Misogynoir: how we talk about black women

Why do we talk about black women differently? Activist Moya Bailey coined the term “misogynoir” to address the discrimination black women face every day.

What is “misogynoir?”

Black women in pop culture

Black feminist and activist Moya Bailey coined the term “misogynoir” in 2008 to discuss the discrimination black women face every day. This discrimination often comes in the form of stereotypes that have existed since slavery that affects all black women at every level of social and economic class.

Reading for the rest of us

"You have the Jezebel, which is again this idea that black women are hyper-sexual. Then there's also the mammy, this idea that the black woman's only role is to serve, to nurture other people. And then with that stereotype comes the sapphire, which I think we understand is the angry black woman. So the sapphire is the black woman who is loud, who is always challenging people around her, is always fighting until that angry black woman stereotype is very much part of why people dislike black women and assume a negative intent on the part of black women when they are expressing their displeasure with something. And so that stereotype, I think, does a lot of damage to black women, sense of outrage or injustice and the ability to say when things are being descript, when they are being discriminated against,” activist Moya Bailey shares with Brut.

Evidence of misogynoir

Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die in childbirth. If low-income, they are evicted at higher rates than any other group. Even black female celebrities face this discrimination. Michelle Obama was the target of racial, sexist, and even transphobic attacks throughout Barack’s term. Every day, people were commenting on her weight, hair, and general appearance, trying to tear down the First Lady in any and every way possible. Bailey hopes that by opening up the floor for the discussion of how black women are discussed, there can be action taken to prevent this discrimination.