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

Tomas Alvarez tomasalvarez95 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Feb 10 20:28:56 EST 2021


The way the two Baptist pastors from Texas meant it was *overtly racist*.
They might as well have added: "By the way, we're calling her 'Jezebel'
because she is both black and Indian, something we cannot even begin to
understand." I'm noticing a concerning trend in this mailing list of
consistently relativizing racism and misogyny. Are we the ADS list or the
hate list?

Tomas

On Wed, Feb 10, 2021 at 5:04 PM Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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."
> > >
> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > The American Dialect Society -
> > >
> >
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.americandialect.org__;!!OToaGQ!_jN9Hv1bByM7bqNIdEen4L2zXq_3b-zwNkkGUYoWnYLXo9YciMJczjH9LR_vj1-f$
> > > <
> > >
> >
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.americandialect.org__;!!OToaGQ!_jN9Hv1bByM7bqNIdEen4L2zXq_3b-zwNkkGUYoWnYLXo9YciMJczjH9LR_vj1-f$
> > > >
> > >
> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > The American Dialect Society -
> > >
> >
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.americandialect.org__;!!OToaGQ!_jN9Hv1bByM7bqNIdEen4L2zXq_3b-zwNkkGUYoWnYLXo9YciMJczjH9LR_vj1-f$
> > > <
> > >
> >
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.americandialect.org__;!!OToaGQ!_jN9Hv1bByM7bqNIdEen4L2zXq_3b-zwNkkGUYoWnYLXo9YciMJczjH9LR_vj1-f$
> > > >
> > >
> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > The American Dialect Society -
> > >
> >
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.americandialect.org__;!!OToaGQ!_jN9Hv1bByM7bqNIdEen4L2zXq_3b-zwNkkGUYoWnYLXo9YciMJczjH9LR_vj1-f$
> > >
> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> > >
> >
> >
> > --
> > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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