I know we all thought the days of men telling women what is and isn’t empowering were over, but it seems yet another cis-identifying male with a history of misogyny has decided that WAP is not for us.
It’s fairly interesting to see how in 2020 Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s WAP caused such an uproar on the internet and across the globe. Big-name celebrities like CeeLo Green and Russel Brand came out against the song calling it “vulgar,” whilst Republican figure James P. Bradley said that WAP was what happened “when children are raised without God”. These comments were especially surprising, considering rap, hip hop – and actually all of the music industry, since forever – has been degrading women for years.
Now, Snoop Dogg is just the latest to undermine the track, in an interview with newsmag program Central Avenue. Snoop clapped back against the female rap guns saying “Omg, slow down and [let’s] have some imagination.” A terribly rich statement coming from the California Gurls MC, who flouted the brilliantly mediocre lyrics: “We freak/In my jeep/ Snoop doggy-dog on the stereo oh oh.”
In the interview, Snoop said, “Let’s have some, you know, privacy, some intimacy where he wants to find out as opposed to you telling him.”
“To me, it’s like, it’s too fashionable when that is secrecy, that should be a woman’s…that’s like your pride and possession,” he said. “That’s your jewel of the Nile. That’s what you should hold onto. That should be a possession that no one gets to know about until they know about it.”
The problem with this attitude is that it’s hugely misguided. Snoop Dogg forgets that the sexual framework women exist in is already harmful, degrading, and devaluing. The majority of women feel a sense of cultural shame around their genitals and menstruation, and are continuously subjected to a male-oriented view of sex in life and porn. Sorry Snoop, being proud and taking ownership of sexual liberation is the least of women’s problems.
c’mon @SnoopDogg, why u going on about imagination when you sang about gin n juice? that wasn’t very imaginative but “touch that lil dangly thing” line in wap was the most imaginative line of the year.
— eternally worried (@nwthnrkid) December 13, 2020
It’s fairly hypocritical for the Drop It Like It’s Hot rapper to say anything at all on the matter, as an artist who is notorious for calling women “whores” and “bitches” throughout his entire career. Not to mention his astonishingly demeaning lyrics on his astonishingly degrading track Ain’t No Fun (If The Homies Can’t Have None).
Married father of 3 to 5 children Snoop Dogg, the same grown man who walked a red carpet with women chained to him, has something to say about that WAP song?
THAT OLD CHEATING SLUT SNOOP DOGGY DOG? pic.twitter.com/SbKsWBvD0G
— 👑 (@sophiaxpetrillo) December 12, 2020
Admittedly, Snoop Dogg says he’s had a change of heart since his glory days. The rapper says that much of his attitude was reflective of the gang culture he was involved with at the time, but now being an “older man” and a father, he realises the error of his ways.
“When I was young, 21 or 22, I may have been with the movement, I probably would have been on the remix,” Snoop said.
“But as an older man, it’s like, I love it that they’re expressing themselves and doing their thing, I just don’t want it that fashionable to where young girls feel like they can express themselves like that without even knowing that that is a jewel that they hold onto until the right person comes around.”
Yet the problem with Snoop Dogg’s sentiment is that his (and any other male’s) discomfort with the song does not represent a noble attempt to help women see their value. No. It only disguises an insidious patriarchial anxiety triggered by women embodying their own power.
The criticisms of WAP are attempts by insecure males (who have most probably never experienced a “wet-ass pussy” in their lives) to hold onto the status quo which ensures male sexual dominance over women.
When women were pictured dancing half-naked in hip hop videos behind these same men (or being told that men “know they like it” in Robin Thicke’s rape song), it was no problemo, an A-OKAY way of showcasing women’s sexuality.
robin thicke “blurred lines” was a about date rape??!! uhm why y’all let it chart wtf
— jack frosty❄️ (@jacmmx_) August 9, 2020
Then, as women reclaimed their bodies, their sexuality, and hip-hop for their own, men rallied to the streets in the name of women’s liberation. Coincidence? I think not.
It’s no secret that mainstream sexuality is centred on the male gaze. Time and time again in music, films, porn, fiction, and politics, women are positioned as sexual instruments, as props and passive participants in what always seems to be a one-man show.
Now, WAP has effectively changed how people look at women’s sexuality forever.
Finally, typical tropes around women’s diminished sexuality and subordinate sexual positions are being challenged.
If Snoop Dogg’s interview says anything about the state of women’s rights, it’s not that they are being threatened by explicitly powerful lyrics, rather that it’s all the more important to have them.