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

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Feb 10 07:01:04 EST 2021


> Further, since the age of American slavery, Jezebel came to be understood
as an overly sexual Black woman, a stereotype depicted in film and fiction.

Exx. of the word used in this sense - other than by recent academics?


JL

JL

On Wed, Feb 10, 2021 at 3:34 AM Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:

> Jezebel.com describes itself as "A Supposedly Feminist Website."
> SG
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of
> Baker, John <JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM>
> Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 3:07 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Subject: Re: Is "Jezebel" a racist name?
>
> The article does make a case for “Jezebel” being racist as well as sexist:
>
> “Biblically, Jezebel was a princess and a prophet. She tried to save her
> own life and tempted a member of the royal guard. In popular culture, her
> name is used to refer to a “loose woman.” Further, since the age of
> American slavery, Jezebel came to be understood as an overly sexual Black
> woman, a stereotype depicted in film and fiction. Most recently, the image
> of the “Black Jezebel” was popularized in 1970s Blaxploitation films.”
>
> I would characterize “Jezebel” as an insult more pejorative than “slut”
> but perhaps not as strong as “whore.”  Do sexualized epithets become worse
> when they are directed to black rather than white women?  I don’t know;
> they’re pretty bad already.
>
> Note that news article headlines are usually not written by the author of
> the article.  I question whether it was appropriate for the headline to
> focus on the term’s racist implications while ignoring the more prominent
> sexist implications.
>
>
> John Baker
>
>
>
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> On Behalf Of
> dave at WILTON.NET
> Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 2:49 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: Is "Jezebel" a racist name?
>
> External Email - Think Before You Click
>
>
> 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://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/jezebel/__;!!OToaGQ!_jN9Hv1bByM7bqNIdEen4L2zXq_3b-zwNkkGUYoWnYLXo9YciMJczjH9LTZauBRs$
> <
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/jezebel__;!!OToaGQ!_jN9Hv1bByM7bqNIdEen4L2zXq_3b-zwNkkGUYoWnYLXo9YciMJczjH9LT4IeqzP$
> >. 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://urldefense.com/v3/__https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-black-jezebel-podcast/id1476628866__;!!OToaGQ!_jN9Hv1bByM7bqNIdEen4L2zXq_3b-zwNkkGUYoWnYLXo9YciMJczjH9LdGfMMra$
> <
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-black-jezebel-podcast/id1476628866__;!!OToaGQ!_jN9Hv1bByM7bqNIdEen4L2zXq_3b-zwNkkGUYoWnYLXo9YciMJczjH9LdGfMMra$
> >
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU<mailto:
> ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>> On Behalf Of Jonathan Lighter
> Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 11:16 AM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU<mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Subject: [ADS-L] Is "Jezebel" a racist name?
>
>
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> <
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.yahoo.com/news/texas-pastors-under-fire-referring-123515004.html__;!!OToaGQ!_jN9Hv1bByM7bqNIdEen4L2zXq_3b-zwNkkGUYoWnYLXo9YciMJczjH9LeMgG9Aw$
> >
>
> JL
> <
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> <
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.yahoo.com/news/texas-pastors-under-fire-referring-123515004.html__;!!OToaGQ!_jN9Hv1bByM7bqNIdEen4L2zXq_3b-zwNkkGUYoWnYLXo9YciMJczjH9LeMgG9Aw$
> >>
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