Cardi B Explains How Her “Twerk” Music Video Empowers Women In The Age Of #MeToo

Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images.
Conservatives can't seem to get enough of liberal women from the Bronx. If pundits and Republicans alike aren't putting words in Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's mouth, they are chastising Cardi B — and neither take the verbal attacks lightly. On Tuesday, Stephanie Hamill, a journalist who works for the Daily Caller, tweeted asking how the "Bodak Yellow" singer's new video "Twerk" empowered women in the age of #MeToo. In the video, Cardi B and Yung Miami of City Girls take over a yacht filled with women wearing body paint while they splashed champagne, danced on a pole, dropped down into splits, and of course, twerked. But what does the #MeToo movement have to do with girls just having fun?
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On Tuesday afternoon, Cardi B, nee Belcalis Almanzar, responded to Hamill's tweet, making it clear that one has nothing to do with the other. "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," she clarified. "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."
While Hamill's tweet could be read as victim blaming, she said in a later tweet that her issue was how the video appears to objectify women. "I agree, No means NO, NO MATTER what!," she tweeted back to Cardi on Tuesday. "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!" Why Cardi would want to take time out of her day — in between lending her aesthetic to Steve Madden, Reebok and Fashion Nova (but not Diesel), and preparing for her Grammys performance to debate Hamill — we're not sure.
Aside from trying to convince Kulture's mom to come on her show, Hamill's (who identifies as Latina) tweet highlights how women of color, specifically Black women, have been left out of the #MeToo movement.
Although the movement was started 10 years ago by Tarana Burke, it gained national attention after the New York Times' published an exposé detailing Harvey Weinstein's abuse, prompting women to share their own stories on social media using the hashtag #MeToo . That, Burke told Essence magazine last November, is why women of color do not feel centered in the movement. “The world responds to the vulnerability of white women," she said. "Our narrative has never been centered in mainstream media. Our stories don’t get told and as a result, it makes us feel not as valuable.”
What's more, the burden of proof for women of color is much higher, and often demanded by white women — much like Hamill's call-out to Cardi yesterday — who aren't asking the same of themselves or each other. In order for us to properly have this conversation, empowering women from all walks of life, we need to be able to truly allow everyone to use their voice without judgement.
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