Silence, Ignorance, Resistance and Denial: The Black Community’s Refusal to Acknowledge and Address Misogynoir Against Black Women and Girls

There is a great war being waged against women and girls on this planet. That war is sexism (that one sex is superior to the other and should dominate economically, politically, and socially) and misogyny (hatred, contempt or dislike of women and girls and is manifested in many ways, sexual discrimination such as violence, degradation,  sexual objectification). In the last year, I have began studying the subject of sexism and misogyny, how it affects women and girls in general, and particularly black women and girls. My research and real life experiences and observations has helped me to see that this is a very SERIOUS SERIOUS problem on this planet  and I did not realize how seriously sexist and misogynist beliefs and behaviors are soooo entrenched in sooo many people across race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, etc. to the point where it is many times dismissed, ignored, and denied. Women and girls are subjected to harm, death, misery, strife, denied educational and economic opportunities, and just a life full of enrichment and purpose just because of these beliefs and behaviors. Society and the media teaches us to devalue women and girls, thus sexism and misogyny is taught to us. We either internalize  sexism and misogyny subconsciously, unconsciously, or consciously. 62e2ea5c2124517b80db89126dd968f6The So-called Black Community is silent, resistant, and in denial about the truth and dangers of misogynoir. Try and talk about it and many Negroes are either silent, ignorant, resist or deny. Then comes derailments and deflections. Many Black People believe that sexism and misogyny is not a problem in the Black American Community and the African Diaspora in general. It’s very sad (and frighting) how many Black People walk around as if it is not a MAJOR problem while many Black Women and Girls are suffering in silence physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually because of it . It became a problem when Black Men came into contact with White Men and internalized White Supremacist thought and behaviors towards other Black People and Black Women and girls. Black Men are not the only ones in the Black Community that are misogynoirist towards Black Women and Girls. Many Black Women and Girls are also misogynoirist towards Black Women and Girls (internalized misogynoir). So I am making it very clear that I am not placing blame on solely Black Men and not all Black Men. I am woman enough to admit that I most definitely have been misogynoiristic towards other Black Women and Girls at  times growing up and  in my young adult life. Once a Black person learns he or she may harbor misogynoiristic attitudes and practice misogynoiristic behaviors it’s in his or her best interest to work on correcting those attitudes and behaviors for the sake of oneself and the entire Black Community.

Not only is this about getting back to gender equality (like it was in African societies so long ago) in today’s black community and the Diaspora it’s about equally valuing our women and girls like we value our men and boys. It’s just sooo sad how black women and girls have been crying out and begging the so-called black community to talk about and understand this for years and years, but their (and our) cries have and still are falling on deaf ears. Take it from a Black Woman on Tumblr:

I don’t understand why we’re so comfortable with misogynoir in the black community but………………. Nevermind, let me zip it for now 🙂

When Black Feminists/Womanist or other Black Women and Girls speak truthfully about the very,very sexist and misogynistic so-called black community, emotions go through the stratosphere and the conversation gets derailed, deflected, or ignored all together. These women are showered with outrageous claims such as “you’re and agent of white supremacy” “you’re anti-black man” or “you’re conspiring with the white man.” [HAHAHAHA! smh].

A sista on tumblr also gave a rundown on how (too) many black men respond to when Black Women talk about misogynoir:

I’m sure it’ll go like this…
This meme is hateful and divisive. Not what Black Feminism/Womanism is about.

WE ARE LIVING IN A WHITE SUPREMACIST ANTI-BLACK, ANTI-WOMAN PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY, BLACK WOMEN CAN’T “JUST FOCUS ON”  OR “JUST FIGHT”  RACISM WHITE SUPREMACY

What is Misogynoir?

