Before she made shmoney moves by rising to the top of the charts rapping, Cardi B (née Belcalis Almanzar) made her living stripping. It's a fact that she's never shied away from sharing with her fans or, frankly, with anyone who will listen. And why should she? The Bronx native has worked extremely hard to become the influencer she is today.
"A lot of video vixens have spoke about this and nobody gives a fuck," Cardi told Cosmo. "When I was trying to be a vixen, people were like, 'You want to be on the cover of this magazine?' Then they pull their dicks out. I bet if one of these women stands up and talks about it, people are going to say, 'So what? You're a ho. It don't matter.'"
Unfortunately, she seems to be right. According to a study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information, sex workers are 45% to 75% likely of experiencing violence in the workplace throughout their lifetimes. In 2017 alone, at least 150 sex workers were murdered around the world, according to December17.org, an organization devoted to spreading awareness about and ending violence against sex workers. The majority of those women were Black or Black and trans.
Cardi's criticisms of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements didn't stop with exclusion. She also believes that there are too many predatory men parading around as allies.
"These producers and directors, they're not woke, they're scared," she said, implying that they, too, have sexually harassed or assaulted someone.
Having discussions about the pitfalls of #MeToo and Time's Up can be difficult. No one wants to believe they're shutting out groups of people or perpetuating a culture of sexual violence by supporting alleged abusers. But, these conversations, especially the ones stemming from public figures like Cardi B, are necessary if we truly want to make progress.