10 Lessons We Can Learn From Cardi B's WAP
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10 Lessons We Can Learn From Cardi B's WAP

If you don't love Cardi B's WAP song, it's probably because your version of feminism could be based on the misogyny and patriarchy we've ALL been taught to believe. It's not our fault we've grown up with sexual shame, but we need to acknowledge it and overcome it.

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10 Lessons We Can Learn From Cardi B's WAP

My heart is racing, but I know I need to write this for all the people that grew up in religious households and have been fed this "abstinent, and sex before marriage is bad, shameful, and you are now less if you have sex story". It wasn't until college, that I realized the shame I carried around sex. I was taught that girls couldn't enjoy sex, and if she did she was a slut. But the funny thing is, sex is supposed to be consensual and guys are not the only ones that are supposed to enjoy it, since you know it takes two people to have sex.

Full disclosure: my whole family reads my articles and I'm still scared to open up about all the realizations and experiences I've overcome, and even though right now I won't open up about everything, I am going to open up about my reaction to this music video.

Although I'm not fully comfortable opening up entirely (yet), I was so happy this song came out and the controversy it caused. I've recently stopped starving/binge eating and have gained control over my life, I've stopped internalizing people's expectation which has allowed me to have better relationship with myself and others. Part of overcoming these insecurities has allowed me to have better sex and I've stopped feeling shame for wanting to initiate sex. As a woman you're not supposed to have a bigger sex drive than guys, and I no longer have to feel ashamed that I do.

As a woman growing up in this messed up American culture, I've internalized so much misogyny and shame. I've been sexualized and objectified at thirteen, because I hit puberty and my boobs blew up one summer. I've had to deal with creepy old men hitting on me since I was fourteen! I've been called a tease for not having sex with guys, but if I would of had a less developed body, I would of probably been called a "prude". I've been told that my clothes distract guys and I am the one that needs to change.

Unless you feel this shame, you're not going to understand. You're not going to understand why wearing "slutty" clothes is empowering. You're not going to understand why talking about sex is empowering. You're just going to see what you want to see, and it's easier to shame and blame than it is to understand. It's not your fault you don't have the mental capacity to understand. It takes a certain amount of intelligence to see past the societal bullshit we've been spoon fed, a certain uncomfortableness that you must go through to understand, and most people don't like to be uncomfortable.

Whether you agree or disagree with the music video and Cardi B's message, here are somethings we can all learn from WAP:

1. People don't understand why this video is empowering

Let me rephrase—some people don't understand why this video is empowering. How can women rolling around dirt and snakes with their boobs out be empowering? Firs offt, just because it's not something you would do, doesn't mean it's not empowering.

People are different, therefore people will process their insecurities differently. Just because you process your insecurities in a socially acceptable way (ie. it's more socially acceptable to have a blog and type it out, than it is to twerk in lingerie), it doesn't mean that is how everyone should process it. I cannot emphasize this enough, our culture is so weirdly attached and worried about how other people handle situations. We want to impose our beliefs on other people, AND THAT IS WRONG.

Our culture has taught us to want to be like everyone else. Because we've been taught that our worth relies on how others view us, and that is trash. Your worth is not defined by how others view you, or how many friends you have. Your worth is not dependent on others, and I will repeat this until we all start acting like it.

I started watching Ben Shapiro's reaction to the WAP video and I couldn't even finish it. Everything that was coming out of his mouth was so ignorant, that I legit thought I was losing brain cells watching it! In our culture we are taught that women are valued by how many men want them. I know, because I've internalized it. Again, not all men do this, matter of fact, I think it's something that occurs in the older generations.

Goddamn it boomers, who hurt you?

I understand if you don't understand why any of this is empowering. I mean this is coming from the girl that had her first orgasm at 21, and before then I believed that I wasn't supposed to enjoy sex. I used to not want to be associated with being a "slut". I was so scared to be branded as a slut, and now I realized that being a slut is not a bad thing. I would rather be called a slut and know I can cum, than have miserable sex and be uptight because I can't get off.

If by this point you still don't understand why this video is empowering, don't give up. For years, we've been shamed into believing that we are equal, when we are not. We are taught that guys are to blame for acting the way they have been taught, and it's not their fault that our parents and grandparents lived in a fucked up world. Change is uncomfortable and weird, and there's a lot of shift happening inside. Be kind to yourself and understand that everyone grows at different rates.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=21&v=Eo7lGxrNTig&feature=emb_title

2. No more shame around sex

"Wow, you want to go again?".

We normalize guys having a bigger sex drive than women. I used to pretend that I didn't want to have sex when I did. I guess it was the guy's reaction that scared me. To have a guy look at me weird when I was already vulnerable would honestly destroy my ego. But to be fair, my ego used to be fragile because I built my confidence on shallow things, like my appearance.