Misogynoir is term coined by queer Black Feminist Scholar Moya Bailey . Misogynoir (from the word misogyny; [miso-: hater, gyn-: woman, noir, Black] is anti-black misogyny towards Black Women, specifically (This word is not used to describe misogyny toward non-black women of color). Misogynoir ONLY refers to the hatred of Black Women based on BOTH race and gender. Trudy, Black Woman Blogger of GradientLair.com provides a detailed description of misogynoir in her essay Misogyny (in general) vs Anti-black Misogyny (misogynoir):

Misogyny dehumanizes women in, general. Anti-Black misogyny (which functions because of racism, sexism and White supremacy) makes Black women “not human” and thereby worthy of hatred and abuse yet White women the standard of humanity that Black women should aspire to. Misogyny makes men’s “natural” angered reactions to women include the word “bitch” where their privilege and power makes it different from women who seek to reclaim that word and use between each other. Anti-Black misogyny creates other oppressive slurs, where even “black” itself becomes a pejorative. “Black bitch.” “Nigger bitch.” Misogyny explains the slut shaming of Miley Cyrus. Anti-Black misogyny makes Miley Cyrus an “innocent” White woman exploring her sexuality while using Black women’s culture and bodies as costumes to be tossed once bored and reinforces stereotypes about Black women’s sexuality as “deviant” and ultimately distant from her own, as something “possessing” her during her “coming of age” era as she continues her eat, pray, love syndrome of culture slumming to evolve into peak “experienced” Whiteness when older.

Some Examples of How Black Men Practice Misogynoir Against Black Women 

  1. Ignoring and dismissing the Black Woman’s Plight Under The System of Racism White Supremacy (as if Black Men are the only victims of racism).
  2. Leaving Black Women out of the history, struggle, and experience of Black People in America and abroad.
  3. Abusing (physically, verbally, and mentally) and sexually exploiting Black Women.
  4. Ignoring and dismissing Black Women’s stories of experiencing racism white supremacy and misogynoir from both white and black people (i.e., ignoring sistas who experience sexual assault and or calling Black sexual assualt victims “hoes”).
  5. Telling Black Women to “just focus” or “just fight” racism white supremacy and ignore other oppressions (i.e. Black Women experience intersecting oppressions, i.e. racism white supremacy and misogynoir, etc)
  6. Pedestal placing white/nonblack women as “superior” and “more beautiful” than Black Women (i.e. European Beauty Standards
  7. Placing unreasonable standards on Black Women and using these standards to judge whether a Black Woman is a ” Real Queen”  (i.e. respectability politics, for example “She’s a ho not a queen ’cause she wears short dresses or likes to twerk”).
  8. Defending the privileged white woman over the disenfranchised and oppressed Black Woman.
  9. Publicly humiliate and degrade Black Women and Girls.
  10. Laughing and or agreeing with racist and anti-misogynist jokes and or comments from White people or anti-black Blacks or poc about Black Women.
  11. Not showing up for sistas in distress or in trouble (i.e., ignoring Black Women and Girls murdered by policeman and or are victims of police brutality…….and much more too numerous to name here.

When and Where Did It Originate: A Brief History

Once upon a time, prior to European influence on ideas of matriarchy and patriarchy, Black Men did not have a problem with Black Women being in positions of power economically, politically or socially. Throughout Africa, societies were matriarchal, but everything was STILL equal between the Black sexes. African men were not subjugated by African Women in any way shape or form. Ancient Egypt was one of many examples of gender equality that WAS once normal in African societies.

Women in Ancient Greek and Roman societies were not permitted to move about freely with out a male escort nor were they permitted equal pay for equal work, equal legal and property rights, education and more. When Greek and Roman Men such as Herodotus and Diodorus visited Egypt they were shocked to find that their was equality between the sexes. These white men misinterpreted the Africans equality of the sexes as practice as women “dominating” men.

Later in history, anti-woman white supremacist thought  were instilled via white supremacist programming in black men (and women) during the enslavement of Africans in America and colonialism in Africa via religion and MISeducation. Which leads us to where we are today: the mistreatment of black women and girls based on sex in ALL African communities across the globe.

