Tory Lanez was charged with felony assault in connection to the Megan Thee Stallion shooting last week, but Megan has been relatively mum on the topic — until now. On Tuesday (October 13), the New York Times published an op-ed written by the 300 Entertainment artist titled “Megan Thee Stallion: Why I Speak Up for Black Women.”
The piece reiterates her “protect Black women” message, which she preached during her Saturday Night Live performance on October 3, and attempts to silence some of the internet chatter. For one, Megan says she wasn’t romantically tied to the Canadian rapper, something he alluded to on his 17-track DAYSTAR project he released last month.
“I was recently the victim of an act of violence by a man,” she writes in part. “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 then explained why she waited awhile to identify Lanez as the triggerman.
“My initial silence about what happened was out of fear for myself and my friends,” she continues. “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.”
From there, Megan touched on the wider issue at hand — misogyny. Historically, men have viewed women as mere sexual objects or some sort of conquest, which she says played a role in her response to the shooting.
“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,” she adds. “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.
“From the moment we begin to navigate the intricacies of adolescence, we feel the weight of this threat, and the weight of contradictory expectations and misguided preconceptions. Many of us begin to put too much value to how we are seen by others. That’s if we are seen at all.”
As. Megan continues, she talks about taking pride in her appearance — and not for the male gaze — but because a positive body image is “central” to who she is as a “woman and a performer.” She also notes how she’s been “vilified and disrespected” for choosing to capitalized on her sexuality, “to reclaim” her own power.
Finally, she scoffs at the notion there’s only room for one woman rapper at the top, writing, “In every industry, women are pitted against one another, but especially in hip-hop, where it seems as if the male-dominated ecosystem can handle only one female rapper at a time. 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.”
As Megan wraps up the piece, she names several influential Black women who she says she wished she learned about in school, including NASA research mathematician Katherine Johnson, Alice H. Parker and Marie Van Brittan Brown.
She ends with, “…. my hope is that Kamala Harris’s candidacy for vice president 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.
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.”
Read the full piece here.