Misogyny and Intersectionality

This is a short commentary on misogyny, colourism and sexism.

I have recently finished my Journalism degree and have been thinking about the perspectives of black women in the media. The sexism is amplified by racial issues and its effects are wide-reaching. In my opinion, much of the discussion in the media relating to black people focuses on men and male perspectives rather than women. Moreover, the darker your complexion, the less visibility you can expect to receive. In addition to this, there is a lack of representation of dark skinned black women in the media outside of stereotypical roles such as loud or angry.

Meanwhile, the effect of intersectionality creates a sliding scale of how severe your experience is. Factors involving your class, age etc. all affect how much misogyny you experience and those with more cultural capital are typically less affected. However, within this framework even a woman with considerable privilege such as beauty or social status can receive criticism and commentary about her appearance, for example: the Everyday Sexism Project. These comments can create body image issues that can result in eating disorders and self-esteem issues that are well documented.

Focusing specifically on black women, there are additional restrictions on our behaviour as sexism and patriarchy intertwines itself with racism and classism. Even resulting in the use of chemical perms which, studies have shown, contain chemicals harmful to health. Once it became a trend to have curly, big hair the natural hair movements emphasised 3c grade hair and textures less kinky and more curly.

The conversation about the effects of this misogynoir has begun but the results of a patriarchal system hundreds of years long means that attitudes can be slow to change. It begins with changing actions and mindsets and stubbornness can prevent the necessary improvements.

New study shows the vast majority of hair products aimed at black women contain toxic chemicals linked to infertility, obesity and cancer

Misogynation:The True Scale of Sexism by Laura Bates