Given the history of gender equality in African societies, I believe that it IS NOT in the Black Man’s true nature to be sexist and misogynist. It is also NOT Black Women’s true nature to be sexist and misogynist towards ourselves and other Black Women. I know that White Men are the Original sexist/misogynist (that’s why I’m nipping derailments and deflections in the bud now) Sexism and misogyny NOT NATURAL, but’s what natural about the European, LOL.

My concern is not white men and white women; they’re a lost cause. I’m concerned about eliminating sexism/misogyny (misogynoir) in the black community and the Diaspora and returning to our African roots of gender equality:

  1. When are Black People gonna have a serious conversation, if ever about misogynoir? Where and when it originated?
  2. How this harms Black Women, Black Girls, and the Entire Black Community?
  3. When are Black Women gonna start Checking Black Men who Practice misogynoir?
  4. When are Black Women gonna start checking Black Women who practice misogynoir?
  5. When are Black Men gonna start checking Black Men who practice misogynoir?
  6. When are Black Men gonna start checking Black Men who practice misogynoir?
  7. When are Black Men and Women gonna start checking our own misogynoiristic beliefs and attitudes?
  8. When if ever are we gonna take serious steps to eliminate it?

A Brief Synopsis on Misogynoir in the Civil Rights Movement

Sexism, misogyny, and colorism was all up and through, up and down, and all around the movement. Misogynoir at the March on Washington, Misogynoir in the Black Panther Party and even todayMisogynoir going on in Ferguson. Don’t believe it, google sexism and misogyny in the civil rights movement. You will find many accounts (too many to name in this post) in books and articles from Black Men and Women about how this sad situation played out. Many of the Black male prominent (and non-prominent) leaders and activist were very egotistical, colorist, sexist, and misogynoiristic toward Black Women. For example, Dr. King did not allow women in leadership positions within his organizations and Huey P. Newton and other Black Panther men treated  women in the organization like second-class citizens (and mere sidekicks, not allies), workhorses and mammy mules. Black Panther men also physically and sexually abusive the Panther women. Misogynoir destroyed the BPP (Black Panther Party).

Moreover, the female face of the movement had to be a light-skinned “Redbone.” For example, On March 2, 1955, Claudette Colvin, who was 15 at the time refused to give up her Montgomery Alabama bus seat to a white woman nine months before Rosa Parks refused her seat to a white man. Civil rights leaders threw her under the bus because she was not in her words”light-skinned, with “good hair” and middle class.” In addition, some of these men were not really interested in truly eliminating racism white supremacy to begin with. They had their own agendas, such as one-upping (competing) with the white man (i.e., waiting for a chance at bedding white men’s mothers, sisters and daughters), not really wanting “Black Power” but wanting a taste power of the of the “white male patriarchal kind”, and or just out to fill their pockets under the guise of “Black Power” and “Black Unity”.

These men were  shouting with fist in the air ” Fighting the White Man” “Black Unity” and “Black Power” while practicing sexism, misogynoir and colorism just like the very white men they were supposedly fighting against. Unfortunately, this is why some (a minority to be exact) of  Black Women within the movement naively joined (out of anger and disappointment/disillusionment) white feminist circles only to find out that while the white feminist were giving lip service about “sisterhood” they didn’t really give a shit about the Black Woman’s TRIPLE struggle against racism white supremacy, sexism and misogyny, and colorism. So while many Black male leaders and activist were “fighting” white supremacy they were being sexist, misogynistic and colorist toward Black Women and focusing ONLY on the Black Man’s plight while ignoring the Black Woman’s plight against not only racism white supremacy but sexism (from everybody), misogynoir (from everybody) and colorism (especially the dark-skinned Black Woman from other black people) while white feminsts were talking about “sisterhood” but ignored their own anti-black racism, anti-black sexism and misogyny toward Black Women and how these three oppressions intersect for Black Women. Black Women just  felt disregarded, ignored and neglected by both parties. Again, this is why Huey P. Newton’s ex- girlfriend, Elaine Brown and other women of the Black Power Movement became feminist; misogynoir within the BPM (Black Power Movement) and the hypocrisy of white feminism gave rise to Black Feminism/Black Womanism. Yes, with the  research available, I couldn’t help but come to this conclusion.

