Week 9 Day 1 Discussion Question 4

Kelly Macias discusses how misogynoir (“anti-Black misogyny”) can be seen in media representations of George Zimmerman’s trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin. According to Macias, how was misogynoir evident in portrayals of Rachel Jeantal (Trayvon’s best friend) and Sybrina Fulton (Trayvon’s mother) during the trial?

One thought on “Week 9 Day 1 Discussion Question 4

  • April 10, 2022 at 4:14 pm

    One way that misogynoir was evident in the portrayals of black women during the Trayvon Martin trial was how Rachel Jeantal took a “beating” on the stand while the defense cross-examined her. The defense ridiculed her Black Vernacular English, along with her inability to read cursive. The defense was not just trying to disprove her claims, but they were also attempting to embarrass her. Essentially, the defense portrayed her as an uneducated black woman with an “attitude.” Another example of misogynoir being evident during the trial was in how the defense treated the mother of Trayvon Martin. The defense did not treat her with the respect and kindness that a mother who has just lost their child typically receives. Rather, they pressed her in many ways regarding her son (e.g. whether it was actually his voice in a voice recording and about his past behavior). The defense treated Sybrina extremely unfairly and painted the picture that her son was a trouble maker and a “thug,” and was the reason for his death.

    The media also played a role in allowing for many instances of misogynoir to take place during the trial. For example, Rachel was the subject of brutal and disrespectful jokes. There was also frequent questioning on Sybrina’s ability to parent. There were countless examples during the entirety of the trial where Rachel and Sybrina were unjustly subjected to misogynoir.

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