Cardi B and Sexual Assault Double Standards


Rap sensation Cardi B has received backlash for a recent instagram video. (Courtesy of Facebook)

By Patricia Whyte

Cardi B does not hold back.

The rapper is notorious for speaking her mind and sharing her opinions on social media. On March 24, an old video of Cardi surfaced on Twitter, in which she recalls how she used to drug and rob men while seducing them before she was famous.

“I would drug [men] up and I would rob them. That’s what I had to do. Nothing was ever f—ing handed to me,” Cardi says in the video.

The video in question was taken from an Instagram Live recorded three years ago, in which Cardi emotionally responed to someone who claimed she didn’t deserve her success.

Cardi B has faced heavy backlash for her comments in the video, which gained hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. The hashtag #SurvivingCardiB was created and spread on Twitter, referencing the #SurvivingRKelly hashtag many used when the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” came out, detailing the singer’s alleged sexual transgressions.

Many took to twitter to express their frustrations with the rapper’s comments, calling out Cardi for admitting to the crime.

“ANYONE WHO SUPPORTS @iamcardib is trash and needs their head examined.. what she did is horrible and disgusting,” Twitter user @DeplorableLouJr wrote. “If it were a man? You’d all be all over him 24/7… she should be held accountable for her actions!”

A couple days later, Cardi B released a statement on Instagram defending herself.

“I made the choices I did at the time because I had very limited options. I was blessed to have been able to rise from that but so many women have not,” she wrote. “Whether or not they were poor choices at the time I did what I had to do to survive.”

Part of the reason Cardi B rose to fame is her presence on Instagram. Today, she posts videos almost daily speaking to her following.

This is not the first time a Cardi B Instagram video has made headlines. In January, the rapper posted a video addressing the government shutdown, which quickly went viral and caught the attention of several government officials. It is clear that Cardi has a strong impact on the platform.

With a social media presence as powerful as Cardi’s, one bears an immense responsibility to their following, as anything done or said on such accounts will reach a wide audience.

The rapper’s statement regarding the controversial video was not at all apologetic. Though she did admit her actions may have been wrong, the statement itself was a defense mechanism rather than an apology for her actions. Aside from the backlash the video caused online, Cardi B has faced no consequences for her comments.

It is interesting to examine the double standard in sexual assault allegations in which female aggressors are not chastised as severely as men. The #MeToo movement has brought to light many cases of sexual assault and harassment and, consequently has brought down the careers and even put behind bars many of the accused, and rightfully so. Almost all of them have been men.

Violence is often the subject of many rap and hip-hop songs, which Cardi B has acknowledged.
“I’m a part of a hip hop culture where you can talk about where you come from and talk about the wrong things you had to do to get where you are,” Cardi wrote. “There are rappers that glorify murder, violence, drugs and robbing.”

Contrary to many cases of assault, there are no witnesses or accusations against Cardi B. However, admitting to a class B felony is not something to take lightly. The rapper should be held accountable for her actions, as all aggressors should. “Hip hop culture” cannot be used as an excuse when discussing serious allegations, as this can normalize crime and violence.

No matter who the culprit is, a crime is a crime. Whether it happened 10 minutes ago or 10 years ago, whether the accused is a celebrity or a civilian, male or female or any other gender, drugging someone without their consent and robbing them is a felony and should be treated as such.

Cardi B has been very open about her past and what she has had to overcome to get to this point in her career. The rapper should be commended for working as hard as she did and achieving what she has. However, these comments cannot be brushed under the rug. The rapper has admitted to some very serious crimes and should be held responsible.