Enough Is Enough: Why Misogynoir Has No Place In Our Society And Politics
Historically, white America has repeatedly dictated how Black women should act, how we should wear our hair and how we should relate to others.
October 28, 2020 at 5:32 pm
We the undersigned organizations condemn the racist, sexist attacks against Black women and call on all elected leaders and public officials to join us in taking a stand against misogyny and racism. Historically, white America has repeatedly dictated how Black women should act, how we should wear our hair and how we should relate to others. Our invisibility has rested on assumptions about our “place” in society when we lift up our own voices demanding respect.
Just this week, Peggy Noonan chided Sen. Kamala Harris, in her Wall Street Journal column, accusing the candidate of “coming across as insubstantial and frivolous” during campaign appearances because she laughed and danced on the rally stage. Noonan demeans and dismisses Harris, clearly believing that, as a white woman in America, she has the right to dictate the behavior of a Black woman.
From the moment of her selection as Joe Biden’s running mate, Sen. Harris has been the target of ceaseless attacks for being a Black woman in politics, invoking familiar stereotypes. President Trump called her “this monster.” Eric Trump called her a “whorendous pick” on Twitter, a Trump campaign staffer called her an “insufferable lying b***h” and Rush Limbaugh suggested that she had “slept her way” to the top. These attacks against Sen. Harris after the vice presidential debate demonstrate the type of hateful, abusive and dehumanizing rhetoric that is hurled at Black women.
But Sen. Harris is far from the only Black political woman to be publicly insulted and described in terms reflecting racist sexist tropes of Black women. Trump denigrated Maxine Waters by suggesting she has a “low IQ” and even labeling her “crazy” after she was forced to cancel an event following death threats. Powerful, inspiring Black women like Stacey Abrams and Rep. Ayanna Pressley are regularly subjected to these types of insults, death threats and worse. Rep. Jahana Hayes was recently a target when her town hall was Zoom bombed with racist slurs.
Black women reject the assumption that this is just something we need to accept as “par for the course” when entering public life to serve our communities. Misogynoir has no place in our society and no place in politics. Those who refuse to stand against the racist and sexist attacks against Black women are tacitly supporting those attacks.
We, the undersigned, stand with Black women leaders in opposition to racism and sexism and in support of Black women’s leadership. We challenge others to join us by denouncing racist, sexist attacks whenever they occur and no matter who makes the attacks.
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
ACCESS: Women’s Health Justice
The Afiya Center
Black Feminist Future
Black Girls’ Guide to Surviving Menopause
Black Mamas Matter Alliance
Black Women’s Blueprint
Black Women’s Health Imperative
Black Women for Wellness
Black Women for Wellness Action Project
California Nurse-Midwives Association
The Community Engagement Research Incubator and Strategy Hub
Interfaith Voices for Reproductive Justice
Maternal and Child Health Access
National Birth Equity Collaborative
New Voices for Reproductive Justice
The SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!, Inc.
Women With a Vision
Women’s Health Specialists