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The Future is Intersectional : Black Women Interrogating Technology to Explore Misogynoir Share a Spelman College Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jazmyn Burton
Spelman College
404.798.5212
jburton8@spelman.edu

Spelman Moya Bailey The Future is Intersectional

ATLANTA (April 5, 2021) -- In 2010, Moya Bailey, Ph.D., C’2005, coined the phrase misogynoir to define the ways anti-Black and misogynistic representations shape ideas about Black women in visual culture and digital spaces.

Since then, misogynoir has become a canonical phrase in understanding the various realities of in the lives of Black women. In her latest solo work, “Misogynoir Transformed: Black Women’s Digital Resistance,” Dr. Bailey speaks to the lives of cis-heterosexual Black women, while also prioritizing the digital realities of Black trans-women and queer folks who also face the varying effects of misogynoir in their own lives.

Dr. Bailey will share insights from her new book, which is set to be released in May, during the next installment of "The Future is Intersectional: Black Women Interrogating Technology," an ongoing lecture series organized by the Spelman College Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, in collaboration with the Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative, UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry and Mozilla.

Clarissa Brooks, C’2018, who was a comparative women's studies major with a focus on media studies and journalism as an undergraduate, spoke to Dr. Bailey about her new work and the current online landscape. 

How does it feel to have this project out and in the world?
Honestly, it's both a relief and a bit terrifying. Having experienced misogynoiristic comments in the media before, I've already seen an uptick in negative comments to some of my tweets. I am excited to see what people think about the work. So often Black women are assumed to be CIS and straight and my book spends a lot of time addressing those of us who are not. The book is for everyone, but in bell hooks fashion, I bring the margin to the center. I imagine that might surprise some people.

What does this book mean for the possibility of change and transformation for Black women online?
I have a different answer than when I started writing the book. I was very hopeful and proud of the Internet community I built online. I have IRL [in real life] friendships that began and were sustained online.

Currently, I don't think that the experience of camaraderie exists in the same way. So much of what is happening now seems to be about individuals building a brand; the collaborative spirit of the early days has shifted. It's strange to have nostalgia for five to ten years ago, but that is ages in Internet time. I don't think the book I wrote would be the book I would write now. Transformation is still possible, but the more communal aspect of my early interactions makes transformation seem less possible.

What do you hope this book does to help better understand how misogynoir happens online?
I hope people read this book and understand that Internet memes, hashtags and web shows do work in the world. That work can be helpful for transforming the world into the one we want. I hope that people begin to take the web more seriously given its disproportionate impact on the lives of Black women.

About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 54 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 19 for undergraduate teaching, No. 4 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 14th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and partnerships have been established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Starbucks Group President and COO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.

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