I carried so much shame around sex, that I used to not make eye contact or moan during sex. I know this shit sounds ridiculous, but it's true. It wasn't until I was called out that I realized it.

"Damn girl, just let it out". First off all, when you said that I legit almost kicked you out. Yeah, easy for you to point out that I should just let "it out", when I've internalized 21 years of sexual shame, easy. I was in a funk after that, because I realized that I wasn't enjoying sex. I was so mad and ashamed. I thought I needed to have a connection or relationship with a guy to enjoy sex, but the connection I was so desperately seeking in guys needed to come from myself, and I wasn't giving myself what I needed. That was the first time I realized that my relationship with myself was abusive. I couldn't blame guys for what I was lacking to give myself.

Women may not be fighting for the right to vote, but we are fighting a battle. When I was in elementary school I remember learning that laws help move a change forward, but it doesn't change the inequality, the complete change must come from the culture. LITERALLY, it's so hard not to get angry when we've all been taught this. The laws have changed, but the culture hasn't. If you're wondering what this wave of feminism is fighting for, remind yourself that there are women in their 40s who have never had an orgasm.

3. Women can initiate sex too

God forbid women initiated sex. The first time I initiated sex with the guy I was hooking up with he shut me down so badly that I questioned my own worth.

2019 was an especially brutal winter for me. My best friend had recently overdosed and died. I didn't tell anyone, but I stopped drinking. I decided to stop drinking because things were getting out of hand. I would drink before classes to get me through the day, and I hit rock bottom when I got into a fight outside my college bar.

I had recently turned 21, and the wine bottles were piling up. That winter I was also training for the Norwegian 18 mile foot march, so the workouts kept me busy. I'm really thankful for that team, because it was the only thing keeping me from not drinking. We had Saturday workouts and practices at 4 am during single digit Chicago weather. The guy I was hooking up with thought I didn't like him because I wouldn't go out to drink with him and his friends. I understand how he thought that, but the truth is that after rucking 13 miles on a Friday morning, I could barely even walk. I wanted to go out with him, but I was so scared that I would get drunk and start thinking about Grace, and be that girl at the bar crying.

I'm so used to holding everything in and making it seem like I'm okay, especially when I am not, so I just continued to do what I always did. Then, it worsened. He would go out, wake me up around 3 am when he was done drinking, we would fuck and go to sleep. This happened every Thursday through Sunday, and I just thought it was how it was supposed to be. Then Marissa's birthday came around and we were going to this EDM concert thing, and I stopped crying, started drinking and pretended that I was fine for 6 hours.

At the pregame before the pregame, I started to get horny, and guess who decided to stay in and have a chill night? Let's call this guy Illinois. So Illinois was asking me to stay in and flag and go chill with him, which I honestly considered. But I hadn't been out in months, and I really liked hanging with the girls so I just told him that we'd fuck when I the concert was over.

And.

He

Got.

So

Mad.

He stopped texting me and pretended to be asleep, and I was livid. Did he just fucking reject me? So now that the roles are reversed and I'm going out and he's staying in, he's mad at me for wanting to have sex? What the actual fuck?

The next day he said some dumb shit, like ops I fell asleep. Knowing deep inside me that was a lie, I told him he was annoying me and he admitted that he stopped responding to me and went to sleep because he didn't like me using such vulgar language, and it made him feel like a body. Um, wait what? You're joking right?

The thing is, shit started to hit the fan. Here I was trying to be cool and accepting his behavior. I allowed him to wake me up at 3 am on Saturday's when I had to be up by 8 am to go ruck 10 miles in the fucking snow. I let him. Over. And over. And over again. He may not have called it "f*cking", but that's what we were doing. The saddest part, is that I didn't really mind, I liked him, so I thought it was okay. But the second I treated him the same way he was treating me, he shamed me. He made me feel disgusting for wanting to have sex with him.

And I think I almost lost myself, when I realized that this was a one way relationship. I was only there to please him. It didn't matter what needs I had, or when I wanted to have sex, because it was on his time. It took me a while to realize it though. I was just acting out and acting crazy, I know I should feel ashamed or say how I'm supposed to be sorry for being immature and toxic, but I'm not. Because the moment I started dating the next guy and was treated entirely better, I knew I wasn't the problem.

I'm sorry if I get a little defensive when people try to say that women and men are equal, because I know for a damn fact that guys are glorified for initiating sex.

