A poster in /r/theredpill introduced some to the concept of “microagressions” today as so:
I’ve been seeing new talk of “Microaggressions” around the internet, where you cry a sad tear inside when someone inadvertently hurts your feelings, especially because you thought they were being racist/sexist, and they didn’t.
The official interpretations runs something more like this:
Micro-aggression is a form of “unintended discrimination”. It is depicted by the use of known social norms of behavior and/or expression that, while without conscious choice of the user, has the same effect as conscious, intended discrimination.
I am using the Wikipedia definition, as the more scholarly descriptions tend to use post-modern rectalalia that generally leaves me broken out in hives.
These are essentially regular things which one does every day, unconsciously, which can be interpreted through the lens of social justice to be racism/sexism/or any other particular “ism” that has gone to ground in the subconscious.
For instance, this student posting on the Brown University Micro/Agression Facebook Page reports:
“I thought he was sitting next to ‘Josê’…”
His name was Jorge.
Because not knowing how to properly pronounce a name that is written in a way that is counterintuitive to conventional English pronunciation, and that is similar both visually and auditorily to the other name, is evidence that the speaker is expressing internalized racism in that all Hispanic/Spanish names sound alike. This is a way of demeaning the individual in possession of such a name as “other,” rather than an actualized individual like the Caucasian speaker.
Of course, it is not at all possible that the speaker was simply mistaken.
Apparently I face microagressions continuously from my Vietnamese-speaking clients who often mix up my gender because my my name is sort of ambiguous if you don’t speak English.
And I microagression them right back because I have no bloody idea what gender many Vietnamese names are common to.
The possibility that we might just be reasonably ignorant because we speak different languages and haven’t been exposed to that information yet… well, that’s ridiculous.
The /r/theredpill poster included a link to an article regarding the thoughts of a former solider and police officer on microagressions and trigger warnings, which are essentially:
Fuck your trauma.
If your psyche is so fragile you fall apart when someone inadvertently reminds you of “trauma”, especially if that trauma consisted of you overreacting to a self-interpreted racial slur, you need therapy. You belong on a psychiatrist’s couch, not in college dictating what the rest of society can’t do, say or think. Get your own head right before you try to run other people’s lives. If you expect everyone around you to cater to your neurosis, forever, you’re what I’d call a “failure at life”, doomed to perpetual disappointment.
Fucking rodger wilco.
And I would like to add, regarding the people who seek out such microagressions, upon which they offer up their delicate feelings as tiny martyrs –
Some people think that experiencing a trauma in itself is somehow honorable, rather than the honor being in how you deal with it during and after.
Of course, being genuinely traumatized in today’s first-world society, which is full of politeness and miracles (comparatively) is difficult to accomplish (and they’re probably too fragile to withstand an actual trauma anyways), so they go about collecting all these teeny tin cut-rate microagression badges from imaginary conflicts to pin on to prove that they should really for real be taken very seriously.
If you ever, ever, talk to me about microagressions, this is what you look like:
Little tyrants who imagine themselves great warriors, giving themselves awards to celebrate their make-believe battles. They ride out on hobby horses to rattle their pewter sabers at the “grownups” of the world.
The basic problem with microagressions is the assumption that anything that is not perfect at all times, is a symptom of societal disease that must be eradicated at all costs.
Sometimes people are wrong, or mistaken, or ignorant.
Psychologically, people like to hang out with others who look, speak, and act like themselves. This isn’t going to change anytime soon, without a serious hardware overhaul.
The universe is an infinitely interesting, colorful, and diverse place, that has an important personal message for you:
Getting over it is what deserves a badge.