In an op-ed for The New York Times titled "Why I Speak Up for Black Women," rapper Megan Thee Stallion digs into the idea that Black women, like herself, are "disrespected and degraded."
In the essay, accompanied by a video, the "Don't Stop" rapper addresses the traumatic events that have occurred since July 12, when she was allegedly shot by rapper Tory Lanez.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced last week that Lanez, born Daystar Peterson, has been charged with one felony count of assault with a semi-automatic firearm and another for carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle.
Megan, born Megan Pete, wrote that initially she stayed quiet about the incident because she was "shocked" that she "ended up in that place," and was afraid for herself and loved ones.
"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," she wrote. "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."
The 25-year-old rapper wrote that she's begun to understand the "weight of contradictory expectations and misguided preconceptions" placed on Black women, which she addressed in her performance on "Saturday Night Live" on Oct. 4. During Megan's performance, the phrase "Protect Black women" was projected on a screen behind her.
"I recently used the stage at 'Saturday Night Live' to harshly rebuke Kentucky's Attorney General Daniel Cameron for his appalling conduct in denying Breonna Taylor and her family justice," Megan explained. "I anticipated some backlash."
"But you know what? 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," she continued. "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 also wrote "Black women are not naïve," despite dealing with "conflicting messages" on a daily basis. But said she anticipates foreseeable change after next month's election.
"My hope is that Kamala Harris' 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," she wrote.