’t they?
There is already a stigma attached to talking about female genitals and orgasms (don’t get me started on the orgasm gap), with women afraid to speak up about what gets them going in bed.
WOMEN LIKE ORGASMS
Here’s a badly-kept secret: women like sex. Women like orgasms.
And yet people are clutching their pearls in shock horror at the thought of two women openly saying — or rapping — this.
I wonder, where was this outrage when male artists released music videos with naked women strutting around for them like props, grabbing their crotches and singing about how they were going to sleep with women in every which way?
Chris Brown and Ludacris quite literally sang about how they wanted a woman to “wet the bed” back in 2011, and no one flinched.
The Nineties was basically one big objectification of women in music videos
Jason Derulo (who has proudly talked about his bulge recently) frequently has women draped across him and no one says anything.
The Nineties was basically one big objectification of women in music videos.
What’s more, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion are not the first female artists to talk about sex in their tunes.
That torch was carried by Lil’ Kim, who shouted out about how she gets pleasure “from dark till morning”, Missy Elliott who asked that no One Minute Man approach her and Rihanna’s references to BDSM in the hit tune S&M.
Let’s also not forget Miley Cyrus swinging around on a wrecking ball in the nude.
All of them were in some way or another told to be more ladylike and less “dirty”, unless it was for men.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather young girls grew up listening to WAP and learned that it’s OK (great, in fact) for them to enjoy their bodies, rather than seeing male artists objectify women and believe that’s how they deserve to be treated.
Let’s face it, part of the reason that some men are so appalled by WAP is that they just can’t handle it.
- Almara is a sex and love expert
'Being porn stars is not empowering women'
says Tanith Carey
The video for Cardi B’s new record WAP has all the hallmarks you’d expect from today’s pop promos.
Twerking and general writhing: Tick. Corsets and fishnet stockings: Tick. Snakes posed suggestively: Tick.
But amazingly, instead of being seen as a clip deliberately designed to go one step further in order to grab record sales (it worked as WAP is Cardi B’s fourth No1 single in the US), it has been hailed as a feminist triumph.
The reason seems to be there are no men in it, and the female stars who appear are shown mainly having fun with each other while describing their intimate areas.
But while I am no prude, the fact that this is being seen as a victory for women shows how far we have wandered from what feminism set out to achieve — to give equality to women.
Every woman in every single shot of this four-minute clip is sending out just one message, loud and clear, and that is: “I am here for you to **** me.”
RUMPS ON A PLATE
Indeed, far from being empowering, it’s hard to imagine a video that could do more to reduce women to the sum of their body parts — whether it’s decorated nipples or grinding bottoms.
In every scene, the stars present themselves as little more than rumps on a plate to have sex with.
So what message does this send to the main buyers of pop records — young girls?
It’s that in order to be noticed, you have to conform to a template of sexuality you didn’t ask for.
Pornography is positively the last place where women are shown to be in charge
It’s that your body is not enough unless it’s twerking and inviting sex in the crudest way imaginable.
There is nothing empowered about women presenting themselves as porn stars. Pornography is positively the last place where women are shown to be in charge.
You only have to spend ten seconds on any of the main porn sites to see that far from being in charge, women here are dehumanised and shown being abused, insulted, demeaned and called sl**s for the pleasure of men.
Indeed, music and porn have merged so seamlessly that in one TV experiment, members of the public shown stills from music videos and hardcore porn couldn’t tell them apart.
Just because it’s a woman starring in this video doesn’t make it liberating.
It’s simply a sign of how women are also prepared to sell their own bodies for money, power and control.
My question is that if twerking and presenting yourself as ready for sex is so empowering why aren’t male pop artists doing it too?
In Cardi B’s case, it has worked perfectly.
By going even further than Nicki Minaj did in 2014 with Anaconda, Cardi’s WAP video got 26million views in less than 24 hours.
By all means call this business sense, but don’t call it feminism.
- Tanith Carey is author of Girls Uninterrupted: How To Raise Stronger Girls In A Challenging World, out now, published by Icon
TikTok stars split opinion
CELEBS and popular TikTok stars are joining in the WAP dance challenge.
With billions of views on the social media platform, we look at a few of the most-liked attempts at the routine.
Lizzo – 156k likes
The Juice singer, 32, attempted the dance in her garden with two friends but the trio collapsed in hysterics after Lizzo ended up on the floor seconds into the routine.
James Charles – 3.9m likes
Beauty vlogger James, 21, put his own spin on the dance and used a trampoline to perform the splits.
Vanessa Hudgens – 415k likes
The High School Musical actress, 31, wore a white tracksuit with heels to “booty pop” outside, but Vanessa didn’t make it as far as rounding off with the splits.
Addison Rae – 16m likes
Social media star and dancer Addison, 19, didn’t manage to rope in best pal Kourtney Kardashian to do the challenge.
She did, however, successfully complete the entire routine in trackies and a jumper.
Jena Frumes – 590k likes
The model, 26, took on the challenge outside, but her boyfriend, singer Jason Derulo, seemingly didn’t like the look of it and promptly shoved Jena in the pool.
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