Katy Perry Defends Leslie Jones

Katy Perry joined scores of social media users defending Leslie Jones on Wednesday after the actress was again attacked online. This time, hackers seized control of Jones' website and published nude photos and private documents, leading fans to rally behind the "Ghostbusters" star.


Perry's show of support included one word in particular that caught some Twitter users off guard: "misogynoir."

The term — created by black queer feminist scholar Moya Bailey in 2008 — is defined as "the particular brand of hatred directed at Black women in American visual and popular culture," Bailey wrote.

Bailey expanded on the concept in a 2014 blog post.

"[It] is important to me and to at least one other non-Black person of color that the term is used to describe the unique ways in which Black women are pathologized in popular culture. What happens to Black women in public space isn't about them being any woman of color. It is particular and has to do with the ways that anti-Blackness and misogyny combine to malign Black women in our world."

Perry's use of the term surprised some Twitter users because it "isn't one that gets a lot of attention in the white mainstream world," The Washington Post reported. To some, the fact that it took a white woman's tweet to raise attention to the term — and the unique social problems it represents — reflected a problem in and of itself.

"As a famous Black woman, Leslie Jones was the most appealing target for racist, misogynistic trolls," The Daily Beast wrote. "And while countless celebrities, including director Paul Feig, have voiced unwavering support for the comedian, many of Jones' white 'Ghostbusters' co-stars have remained silent — a reminder of white women's ability to opt out of certain conversations, as Jones continues to struggle with the aftermath of this multipronged attack.

One thing is for sure: Perry's tweet did generate a lot of interest in the term. In the hours after she made the post, Google searches for "misogynoir" spiked.


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