Why This Feminist Wrote “Educated H*e” On Her Graduation Cap

April 17, 2017  |  

Earlier today, I saw theGrio’s headline Black feminist’s ‘educated h*e’ graduation cap goes viral. I chuckled. I assumed that it would just be the words written across her cap. But I should have known that the words alone wouldn’t have gone viral, it had to be more than that. And when I clicked the link, I found that there was a pictorial representation of what an “educated h*e” might look like.

And it was glorious.

educated hoe

via Twitter

Not only was there the image of Black woman twerking, there was a quote from Audre Lorde: “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” A warning against adopting respectability politics, the hashtags #SayHerName #YouOkSis and a reminder that Trans Lives Matter. And then in the corner, “Body Count Same As Your Grandma’s.”


DeAnn, the creator of the cap, is a soon-to-be college graduate, double majoring in women and gender studies and psychology. She told the Huffington Post, “We are not a monolith and there is not only one right way to be a Black ‘Queen.’”

We reached out to Dee to see what inspired her to create the cap. This is what she had to say.

“I was inspired to make my cap because I’ve been called a hoe or fast since I was younger just because of the body type I have, even before I became the sexually liberated woman I am now. And I experience how society views women who are like me. We are told we have nothing else to offer besides our bodies, no man will ever want us, we aren’t deserving of respect or love, based on the way we dress or talk. Women who don’t subscribe to a conservative, “classy”, virginal depiction aren’t regarded as intelligent. Even dancing, twerking especially, gives people the okay to start assuming we don’t have goals, dreams, or aspirations and I’m annoyed by it. Black women who are categorized under the Jezebel archetype get treated like they can’t make contributions to society, cant graduate, aren’t smart. We aren’t allowed to be multifaceted. I like sex, twerking AND I’m graduating with honors because I ALSO like reading, learning and being informed. I don’t exist as a one dimensional woman, none of us do!”


Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days.” You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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