Warpaint's Theresa Wayman's Apology for Calling Beyonce a Slut Sets a Great Example

Guitarist for the band Warpaint, Theresa Wayman, recently made some surprising comments in an interview with Q Magazine about some of the biggest divas in pop music. She said Rihanna's work could've been more "subtle and artful" and expressed disapproval at Beyonce's twerking. But her harshest comment was in reference to Beyonce's latest album:

“It just gets worse. Every song on Beyonce’s last album has her basically looking like a slut and she does not need to do that. She’s gorgeous and so fucking talented. And they all take it as women’s liberation!”

Women, especially women frequently in the public eye like Beyonce, already have enough people casting aspersions on the appropriateness of their sexuality. Not to mention that it's never okay to call a woman a "slut": not does this mean you're making wild assumptions about a woman's sexual activity, you're also shaming women for being sexual based on your own personal assumptions on the "proper" way for a woman to express her sexuality. But to have it come from a fellow female musician seems even more hurtful.

Fortunately, Wayman quickly rectified the situation with a long message on Warpaint's Facebook page:

First and foremost, I want to apologize with regards to the Q article. There were many long conversations behind that statement and it's heartbreaking and painful to see it presented in such a hyperbolic and crude manner. We LOVE and ADORE Beyonce and Rihanna, genuinely, and that's what makes this all the more difficult.

A journalist came on our bus and casually asked us what we thought about women in music and we responded as fans and consumers and not as card carrying feminists. Not as anybody with power or influence either. We're not trying to start a war, no fucking way. We would be crushed like little lady flies.

As we all know these days, sound bites and quotes are chosen not by their merit but by the level of sensationalism and that's exactly what happened here. Beyonce and Rihanna are the last two women on earth who I would ever want to disrespect or disregard. Ultimately I am a consumer too, and everybody expresses their opinions about the artistic climate they live in. What I was referring to, specifically, was my take on the video clip for "Superpower" where I felt her role in that clip undermined the song - which is one of my favorites. That's pretty much it. As a fan I was confused with her choice to sexualize herself in that particular moment. On the other hand "Drunk in Love", in my humble opinion, is so powerful in it's sexuality. I could watch that on a loop forever. Ultimately she can do whatever the fuck she wants. Anyone can. I'm a fan and like any other fan - I have my opinions which are no more or less important than anyone else's.

As far as Rihanna goes, if I had that voice I could die right now a happy woman. The journalist and I were discussing a hypothetical situation in which Rihanna was an artist active outside of the mainstream music scene. What would her music sound like? What would she wear? What decisions would she make? PURELY hypothetical.

There's not a shred of self-importance in these words. I'm not trying to cover my tracks but this is really upsetting to me. I apologize for being careless with my words. I apologize to fans of Beyonce and Rihanna, I fucking love them too. Me and and my big mouth.

Sorry,

Theresa

p.s. I never said shit about twerking…don't know how that got in there. By all means, twerk away.

In this culture of news disseminated at hyper-speed that's then immediately torn apart and dissected by the social media masses, this has become a common occurrence. It's not terribly surprising; humans are pretty notoriously awful, now it's just easier for everyone to know when they're being awful. Everyone says stupid and terrible things sometimes, it's just now those things are immediately blown out of proportion.

Yet Wayman sets a good example for how to deal with these controversies. She responded immediately, apologized genuinely (although, as a journalist, the "taken out of context" excuse is a little tiring, but it does actually seem to be the case here), and tried to explain herself. More importantly, she made it a point to confirm that she was supportive of women's expressions of sexuality, but just was critical of its use artistically.

So, another day, another Internet crisis resolved. Yet this won't be the end of these kinds of foot-in-mouth controversies by a long shot. But hopefully, future offenders can take a lesson or two from Wayman's comments and apologize quickly and genuinely instead of becoming overly defensive.