“How exactly does this empower women?”
Cardi B insisted Tuesday that a new music video featuring her twerking in tiger body paint with a dozen other scantily clad women was a win for female empowerment.
Her claim came in response to a Twitter challenge a day earlier from conservative journalist Stephanie Hamill, who wanted to know how Cardi B’s music video for “Twerk” was a contribution to the #MeToo Movement. Hamill, a commentator for Fox News and The Daily Caller, urged the rap mega-star and leftists to “chime in.”
Cardi B, a former stripper who has recently emerged as a liberal culture warrior, “clapped back” by saying the video sent a message to women “that I can wear and not wear what ever I want.” She also offered a rejoinder to a “straw man” argument that her behavior meant that “I deserve to get raped and molested.”
It says to women that I can wear and not wear what ever I want. do w.e I want and that NO still means NO. So Stephanie chime in..If I twerk and be half naked does that mean I deserve to get raped and molested ? I want to know what a conservative woman like you thinks ? https://t.co/8UBQQzO6jK
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) January 22, 2019
Hamill did not dispute the latter point, saying she agrees that “No means NO, NO MATTER what!” Still, she argued, videos like Cardi B’s “sexually objectify women,” which “hurts all women & the cause” of feminism.
“We’re not sex OBJECTS!” she added, before inviting Cardi B to come on her show for a debate.
I agree, No means NO, NO MATTER what!
But this video, & others like this sexually objectify women. I think this hurts all women & the cause. We're not sex OBJECTS! Clearly we see things differently, (maybe I'm just a hater bc I can't Twerk ?) Come on my show, debate me! https://t.co/TaqAiF9Jmv
— Stephanie Hamill (@STEPHMHAMILL) January 22, 2019
Fans took Cardi B’s side in the tweet-off, with her response getting nearly 500,000 likes to just 30,000 for Hamill’s post. Many commenters adjudged that the rapper had “owned” her conservative accuser, as #MeToo is exclusively about personal responsibility for men.
I don’t know how you missed this, but MeToo is about sexual HARASSMENT and ASSAULT, not sexual EXPRESSION. The problem isn’t seeing an ass shaking, it’s grabbing it without consent. The conflation of sexiness and sexual assault is your problem here
— Louisa ?? (@LouisatheLast) January 22, 2019
The argument reflected a larger debate over sexuality in feminism. Some second-wave types have opposed behavior that they see as playing into male expectations of women. But third-wave and fourth-wave feminists have generally celebrated “sluttiness” as a means of reclaiming female sexuality.
While some conservatives reject feminism wholesale as a threat to decency and social order, others, apparently including Hamill, believe that the movement has, like progressivism in general, become too much about resisting supposed oppression in a way that undercuts women’s agency.
Cardi B’s performance had some reminiscing about her recent Twitter beefs with other conservatives.
Ever since she made that video about Trump, conservatives have been desperately seeking a way to knock her down a peg.
And each time it gloriously backfires
— trashgay (@holeloverXL) January 22, 2019
On Sunday, Cardi B threatened to “dog walk” Tomi Lahren after the right-wing spark-plug mocked liberals for thrilling to the rapper’s recent Instagram video in which she excoriates President Donald Trump for the ongoing, nearly month-long federal government shutdown. The clip has nearly 17 million views.
Fellow Twitter-brawler and New York-native Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez followed up by admonishing Lahren not to mess with “Bronx women” lest she get “roasted.”
A closer look: Cardi B released the “Twerk” video earlier this month, in collaboration with the hip-hop duo City Girls. The four-minute composition sees the musicians non-stop shaking their butts along with about a dozen other voluptuous and impressively athletic black women. Much of the action takes places on a yacht with a stripper pole and in the surf, with the stars wearing various shades of animal body paint and the dancers in bikinis.
The stated conceit is that they are holding a competition: “To find the world’s greatest Twerker.”
This was not the first time that Cardi B’s work has championed women’s rights in unlikely ways. Last month, she was widely hailed on the release of her music video for “Money,” which featured her twerking, getting naked, and pretending to breastfeed her baby daughter.