OMG: this is actually A Thing

a nation of veal calves

Microaggressions.

Rant Alert: BTF »

Apparently microaggressions are a New Evil to be stamped out utilizing the tools of social-pressure and institutional force. This horror is something so devastating and damaging to the psyches of those affected by them that it endangers their very ability to carry on in Life.

There’s beginning to be waged a battle — a Holy Righteousness War — against microaggressions, initially being launched on college campus. As we know, what grows there spreads like a yeast throughout our Kulchah.

So what is a microaggression?

A microaggression is a brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignity, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicates a hostile, derogatory, or negative slight or insult toward people of non-dominant identities. [Smith College]

“people of non-dominant identities” …hm

People of non-dominant identities apparently are invulnerable to “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities that communicate a hostile, derogatory, or negative slight or insult.” Sounds like every trip I make to Safeway — certainly every trip to the DMV…
[Not sure if/which way I qualify... I am a woman; gingerish; Irish ["need not apply"] and German and other whatnot; committed hetero…. I likely need expensive advice from an Academic Social Sciences Professional to unravel this conundrum.]

There are even such things as “Microassault,” “Microinsult”, “Microinvalidation,” and “Microrape.”

A “Microinvalidation” is “Characterized by communications that exclude, negate, or nullify the psychological thoughts, feelings, or experiential reality of a person.*

[Is that like having someone assume that because I believe a country must control its borders to actually be a country that I am "afraid of people who don't look like me" and I therefore "cling to my guns and religion"?]

Let’s look at some clarifying examples from the “Microaggressions Project” wherein “regular people” post examples of those vile transgressions they have experienced.

“Yeah, I just don’t know what’s up with them, they’re all crazy. All these women are just getting married or engaged, most of the girls in my office too… What’s up with that? I mean, they’re, like, 20 or something. Slow down, girls, no need to make yourselves look bad!”

Said on a bus, by two men behind me, about 25-30-years-old, both with business suits on.

I am a 16-year-old girl.

I felt angry, humiliated, ashamed, invisible. Those women’s life choices [and their respective partners'] had nothing to do with those men. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right, and that no matter my achievements or my choices, there would always be men to look down on me and criticise [sic] me and I wouldn’t have a voice to speak out with.

This girl allowed used a statement made by random strangers on a bus about other random strangers to ruin her day/ week/month/Life.

Though she has the ability to see that “those women’s life choices had nothing to do with those men” and then concludes that they shouldn’t have been commenting, she completely lacks any notion that those men’s comments had absolutely nothing to do with her. [And perhaps she shouldn't have been eavesdropping...] Instead she chose to take them to heart to such a extent that she “felt like I couldn’t do anything right.” It made her feel “felt angry, humiliated, ashamed, invisible.”

Key words: “made me feel.” Another example:

My MCAT instructor keeps referring to the writer of our passages with male pronouns when they do not list an author by name. Made me feel stupid/unvalued… like if our instructor doesn’t think women are smart enough to help write the MCAT, the most certainly aren’t smart enough to be doctors.

Why? Where does someone get the idea that Other People are even capable of making you feel anything? How does any competent adult with a modicum of self-sufficiency or self-direction allow a teacher, a casual acquaintance or a complete stranger on a freakin’ bus MAKE them feel anything?!?

This is the social/interpersonal corollary of ObamaKare. In Socialized Health Kare we are all [forced to be] financially responsible for others’ medical care payments and, thus, it only makes financial sense to attempt to collectively force others into behaviors which will cost us less $$$. [yeah. eww]

On the social/interpersonal level, if we are all emotionally responsible for others’ feeeeeelings, we are obliged to modify our behavior to ensure their feelings are “ok.” [IOW co-dependency; a dysfunction wherein one *attempts to* control others by modifying our own behavior.] [then our own thoughts, feelings, ...]

What ever happened to healthy boundaries? Things like, “I think the way I do because I’ve used reason and facts to consider things thoroughly and arrive at conclusions that suit me.”

What about, “Others’ opinion of me is none of my business.” Or, “I must have respect for someone before I consider their opinion as potentially useful or valid.”

And the old standby, “Life is full of half-baked a-holes [and damfools] with casually tossed out opinions. It’s also full of casually tossed out, used MaccyD’s wrappers. Why would I waste half a second considering either?”

Now we will be increasingly cudgeled Nudged into restricting what we say because, apparently, everyone else is walking around in a state of raw open wounded oozing victimhood, heir to every ill-considered, mis-interpreted word, thoughtless deed or cross glance.