4. If you only see objectified women, you are missing the point.

Yes, there are women twerking. Yes there are women with revealing clothes. Yes women are talking about being on top. So what's your point? If you are that distracted by what they are wearing that you can't understand the message, that is exactly the point. The point is that it's not acceptable for women to be themselves. It's not acceptable for women with DD boobs to wear a lowcut top because they are now sluts and it's too distracting, and when a woman with an A cup wears a low cut it's "classy", fuck that double standard bull.

Ever since the moment I got boobs, I've been taught to hide them. The moment I wear a tight shirt without a bra, guys and girl make me feel super weird and objectified, and your telling me I'm just supposed to take that? I'm not really sure why our culture is so obssesed with sex, maybe it's the fact that we try to shame something so natural. Like why can't we acknowledge how nice Cardi B's boobs look in the leopard print with the nipple cut-out and move on? Why is that so weird? Like she looks good asf, so why can't we compliment her and move on? Is it because we're afraid that she's turning us on? Hmmm, maybe.

5.  Still blaming women, for the lack of "father figures"

Rich, just rich. One of the first comments I heard about this music video was that, "this is how women behave when they are missing a strong father figure", binch like what? Are you seriously about to blame women for the fact that most men walk out on women and their own children, like seriously? Damn, being a guy must be so nice, like you get to walk out on a whole ass child, and then blame the mother.

Having a father figure has nothing to do with women's sexuality, because you don't even want me to bring up the fact that sexually abused children are more likely to be abused by someone they know, and of those reported "20% were fathers". (https://www.thoughtco.com/facts-about-child-sexual-abuse-statistics-3533871).

20% of reported cases, so that doesn't even reflect accurate numbers since some abuse is still not reported. From the looks of it, it seems that "fathers" do more damage than good. Okay, I will acknowledge that fathers have a bad reputation. There are men that are outliers and take on full responsibility and the women walk out, so I'm not trying to say that it is only one way. I'm just shining truth on the majority, and defend the single women that get shitted on, as if it were their fault that the men walked out.

Women are blamed for a failed divorce or relationship. It's always the women's fault. He cheated, oh she wasn't giving him sex... like okay, act like you can't initiate sex and use your words to communicate and ask for sex. How is it the women's fault?

6. We may not be fighting for the right to vote, but we are fighting a modern war of gender inequality

Obviously we are not fighting for the right to vote, obviously women are allowed to work. Are we forgetting that women in Saudi Arabia were just legally allowed to drive in 2018? That was only two years ago, TWO. Do I need to remind you that Beyoncé's "Who Run the World, Girls" music video and song had to be banned in parts of the eastern world because it was causing riots? Yes we can vote, work and drive cars, but I still can't leave my house wearing leggings without getting cat called.

I think we're so caught up on why sex is wrong, that we've forgotten how good it can be. Yes, there are reasons why we shouldn't have sex, like the fact that you can an STI and AIDS, but honestly it's not even that bad anymore. Technology has advance so much that it's all treatable, AND if you can't afford it, there are many programs that will help you.

https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/staying-in-hiv-care/hiv-treatment/paying-for-hiv-care-and-treatment

Instead of spending so much time shaming sex, we need to start teaching people to talk about sex. Until recently, I used to feel so awkward talking about STI's and sex, even though I was having sex, which makes no sense. Like the fact that I am having sex and feel awkward about asking my partner if they get checked regularly is something that I can't believe I didn't do for myself. I care so much about my health and lowkey am a little of a hypochondriac, that I always get tested after every partner or new person, no matter how long we've known each other or how much I trust them.

So naturally, instead of enjoying sex, I would be so scared that I was getting and STI during sex, and all because I felt too awkward to ask if they get checked. Honestly I don't think it would bother me if they don't get tested often, but I would want to know. Again, now I wouldn't have sex with people that don't care about their health, but a year ago I didn't care enough to ask.

If you feel ashamed or awkward about bringing this up before having sex, or think it's going to "kill the mood", it totally will; but it's just something you have to do to have a peace of mind. Yeah it's awkward but I rather let others know my boundaries and what I'm comfortable with. If your partner then choses to lie, that's on them, and not at all your fault or on you. I'm not pointing these things out to make anyone feel ashamed for not doing them, and if anything I hope that this helps next time you feel like you want to ask. Every time I've brought it up, I feel so relieved and can enjoy sex. But full disclosure, you have to be the confident one. If you bring this up and the guy freaks out, you have to now manage his emotions and reassure him that you are not trying to attack him and hurt his ego, you're just asking a question and if he gets too defensive reassure him, ugh I'm literally rolling my eyes as I type this because the burden of managing guys emotion is placed on women.

