Ahead of the election, Megan Thee Stallion knows that once again Black women are being asked to save the country—despite still being “constantly disrespected and disregarded in so many areas of life.” She’s had enough.
In a passionate op-ed and accompanying video for the New York Times, the rapper detailed several ways our society mistreats Black women. She meditated on how those double standards and abuses have affected how she’s perceived as an artist, and how people responded to her shooting by Tory Lanez this summer.
“My initial silence about what happened was out of fear for myself and my friends,” Megan wrote. “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,” the rapper continued. “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 also noted the backlash she received after her recent appearance on Saturday Night Live, where she railed against Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron for, as she writes, “his appalling conduct in denying Breonna Taylor and her family justice.” But she made clear that she has no regrets.
“We live in a country where we have the freedom to criticize elected officials,” she wrote. “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.”
Both the op-ed and the video detail the contradictory messages and second-class treatment Black women often receive—from “angry Black woman” stereotypes, to sky-high infant mortality rates, to society’s fixation on their bodies and how they choose to clothe them.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if Black girls weren’t inundated with negative, sexist comments about Black women?” Megan wrote. “If they were told instead of the many important things that we’ve achieved?”
With the nomination of Kamala Harris to the vice presidency, Megan wrote that she hopes change is coming. But past experience has already taught her not to get her hopes up too high for fast progress. After the election, she noted, “we are likely to go back to fighting for ourselves. Because at least for now, that’s all we have.”