And it’s not enough that we be seeeensitive on our own behalf — now we gotta be seeeensitive on behalf of Others’ imagined wounds. Next up: imagined Others’ imagined wounds. Howinhell ya gonna do that?!? Howinhell ya gonna accomplish anything else — like saving the planet with cheap, sustainable fuels?!

Remember “Cowboy up,” “Keep Calm and Carry On,” and “Oh get over yourself!” How about “Simmer down and tend to yer knittin’.” These are the attitudes that won wars, conquered nations and wildernesses, created the most comfort and ease enjoyed by Humans evar. [The Ease that, paradoxically, gave us the excess time and resources to afford being so goldanged seeeensitive... BTNIN]

And what about, “Ignore a bully and you remove his power.” Nope. Now we empower bullies to the point where everyone thinks it perfectly natural [albeit traaaagic] that someone would actually hang themselves [the ultimate act of hostility] because they were being bullied.

Bullying™ is at least an intentional behavior: “You’re stupid and ugly” in various “creative” forms. And what is suggested to Eliminate Bullying™? Bullying children into stopping the bullying behavior. No energy / effort / thought at all is put into teaching those on the receiving end how to resist or ignore or cope with it.

How about responding with, “Yeah? So?”

Or: “He said what? Well, who would say that but an a-hole? Why would you listen to an a-hole?”

Or even, “Quit bothering other people and finish your homework.”

30 Comments!

  1. DougM (ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ)
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:48 am |

    no matter my achievements or my choices, there would always be men to look down on me and criticise me

    Oooh, is she gonna be pissed when she finds out what her friends gossip/dish on herrrr. Oh, *meeeooww* [does claws thing with hand]

    Swell, now, not only do we need to shut up and keep our eyes down in public in order to avoid giving offense, but we need to be able to read minds.

    By the way, the response to verbal bullying is to assign kids to read “Cyrano de Bergerac.”
    (What? Yes, including the dueling scene.)

  2. SteveHGraham
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:50 am |

    I wouldn’t mind this so much if I got to be the victim once in a while.

    Maybe I should tell people I’m gay.

  3. Thunderbottom
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:57 am |

    I first read about this on the site, http://www.takimag.com. These people (the “perpetually aggrieved”) claiming to be assaulted by all these “microaggressions” are a truly touchy bunch. They remind me of the mook in the local bar who would frequently punch out other patrons, claiming nothing other that they “looked at me funny”.

  4. Stick
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:07 am |

    Good time to remember a college joke.

    Good ole boy at Eastern Ivy League on a football scholarship asked a tweeded up professor: “Where’s the administration building at?”

    The professor said: “My boy, you are in college now. You don’t end a sentence with a prepositon.”

    Good ole boy replied: ‘Scuse me, can you tell me where the administration buildings at, asshole?

  5. Thunderbottom
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:10 am |

    And another thing: I’ll wager that all these self-absorbed people whining about microaggressions care nothing about how their words and actions affect the people around them, especially if said people are considered to be “dominant identities” (e.g., white male heterosexuals).

  6. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:15 am |

    From the sound of that, I’ll betcha our neurotic Dear Perfessor could be a star on The Big Bang Theory, twitches, tics Tourettes’ and all.

  7. The Digital Hairshirt
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:19 am |

    Shouldn’t they be starting with reality TV?

  8. Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:25 am |

    Scorpions always sting. Fascists always want to restrict free speech.

    Saying anything that they personally feel angry about should be a crime in their little minds.

  9. logdogsmith
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:50 am |

    Claire’s posts always make me wish this were a dating site.

  10. SondraK, Queen of my domain
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:38 am |

    I could have so much fun with this chick!

  11. Thunderbottom
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:40 am |

    #10, SondraK: starting with “I’m not touching you; I’m not touching you…”

  12. PeggyU
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:47 am |

    What the hell happened to the self-esteem movement? It obviously didn’t have the intended consequences!

  13. The Digital Hairshirt
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:17 am |

    You know, the Smith Microaggressions Project is asking for submissions . . . I’m just sayin’ . . .

  14. Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:41 am |

    I think I’ll just stick to my own personal “Macroaggresive” ways.

    That way peeps don’t have to wonder when I have attitude.

  15. SondraK, Queen of my domain
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm |

    I guess it’s easier to say than “perpetually offended by everything”…

    LOL@Thunderbottom!

    When it comes to Lympians I need only to exist :)

  16. The Digital Hairshirt
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm |

    Reading some of the whining now. Laughing.

