MADAMENOIRE is taking a trip down memory lane to point out the most misogynoir moments of 2022. MN takes a dive into problematic, patriarchal bullshit that lingers in society. These are the times that women, particularly Black women were subjected to unjust critique or clowning simply for existing. There’s far too many to recount, but listed below are the notable incidents that we must remember, so that we may strive to not repeat them in the new year.
Lizzo and Body Shaming
The talented performer’s response to much of the criticism is “minding my fat Black beautiful business” and yet, men can’t stop making unsolicited comments about how she expresses herself in her own body. Most recently, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West went on a Lizzo tangent during a Fox news interview, calling her weight loss journey “demonic” in its media reception. Conversations about Lizzo and her body business is tired, as it always stems from fatphobia. Luckily, Lizzo’s self love is contagious, and she will continue to use her platform to promote body positivity and drown out the noise.
Jada Pinkett Smith and Victim Blaming
The slap heard around the World and the bad joke that caused it had nothing to do with Jada Pinkett Smith. We can all agree that blaming Pinkett Smith for the incident is rooted in misogynoir. Ultimately, she was the biggest victim, her alopecia being the butt of Chris Rock’s tasteless joke and the subsequent blame and hatred she received for her husband Will’s response. While the internet was divided on whether Chris or Will was right, there was no proper support for Jada and her complex emotions as the one with the least amount of agency in the situation. Jada deserves apologies from all sides because the complicated relationship between Black women’s beauty standards and hair is no laughing matter and men must be held accountable for their own emotions.
SZA and Policing
We all love CTRL, and Sza’ did her thing on its successor S.O.S. However, many had a bit too much to say on the themes of her latest LP, stating that it’s just “sad girl music,” prompting Sza herself to defend her songs. The chart topping Artist’s music is about her own specific journey in which she tells those who don’t like it to just turn it off. Interpretation is one thing but dictating what Black women’s art should be gets a resounding NO. Projecting a certain version of healed onto another person is not only unrealistic, but also creatively stifling. Sza should be allowed to express the full range of herself and her emotions through her music.
Megan Thee Stallion and Slut Shaming
In the long awaited trial—that was The People (not Megan Thee Stallion) vs. Daystar “Tory Lanez” Peterson—loads of misinformation was spread by numerous media outlets. Meg, a witness for the trial, was driven to tears during her testimony about the vitriol she received simply for speaking out against the man who harmed her. Many chose to focus on the extent of her relationship with Lanez, and whether or not they slept together, than the actual physical—and emotional—harm he caused in her life. This is textbook sexism, specifically slut-shaming, at play to minimize and invalidate Meg’s trauma. Regardless if she slept with him, the fact remains that she was shot and he was convicted of the crime. Meg has always been the victim in this case, and yet she was treated as if she was the person who pulled the trigger because of patriarchy and a refusal to believe and protect Black women.
Cori Broadus and Colorism
Colorism is a rampant issue in the Black community, and one Snoop Dogg’s daughter Cori Broadus has had to address throughout her life but also more recently when it comes to her relationship. Broadus continues to be the victim of intense colorist hate and the assumption her partner doesn’t love her but is starstruck over her famous father because she does not fit the mold of conventional beauty standards. The ill treatment of Broadus on social media for being a chocolate woman shows how far we still have to go as a society to dismantle a colorist complex that only does harm.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Racial Bias
From the “(Almost) Straight Outta Compton” Headline to the Royal Family’s questioning of her son’s skin tone before his birth, Meghan Markle has seen intense misogynoir ever since she started her relationship with Prince Harry. Even though Markle is biracial, her Black ancestry served as a catalyst for racist rhetoric and biased coverage in the British media. Her latest docuseries on Netflix went into grave detail on how this scrutiny plagued her mental wellbeing, but even after telling her side, critics continue with their campaign against her. Black women are not a scapegoat to hide more severe issues within an institution behind, and Meghan’s reclamation of herself and her work beyond the palace walls is one that deserves to be heard.
DaniLeigh and Baby Mama Drama
After being seemingly kicked out of his home after giving birth, directly called his side chick to her face, and an evergoing list of other acts of disrespect, it seemed as though she could not catch a break in or out her home. DaniLeigh, for her own good, disassociated herself with the disgraced rapper well before he was giving out tickets in a Cheesecake Factory. However, at the height of the domestic drama, DaniLeigh was navigating the early stages of motherhood whilst dealing with a man chastising her publicly. There was no compassion from the public as DaniLeigh was subjected to verbal abuse in the midst of breastfeeding her child. Rarely does society have empathy for mothers, but especially in this case, DaniLeigh’s attacks seemingly had no end as she was mocked for putting up with the father of her new child. How she was mocked on social media while also dealing with familial struggles is something no new mother should ever have to experience.
Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and the Twice As Good Dilemma
“You’ve got to be twice as good, to get half as much” It is a saying that every Black person knows and can resonate with. We can do everything right in our professional endeavors, and still not receive the same opportunities, or prove so much more to be worthy of the same position. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson experienced this firsthand, as one of the most qualified judges to ever be appointed to the position of Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court still was subjected to intense scrutiny and questions at her confirmation hearing. While many elected officials at the hearing made statements of how honored they were to have her hold this office, Republican lawmakers trivialized her accomplishments and challenged her intellect. Black women have been there before, when they are made to feel smaller than they are. However, many Black women like Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson are more than enough, and should not have to endure such interrogation to prove it.
From double standards, colorism and invalidating their experiences or competency, Black women face this double whammy every day from those within and outside their community. Let’s take these last few hours of 2022 to reflect on how to be better to the most marginalized as we begin 2023. Might we suggest even adding it to your New Year’s Resolutions?
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