Anti-racism involves exploring the unique ways that the fight against blackness manifests itself in different forms in our everyday lives. When it comes to understanding a person’s experiences, intersectionality is an important consideration. Intersectionality, a term coined by scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, was initially defined as the unique forms of oppression faced by black women. Now, the term has become more conventional and is conceptualized as the experiences faced by those with intersecting identities. A newer term, misogynistcoined by moya bailey it was developed to describe “hatred, dislike, mistrust, and specific prejudice directed toward black women.” Education and anti-racism efforts should explore misogyny, how it manifests itself, and how it can be mitigated.
Misogynoir is rampant in ways you may not even realize. The hashtag #SayHerName was created in 2014 to highlight misogyny and how the stories of Black women and girls often go unnoticed, unnoticed and untold. These experiences range from police violence to sexual assault and often go unreported. Two very apparent examples of misogyny in the public sphere can be found in the stories of the victims of musician R.Kelly and, more recently, the events that occurred with rapper Megan Thee Stallion. Throughout R.Kelly’s 30-year career, several women and girls, mostly black and underage, have made claim (is that R.Kelly has sexually abused them. Despite the growing number of allegations that have been made, it was not until recently when the 2019 documentary film Surviving R. Kelly It turned out that these stories were given credence. Black women and girls who share experiences of abuse, trauma, and assault are largely shunned, criticized, and ignored. These experiences are questioned, analyzed and dissected more than any other group.
In July, video surfaced showing rapper Megan Thee Stallion with what appeared to be foot injuries when police pulled her over. In August, Megan Thee Stallion shared that he had, in fact, been shot in the foot by rapper Tory Lanez. After sharing this information, there was a barrage of criticism leveled at Megan Thee Stallion on social media, with many questioning the veracity of her story. Some even called her a “snitch” for publicly naming Lanez as her shooter. Despite the wealth, fame, and notoriety Megan Thee Stallion has amassed, the amount of harsh and insensitive comments directed at her is a painful reminder that the misogynist is alive and well, even in Hollywood. Apparently no amount of prestige, money, or fame can alleviate that. Contrary to what one might believe, money does not protect black women from experiencing misogynism. If those in positions of power and privilege are not protected from misogyny, then what protections do Black women have who are not in positions of power and privilege do they really have?
Many people are still unaware of misogyny and how it manifests itself to collectively harm Black women. The first step in dismantling and disrupting misogyny is awareness. Anti-racism education must explore the misogynist to increase awareness and understanding. Reading books like the one by Minda Harts the memorandum and mikki kendall hood Feminism, that explore intersectional experiences in greater detail and can expand consciousness. One of the most critical components in combating misogyny is listening to black women. When black women share an experience, instead of questioning the experience or participating in racial gaslighting Y tone control, it is imperative to simply listen. It is also important to avoid behaviors such as centered white and defensiveness during these conversations. Black women’s voices are often muffled, stifled, and silenced. Ask yourself what you are currently doing to amplify the voices of black women. Lastly, consider how you are using your privilege, access, and opportunity to uproot misogyny whenever it rears its ugly head.