American Music Awards - WAP

So I just heard the winner of Favorite Song Rap/Hip-Hop is WAP by Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion. I don’t listen to this type of music and only know the name Cardi B. I was told to look up the lyrics to this song. WOW

I’m guessing the people that voted this song as a winner are some of the same people that were up in arms about Baby It’s Cold Outside by Dean Martin.

I know there are probably a lot worse lyrics out there and most of the songs of this genre are similar to this one, but I don’t understand why these two black women in the age of BLM and Me Too would sing this song. What are they teaching the kids that are listening to this?

I probably sound like an old fuddy-duddy but too bad. How disgusting.

WAP isn’t similar to Baby it’s Cold Outside, in that BICO is about a guy pressuring a woman incessantly to stay over and fuck him, while WAP is about women wanting sex.

WAP has a much better message, IMHO.

Sure do. That’s ok, we all get old and are horrified by the sexual mores of the next generation, chaste and demure as we were in our youth.

To be fair, music can cause moral turpitude, I’m pretty sure I got some theater-nookie specifically because of the Alanis Morissette song.

But did she speak eloquently? That’s the problem with today’s youth.

I mean, not during…

Frankly, “Baby, it’s Cold Outside,” gives me sex-creeper vibes, it makes my skin crawl. “Say, what’s in this drink?” That’s not above-board.

And if we leave the thread of potentially-doctored drinks aside, she’s continuously resisting, he’s continually wheedling. “Oh baby, don’t hold out.” Yeesh, Dean Martin, don’t be forcing yourself on other people and accept the “no” with a smidgeon of grace.

WAP on the other hand, well, is it crass? Without a doubt. It’s some pretty intense bedroom talk. A lot of pearls have been clutched because of that song.

However, she’s engaging her sexuality with a directness and an egalitarian drive I find refreshing. She 's got her own sexual agency, she knows exactly what she wants and, ah, she’s all about sharing. You can get offended about its directness if you like, but that aside, you can’t argue anything in there isn’t healthy.

I have a different interpretation of this song. Yes, he’s being a cad, no doubt. But she’s clearly into it. Because of social mores at the time she’s compelled to say no, and her real desire for this man is the fundamental crisis in play. (See: I wish I knew how to break the spell and I ought to say no, no, no sir.)

Not that this is a feminist anthem or anything, but I think it’s more complicated than a woman being put off by a guy that’s a creepy pressuring jerk. I think it’s about a woman wrestling with her own desires. (It could well be both!)

And that, my friends - the suppression and repression of female sexuality - is why we need WAP in the world. I’ve never listened to the song and I have no interest in it, but I’m glad that it exists. Just remember Madonna did it first.

The right of women to express what we desire is a relatively new concept. The song is especially salient in the era of Me Too and BLM because black women are disproportionally victims of sexual assault and Me Too was originally a movement started for black survivors to speak out and be heard. Rapists don’t care about the pleasure of their victims, and for some of them, the woman’s lack of enjoyment is the point. Rape aside, there is evidence that even consensual encounters are increasingly bad experiences for young women in particular, because the men have no reference point other than porn and have so little investment in their pleasure.

A particularly vivid illustration of this comes from Lucia O’Sullivan, a University of New Brunswick psychology professor who has published research documenting high rates of sexual dysfunction among adolescents and young adults. That work grew out of a lunch several years ago with a physician from the university’s student-health center, who told O’Sullivan that she was deeply concerned by all the vulvar fissures she and her colleagues were seeing in their student patients. These women weren’t reporting rape, but the condition of their genitals showed that they were enduring intercourse that was, literally, undesired. “They were having sex they didn’t want, weren’t aroused by,” O’Sullivan says. The physician told her that the standard of care was to hand the women K‑Y Jelly and send them on their way.

However crass the lyrics, this is a song about a woman taking ownership of her own desire and communicating that to potential partners. It undermines the narrative that women are passive objects of male fulfillment. It’s about as feminist as feminism gets.

What are we teaching kids that are listening to this? That women’s sexual desires are relevant and important in relationships.

I can see your interpretation. “Good girls say no,” and all of that terribly dated nonsense. If anything, it’s made me even more opposed to it, since it seems like it encourages nonconsensual behaviour. (“Good girls may say no, but they always mean yes.”)

Regardless, your summary has made the OP make a lot more sense to me, and was insightful. Thank you.

I think that’s a good observation. We sang that song in high school choir and I don’t think anyone gave the lyrics a second thought. In retrospect, no matter how you slice it, there’s a lot to cringe about.