To be considered innocent is to be viewed as vulnerable to harm and worthy of protection from harm. An innocent person’s pain is recognized, acknowledged, and addressed. Mediated Misogynoir: Erasing Black Women’s and Girls’ Innocence in the Public Imagination interrogates contemporary media culture to illuminate the ways the intersections of anti-blackness and misogyny, i.e., misogynoir, converge to obscure public perceptions of Black women and girls as people with any claim to innocence. When pained images of Black female bodies appear on media devices, the socio-political responses are telling, not only in their lack of urgency, but also in their inability to be read empathetically. By examining viral videos, memes, and recent film and television, Kalima Young makes a striking case for the need to create a new Black feminist media studies framework broad enough to hold the complexity and agency of Black women and girls in a digital age invested in framing them as inherently adulterated and impure.
Dr. Kalima Young is assistant professor in the department of Electronic Media and Film at Towson University.
Chapter 1: Viral Misogynoir
Chapter 2: Misogynoir and Media Culture
Chapter 3: Monstrous Misogynoir
Chapter 4: Surviving Misogynoir: The R. Kelly Fallout
Chapter 5: The Urgency of Now
With Mediated Misogynoir, Kalima Young bravely confronts the viral images of Black women and girls being brutalized by police that I avoided to protect my heart. In her unsparing account, Young shows that the viral images of a white police officer throwing Dajerria Becton to the ground share an indifference to Black women’s suffering that underpins F. Gary Gray’s casual use of violence towards Black women in Straight Out of Compton and the Black community’s complicity in blaming the Black girls who survived R. Kelly’s abuse. Young lets none of us off the hook as she details the denial of innocence that renders Black women and girls victimizable within US culture. Mediated Misogynoir is a vital and timely book that is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding how popular media normalizes violence toward Black women and girls.