I like you, Russell Brand, but don’t be a pussy

The comedian is funny and self-aware, but Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's 'Wet Ass Pussy' is a debate he perhaps shouldn't, erm, wade into

I’m gonna come out and say this before we get into it: I quite like Russell Brand.

I read the booky-wooks. I still have Revolution on my shelves – it was written in one of his spiritual phases and was too hippie for me – but we live in hope that one day I might read it in a time of need. I went to see a work-in-progress show of his a few years ago and he spent the whole hour ripping the piss out of himself for the stages he goes through sometimes (interviewing Ed Miliband in his kitchen, mouthing off at Jeremy Paxman and telling us not to vote, and, well, marrying Katy Perry). He knows he can be a pain in the arse, but he can also be very funny, and extremely self-aware.

It pains me, then, that last week, he popped up on my screen again for what felt like the first time in months, if not years, seemingly criticising the new Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion song ‘WAP’. Which stands for Wet Ass Pussy. I’m not starring ‘pussy’ out, because it’s not a dirty word – it’s a word. For vagina. Say it out loud as you read this. VAGINA. See? The world keeps spinning.

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Russell seems to think that Cardi and Megan aren’t feminist because they’re trying to emulate a masculine trope of being brash about sex and sexuality, rather than carving out their own: “Do women achieve equality by aspiring to and replicating the values that have been established  by males? […] Is it equality if the template has already been established by the former dominator? The answer is no.”

He’s of course referring to how many hip-hop songs are there about men having women on the side, getting hard and putting their willy in things. Yes, you’re allowed to say ‘willy’, too. It’s objectively the funniest word for penis. There are plenty of songs about men sleeping with as many women as possible and getting away with it. Then two women decide to do a song about getting wet and a load of white men go into meltdown on Twitter and tell them it’s too graphic and not feminist. BUT MEN BOAST ABOUT GETTING WOMEN WET! WHY CAN’T WE SAY IT!?

Russell is essentially saying women should sing songs about ‘feminine ideals’. I’ve got news for you, pal: we like getting wet. That’s not something men have set the template for. Well, some have – I’ll tell you when you’re older. Anyway, I thought you were better than this, Russell! Why have you waded in? So to speak.

Ben Shapiro, the conservative American commentator, had already won the internet by reading out the lyrics and replacing “pussy” with “p-word” – lest he has to think about one – and then taking a break from criticising Kamala Harris on Twitter to say that his wife, a doctor, told him that a pussy that wet would actually be a medical condition. Have you ever read a sweeter self-own than this in your life? I digress.

Meanwhile our-’00s, philandering Jesus, in dissecting Cardi’s track, has fallen from grace. He was sat in what looked like his garden shed after a trip to IKEA, relegated there no doubt by his wife, who presumably said, after listening to him talk at her about it for three hours, ‘Why don’t you do a video about it?’. I imagine she just wanted to have a glass of wine and a sit down.

I should point out that during his diatribe he is wearing a ‘top’ – I use the term loosely – that makes the deep V-neck sported by Lynx-wearing boybands of yesteryear look like a polo-neck. So much of his chest is on show (and slightly oiled?) that I honestly think he would have looked less naked if he was totally topless.

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I watched the full video. His point becomes slightly diluted as it goes on (for 17 minutes), but my general take at the end was: why do this video? Do these guys not see how unbelievably insecure it makes them look? Russell does his usual ‘using 18 words when one would suffice’ analysis throughout the whole thing, talking a lot about commodification and capitalism. IT’S A TUNE. They’re talking about their fannies and shagging, Russell, give them a break. We’ve all been in lockdown and we’re all horny as hell. Let us enjoy the nice ladies’ song.

Aside from the embarrassment of white men commenting on two black women singing about their genitalia, I need to say this: why does it even have to be feminist? (It is, by the way, in that it’s two women singing about whatever the fuck they want to, and not hurting anyone.) Maybe Cardi B just thought about writing about sexual desire, having great sex and being turned on and made – let’s face it – an absolute banger. Part of equality is not always having to fight the cause. Remember: you can just enjoy things.

And yes, capitalism has its flaws, but I’m pretty sure all you’re doing for Cardi is making her more money. Turn it up and enjoy it, lads. Don’t be a pussy.

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