Portrait of young woman

Source: Electra-K-Vasileiadou / Getty

Blackipedia is a new weekly CASSIUS feature that takes a fun approach to exploring Black history, slang and culture. For the month of March, we’ll be focusing on topics related to (Black) women. Get ready to learn something—and tell a friend!  

misogynoir

[mi-sojuh-nwar]

noun

  • Misogynoir can be defined as “the specific hatred, dislike, distrust, and prejudice directed toward Black women.” Coined by Moya Bailey in 2010, the term was created to acknowledge how racism and misogyny intersect in oppressing Black women. Take, for example, a Black woman’s “attitude” being shamed, while the “attitude” of a woman from another race is considered attractive and/or favorable (i.e. “sassy” or “sexy”). Or the objectification of Black women’s bodies. Or the strict guidelines placed on Black women by men regarding aesthetic adequacy. This, dear readers, is the core of misogynoir.

  • In 2016, Katy Perry had everyone looking like the white-guy-blinking meme when she used the term in defense of Leslie Jones. “I think people find it compelling because [misogynoir] doesn’t affect her own moving through the world,” Bailey told Mic during an interview. And while Perry’s message was well and good (we guess), Bailey wanted to make sure that the Black women who had been having this conversation didn’t get buried beneath the glitz and glamour. “We see allies getting a lot of points for using terminology that marginalized communities have been using for a while, like when men talk about feminism or white people talk about racism,” Bailey continued. “There’s a real celebration of those instances as opposed to a willingness to listen to the people most affected.”

  • This year, UC Berkeley graduate Jacquelyn Iyamah created The Anti Misogynoir Project to lift up Black women’s work. “Misogynoir pushes Black women into the crevices of society,” Iyamah writes on the initiative’s official site. “This is about diversifying media and creating an [sic] digital sanctuary for Black women. Where misogynoir silences Black women, the Anti Misogynoir Project amplifies Black women.”

To Learn More:

Meet Moya Bailey, the Black Woman Who Created the Term “Misogynoir” (Mic)

The Anti Misogynoir Project Takes on the Causes of Black Women Through Multimedia (Afropunk)

SOURCE: Black Feminisms

 

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