By Bethonie Butler

When Black women are the victims of violence, “it’s usually framed as a situation of mutual combat or provocation,” said C. Nicole Mason, president and chief executive of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

That unwillingness to see black women as victims “is really deep-rooted within in our culture” and goes back to the combination of misogyny and anti-blackness (or misogynoir, to use the term coined by Black queer feminist scholar Moya Bailey) that Black women face. “It’s not just the Black culture, it’s the larger culture that doesn’t value women,” Mason said.

In Megan’s case, “the scrutiny has been on Meg and not where it should be, which is on the perpetrator,” Mason said. “Some people have justified what happened to her by using her art, her power, her sexuality against her.”

“That’s problematic in and of itself,” Mason added. “The way she talks about her romantic relationships, where she’s in control, she’s in the driver’s seat — that’s one of the main reasons that her music has connected with women,” Mason said. “What this might say is that it’s dangerous for women to do that. When you own your power, when you own your sexuality, when you’re in the driver’s seat in a relationship, it can be deadly.”