Misogynoir is a dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against black women.
The term was coined by the US scholar Moya Bailey in 2008. It is a blend of “misogyny”, an extreme form of sexism, and the French word for black, “noir”. Moya Bailey used this term to recognize both historical racist misogyny and intersecting forms of oppression that Black women experience nowadays.
Misogynoir can come from both Black and White men and women and manifests in daily life in various ways. For instance, historically, Black women and girls have been overtly sexualized. This is rooted in racism, which began with the way European travelers to Africa pictured local women as having an increased sex drive to justify rape and slavery.
Nowadays, people often discount claims of sexual abuse of Black girls and teens because of the belief that Black girls are older, more mature, and sexually advanced than White girls.
Black women are often viewed as strong and have a higher pain threshold – another stereotype based on misogynoir which leads to situations in which Black women feel that they are not allowed to show any emotion, pain, or distress. When they speak up for themselves, Black women are perceived as being angry or intimidating.
As a result of misogynoir, Black women have higher risks of mistreatment in the healthcare system: for instance, in the US, Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than White women.
See more resources
Bailey, M. & Trudy. (2018). On misogynoir: citation, erasure, and plagiarism. Feminist Media Studies, 18(4), 762-768. DOI: 10.1080/14680777.2018.1447395
Black Women Over Three Times More Likely to Die in Pregnancy, Postpartum Than White Women, New Research Finds. (n.d.). PRB. https://www.prb.org/resources/black-women-over-three-times-more-likely-to-die-in-pregnancy-postpartum-than-white-women-new-research-finds/
Center, B. (2020, February 12). What is Misogynoir? blackburncenter. Retrieved January 10, 2023, from https://www.blackburncenter.org/post/2020/02/12/what-is-misogynoir
Oxford English Dictionary