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Professor Moya Bailey on “Why you need to know what ‘misognoir’ means right now”

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04/28/18 - BOSTON, MA. - Moya Bailey Assistant Professor of Cultures, Societies, and Global Studies and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, poses for a portrait on April 28, 2018. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University
Headshot of Moya Bailey.

Professor Moya Bailey, member of the WGSS executive committee, was featured in an article on the website Mashable entitled “Why you need to know what ‘misogynoir’ means right now.”

Misogynoir is defined as anti-black misogyny that specifically targets black women.  Professor Bailer coined the term in 2008 while writing her dissertation. The concept of misogynoir can be traced back to slavery, but absolutely still exists and causes harm today. Bailey found that these attitudes about black women can be linked to poor health, social, and economic outcomes, noting for one example, that the maternal mortality rate for black women and their infants is much higher than for that of white women and their infants.

To find out if misogynoir is taking place, Bailey says:

“if you can’t replace the person being targeted with a woman of another race or someone of another gender, you know misogynoir is in play.”

In order to stop misogynoir, Professor Bailey says that media literacy – understanding where media representations of black women come from – is the key.

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