Megan Thee Stallion penned a powerful op-ed for The New York Times detailing her dedication to speaking up for Black women. The rapper began her essay by noting a sad reality that has recently emerged: Despite widespread calls for racial justice this year, Black women are "still constantly disrespected and disregarded in so many areas of life."
To this point, she alluded to her incident with rapper Tory Lanez, who was charged for shooting her twice after a party in July, and how she initially felt pressure to stay silent about the experience. "Even as a victim, I have been met with scepticism and judgement," she wrote. "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."
"It's ridiculous that some people think the simple phrase 'Protect Black women' is controversial.
The "Savage" artist went on to address how Black women are unfairly stereotyped as "angry" or "threatening" when standing up for themselves or others. "There's not much room for passionate advocacy if you are a Black woman," Megan said. She brushed off the backlash she received for her recent Saturday Night Live performance, which called out Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's failure to charge the officers who killed Breonna Taylor. "I'm not afraid of criticism," the entertainer wrote. "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."
Megan's essay also tackled the judgement Black women face for what they choose to wear on an everyday basis — something the rapper said she is familiar with. "I've received quite a bit of attention for appearance as well as my talent," she explained. "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 added, "When women choose to capitalise on our sexuality, to reclaim our own power, like I have, we are vilified and disrespected."
She reminded readers about some of the "many important things" Black women have accomplished, referencing the achievements of NASA research mathematician Katherine Johnson, home furnace inventor Alice H. Parker, and Black Lives Matter cofounders Opal Tometi, Patrisse Cullors, and Alicia Garza, to name just a few. Meg also mentioned her hopes that Kamala Harris's vice presidential candidacy 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 concluded with a particularly impactful thought: "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."