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Megan Thee Stallion and the Say Her Name Too Movement

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Megan Thee Stallion with dark red hair and a necklace wearing a light blue shirt with dark blue writing on it .

Megan Thee Stallion, celebrated rapper with abundant recognition and accolades, was treated for a gunshot wound on July 12th in the early hours of the morning. She was allegedly shot by Tory Lanez after an argument. Adding insult to injury, the internet took to poking fun at the incident.

The buzz online started with a video of the incident, where Megan is seen limping away from a car trailing blood from the wound at a police stop. Since then, there have been a plethora of tweets poking fun at the incident: In response to Megan’s mugshot, someone tweeted, “I am convinced @theestallion is a man.”

Draya Michele, a fellow actress, even compared Megan’s situation to a “Bobby and Whitney love,” where “[She] wants [him] to like [her] so much that [he] shoots [her] in the foot.” These were just a few of the many taunting messages and comments made against Megan.

The incident itself was very much telling of the way black women are treated in America. Not only are they blamed by the police for the violence they face, but they’re also ridiculed for it for being women.

Their intersectional oppressed identities constantly make them victims of some form of violence. Black women are historically assigned the ‘strong black woman trope,’ which is damaging to their mental health and exposes them to excessive violence.

Megan artistically presents herself as a powerful woman by owning her sexuality and projecting that power in her verses. For that reason, she has empowered a lot of women and garnered a lot of hate from men.

Megan faces a lot of sexism by virtue of the industry she is in and the messages that she promotes through her music. Despite her status and how it is perceived differently in her white counterparts, Megan faces the violence black communities face at the hands of the police.

It is evident in the video that even though she is injured, the police are more preoccupied with what they are doing than getting her medical attention. To make matters worse, Megan had to recover from her injury while reading jokes about her trauma all over the internet.

In response to this, Megan tweeted how “black women are so unprotected” and how it “may be funny” to those on the internet, but it is her real life and, and she’s genuinely hurt and traumatized. She shouldn’t have to say she’s hurt for people to realize it’s not right to joke about someone’s trauma. But that is the issue. 

The memefication of the violence faced by Megan is a great example of the premise of the Say Her Name Too movement. Violence faced by black women is often minimized, especially in relation to the Black Lives Matter, where violence against black men is taking precedence.

A young black lady with big curly hair carrying a sign that says, "Women of Color Have Always Led", while protesting outside.

Because black women are oppressed for their blackness and their womanhood, they face violence not only from their white counterparts but from black men as well. And this isn’t anything new. Black women have been at the forefront of revolutions leading change for others and no one has been fighting for them.

White women never had solidarity for them as women because they were able to enjoy their femininity at the expense of black women. Black men used the little superiority they have on black women to be sexist. 

This needs to change. Black women need to be actively advocated for through protest, inclusion, and loving without condition. Not only on behalf of those with “desirability,” but for all black women. They have a right to be soft, a right to be loved, and a right to NOT always be the “strong black woman.” We need to love black women better.

Candance Sinclaire, an Instagram creator, created a wonderful thread on how to do just that. A Beginner’s Guide to Loving Black Women Better is a resource for those looking to understand black women and what they need to heal.

A picture of a young black woman with short hair crying, representing the Say Your Name Too Movement.

Sinclaire mentions the dangers of respectability politics and how they actively perpetuate violence and oppression against women. “You respect all black women because they are human just like you.”  And one of the most impactful points she makes, among the many, is the simple command to “listen:” when a black woman expresses hurt in response to something you have done, don’t question it, just listen. It’s the bare minimum. 

When Megan says she is hurt, her pain should not be diminished simply because she is a “strong black woman” who raps about her power. She should be listened to, because her hurt is valid. It should not be ridiculed or invalidated on the internet.

Everyone must fight for black women, or at the very least, educate themselves on the ways they have perpetuated violence against them, amplify their narratives, and LISTEN to them.

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