Megan thee Stallion is taking a stand for herself and Black women everywhere in a new article for The New York Times, and her message is simple: protect Black women.
The rapper went viral today after penning a heartfelt op-ed for the outlet. In it, Megan touches on the realities of misogynoir that Black women face every day.
“Black women are still constantly disrespected and disregarded in so many areas of life,” wrote Megan in the story. “[We] struggle against stereotypes and are seen as angry or threatening when we try to stand up for ourselves and our sisters. There’s not much room for passionate advocacy if you are a Black woman.”
She goes on to talk about her experience as a Black woman, specifically as one who has always stood out in a crowd. Standing at five feet, 10 inches, and often clad in sexy clothing — “I choose what I wear, not because I am trying to appeal to men, but because I am showing pride in my appearance,” she reminded the outlet — Megan has always been the centre of attention no matter where she goes. Unfortunately, she’s also used to much of the scrutiny being very harsh.
“I’ve received quite a bit of attention for appearance as well as my talent,” said Megan. “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 capitalise on our sexuality, to reclaim our own power, like I have, we are vilified and disrespected.”
That disrespect plays out in other ways, asserts the hip hop star. In addition to being hyper-sexualised, Black women will experience a myriad of traumas in our lifetimes. Pregnant Black women face unreasonably high mortality rates, the stories of Black women who are gunned down by the police go largely unignored, and Black women are often subjected to abuse by the very men they’re trying to protect.
I will never stop using my voice ✊🏾Thank you to all the beautiful women involved pic.twitter.com/EnefD8XKfP
— HOT GIRL MEG (@theestallion) October 13, 2020
Megan herself was the victim of a violence. Earlier this year, she was shot in the foot by fellow musician Tory Lanez, and she had to have the bullets surgically removed from her feet. Conversation about the shooting unfortunately had some questioning Megan’s part in the altercation, as if she was somehow responsible for her own assault. She saw the doubt coming a mile away — it’s the main reason why she initially decided not to tell the authorities what really happened at the scene of the crime.
“My initial silence about what happened was out of fear for myself and my friends,” wrote Megan. “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.”
Megan’s op-ed is timely for many reasons, mostly because it was released today, the same day that Lanez attended a court hearing for his role in the shooting. Last week, the California district attorney’s office charged him with one felony count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and another of carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. Those charges are quite serious, and if he’s found guilty, Lanez could be looking at a maximum sentence of nearly 23 years behind bars. In court today, a judge reportedly ordered Lanez to stay away at least 100 feet away from Megan and to turn over all of his weapons before his 18th November arraignment.
Despite the charges and the evidence against him, Lanez has maintained his innocence, even going as far as releasing an album claiming that he’s been set up by Megan and her camp. It further pushed the narrative that Megan wasn’t the victim in the situation despite being the person to leave the scene of the crime on a stretcher.
Megan is fully aware of what’s being said about her online, but the rampant misogynoir is only pushing her to go harder for Black women. After all, if we don’t have our backs, who will?
“We know that after the last ballot is cast and the vote is tallied, we are likely to go back to fighting for ourselves,” Megan concluded sombrely. “Because at least for now, that’s all we have.”