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

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Wed Feb 10 20:03:21 EST 2021


Would have made the Bette Davis movie very contraversial...

On Wed, Feb 10, 2021, 7:01 AM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
wrote:

> > 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?
> >
> >
> >
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.yahoo.com/news/texas-pastors-under-fire-referring-123515004.html__;!!OToaGQ!_jN9Hv1bByM7bqNIdEen4L2zXq_3b-zwNkkGUYoWnYLXo9YciMJczjH9LeMgG9Aw$
> > <
> >
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.yahoo.com/news/texas-pastors-under-fire-referring-123515004.html__;!!OToaGQ!_jN9Hv1bByM7bqNIdEen4L2zXq_3b-zwNkkGUYoWnYLXo9YciMJczjH9LeMgG9Aw$
> > >
> >
> > JL
> > <
> >
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.yahoo.com/news/texas-pastors-under-fire-referring-123515004.html__;!!OToaGQ!_jN9Hv1bByM7bqNIdEen4L2zXq_3b-zwNkkGUYoWnYLXo9YciMJczjH9LeMgG9Aw$
> > <
> >
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.yahoo.com/news/texas-pastors-under-fire-referring-123515004.html__;!!OToaGQ!_jN9Hv1bByM7bqNIdEen4L2zXq_3b-zwNkkGUYoWnYLXo9YciMJczjH9LeMgG9Aw$
> > >>
> >
> > --
> > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."
> >
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> > <
> >
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.americandialect.org__;!!OToaGQ!_jN9Hv1bByM7bqNIdEen4L2zXq_3b-zwNkkGUYoWnYLXo9YciMJczjH9LR_vj1-f$
> > >
> >
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> > <
> >
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.americandialect.org__;!!OToaGQ!_jN9Hv1bByM7bqNIdEen4L2zXq_3b-zwNkkGUYoWnYLXo9YciMJczjH9LR_vj1-f$
> > >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
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>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>
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