What is Misogynoir?



Anita Chinwuba, Staff Writer

With the events over the summer and the protests in the streets all over the world fighting for an end to police brutality and recognition of systemic racism in America. Now more than ever people are looking for ways to be actively anti-racist. Being anti-racist comes with understanding a long list of terms, one of those which is misogynoir.

Misogynoir is a term coined by Moya Bailey a black queer feminist. It blends the word misogyny which means a hatred of women and the French word “noir” which means black. This term is used to explain the intersection of racism and sexism that Black women experience. Misogynoir manifests itself in many ways most notably the adultification of black girls, stereotypes, and racial bias in the healthcare systems. 

Adultification is a form of racial prejudice where children of minority groups, such as African American girls, are treated as being more mature than they actually are by a reasonable social standard of development. Black girls are often viewed as older and more mature than whites girls. This allows people including law enforcement to handle black girls as they are an adult using extreme force. It also causes many people to dismiss allegations involving the sexual abuse of Black girls and teens. 

Many stereotypes about black women are based on misogynoir. Black women are often categorized in four roles: the jezebel, the sassy woman, the angry woman, and the strong black woman. All these stereotypes serve to paint black women as 1-dimensional creatures rather than the complex humans that they are furthering black women making it acceptable for them to be treated inhumanely. 

I know that it may seem like a heavy load that is now on your shoulders to research and educate yourself and work toward being anti-racist, but I charge each of you to continue to learn because only when we all gain an understanding of the problems that black people face and of systemic racism in American can we hope to change it. 

Sources: https://www.blackburncenter.org/post/2020/02/12/what-is-misogynoir