On August 21st, Megan Thee Stallion told more than 150,000 people who tuned into her Instagram Live session that Tory Lanez shot her in the foot unprovoked after an argument. Once the news was released, Meg received a mix of support statements and statements of disappointment. From being called a snitch to being critiqued for her reaction to the situation, the disrespect shown to Meg displayed the unavoidable lack of grace that is put on black women.
Like many Black women before her, she suffered in silence to protect others while remaining unprotected herself. For far too long, black women have suffered violence as a penalty for being our authentic selves. Frequently, black women endure both emotional and physical violence, for reasons that are not our own.
As Black women, we live at the volatile intersection of misogynoir, police brutality, and gun violence. We live in a world where Black women can be victims of gun violence by a Black man, yet we remain unprotected because involving the police can cause us and the attacker to be at risk. Like Meg, we are prompted not to call authorities and stay vulnerable to further violence and taunting from within our community.
“Black women are so unprotected & we hold so many things in to protect the feelings of others w/o considering our own. It might be funny to y’all on the internet and just another messy topic for you to talk about but this is my real life and I’m real life hurt and traumatized,” says Megan Thee Stallion in her recent twitter post.
Megan’s painful words on the incident are a reminder of how dangerous dating can be for Black women, even Black women, whose wealth and fame are assumed to protect them. There is no protection for us until our experiences, trials, and thoughts become respected.
Megan taking the step forward to stand up for herself will not only empower other women in similar situations to follow suit but also shed light on how black women’s experiences are perceived in society. As more women begin to speak publicly about their abuse stories, men will be held accountable for their behaviors on a larger scale. Although this option does have risks, we have to reveal the verbal, emotional, financial, sexual, and physical abuse that we face as black women.
For the protection of Megan Thee Stallion and every other Black woman, our experiences must begin to be respected and heard. This means showing up and supporting the efforts of the #SayHerName movement. This means holding abusers accountable even if they are in our communities. And most importantly, this means showing your solidarity in public and in private.
To create a culture of protecting Black women, we have to express our experiences without stigma. This means believing us when we say we are in pain, believing us when we say we are uncomfortable, and holding our trespassers accountable in all cases, without doubting our experiences and stories.
It’s time for everyone to fight for us, not just with us.
Her Campus Howard is sending love to Black women. We deserve better, and one day our worlds will reflect that.