Megan Thee Stallion used her pen game to relay a message of perseverance in a powerful New York Times op-ed published on Tuesday morning titled, “Why I Speak Up For Black Women.”
The Houston rapper and resident hot girl took on a more serious tone where she conveyed her frustration with how Black women are mistreated and invalidated in American society.
“In the weeks leading up to the election, Black women are expected once again to deliver victory for Democratic candidates. We have gone from being unable to vote legally to a highly courted voting bloc—all in little more than a century,” Megan began.
“Despite this and despite the way so many have embraced messages about racial justice this year, Black women are still constantly disrespected and disregarded in so many areas of life.”
Summarizing her own experience, as the victim of a violent July attack where she accused Canadian rapper-singer Tory Lanez of shooting her twice in the foot, Megan interwove history and harrowing stats to provide context in relay her feelings.
“I was recently the victim of an act of violence by a man. 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,” she continued.
Megan goes on to say that the backlash she experienced was two-fold. She explains that she chose to initially stay silent “out of fear for myself and my friends.” She encountered people questioning why she refrained from immediately speaking out and then was subjugated to criticism and disbelief when she did finally share her story.
“Even as a victim, I have been met with skepticism and judgement. 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.”
She later realized that violence against women has many layers and is not always connected to romantic relationships. Megan condemned abusive men who treat women as objects, which can lead to emotional and physical abuse.
The rapper also looked at the systemic ways in which Black women are subject to threat, citing the maternal mortality rate and the fact that 91 percent of transgender or gender-nonconforming people who were killed in 2019 were Black.
Megan also said that after the incident she felt empowered to speak up in the vein of ancestors like John Lewis, who promoted “good trouble.” Her recent appearance on Saturday Night Live where she called for people to protect Black women, prompted controversy and critique from men like Daniel Cameron, a current example of the exact people Megan is speaking out against, in his mishandling of the Breonna Taylor case.
“And it’s ridiculous that 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.”
In the op-ed, she also thanked the Black women before her like Shirley Chisholm, Katherine Johnson, Loretta Lynch and Maxine Waters, whose stories along with countless other Black women are routinely left out of history books in schools.
Megan also condemned those who speak harshly over her body autonomy or who profile her in a narrow box over how she dresses. She makes it very clear that she has no interest in capitalizing on the male gaze, but dresses for her enjoyment and pleasure. She calls out the hip-hop industry, mostly ran by men, who help to fuel negative competition among women rappers.
In the end she hopes for a future where Black women and girls are free from all of these chains. But the reality of what the future holds feels bleak, especially contextualized around what will happen after the upcoming presidential election.
“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,” Megan concluded.