Yet another victim of gun violence, the female rapper Megan Thee Stallion was shot in the foot by Canadian Rapper Tory Lanez. In July of 2020, after an argument broke out, Megan Thee Stallion decided to get out of the car and walk away. After she got out of the car, Tory Lanez shouted “Dance B*tch!” and shot multiple rounds at her feet. Finally after two years, Tory Lanez was found guilty on all three felony charges brought against him: assault with a semiautomatic weapon, carrying a loaded and unregistered firearm in a vehicle, and negligent discharge of a firearm. An unfortunate event with catastrophic aftermath shows how, all too often, Black women are silenced and punished if they speak out.

Megan Thee Stallion has won three Grammys and has collaborated with music icons such as Beyonce and Cardi B. She even got her own Popeye’s hot sauce! Despite her success, she was publicly ridiculed, and continues to receive hate. Canadian rapper Drake went as far as to call her a liar in his recent album released in 2022 stating “This b*tch lie about getting shot but she still a stallion / She don’t even get the joke but she still smiling.” Even after Tory Lanez’s conviction, his supporters accused her of lying, they made threats against her, and even slut-shamed her.

Megan Thee Stallion explains how she became a villain in her own story and wonders why she wasn’t taken seriously by the media. In her interview with Rolling Stone in 2022, she states “And I don’t know if people don’t take it seriously because I seem strong. I wonder if it’s because of the way I look. Is it because I’m not light enough? Is it that I’m not white enough? Am I not the shape? The height? Because I’m not petite? Do I not seem like I’m worth being treated like a woman?”

Misogynoir, a term coined by scholar Moya Bailey describes how sexism and racism manifest in Black women’s lives to create intersecting forms of oppression. Megan Thee Stallion was denied her humanity, and her womanhood. She quickly transformed from a victim of gun violence to a devious liar. The depiction of Black women as more violent, hypersexual, and dishonest makes them vulnerable to criminalization. This anti-Black racism and misogyny shows up even in the legal setting when Tory Lanez’s lawyer tried to make the trial about her sexuality rather than his violence. Her experience highlights a problem many Black women face when they encounter violence, having nowhere to turn and not being allowed to be a victim.

Despite all this, Megan Thee Stallion has paved the way for Black women facing domestic abuse, assault, and harassment. Her story became part of a movement, and she now speaks out and speaks up for Black women in America amplifying the Protect Black Women Movement.

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