More than 50 students gathered in the Pearson Master’s apartment Wednesday night to have a discussion about where racism and sexism intersect: “misogynoir.”
Confronting Misogynoir: Do Black Women Matter? sponsored by the Yellow Rose Society, was a multimedia event and forum discussing misogyny within the black community and mainstream media. Misogyny, or ingrained prejudice against women, and misogynoir, the same prejudice directed toward black women, were the main topics of discussion throughout the night. Video clips and photos aided the discussion.
The event, hosted and created by senior Hülya Miclisse-Polat and junior Alexis McDonald, came about after the two students attended a forum where they felt they were “bashed as women,” Miclisse-Polat said.
“We felt that what we said was overlooked. We felt silenced, so we decided to create our own space where we can talk about issues,” she said.
Throughout the night, students were shown different videos and photos that dealt with issues within misogynoir, including Kanye West talking about the contrast between his black ex-girlfriend, Amber Rose, and his wife Kim Kardashian.
Junior Melina Maldonado said one of the most compelling moments of the night was when the topic of how a woman dresses was discussed, including a discussion about how black women are more likely to be addressed in a degrading manner based on their attire.
“Being a woman of color myself, it really hit me,” Maldonado said. “It’s not fair that women in general have to deal with prejudice like this and much less that women of a certain color have to deal with it even more than others.”
With students like Maldonado in attendance, Miclisse-Polat said the event was such a success that it may become an annual event during Black Awareness Month, helping attendees to take a look at their own lives and to acknowledge their privilege.
“It’s important that people understand their privilege and collectively have these types of discussions to try to re-evaluate how we are perpetuating misogyny,” she said.