Now some of us have already started doing so and have started speaking out on the issue, thank goodness, but we still have a looong ways to go.

For Black Women and Girls, Race and Gender Is Intersectional

Intersectionality is a termed coined by Black Feminist scholar Kimberle Crenshaw. Intersectionality (or intersectionalism) refers to the intersections between different systems and forms of oppression, domination, and discrimination. Black Women and Girls suffer from racism (from white people), sexism (from everybody), and colorism (from other Black People, i.e. “Pretty to be a dark skin girl”) simultaneously. Therefore, a Black Woman and Girl can not choose which part of her identity is in need of the most liberating. Many Black Women report that when they talk about experiences with racism white supremacy and misogynoir, many Black men tell them to “just focus on fighting racism” and other Black Women tell them to stop “complaining.” Black Women can’t fight racism white supremacy and ignore misogynoir. We (black men too) can fight both can be fought simultaneously. Black Men/People who say this to silence discussion around this topic are doing Black Women and Girls a disservice, which is itself misogynoir.

Internalized Misogynoir

Internalized sexism is when a woman or girl have involuntarily internalized messages of women and girls as being of  the inferior sex whereas men are of  the superior sex and women should not hold positions of power economically, politically or socially. Internalized misogyny is when women and girls have internalized stereotypes, hatred, contempt, or dislike for themselves and women and girls, in general. To the contrary, unfortunately, many Black Women and Girls suffer from internalized misogynoir. Internalized misogynoir is when Black Women and Girls have internalized stereotypes,  have hatred, contempt, or dislike of other Black Women and Girls.

Some Examples of How Black Women Practice Misogynoir Against Other Black Women and Girls (basically many of the same way many of the men do)

  1. Ignoring and dismissing the Black Woman’s Plight Under The System of Racism White Supremacy (as if Black Men are the only victims of racism).
  2. Leaving Black Women out of the history, struggle, and experience of Black People in America and abroad.
  3. Abusing (physically, verbally, and mentally) or sexually exploiting other Black Women (i.e., calling other Black Women ratchet ass hoes, thots, bitches aka Love and Hip Hop, Basketball Wives).
  4. Ignoring and dismissing Black Women’s stories of experiencing racism white supremacy and misogynoir from both white and black people.
  5. Telling Black Women to “just focus” or “just fight” racism white supremacy and ignore other oppressions (i.e. Black Women experience intersecting oppressions, i.e. racism white supremacy and misogynoir, etc).
  6. Placing unreasonable standards on other Black Women and using these standards to judge whether a Black Woman is a ” Real Queen”  (i.e. respectability politics, for example “She’s a ho not a queen ’cause she wears short dresses or likes to twerk”).
  7. Defending the privileged white woman over the disenfranchised and oppressed Black Woman.
  8. Laughing and or agreeing with racist and anti-misogynist jokes and or comments from White people or anti-black Blacks or poc about Black Women.
  9. Not showing up when other sista(s) is in distress or trouble (i.e. ignoring Black Women and Girls who are murdered by the police and or victims police brutality).
  10. Calling Black Women or girls who are victims of sexual assault “fast-ass girls” (mostly done by older Black Women) or dismissing their stories and experiences with sexual assault…..and much more too numerous to name here.

