Megan Thee Stallion Deserves a World That Protects Black Women
Like many Black women before her, she suffered in silence to protect others while remaining unprotected herself
4 days ago·4 min read
Megan Thee Stallion onstage in front of a crowd.Megan Thee Stallion onstage in front of a crowd.
Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage/Getty Images
Growing up I spent a lot of my formative years imagining a concept of freedom through the eyes (and music) of cisgender heterosexual Black men. I spent most of 1996–2000 rocking out to Nas’ song, “If I Ruled the World,” in which the rapper dreamed of a version of freedom where men were released from prisons, cars and raw sex were plentiful, and women like Coretta Scott King could rule cities.
This concept of freedom that Nas dreamed of in the ’90s may seem like a utopia to him, but it echoes some of the real-world problems Black women currently deal with — there is no protection or pleasure for us, only options to serve. A world without protection of Black women is not freedom. But what does a world that protects Black women even look like? And, most importantly, who do Black women need protection from?
A world without protection of Black women is not freedom.
This harsh reality hit close to home earlier this week when, on August 20, instead of celebrating the record-breaking release and success of “WAP” and her many other accolades, Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion revealed in a two-part Instagram story what many of us in the hip-hop community already knew—that she was shot by Tory Lanez. There had been wide speculation about what happened to Megan Thee Stallion after an incident on July 12 that left Lanez in police custody and Megan hospitalized. She later revealed that she had been shot in both feet but refused to name her assailant or press charges.
For months, Meg shielded her alleged attacker from law enforcement and from public scrutiny while herself enduring ridicule and accusations of lying from the hip-hop community. In the midst of her pain and trauma, she said nothing because she knew the police were not a safe option for herself or the Black man who harmed her. Like many Black women before her, she suffered in silence to protect others while remaining unprotected herself.
It would be intellectually dishonest to dismiss this as yet another example of a Black woman being a “ride-or die chick.” Black women live in a world that expects us to operate as a savior, superwoman and a shield all while being the least protected people in America. According to data, Black women are more likely to be raped than white women. Not only are we are at great risk for sexual violence while remaining one of the few demographics to receive prosecutorial action, we are at greater risk for interpartner violence. Even while Black women are the most highly educated group in the country, we are still paid 47 cents for every dollar a white man makes.
Nevertheless, we fight to create a safer space for ourselves and those we love. We fight to protect a country that doesn’t always protect us. We use our bodies as a vehicle of resistance and jump on the frontlines to protest police violence against Black and Brown people.
It’s time for everyone else to fight with us and for us.
Black women live at the dangerous intersection of police brutality, gun violence, and misogynoir.
Black women live at the dangerous intersection of police brutality, gun violence, and misogynoir where a Black woman can be the victim of a shooting by a Black man, yet we know involving the police can result in both the attacker or ourselves can be killed by the arriving officer. So, like Meg, we don’t call them and remain painfully unprotected and exposed to further taunting and violence from within our own community.
Calling for the protection of Meg, and every other Black woman must include a willingness to fight with us against police violence. This looks like showing up and supporting the efforts of #SayHerName. This looks like Black men holding abusers accountable even when they are from our same community. This looks like financially divesting from men who abuse Black women. This looks like doing all of this loud, in public and in private.
The framework to create a world that would protect Black women already exists — it’s just doesn’t include exclusively imagining this world through the eyes of cisgender hetero sexual Black men who are often the source of our suffering. As The Combahee River Collective, Fannie Lou Hammer, and countless Black feminists have stated, “Nobodys free until everybody is free.” And there is no freedom that precludes protecting Black women.
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A TikTok user has mashed up Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s recent Number One hit ‘WAP’ with Taylor Swift’s ‘You Belong With Me’.
In Niamh Adkins’ video, she started by lip-syncing to Swift’s 2009 track, recreating scenes from the video where the pop star sings to herself in the mirror in different outfits.
Read more: How Cardi B squashed the concept of the female rap beef
As the chorus came in, Swift’s vocals disappeared and were replaced by Cardi B’s ‘WAP’ chorus. The video showed Adkins carrying out the song’s choreography as it played.
“TikTok took this down at 1M views so it’s for you guys now (WAIT FOR IT),” she captioned the clip when she reposted the viral mash-up to Instagram. Watch it below now.
Someone’s mashed up Cardi B’s ‘WAP’ with Taylor Swift’s ‘You Belong With Me’
Cardi has responded to the unexpected mash up