7. Feminism has many shapes and forms, and we need to stop hating on what it means to different people.

There's negative feminism, and positive feminism. There are so many different forms of feminism it's honestly kind of ridiculous. Again, here we go fighting for a cause and then branching out and being super picky about how we're going to fight it. There's no one way to correctly solve a problem, and we need to stop acting like one belief is going to fix it. We should understand that all types of feminism should be fighting for the cause. Whether you think women are oppressed by men, or the fact that they provide free labor.

The way misogyny works is not only the hatred towards women, but rewarding women who conform to gender roles and punishing (slut shaming, name calling, inferior treatment) women who do not conform to gender roles (like not having a serious relationship in your 20s).


I cannot make this shit up. I found this article that argues against my point. They're saying that feminism promotes misogyny, which is ludicrous. The start off by changing the meaning of misogyny, and then continue to blame homophobia on Muslims! The scary part is, that people actually think this is okay. I honestly appreciate free speech, because you get to hear how undereducated people actually are. The article below bases it's entire argument on the wrong definition of misogyny. It's so ridiculous I had to share it with you guys.

https://www.returnofkings.com/95498/5-ways-feminism-promotes-misogyny

We ALL learn that in history, revolutionary thinkers and people and ideas that challenge our current norms are rejected. The greatest artist are outcaste during their time and not appreciated until after they've died. Remember when everyone thought the world was flat? We need to learn quicker and change our way of thinking faster, and includes thinking that women can't express their sexuality by rapping and twerking about it.

https://thesociologicalmail.com/2018/04/13/4-different-types-of-feminism/#:~:text=This%20article%20will%20go%20over%20four%20different%20types,barriers%20to%20gender%20equality%20between%20men%20and%20women.

8. 25% of women actually orgasm during sex...

25%. Twenty-freaking five percent. I was reading an article on Cosmo and I wanted to point out something that I've internalized as a woman. Women are taught that they can just orgasm if they put their mind to it, but it's not true.

There are two types of orgasms: penetration and clitoral. Every woman can have a clitoral orgasm, but not ever woman can have vaginal orgasms. So for all the women that say they always orgasm when they have sex, it's actually a lie, at least 75% of the time it's a lie.

There's this big shame that is attached to orgasms. Women are shamed if they don't orgasm or know how to, and everyone lies and say they do. First of all, women are not taught to masturbate the way men are. It also requires more work. Up until I had my first orgasm (which I cried when I did, because I realized that this entire time I was having sex and had never had an orgasm), I realized how bitchy and uptight I was, and it all literally made sense.

I used to be so possessive, jealous and overall just not chill. After I started finishing regularly I started to become more "chill". I'm not kidding, I used to have shitty sex and then go home and feel bad, but now if I have shitty sex I go home and masturbate.

9. Before the vibrator was invented, women were diagnosed as having "hysteria".

There are 3 videos that I think you guys would enjoy. The first one is the trailer of the movie Hysteria. I love it because it's sums up, in a fictional way, how the vibrator was invented. I came across this clip when I started researching what vibrator to buy.

Hysteria Trailer

I was so shook! The fact that before vibrator's were invented, women that couldn't get off were thought to have hysteria! Yeah imagine if guys couldn't cum every time they had sex or jacked off, they would probably go crazy too. I couldn't believe what I was hearing and went balls to the wall, into a deep dive of this. This is why I hold WAP so dearly to my heart. I mean women have come such a long way. If I had grown up during those times, either my high sex drive would have put me in an assylum, or the fact that I need more than penetration to get off would have definitely given me in a straight jacket.

The next video is some white dude explaining the history of women and hysteria. I want to briefly acknowledge that a white guy is speaking on the behalf of women's history is wrong.

Strange History of Hysteria

My first gut reaction to this video was: "And this video is a woman trying really hard to be witty, and kind of makes me cringe but she also has some really good points I can't overlook".

My friend pointed out that I was hating women. The fact that my first reaction is to think this woman is trying too hard is generations of internalized misogyny. Why can't I look at this and just believe her, why do I have to put her down?

Misdiagnosing Women with Hysteria

10. What modern feminism looks like:

Modern feminism isn't a shape or form. It doesn't even look like me or you. Modern feminism doesn't only include women, but also people that identify as women and support women. Feminism was once about women's right to vote. My definition (and the actually definition of feminism is equality for the sexes, so it's not only for women) of feminism is not just liberating women, but men too. Liberating men from their gender roles and being able to fully accept and treat women as equals.

I've recently been dating this guy, and he's the healthiest relationship I've ever experienced. I tell him everything, which is weird for me. I tell him all my insecurities and he doesn't judge me. We fart in front of each other and we cook breakfast for dinner and have mimosas at midnight. WAP is not only empowering women, but men too. Empowering men to support their girlfriends, sisters, cousins, daughters, aunts, and mothers.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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