This article was originally published on ashaelaine.com on August 7, 2020.
At midnight, rapper, actress, and social media sensation Cardi B released the song “WAP” with thee hot girl, Megan Thee Stallion. Both rappers are Black women known for their sexually explicit yet empowering lyrics, twerking, and revealing fashions. The release of the song accompanied by a vibrant and suggestive music video, sent Twitter into a frenzy reiterating the hatred for Black women who own their bodies and sexual expression.
The song celebrates women being proud of their bosoms, behinds, the joy felt from being sexually active and liberated, and wet a$$ p*$$ies.
While many users were excited for the collaboration and visuals, many more (even other Black women) were displeased with the sexual references and innuendos, costumes, and “lack of substance” the two women displayed. Congressman James P. Bradley got distracted from ensuring the millions of unemployed Americans could continue to receive pandemic unemployment assistance along with the anticipated second stimulus check and decided to chime in with his thoughts.
When Black women have agency and ownership over their bodies and sexual experiences, people decide to become angry. Society has long been conditioned to believe that women must exude modesty and cannot and should not be sexual unless it is for procreation or to satisfy men. This is one of many reasons why politicians believe that it is their job to regulate the type of healthcare women can receive or enforce policies on the decisions they can make for themselves.
In regards to Black women, it also contributes to the unfortunate historical ideology that our bodies are for consumption by others, that we need approval from others to exist, and that we are not woman enough should we steer from that pathway.
Furthermore, this rhetoric is not only outdated and simply absurd, it promotes the erasure of our identities and bodies. It minimizes us to just body parts instead of people who love ourselves and have autonomy in the ways we choose to express it. It is an attempt to put a cap on our liberation.
It is perfectly fine to not want to watch videos like “WAP” or listen to these type of songs because everything is not for everybody; however, that does not mean it is acceptable or necessary to project self-hatred, patriarchy, and misogyny towards other humans, especially Black women.
There are and have always been millions of things that you can do instead of policing Black women. Here are a few:
- Register to vote.
- Wear a mask when leaving the house.
- Keep your 6 feet.
- Not be a hater.
- Love yourself.
- Drink your water.
- Mind. Your. Business.