Houston rapper Megan thee Stallion (real name Megan Pete) has used her writing skills to pen an op-ed for the NY Times on life in the United States as a Black woman. Titled “Why I Speak Up for Black Women,” the piece details the multiple challenges facing women who are expected to work hard and shoulder multiple burdens while receiving nothing in return.
Providing some additional insight into the fateful morning in July she allegedly was shot by Toronto-born Tory Lanez (real name Daystar Peterson), Megan writes, “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.”
While traumatic, the event was a revelatory moment for Megan, who explained, “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. 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.”
She also referenced her criticism of Tennessee attorney general Daniel Cameron during her recent Saturday Night Live performance and noted, “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.”
Known for her love of a skimpy outfit, Megan went on to address the blow back she and other Black women like Serena Williams have received simply for possessing a curvy body. Underscoring that she dresses for herself, she wrote, “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 capitalize on our sexuality, to reclaim our own power, like I have, we are vilified and disrespected.”
Megan also lamented not being taught about influential Black women who she only discovered as an adult. She explained, “I wish I’d learned in school about this story as well as more earthly achievements: that Alice H. Parker filed the patent for the first home furnace, or that Marie Van Brittan Brown created the first home security system. Or that Black women, too often in the shadows of such accomplishments, actually powered the civil rights movement.”
Ending on a heavy note, Megan wrote, “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.”
Check out Megan’s additional thoughts on what it means to be a Black woman in the visual below.