Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy and Rethinking Feminism

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Looking on social media and hearing people speak/write, I’ve questioned the meaning of trends such as #drippingmelanin, #doitfortheculture, #feminist. Needless to say that somehow #teamlightskin has gradually faded out, with #drippingmelanin gradually taking its place and hitherto weird looking Sudanese models suddenly taking center stage with their lean bodies, sharp jawlines and dark skins; Lupita’s unapologetic hairstyle (cropped hair with the line that we’re all suddenly rocking), direct gaze, dark skin and Wakanda prowess will simply not allow any millennial think that this is the age where we cower to whispers that remind us that we aren’t worthy enough. However, while developments such as these make me question hashtags such as#drippingmelanin, I wonder if such hashtags serve as a reflection of real mindsets or are they basic trends we jump on for the simple reason that they’re trends?  Are we feminist because we think it is cool to say we are or do we actually embody and understand what we claim ? Are we doing it for the culture because we have a deep appreciation of culture or just because we want to rock that Dashiki or do the Gwaragwara for the gram?

Anyway so while we #Sugardem (hard to say what they stand for because they have no website and their Facebook does not so much as have a basic one line about what they stand for ... however they are a Ghanaian group that seem to sympathize with the patriarchal society that Ghana is) or #Pepperthem, I’d like to remind us all that feminism is not a simplistic battle of the sexes, which is why I regard Cardi B’s latest album as a work of art that is not necessarily feminist (the #Pepperthem type of feminsim) even though her songs have become official diatribes directed at men, but an album that everyone regardless of identity can take something out of. ( Timely reason why you probably should watch this TedTalk)

Capture d’écran 2018-04-08 à 11.14.55 AM.pngCardi is a blast of freshness, and for all who know how much I adore all things cultural, I love the fact that she gives Latina/o/x and other minorities something to hold onto especially in a country where being in the minority is a huge privilege (insert sarcastic emoji). Though I find the cover of the album insanely cliche; (because of course who doesn’t take a photo without sticking out their tongue these days), her lyrics hit you and make you wonder if you heard right. This post will analyze Cardi’s shocking and yet endearing and highly relatable lines as a call to action especially for the relentless pursuit of excellence, assertiveness and an acceptance of self-worth that hopefully transcends a basic interpretation of her songs as a divisive wedge between the sexes or a girl tribute to worthless men.

|Looking like a money bag|- These are famously synonymous lines to Cardi’s own life, a girl whose journey is a literal backdrop against the famous motif of rags to riches. Lines like this reinforce acknowledgment of hard work and success, (whatever that is). Cardi’s lines demonstrate a willingness to strive for dreams so they don’t remain abstract and unreachable and while she does it, she shows that she pursues success at an individual and subjective pace,|I’m my own competition| remaining unwavered by whatever ‘progress’ the people around her are making.  

|Sex so good I mention my own name while at it |- Take it whatever way you want, this line bears undertones of conceit yet demonstrates confidence and a deep-seated understanding of her sense of worth as a person, complimenting herself fiercely and not waiting for validation from others, while taking time to acknowledge other strong females (humans) around her, she sings about taking pictures with Beyoncé and asks women (men) to demand higher standards from respective partners.

|If I fall ten times I rise nine times; I’m not asking you to do it the way I did; I’m just telling my story.|  While these lines are pretty self-explanatory and a motivation of sorts for everyone, emotional baggage can drive singers to subjectively interpret |I waited my whole life just to shit on niggas|as a vindictive comeback line over the people and more specifically niggas that have done them bad in their lives. No hun, |I waited my whole life just to shit on niggas|means that your feminism shouldn’t be all about men. This line could possibly be interpreted as your having waited all your life to show the world what you have talent wise or professional wise.

|Good girls do what they told; a bad bitch does what she wants|- best line so far that has caused or may cause a stir among friends who constantly want to argue out things as trivial as the meaning of words such as good or bad. Essentially Cardi just defined what it means to be a bad girl, a girl that defies conventions and independently does whatever she wants because she wants to and not because she only feels like somehow being a bad bitch is only about dope lace frontals that lie slickly against hairlines with the help of cheap pharmacy edge control gels. This time, I somewhat agree with Urban dictionary . A girl  can be a bad bitch without it somehow being tied to how she relates to men.

