[Ads-l] Is "Jezebel" a racist name?

dave at WILTON.NET dave at WILTON.NET
Tue Feb 9 14:49:24 EST 2021

My understanding is that referring to a Black woman as a "Jezebel" brings to bear a cultural stereotype of Black women being hypersexual that is not present when referring to a white woman by that name. The denotation is still "loose woman," only that it is problematic in additional ways when used to refer to Black women.

See Dagbovie-Mullins, Sika A. "Pigtails, Ponytails, and Getting Tail: The Infantilization and Hyper-Sexualization of African American Females in Popular Culture." Journal of Popular Culture, 46.4, 2013, 745-71. Or: "The Jezebel Stereotype," https://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/jezebel/.  Also Googling Jezebel and Sapphire turns up a lot. (Sapphire is a term for the stereotype of an emasculating Black woman.)

There's also a podcast titled "Black Jezebel," which from the description on the Apple Podcasts site takes a sex-positive view of Black female sexuality. The title would seem to be an attempt to reclaim the word. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-black-jezebel-podcast/id1476628866

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> On Behalf Of Jonathan Lighter
Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 11:16 AM
Subject: [ADS-L] Is "Jezebel" a racist name?



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