The musician Megan Thee Stallion recorded this video for Opinion on why she speaks up for Black women. “Despite the way so many have embraced messages about racial justice this year, Black women are still constantly disrespected and disregarded in so many areas of life,” she says.

After a lot of self-reflection on that incident, I’ve realized that violence against women is not always connected to being in a relationship. Instead, it happens because too many men treat all women as objects, which helps them to justify inflicting abuse against us when we choose to exercise our own free will.

From the moment we begin to navigate the intricacies of adolescence, we feel the weight of this threat, and the weight of contradictory expectations and misguided preconceptions. Many of us begin to put too much value to how we are seen by others. That’s if we are seen at all.

Megan Thee Stallion Megan Thee Stallion (@TheeStallion) is an entertainer, philanthropist and entrepreneur.