Feminism for White Women, Womanism for Black Women [In this section, I provided links from Wikipedia to help further explain womanism vs feminism, theories and ideologies]

Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. From Wikipedia

Feminist Theory From Wikipedia

Feminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical or philosophical fields. It encompasses work in a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, economics,women’s studies, literary criticism,[73][74] art history,[75] psychoanalysis[76] and philosophy.[77][78] Feminist theory aims to understand gender inequality and focuses on gender politics, power relations, and sexuality. While providing a critique of these social and political relations, much of feminist theory also focuses on the promotion of women’s rights and interests. Themes explored in feminist theory include discrimination, stereotyping, objectification (especially sexual objectification), oppression, and patriarchy.[7][8]

In the field of literary criticism, Elaine Showalter describes the development of feminist theory as having three phases. The first she calls “feminist critique”, in which the feminist reader examines the ideologies behind literary phenomena. The second Showalter calls “gynocriticism“, in which the “woman is producer of textual meaning”. The last phase she calls “gender theory”, in which the “ideological inscription and the literary effects of the sex/gender system are explored”.[79]

This was paralleled in the 1970s by French feminists, who developed the concept of écriture féminine (which translates as ‘female or feminine writing’).[69] Helene Cixous argues that writing and philosophy are phallocentric and along with other French feminists such as Luce Irigaray emphasize “writing from the body” as a subversive exercise.[69] The work of Julia Kristeva, a feminist psychoanalyst and philosopher, and Bracha Ettinger,[80] artist and psychoanalyst, has influenced feminist theory in general and feminist literary criticismin particular. However, as the scholar Elizabeth Wright points out, “none of these French feminists align themselves with the feminist movement as it appeared in the Anglophoneworld”.[69][81] More recent feminist theory, such as that of Lisa Lucile Owens, has concentrated on characterizing feminism as a universal emancipatory movement.

VS

Womanism is a social theory deeply rooted in the racial and gender oppression of black women. There are varying interpretations on what the term womanist means and efforts to provide a concise and all encompassing definition have only been marginally successful. From Wikipedia

Womanist Theory From Wikipedia

Author and poet Alice Walker is credited with coining the term ‘womanist.’ From the original introduction of womanism as a social perspective, the term has evolved to envelop varied, and sometimes opposing definitions. Linda Hogan asserts that the term womanist has come to represent a feminist of color, specifically black women, since the Feminist Movement has been experienced by many as intrinsically racist.[2] While feminism can be alienating to minorities, womanism allows black women to affirm and celebrate their color and culture in a way that feminism does not.[2] In the words of theorists such as Clenora Hudson-Weems and Alicia Boisnier, Black women struggle to identify with traditional feminism, because they do not identify with the issues that feminism typically advocates.[3] Alternatively, Delores Williams, a womanist theologian, associates womanism with the traditions and activism formed from the conditions, events, meanings and values within the African- American community. Williams further asserts that the task of the Womanist theologian is to embody activism by seeking out the voices of the unheard and the experiences of the neglected. She identifies the distinct difference between the experiences of the black woman and the white woman that makes it difficult to identify with feminism. One of the key components of feminism is to end a woman’s subjugation to her male counterpart, yet there are other oppressive forces that black women face that takes precedence over the perceived subjugation of the black woman by the black man .[2] This represents an expectation and experience of the black woman as one filled with the quest for knowledge, competence, and authority that surpasses the individual, but encompasses the group.[4] This idea of community rather than individuality is further illustrated by the portrayal of a woman as the embodiment of her environment.[1] In this way womanism does not focus indiscriminately on the experiences of black woman, but desires the reconciliation of all people to their spirituality, their relationships with each other, and their relationship with nature.

More on Womanist Ideologies From Wikipedia

Womanism has various definitions and interpretations. At its broadest definition, it is a universalist ideology for all women, regardless of color. A womanist is committed to “the survival and wholeness of an entire people, male and female”.[2] Walker’s much cited phrase, “womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender” suggests that Walker considers feminism as a component of the wider ideological umbrella of womanism.[10] It focuses on the unique experiences, struggles, needs, and desires of not just Black women, but all women of color in addition to critically addressing the dynamics of the conflict between the mainstream feminist, the Black feminist, the African feminist, and the Africana womanist movement.[14] However, there is Black nationalist discourse prevalent within womanist work and for this reason scholars are divided between associating womanism with other similar ideologies such as Black feminism and Africana womanism or taking the stance that the three are inherently incompatible.

