Why is Ben Shapiro Triggered by Female Empowerment?
Ben Shapiro’s commentary on Cardi B’s latest single is more than just a cringy, viral moment
If you’re familiar with conservative speakers, you’ve probably heard of Ben Shapiro. He’s particularly famous for lecturing college students and engaging in spirited debates about all the heavy-hitting topics: abortion, climate change, and feminism.
Most recently, he’s been trending on Twitter for his commentary about Cardi B’s latest single, “WAP.” That acronym stands for “Wet Ass Pussy” — which is exactly what the song is about.
In a clip that went viral on Twitter, Ben Shapiro awkwardly recites the lyrics to WAP, but says “P-word” instead of “pussy.” In the video, he mocks the song, saying, “This is what feminists fought for. This is what the feminist movement is all about…it’s not really about women being treated as independent, full, rounded human beings. It’s about wet ass p-word.”
After hearing Shapiro’s rendition of the lyrics, Twitter had a lot of fun making fun of him for it. If you search for them, there’s plenty of autotuned remixes floating around out there — as well as videos where Shapiro’s face gets photoshopped onto Cardi’s leopard-print clad body.
Of course, Shapiro didn’t stop there. He opened up another can of worms by tweeting this:
I won’t speculate on Ben Shapiro’s sex life, but Twitter certainly did:
It would be easy to sum this entire situation up as just a viral cringy moment, but I think there’s a bigger issue at play here — and it has a lot to do with female empowerment.
Yes, ‘WAP’ is about female empowerment
Like the name suggests, “WAP” is all about oral sex— specifically, a guy eagerly going down on a woman. Is it a masterpiece? Probably not. Is it vulgar? Sure. Does it also have themes of female empowerment? Yes.
While it might be difficult for some people to see behind all those “P-words,” the song takes an unusual stance on sex. Most rap songs aren’t afraid to talk about sex, but they center around the man’s perspective and his pleasure. The woman is just there to fulfill his fantasies.
“WAP” manages to flip that old stereotype on its head — for once, women are in the driver’s seat. In the song, a woman’s pleasure is the primary objective — not an afterthought.
“WAP” also doesn’t shy away from how messy sex can be, or how wet a woman’s pussy can get. Sure, it’s not G-rated, but at its core, I do think the song has plenty of themes of female empowerment.
Why does the ‘P-word’ trigger Ben Shapiro so much?
Ben Shapiro could spend all day deconstructing rap songs, but he doesn’t — he only went after one. It just so happened to be the one about pussy, and sung by two black women.
In his commentary of the song, Ben Shapiro says that the feminist movement isn’t treating women as “independent, full, rounded human beings.”
Of course, the feminist movement does treat women as rounded people — conservatives like Shapiro just don’t like every side of women that they see. It’s easy to look at women who become doctors or scientists or CEOs and say that they’re feminists.
But, artists like Cardi remind us that women are also sexual beings who want pleasure and sex just as much as men. Sure, we want to break the glass ceiling, but we’d also like some great sex while we’re at it.
Shapiro doesn’t like the “P-word,” because it reminds him that women can be just as tainted, dirty, and vulgar as men. It’s not a side of women that he’s probably used to seeing, but it’s there — and trying to censor it or claim that it’s anti-feminist won’t erase it.
While I probably wouldn’t make “WAP” my ringtone or play it in front of my grandma, I still think the song has a positive core message. In fact, a lot of the controversy surrounding “WAP” reminds us that plenty of people still don’t see women as rounded human beings — including Ben Shapiro.
Listening to a song all about a woman’s pleasure might make him uncomfortable, but if he wants to avoid further embarrassment on Twitter, he’s going to have to step outside of that bubble (oh, and Ben? Sometimes it does require a ‘mop and a bucket’).