I won’t write a concluding paragraph because this is an ongoing conversation but while I think about this wonderful album which has surprisingly held my attention and received no skips ( something I do fairly often) my favorite so far on it is I Like-it because of its latino influenced beats.

Published by Efua R. Armstrong

Efua is from Ghana and is interested in society and culture as well as conversations on gender and sexuality. While sitting through a speech by a professor at Kenyon College, I agreed with the idea that the limitations of the human mind aren't necessarily burdens but gifts! I couldn't agree more! I am curious and love to process and reexamine information. I also have absolutely no restraints in admitting that I don't have all the answers or that I am still thinking about something! Go ahead and leave me a message!

6 thoughts on “Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy and Rethinking Feminism

  1. A very interesting perspective on feminism.
    While I’m not a staunch follower of Cardi B (or her genre of music), I can appreciate the exceptional level of confidence in a fellow woman who inspires a strong presence in a male-dominated industry. I’m proud to know that because of people like her, we are closer to a future where women can stand chest out and not only voice-out concerns, but also be a living proof of what they’ve been preaching.
    So this had me thinking… if influential ladies create anthems or start trends that others follow, albeit being cool and all, isn’t that still serving somewhat of a purpose for feminism? If a lady (or a gentleman) begins to seek ways to unearth their “melanin-factor” or that of others…. that awareness that stirs curiosity, no matter how tiny or insignificant, is that not a budding stage for igniting confidence and/ feminism?


  2. I Just followed #sugardem hashtag. My curiosity on this agenda is peaked. Cardi is usually not my cup of tea but her daily acts of feminism is very powerful. Ironically, I don’t even think she knows how powerful and refreshing her imput is to the average and or ratched young woman confidence. You almost made me a Cardi fan posting parts of her woman empowering rants. I ws like “yasssssssss b!t*h!” Now i am all hyped for an album I hvnt even listened to. 😂


  3. So this had me thinking… if influential ladies create anthems or start trends that others follow, albeit being cool and all, isn’t that still serving somewhat of a purpose for feminism? If a lady (or a gentleman) begins to seek ways to unearth their “melanin-factor” or that of others…. that awareness that stirs curiosity, no matter how tiny or insignificant, is that not a budding stage for igniting confidence and/ feminism? –
    It is Louie, education is a vital component in such conversations and while we may think education is an instant process, it is not, which is why even when we see trends, we need to question what those trends mean subjectively for us. Starting movements for the ‘good of all’ is a great initiative, but in the end, my thing is to figure out subjectively what it means for you in question, which is why i don’t subscribe to the militant combative way of teaching and reducing feminism to a battle of the sexes, if one woman decides to for example use her unique and professional skill as a medical practitioner to organise a cervical cancer screenings for women who can’t afford to go get one and pay subsequently to get checked for example every year or every other year, that is feminism,( that lady dr. is advancing the socio-economic interests of other women because guess what, they can’t work if they fall sick). Recently feminism has been reduced to the basic discussion of whether to cook for one’s husband or no which is pretty sad.


  4. Hey Rosa, my thoughts and questions for your consideration.

    I think you could develop the correlation between your intro (colorism) and the fad of feminism. One idea jumps to the other without a clear relationship. Which is interesting and leads to a question Is Cardi unapologetically Latina? And how does her Dominican ancestry tie in? I ask because she’s been in controversies surrounding her views on darker women….why the “weird” sentiment in reference to the models?

    Isn’t it a tad bit hypocritical for her to tell is to demand more from men when hers has 100 babies with 100 women and a tape cheating?? 🤔
    (I digress)

    Is your argument that even though an artist might not be a feminist that we should extrapolate feminism from their work? Or use their artistry to further the understanding of feminism?


    1. Honestly I haven’t researched too much into her background and my focus is on her stand as a popular figure and the way her messages may be perceived as a wedge that’s out to further divide the sexes so that women who already have a shallow perception of feminism may jump on her songs as a manner of waging war on men when they could as well lean on the transformative power of those lines ( I’m actually weirdly interested in how the lyrics of singers influence young minds ), and I’ll delve into colorism in another post, that’s likely. 🙂


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