Black Feminism

The Black feminism movement was formed in response to the needs of the women who felt racially oppressed by the Women’s Movement and sexually oppressed by the Black Liberation Movement.[15] Black feminist scholars assert that African-American women are doubly disadvantaged in the social, economic, and political sphere, because they face discrimination on the basis of both race and gender.[16] Black women felt that their needs were being ignored by both movements and they struggled to identify with either based on race or gender. African-American women who use the term Black feminism attach a variety of interpretations to it.[17] One such interpretation is that Black feminism addresses the needs of African-American women that the Feminism Movement largely ignores. Feminism, as Black feminist theorist Pearl Cleage defines it, is “the belief that women are full human beings capable of participation and leadership in the full range of human activities—intellectual, political, social, sexual, spiritual, and economic”.[10] With this definition, the feminist agenda can be said to encompass different issues ranging from political rights to educational opportunities within a global context.[10] The Black feminist agenda seeks to streamline these issues and focuses on those that are the most applicable to African-American women.

Africana Womanism

Clenora Hudson-Weems’s Africana womanism arose from a nationalist Africana studies concept. In Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves, Hudson-Weems explores the limitations of feminist theory and explains the ideas and activism of different African women who have contributed to womanist theory.[18] At its core, Africana womanism rejects feminism because it is set up in a way as to promote the issues of white women over the issues of Black women. Hudson-Weems argues that feminism will never be okay for black women due to the implications of slavery and prejudice.[6] She further asserts that the relationship between a Black man and a Black woman is significantly different from the relationship between a White man and a White woman, because the white woman battles the white man for subjugating her, but the black women battles all oppressive forces that subjugate her, her children, and the black man.[6][19] She further asserts that racism forced African-American men and African-American women to assume unconventional gender roles. In this context, the desire of mainstream feminism to dismantle traditional gender roles becomes inapplicable to the black experience. Unlike womanism,[12] Africana womanism is an ideology designed specifically with women of African descent in mind. It is grounded in African culture and focuses on the unique struggles, needs, and desires of African women. Based on this reasoning, Africana Womanism posits race and class based oppression as far more significant than gender-based oppression.[6]

A Black Woman Blogger From Tumblr states:

Black women didn’t create womanism to one up white or non-black women. We created it because no one cared about our issues and we want white society and our own community to stop treating us like second class citizens, like we’re subhuman. Black women don’t want to battle black men, we want black men to extend the same and compassion towards us as we do them, we want reciprocity.  We’re not sidekicks we’re human beings who deserve the same respect you demand.

 The meme below  is also hateful and divisive and  [Side Note: I do agree with the white woman as a witch cause THEY ARE wicked witches, LOL]
How It Affects Black Women and Girls and Black Community

The silence, ignorance, denial and resistance to address misogynoir within the Black Community is having a very, very devastating affects on the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health of Black Women and Girls. It’s horrific and devastating enough to have to contend with racism white supremacy and misogynoir from white people on a daily basis. But, to have to deal with this mess from our own people is an MAJOR, MAJOR INSULT ON TOP OF AN ALREADY MAJOR,MAJOR INJURY (Racism White Supremacy). Black Women find ourselves constantly proving our humanity and femininity to both the larger white society and the Black Community.

Former Leader of the  Nation of Islam, the late Elijah Muhammad stated, “A Nation Can Rise No Higher Than Its Woman.” Under the System of Racism White Supremacy, the Original Black Peoples have been (and still is) oppressed, depressed, suppressed, and just rendered powerless. Karl Marx explains that a race’s social position is determined by the position whether superior or inferior that its woman is in. The Original Black Woman, Mother of Civilizations has been (and still is) degraded, demeaned, disrespected, and disregarded, thus the Black Race’s inferior position in the social order. If the Black Community does not protect and defend the Original Black Woman’s huemanity and femininity, than who will?

