Posted on November 19 2020
BEING SUBMISSIVE DOESN'T MAKE YOU A BAD FEMINIST AND LIKING SEX DOESN'T MAKE YOU A SKANK.
By April Shepherd
Ah, female sexuality. Most women know our sexuality and nudity is highly sought after - unless it’s us putting on the show.
Having too much sex, especially of the casual kind, has long incited many labels for women; slut, homewrecker, skank, whore, not ‘wife material’ (which always seemed like a surprising compliment to me - since being a wife seems to be mostly made up of washing, cleaning and looking after children with snot dried under their nose).
But alas it is what we are made to compete for - god forbid you are the last chosen, the least attractive under the male gaze - or worse a single woman over 30.
Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s newest single WAP (Wet Ass Pussy for those not in the know) has started the conversation again, showing that women who have sexual agency, who enjoy sex, are normal and the two performers have faced immense back-lash in the process.
Posing one of the age old questions - if men are allowed to boast about their sexual prowess, why aren’t women?
For those in awe of WAP’s sexual lyrics and morals, for those ridiculing it - do you ridi-cule the work of male RnB singer and songwriters?
One would be struggling to find a song by a male RnB artist that isn’t degrading, sexual-izing and derogatory for women. As I listen to WAP’s critics, all I hear is one overbear-ing truth - it is ok if men do this and not ok for women to.
For women to discuss sexuality, kinks, and their enjoyment of sex, it is shameful, slutty, cheap. Whilst have their male counterparts been dished out the same criticism? I never heard anyone accusing T.I of this? I say T.I as his lyrics in No Medicore have been stuck in my head for five years straight - “I never fuck a bitch if she don’t do her hair.”
Another prime example is rap trio Migos, with their song BBO (Bad Bitches Only).
“Hit it for a minute then I pass her to the homie (pass)
Hit her for a minute then I passed her to the homie
I don't wanna see you when I wake up in the morning (nah)
Bad bitches only, bad bitches on me”
At first glance, these lyrics are derogatory and at second glance, they glamorize passing women around as sexual objects.
As a feminist, the attention and controversy WAP caused isn’t much of a surprise. I was not at all shocked to see the waves of hateful comments drowning my social media. Slut shaming is alive and well and anyone who denies it is working for the patriarchy.
One of the most interesting parts of WAP is how detailed the women go into their likes and dislikes, with one verse the internet latching onto:
“I wanna gag, I wanna choke
I want you to touch that little dangly dang
That swang in the back of my throat”
This one has caused quite a stir. It’s submissive, it’s horny, and it’s vulgar, in the best way, no? Apparently not according to critics (especially professional cry baby Ben Shapiro).
The lyrics of WAP have also brought up a topic many feminists struggle with; is being submissive in sex, is wanting to be dominated, making you a bad feminist? Here’s a lit-tle investigation from me to you.
For many feminists, being in control, having agency over their life, and being independ-ent are some of the most fulfilling parts of embracing your power and agency, which one would think would include sexual likes, dislikes and Cardi B liking to be gagged.
In 2018 journalist Hayley Phelan wrote ‘How does submissive sex work in the age of #Metoo’ for The New York Times. In her piece, she discusses how since the uprising of the #Metoo movement she has looked back on her sexual endeavors and realized that some of her most satisfying encounters had revolved around being dominated - and questioning does this make her not a feminist, or worse, a traitor to the #Metoo move-ment.
The article discusses how women being dominated during sex is normal and a common fantasy, with the Washington Post posting an article in 2014 stating that 60% of women fantasize about being dominated in sex, with the Insider labelling it as one of the most common sexual fantasies.
BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism) has long been argued as a step back for feminism, but I think it’s quite the opposite, isn’t owning your sexuality without shame a big part of what we’re fighting for?
Amanda Chatel wrote ‘How I Came to Terms With Being a Feminist Who's Submissive in Bed’ for Glamour in 2016, discussing her acceptance of her sexual desires.
“Isn’t feminism, at its very core, not just about equality but women’s autonomy? Isn’t “my body, my choice” a major component?”
I couldn’t agree with her more, what we have fought for is this: the ability to choose.
To choose a life we want, a partner we want and be able to communicate the sex we want too, whether that’s vanilla-missionary-lovemaking or being called a ‘dirty slut’ and choked.
If being submissive gets you off, then you do you, set up boundaries, communicate, and even create a safe word if need be.
Wanting to be dominated in the bedroom doesn’t make you a bad feminist - judging other women for their sexual likes and dislikes might though.
April is a freelance writer and journalist with a passion for feminism, true crime, coffee, animals and drinking cider on the beach. She spends her days eating at all the best Melbourne eateries, going on crazy adventures (unique Airb BnB's are my love language), keeping up to date with the latest news, posting feminist memes and writing on all gender issues that come her way. She dreams of travelling, writing and making a real change in the world. Follow her shenanigans on Instagram or Twitter