Misogynoir refers to a combination of racism and sexism which specifically affects black women. The word was coined by black feminist scholar Moya Bailey.

Examples of misogynoir include the stereotype of the ‘angry black woman’, which ultimately shames black women for being expressive and portrays black women as overly aggressive. By portraying black women as unnecessarily angry, this stereotype silences black women’s legitimate struggles, particularly when they encounter sexism and racism.

There is also the trope of the ‘strong black woman’; various activists and scholars have pointed out that the trope denies black women their humanity. This stereotype is harmful because it promotes the ideas that black women should always hide their pain and that, for black women, being strong is compulsory.

A key example of misogynoir is the policing of black women’s hair. Society imposes anti-black, white supremacist beauty standards on black women, stereotyping black women’s natural hair as undesirable or unkempt. At the same time, many people shame black women who wear weaves, accusing them of being ‘unAfrican’. Many activists have asserted that, whether black women keep their hair natural or not, they’re shamed for their decision.

Here’s a great link explaining misogynoir in greater detail: http://www.gradientlair.com/post/84107309247/define-misogynoir-anti-black-misogyny-moya-bailey-coined

Image by Michelle Avenant

Image by Michelle Avenant

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