It’s up to the Original Black Man, the Original Black Woman, and the Black Race to restore the Black Woman back to her proper social status. It’s time for the Black Community to get out the silence, ignorance, resistance, and denial and acknowledge and address this issue head on. Until we do that, we will remain at the mercy of white people and racism white supremacy.

What Can Be Done To End Misogynoir In the Black Community

Below is a list from a blogger named 10 Ways You Can Support Black Women. This is speaking mostly to the men, but imo some of these applies to misogynistic women too.

  1. Stop slandering our natural features. Stop with the dark skin jokes. Stop with the natural hair jokes. Stop dehumanizing black women for our features. Black women–especially young black girls–internalize these “jokes” and grow to sincerely hate their blackness. Cut it out.
  2. Respect our choices. All of them. You don’t have to like it but you need to respect it. If we choose to wear our natural hair, respect it. If we choose to wear weave, respect it. Stop chastising us for the choices we make for ourselves. Stop policing how we choose to live our lives. Let us be great. Gahdamn.
  3. Stop with the respectability politics. You can’t say you love black women and then pick and choose which black women you’ll respect based on your standards. You still give a black woman respect regardless of how she chooses to live her life. You respect all black women because we are human just like you, not just the ones who wear natural hair, listen to erykah badu and shit.
  4. No means no. If you approach a black woman and she says she’s not interested, oh my fucking god, my nigga, just leave her alone. Move on. Let it go. Please do not persist. Take the rejection gracefully. Don’t call her out name, don’t follow her, don’t assault her. Let her be. She doesn’t owe you an explanation. Her “no” is enough and you will deal my friend.
  5. LISTEN. Bruh, when black women are telling you something you’re doing is harming them, can you put your ego aside and just L I S T E N. Why is that your first reaction is to get defensive? If you love black women like you say you do, wouldn’t you want to know when you’re doing something harmful to them? Stop getting defensive every time a black woman calls out your misogynoir. Stop brushing that off as “bashing black men.” Stop calling black women “shea butter bitches” for calling out how you harm black women. Black women are just asking for empathy at the end of the day. That’s the least you can do.
  6. Stop slut-shaming. Stop shaming black women for their sexuality. Stop calling black women “thots” and all kinds of hoes because her sex life is something YOU disagree with or because she presents herself in a way that conflicts with YOUR standards. Someone’s sexuality has nothing to do with you and you don’t have the right to police what a woman does with her body. Stop reducing a black woman’s worth because you don’t like what she does with HER body.
  7. Understand that our identity intersects. Stop telling black women they have to “pick a side.” Black women aren’t black men or white women’s “side kicks.” We are our own people with our own unique struggle that, yes, may have similarities to BM’s and WW’s struggles, but is not identical to theirs. We are black and we are women. You can’t be an ally to black women and not be intersectional when our existence is the epitome of intersectionality. Black women don’t just experience racial violence, we experience gender violence as well. Stop insisting that we have to divide our identity down the middle to suit you.
  8. Say something when you see black women being attacked. When you see black women being harassed online and offline, do something. Ya’ll gotta start holding each other accountable. Stop @-ing me telling me how terrible it is that I’m being attacked. @ ole dude who’s attacking me. Tell them to stop. Have my back. Intervene in the best possible way you can. Stop allowing the violence against black women to persist right in front of your eyes.
  9. Please kill the “strong black woman” narrative. Placing this title on us constantly, denies us humanity. Black women aren’t allowed to be vulnerable like everyone else. We’re constantly told be strong or we’re written off as only angry and bitter. We’re told how we’re suppose to feel and how to respond to violence against us. Black women are humans. We laugh, we cry, we smile. We can’t be your idea of “strong” all the time.
  10. Show up for black women. Black women consistently show up for everyone else but when it comes time for us, hardly anyone is there to be found. Police brutality doesn’t just happen to black men. Recognize it. Know the names of the many black female victims of state violence. Know their stories. Share their stories. Fight for them like you fight for Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and Sean Bell. Fight for black women like black women fight for you. Organize and show up for black women. Stop leaving us hanging. Stop expecting our support and giving us little to none in return.

