Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, arguably the two most prominent names in the modern music industry, released a highly controversial track that stirred up outrage on social media. With lyrics demonized as raunchy and immoral, the two music moguls have successfully highlighted the glaring inconsistency of public feedback regarding taboo topics such as having sex, body positivity and being a woman.

The concept of sex and sexual relationships has always been a taboo subject. Popular trends in coming of age films include the exploration of love, relationships, sex and sexuality. As students and a community, talking about sex should no longer be controversial; instead, everyone should be able to participate in the conversation.

Women have always been censored and forced to walk on eggshells to navigate away from the harsh criticisms. Simply put, women are often held to a higher standard, one that promotes a picture of what a traditional woman should be: Delicate, feminine, “caring” and dainty.

Ironically enough, had it not been for the fiercest advocators for women centuries ago, their voices would still be silenced today. It has taken women centuries to get to a point in society where they are seen as equal—and, even then, their legitimacy is still largely debated.

Social movements have gained more traction in recent decades. For example, the body positivity movement is a social movement that promotes the idea that all bodies are acceptable and desirable.

As a result, women have been more diligent in speaking up about their everyday lives with their body image when they are off-camera. To some, larger bodies that do not fit the structural norm are already unappealing; pair that with the topic of intercourse, and the conversation shifts to an uncomfortable discussion that no one wants to truly address.

Women should not be discriminated against for speaking out about their sexual encounters, much less their natural bodily functions. Men have been doing it for years, yet it is seen as outrageous when women speak out about their experiences.

Cardi B and Megan unleashed a tidal wave of anger from various conservative identities that could not handle the idea of two independent, successful Black women rapping about what men in the music industry have found success in: Sex.

The construct of femininity stems from the misogynistic representation of women that society has been exposed to and saturated with. People scrutinize women far more; any little flaw is subject to harsh, brutal criticism from all angles. A woman with a strong personality can easily be misconstrued as aggressive. In this controversy, two iconic women are perceived as vulgar and godless.

Progress is hindered when the conversation is delayed and censored. Sex is a conversation that needs all participants onboard—that means men and women, equally. The construct of femininity and the pristine standards that women are expected to hold to thrive in society need to be shattered.

It is unfair to direct outrage toward women for speaking out about sex when a conversation needs to be had on all sides. Each voice is equal regarding a natural act that should no longer be shamed. When bodies are regulated and told they are not acceptable, especially for women, the narrative that they are not enough is further emphasized.

When two strong, independent women emphasize these actions’ normality, people should take that as an opportunity to start a dialogue about sex. It is the responsibility of everyone to promote body positivity in everyday life. We can only learn and grow from it.

– Valeria Torrealba is a public relations junior

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