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Women Are More Than Sex Objects: Why Maxine Waters Is Wrong to Praise 'WAP' for Its 'Audacity'

Female sexuality is not an invaluable commodity.

The modern feminist movement claims its goal is to uplift women. Instead, it often reduces female empowerment to vulgar expressions of sexuality.

In a video Harper’s BAZAAR shared on Feb. 22, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California commended rapper Megan Thee Stallion for the sexually explicit song “WAP” she sang alongside Cardi B.

The song refers to women as “whores” and celebrates degrading sexual acts that reduce women to objects of pleasure. But that did not stop the California congresswoman from upholding the song as a symbol of female empowerment.

“Now that’s audacity. That is audacity,” Waters said. “And that is, the ability for women to take charge of what they want to say.”

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Waters said that, for a time, it seemed like men dominated the hip-hop genre, and they were able to say “whatever they wanted to say about women.” She then went on to praise rappers like Megan for introducing a more women-centered approach to the genre.

“I’m seeing today that you young women have taken control of your art. And you’re defining it in ways that never would be defined by anybody else. And you’re willing to have the courage and the nerve, and the audacity to say whatever the hell you think.”

Waters is not the only person to hail “WAP” as a feminist song.

Does the song 'WAP' degrade women?

Shortly after the album’s release in Aug. 2020, “Complex” writer Brianna Holt wrote that “WAP” is a “prime example of progressive womanhood and modern femininity.”

Women deserve to center their self-esteem on more than their outward beauty and sex appeal.

Equating women’s worth with their sexuality is not the solution to combating sexist narratives. Women are entitled to the freedom of self-expression, but promoting sexual promiscuity as the epitome of womanhood disregards femininity’s more powerful traits — characteristics that the feminist movement once venerated.

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro attracted controversy last August for pointing out how the song’s exploitative representation of women is incompatible with feminist principles.

“Guys, this is what feminists fought for,” Shapiro said on his “Daily Wire” podcast. “This is what the feminist movement was all about. It’s not really about, you know, women being treated as independent, full, rounded human beings. It’s about wet a– p-word. And if you say anything differently, it’s because you’re a misogynist, you see.”

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Cardi B reacted to Shapiro’s criticism, tweeting on Aug. 10, “I can’t believe conservatives soo mad about WAP.”

“Teen Vogue” writer Brittany McNamara followed up with similar criticism the next day, writing that men like Shapiro are “threatened” when women “celebrate their sexuality.” She also accused the commentator of being part of “a long history of [men] policing women’s sexuality.”

The idea that critics of “WAP” are uncomfortable with women “reversing gender roles” by talking frankly about their sexuality misses the point. People like Shapiro are not suppressing women’s freedom by criticizing entertainment that seeks to celebrate women’s degradation rather than resolve it.

“While women should not shy away from having the audacity to voice unpopular opinions, this song isn’t about audacity or an unpopular opinion,” Sarah St. Onge, a writer at The Federalist, told The Western Journal. “It’s not even about unbridled sexual power — it’s about denigrating women, lowering us to the functions of our sex organs.”

The praise that Waters and other feminists bestow upon “WAP” encourages women to degrade themselves.

Media like “WAP” promotes the lie that the only way women can express their sexuality is through vulgarity. Do modern feminists really want to tell females that the only way to convey their womanliness is through their “wet a– p—y”?

As screen legend Audrey Hepburn once said, “The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.”

To celebrate physical autonomy as the defining feature of womanhood not only undermines men and women’s shared responsibility of practicing chastity, but also fails to look beyond the feminine traits that exist outside the bedroom.

Women are worth more than their sexuality, and womanhood’s powerful traits, such as femininity and empathy, deserve to be revered, not disregarded.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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