Megan Thee Stallion wants to protect Black women. In an op-ed for The New York Times, the 25-year-old rapper explains why she fights so hard for the rights of Black women, who, she writes, “are still constantly disrespected and disregarded in so many areas of life.”
Megan begins by citing her personal experience as a Black woman, namely when she was allegedly shot by Tory Lanez, who has since been charged with, among other counts, a felony count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm. He has denied the allegation.
“We were not in a relationship. Truthfully, I was shocked that I ended up in that place,” Megan writes. “My initial silence about what happened was out of fear for myself and my friends. Even as a victim, I have been met with skepticism and judgment. The way people have publicly questioned and debated whether I played a role in my own violent assault proves that my fears about discussing what happened were, unfortunately, warranted.”
“After a lot of self-reflection on that incident, I’ve realized that violence against women is not always connected to being in a relationship,” she continues. “Instead, it happens because too many men treat all women as objects, which helps them to justify inflicting abuse against us when we choose to exercise our own free will.”
Megan continues by further discussing “the weight of this threat,” which she writes is even more prevalent in Black women.
“The issue is even more intense for Black women, who struggle against stereotypes and are seen as angry or threatening when we try to stand up for ourselves and our sisters,” she writes. “There’s not much room for passionate advocacy if you are a Black woman.”
Now, though, Megan has put her fears of criticism aside to instead focus on using her voice in a powerful way.
“We live in a country where we have the freedom to criticize elected officials,” she writes. “And it’s ridiculous that some people think the simple phrase ‘Protect Black women’ is controversial. We deserve to be protected as human beings.”
“We are entitled to our anger about a laundry list of mistreatment and neglect that we suffer,” she adds, referencing examples such as a higher maternal mortality rate, increased violence, constant judgment, and conflicting messages.
One way in which Megan has felt that judgment is through her clothes, which she writes she’s “received quite a bit of attention” for.
“I choose what I wear, not because I am trying to appeal to men, but because I am showing pride in my appearance, and a positive body image is central to who I am as a woman and a performer,” she explains. “I value compliments from women far more than from men. But the remarks about how I choose to present myself have often been judgmental and cruel, with many assuming that I’m dressing and performing for the male gaze.”
“When women choose to capitalize on our sexuality, to reclaim our own power, like I have, we are vilified and disrespected,” Megan adds.
With Kamala Harris’ vice presidential run ongoing, Megan hopes that will help to change the conversation around Black women in America.
“My hope is that Kamala Harris’s candidacy for vice president will usher in an era where Black women in 2020 are no longer ‘making history’ for achieving things that should have been accomplished decades ago,” she writes. “But that will take time, and Black women are not naïve. We know that after the last ballot is cast and the vote is tallied, we are likely to go back to fighting for ourselves. Because at least for now, that’s all we have.”
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