Other Sources: Black Women In Antiquity, Edited by Dr. Ivan Van Sertima

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16 thoughts on “Silence, Ignorance, Resistance and Denial: The Black Community’s Refusal to Acknowledge and Address Misogynoir Against Black Women and Girls

  1. Everything you wrote is true pure truth! The body of black women are exploited both as human and sexually in the world!
    In Brazil, a black woman is categorically considered a prostitute doesn’t matter if you have a good position as a manager or career woman,she is immediately label the woman who sold her body, or not the woman who has studied and made many sacrifices!
    If black actresses want to work in show business have to accept roles as the slave, the maid, the poor or the prostitute! This is the mentality of white racist Brazilians!
    If you go to public places, shops or hotels hardly you see black people!
    In Europe the situation is no different! I lived for long years in Italy here, Italians believe that all black women are prostitutes, because there is illegal prostitution of African women!
    These black women are poor immigrants, they come in Europe of a better life and to help their families but are blackmailed and end up on the street to sell their bodies!
    The exploitation of the body of black women has no end!
    No matter if black women trying to live in a way dignito, because white people will always have something racist to say about us!
    I am tired of seeing these garbage white women who insult and take possession of the body of black women! We black women are considered the mules, Jezebel whores but who really are the most depraved women of this world are the white women!
    White women who pay for sexual favors black men with the complicity of their white racist husbands! Black men hate black women for what they are, they are ashamed of what they are!
    https://processedlives.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/the-delicious-pleasures-of-racism/

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  2. there will come a time when this oppression will come to an end. nothing lasts forever and when dat time comes black men will realise their mistake but it will be too late. there is so much pain a person can bare be4 freeing herself.

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  3. Some interesting points. I would like to add that Africa, for the most part, has never been matriarchal. I think some of our people seem to confuse matrilineal descent with matriarchy. They are not one and the same. Matrilineal descent means that if I were king, it’d be my sister’s children who’d inherit the throne, not my own. The man has usually always assumed the position as “the head of the family” in nearly every society, although women usually (for example) were in control of the finances (this is because she usually took care of things in the home (food, clothing, supplies etc) , so she would be the one who had the most knowledge of the “status” of the family, i.e how they should spend their money to sustain themselves) .

    The difference between Africa & Europe however, was that (before the Abrahamic faiths) Africans weren’t afraid to let their women climb as high as they wanted to, if they so desired. This is why it wasn’t (and still isn’t) uncommon for women to become ruling Queens etc, because it didn’t make the man any less of a man.

    The regent of my ethnic group for example, is a queen (you still have to be a part of the royal family however) , she was appointed in November 2005 –> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martha_Nelumbu

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    1. Thank you for the interesting take and welcome to my blog! This is what I think I was trying to get at that Ancient African Societies were neither matriarchal nor patriarchal per se, but just equal, something that doesn’t exist at all in this current society, lol.

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  4. #BlackLivesMatter is still so much less important than Feminism! As long as ALL women are oppressed by patriarchy why do we even worry about a very narrow oppression example – just a single race?

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    1. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! #BlackLivesMatter is very, very important because its a damn shame in this day and age that Black People are still looked upon as subhuman and have to fight for basic human rights.

      As far as oppression by patriarchy, I’m only concerned about BLack Women and Girls because we experience sexism/misogyny like no other woman/girl on the planet. It called misogynoir: the specific hatred of black women and girls based on both race and gender. Both our race and our gender intersect when it comes to the oppression of Black Women and Girls; it does not for white women and as for non-black women of color they don’t experience sexism/misogyny cause they are not white, but not Black either.

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