Girl power anthem songstress Megan Thee Stallion is anything but outnumbered by victim-blaming, and has instead published an op-ed in the New York Times, to talk about her harrowing experience with gun violence. She describes its not something that you would expect to happen to you. Especially not under the circumstances, for leaving a Kylie Jenner party early. She’s speaking up for Black Women and is “not afraid of criticism.” Remaining in silence is not the solution she declares, and for all those met with “skepticism and judgment,” she has come forward. She’s been criticized for lying about the incident to police at the scene, recalling that she said she “stepped on glass.” In her medical records from Cedar Sinai, there were reports of bullet fragments found in her foot. So why lie? In the midst of George Floyd, fearing for her safety and the safety of her company, decided to lie to protect them all from harm, but did she do the right thing? In a state of fear, you may opt for forgiveness or protection of your loved ones, at your own expense, and that’s exactly what happened, not expecting the disrespect that followed, keeping her silence. She emphasizes that “Black Women are still constantly disrespected and disregarded in so many areas of life.”
She is known for her “infectious confidence and her jaw-dropping lyrics,” her mother was a rapper, hooked from an early age, writing her first song at age 7. Not new to bullying her mother used to “encourage her to stand her ground,” as a child in elementary school. Shy to begin with coming forward about her talent to rap, eventually she fully embraced how she “thought about herself on the inside.” Exceptionally tall for her age, she recalled “an older man” calling her “Stallion,” a nickname that originally started in high school. She has collaborated with Dua Lipa, Cardi B, Doja Cat, Nicki Minaj, and recently Beyonce, with hopes to work with Rihanna and Adele. Known as a girl’s girl, this Texas Southern University graduate, embodies what it means to support women through music, and “reclaim derogatory slang words that are often used to shame women,” and refuses to engage in a culture that pits women against women. Her fan base the “Hotties,” prides themselves in “positivity,” compared to the dark web of “stans” who are known for “doxing, harassing, sending death threats, attacking celebrities, and taking things too far.”
Megan’s music reflects this plight, how women must navigate the “contradictory expectations and misguided perceptions,” of how we come to value ourselves, and how we are seen by others. Her music reflects women’s ability to “exercise our free will,” be loud, proud, and sexy, and not be ashamed of what we look like, when showing all our colors. A stark contrast to the dilemma of viewing “women as objects” which often times is used to “justify inflicting abuse against us,” she explains. When she stepped outside the car that night, following argument, she was told to “Dance, b%tch!” and he started shooting at her. Too often victim-blaming, spreads the wrong message on how to view an assault, as though a woman is asking for it based upon her dress and demeanor. Megan describes herself as non-confrontational, and not one to argue, explaining how this fight came out of nowhere. In an interview with Gayle King, Megan describes her shock during the July 2020 incident, stating that: “I never put my hands on anybody, I never raise my voice too loud. This was one of them times where it shouldn’t have got this crazy.”
What is victim blaming? “Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially at fault for the harm that befell them.” One of the issues is whether or not they were intimate, which she denies and did not have an intimate relationship with Canadian born rapper Tory Lanez. While NBC reports her as his “former girlfriend.” Initially he tried to apologize to her and offer her money not to say anything. However, despite efforts to keep her quiet, he was arrested for “one count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm-personal use of a firearm, and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle,” and the fight continues. Earlier this month, he was cited for violating court orders, addressing her on social media. He will appear in court again in September.
Among complaints by Megan following the incident, is the misinformation being spread about the incident, and encouraged by him, the “named … shooter” in her August 2020, Instagram Live stream, accusing his publicist and him for lying on blogs. Going public has not been easy for her, called a “snitch” and a liar about her own assault. She’s even being bullied by her former record label, who she claims are “trying to eat off her name.” Amid the chaos of coming forward with details about the incident, she was recently dropped from being an ambassador on the Savage X Fenty label, for comments shared on Instagram regarding the incident, “mocked and ridiculed.” Her struggle continues, seemingly overlooked by industry peers who have unfollowed or bullied her. -According to MTV News, more needs to be done to protect black women, and hold those accountable for their wrongdoings. Yet, fans have rallied around Megan, throughout, asking for her silence to be excused in light of the many who “hold so many things in to protect the feelings of others without considering our own.”
It’s not uncommon for gun violence to stem from “arguments and disagreements.” According to the Prevention Institute, gun violence is a preventable public health problem, that includes supplying culturally competent services to address the “social, emotional, and mental health … impact[s] of trauma.” In order to mitigate the prejudice against victims, it’s important to view the incident from all sides, and to all the parties affected that night, including innocent bystander and party host Kylie Jenner, guests, and witness friend Kelsey Harris who texted a Megan’s security and bodyguard, “Help, Tory shot Meg,” revealed by CBS, who she was apparently arguing with in the backseat of the car that night, because she got out of the car twice, close to their destination, as the argument ensued.
Megan’s experience illustrates one of the ”unique challenges Black women experience,” and she is not alone. In fact, “Studies have shown that Black women are disproportionately more likely to be the victims of abuse. In 2020, at least four Black women and girls were killed daily, according to statistics from the FBI.” On Twitter she describes herself as “hurt and traumatized,” especially by the incident and the false narratives being circulated. In her interview with Gayle King, she describes her anxiety as becoming worse as a result of the incident which has also affected her relationships with people, being less social, and having difficulty with trusting others. Not what you would expect from someone in the height of their career to be faced with so much controversy, which makes it hard for her to talk to new people, without fighting back tears, trying to explain what happened. It’s never the victim’s fault. Megan states that she is the victim, not defending herself against anything, that something happened to her, and we believe her. Stars have already apologized for their insensitivity. Good luck Megan!