Megan Thee Stallion is standing up for Black women.
After her powerful “SNL” performance earlier this month, the “Don’t Stop” rapper has penned an op-ed for The New York Times in which she reflects on her recent experience with violence and the continued disrespect of Black women.
“Black women are still constantly disrespected and disregarded in so many areas of life,” writes Meg in her op-ed, titled “Why I Speak Up for Black Women.”
She also describes the July 12 incident where she was allegedly shot by Tory Lanez, who was recently charged with assault. “I was recently the victim of an act of violence by a man,” she says. “After a party, I was shot twice as I walked away from him. We were not in a relationship. Truthfully, I was shocked that I ended up in that place.”
Despite speaking her truth, she received backlash. “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,” adds Meg. “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.”
The experience made her realize how women, especially Black women, are viewed. “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,” says Meg. “There’s not much room for passionate advocacy if you are a Black woman.”
The 25-year-old Houston native also reflects on her “SNL” performance where she slammed Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who decided not to pursue any major charges against the police officers responsible for the death of Breonna Taylor. While she “anticipated some backlash,” she was undeterred by the criticism.
“I’m not afraid of criticism. We live in a country where we have the freedom to criticize elected officials. And it’s ridiculous that some people think the simple phrase ‘Protect Black women’ is controversial. We deserve to be protected as human beings. And we are entitled to our anger about a laundry list of mistreatment and neglect that we suffer.”
Meg goes on to address the judgment she and other Black women face over their clothing and bodies. “I choose my own clothing. Let me repeat: 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. “When women choose to capitalize on our sexuality, to reclaim our own power, like I have, we are vilified and disrespected.”
She also addresses the male-dominated industry and how she and her female peers are often pitted against one another. “Countless times, people have tried to pit me against Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, two incredible entertainers and strong women. I’m not ‘the new’ anyone; we are all unique in our own ways.”
In closing, she cites examples of powerful Black women in politics including Shirley Chisholm, Carol Moseley Braun, Maxine Waters, and Kamala Harris, while acknowledging that the fight continues.
“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.”