Megan Thee Stallion says she is doing well and feeling “strong AF” after she was shot twice in her feet earlier this month by fellow musician Tory Lanez.
Megan recently took to Instagram Live to share an update on her recovery, where she discussed the insensitive and rude way people, including her own peers, have reacted to her shooting.
While Megan’s fans have been vocal, defensive, and supportive of the rapper, she was met with equally incredibly insensitive, unsupportive, and sometimes crude remarks.
Even celebrities like 50 Cent (who himself was infamously shot nine times), Cam’ron, and model Draya, have posted horrible things in response to Megan’s pain. Both 50 Cent, who posted a meme, and Draya, who joked about the shooting on a podcast, have since apologized but Cam’ron has yet to walk back his vile transphobic posts, which insinuated that Tory shot Megan because he allegedly found out she was transgender (she’s not), as if that would justify his actions.
Megan was obviously not about to take any of this lying down. She wrote on Twitter,
“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.”
She added in her Instagram Live story,
“I have never seen so many grown-ass m-therfucking men chime in on some sh-t that wasn’t their m-therfucking business. What if your sister got shot, what if your girlfriend got shot, what if your best friend got shot? Would you be cracking jokes then? Then you want the whole world to stop and feel sorry for you. I don’t expect none of you to feel sorry for me but it’s just a respect thing.”
It’s clear from the reaction to Megan’s shooting just how much society devalues Black women. We all know how different the response would have been if it had been a famous white woman who had been shot. The media would have covered it as major news and fellow celebrities would have flooded social media expressing support for the victim. Instead, Megan’s pain has been turned into a meme.
The response is also indicative of how expendable we view Black women in this country — something we’ve seen time and time again.
When George Floyd was brutally murdered, it unleashed a powerful social movement. And yet, just months prior, Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by police in her own home and little progress has been made in her case since. Instead, calls for justice for her have been turned into cheeky memes that some fear have made Breonna’s death seem less important than George’s.
We’ve seen similar reactions when a Black girl goes missing or killed. While their white counterparts are given wide media coverage and are often the topics of true crime documentaries, violence against black women rarely gets reported in the news. Missing Black girls are lucky if they even get an Amber Alert sent out on their behalf.
Part of the problem is the constant adultification of Black girls. A study by Georgetown Law highlighted the erasure of Black girls’ childhoods and provided supportive data showing that adults view Black girls as “less innocent and more adult-like” than white girls. Compared to white girls of the same age, the survey showed that participants perceive that Black girls need less nurturing, less protection, they need to be supported less, they need to be comforted less, and that they view Black girls as being “more independent.” This follows the girls into adulthood and causes situations like Megan’s to be treated carelessly, frivolously, and with no compassion or tact.
While I deeply admire Megan’s positive attitude and resilience, even after experiencing something so traumatic, I’m also keenly aware that that’s exactly what society expects from Black women. No matter the pain or hardships they face, Black women are expected to bounce back without complaining. I wish Megan had the necessary space to not be ok, to allow herself to feel hurt without having to recover so quickly. She deserves it. She is rightfully entitled to be vulnerable, to heal, and to do so while other people extend grace and love to her. It must be exhausting to move through life with the weight of the world on your shoulders while no one shows compassion. No one deserves to live that way.
My hope is that Megan is given the freedom to process the attack and find ways to heal from it, both mentally and physically. My wish is for all Black women and girls to be treated and seen as valuable members of our society and human beings whose lives matter, and who deserve our protection, love, and respect. Black women are not expendable and we cannot continue to treat them that way.