Megan Thee Stallion does the naughty-axe vigilante
In June 2021 Megan posted photos of herself in a naughty nurse outfit on Instagram to promote a new song that was about “shakin’ ass.” That imagery, which has been reproduced in many prominent places, is damaging to nursing in a fairly standard way. But in the video Megan also – for a short time wearing the same naughty nurse outfit – sexually terrorizes and physically disfigures a misogynist U.S. Senator, in a revenge fantasy that fans are meant to admire. And others, we assume, to fear.
October 2021 – In June 2021 rap star Megan Thee Stallion posted two photos of herself in a naughty nurse outfit on Instagram in order to promote a single she was about to release. People described it this way:
In true Hot Girl fashion, Megan put a sexy spin on the classic white uniform by wearing a super-short cutout version that left her entire backside exposed. She accessorized with a nursing cap, a white face mask, matching gloves and tie-up heels.
As Megan intended, lots of other major media around the world also reacted gleefully. The U.K.’s Daily Mail termed it a “VERY cheeky display.”
And the imagery remains popular now. For example, readers of news items on the Yahoo site are still invited to watch a short video about the photos if they are reading an article on, say, how damaging naughty nurse Halloween costumes are. In addition, Apple Music is currently using a part of the image – the non-naughty part that just shows Megan’s head and shoulders – to represent the artist and her work, including both her audio and video “Essentials.”
The problem is that linking the nursing profession to female sexuality discourages practicing and potential nurses, encourages the rampant sexual abuse that nurses suffer in the workplace, and contributes to an atmosphere of disrespect that undermines nurses’ claims to adequate funding, especially during the pandemic. It would seem that Megan is just exploiting a stereotype as part of her overall mission to offer the public as much aggressive female sexuality as possible, as her “WAP” colleague Cardi B did with her naughty nurse Halloween outfit in 2019. Still, is it possible that Megan is just “reclaiming” this imagery, as some might argue she is with the endless series of misogynous terms in her songs, including the one these photos were promoting, “Thot Shit”? Well, the overwhelming lyrical theme of that song is “Hands on my knees, shakin’ ass on my thot shit.” It’s hard to find much in the song itself that would redeem the nurse stereotyping in the photos.
But the “Thot Shit” video adds dimension. Credited as “un film de” French director Aube Perrie, the video presents “shakin’ ass” as the way to female empowerment. The basic plot is Megan and friends intimidating an apparent U.S. Senator who spends his spare office time trolling Megan’s videos as presenting “regressive whores” while also masturbating to them. First, Megan calls the hypocritical Senator to inform him that the women he is trying to “step on” actually do everything that makes his life possible, from “treat[ing] diseases” to hauling trash; they “control every part of your life,” so “do not fuck with them.”
Outside, Megan slams into him with a truck, and she and her cohorts spend the rest of the video tormenting him with their, you know, thot shit, as he flees here and there in his hilarious old-guy white underwear. Finally, a short scene near the end finds Megan in her naughty nurse outfit, as she and four colleagues in quasi-surgical attire prepare to do something scary with surgical gear to the almost-naked man, who seems to be restrained in stirrups on an exam table. In the end, they only seem to have altered his mouth structure into a vagina so he can’t seem to talk, which may be better than actual sexual assault, although what it says about actual gender transition is questionable. Megan’s persona here resembles what we’ve called a naughty-axe, a sexual yet malevolent nurse figure. But unlike naughty-axes in horror films, we are clearly meant to admire Nurse Megan, as fierce females should sexually terrorize and actually disfigure bad men so they can’t say (or do) misogynous stuff any more – right?
It’s hard to miss the scene’s resemblance to one in the 2020 film Promising Young Woman, although without the nuance and dramatic context of the film, where the use of that particular stereotype seemed critical to the work’s overall themes. Without that context, we’re not sure it helps nurses to be presented as half-dressed vigilantes. It’s true that some may see a public health benefit from the revenge fantasy in the video if it causes any male oppressors to think twice. Even some “woke” male viewers might be a bit uneasy. On the other hand, despite Megan’s short early description of women’s key roles in society, the real focus here is on the ass-shaking. No one is likely to see this video and think, “Wow, those are some skilled health professionals.” Heroes work here? That depends on you.
Contact Megan Thee Stallion at https://www.twitter.com/StallionOnChart