    “My MCAT instructor keeps referring to the writer of our passages with male pronouns when they do not list an author by name. Made me feel stupid/unvalued… like if our instructor doesn’t think women are smart enough to help write the MCAT, the most certainly aren’t smart enough to be doctors.”

    No, little girl – you are not smart, or tough, enough to be a doctor, if a fucking pronoun makes you feel stupid and unvalued.

    I weep for the future.

  17. PeggyU
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:30 pm |

    Wow. My husband left the toilet seat up. Is that a microagression?

  18. mech
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm |

    I thought evolution enabled critters to develop thicker skins, defenses, escape skills and the like.

    These sound like snails deliberately shedding their shells.

    Apparently nobody ever taught them “Don’t mind the micro small things.” or “Buck up little micro camper.”

  19. Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm |

    I tell you what, these libtarded ‘progressives’ seem to have more ways of defining victimhood than anybody I know. If they spent as much time on responsibility and self-reliance, they’d be a lot happier.

    On the plus side, maybe while they’re occupied agonizing with this pantywaist psychobabble, we can push back their environmental claptrap for a little while.

  20. Zipser
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm |

    “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

    Nuff said.

  21. mojo
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:06 pm |

    Shut up, slave!

  22. Merovign
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:46 pm |

    It’s like passive-aggressive manipulation risen to the level of petty tyranny.

    And imagine being so upset about an off-hand comment to a stranger when Imma bout ta whack you over the head with a parking meter! Teh IRONING!

  23. Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause*
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:10 pm |

    Naw, PeggyU — that’s a Micro-passive-aggression …

  24. DougM (ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ)
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:37 pm |

    A milliagression is a thousand times worse than a microagression.

    A punch in the nose is a million-to-one microagression.

  25. rickn8or
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:40 pm |

    Digi, I got a contribution for ‘em.

  26. iD
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:00 pm |

    Where I come from, microaggression is called “disagreeing”.

    When I have time, I’ll write out my “grievance rant”. Briefly, the premise is that in our culture, to have a grievance is to have power, incentivizing the creation of grievances.

  27. PeggyU
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:05 pm |

    We just need an annual airing of the grievances to keep this in check …

  28. ZZMike
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:34 pm |

    “microaggressions” – sorta like when you hit your thumb with the hammer???????

    “people of non-dominant identities”

    Wow. That’s really stretching the language. Orwell would be dismayed.

    Speaking of which: Cops: Homeless Woman Arrested After Refusing to Leave Hospital

    OK, that’s the headline. Here’s how the story got written:

    “According to Riverhead police, Jennifer Sulzer, 37, who is undomiciled, was arrested ……..”

    There’s another news item that says that a New York city agency is telling their people to use “undomiciled” instead of “homeless”.

    Time to break out the old favorites, like “unlicensed property transfer agent” for “thief”, and so on.

    I’d worry about using “microagression” – Microsoft is likely to sue.

    Why is it that nowadays, everybody has a right not to be offended? And that there have to be self-appointed wardens to make sure it doesn’t happen? And how is it that the girl on the bus was offended by what other people – obviously twits, at that – were saying in a conversation completely separate from her? One can only conclude that she has a definite self-esteem problem, something that can’t be cured by wrapping herself in a cocoon, but by getting out of the house once in a while.

    Back to Orwell: one sure way to change the way people think, is to make them change the way they speak. If you can’t say anything about Topic X (like liberty, or that some people are bigger, faster, stronger, smarter, richer, happier), then you won’t think about Topic X, and it’ll disappear from the public square.

    And they can replace it with whatever they want – because they’ll give you a nice new set of words to think with.

  29. ZZMike
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:52 pm |

    PS: (BTW, that is one damn fine post.)

    “Bullying children into stopping the bullying behavior. No energy / effort / thought at all is put into teaching those on the receiving end how to resist or ignore or cope with it.”

    Watch A Christmas Story (also known as “You’ll shoot your eye out”), where young Ralphie finally confronts the bully and gives him a severe thrashing.

    Our local church has a MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) program for our youth. (MMA is the activity where you get to whack your opponent any which way you want. You’re supposed to remember that he has the same options. But you don’t let somebody whack you without some sort of appropriate response. (This seems to be based on Pavlovian conditioning: if bully Bubba bothers you, he gets a heap of hurt. Eventually he learns not to bother you.))

    Another Anglican church not too far away has a martial arts program, taught by the Rector, who has a black belt in the Art.

  30. Lucius Severus Pertinax
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 12:14 am |

    To put it bluntly,
    I am at a loss to discover WHY I should be interested in the half-assed opinions of individuals manifestly unworthy of being allowed to eat my undigested corn! ;-)