What is misogynoir? 

Being anti-racist means understanding key terms

With protests around the world against police brutality and for recognition of systemic racism in America, people more than ever 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 attributed to 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,” according to Wikipedia. Black girls are often viewed as older and more mature than white girls. This allows people, including law enforcement, to handle Black girls as if they are adults, and can leave to use of extreme force. It also “causes many people to dismiss allegations involving the sexual abuse of Black girls and teens,” according to the Blackburn Center, which “advocates for the rights of all individuals to live free from domestic and sexual violence and other forms of violence.”

Many stereotypes about black women are based on misogynoir. Black women are often categorized into four roles: the jezebel, the sassy woman, the angry woman, and the strong black woman. These stereotypes serve to paint Black women as one-dimensional creatures rather than complex humans, which furthers inhumane treatment.

I know that it may seem like a heavy load to research, educate yourself and work toward being anti-racist, but 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.