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The Little Things

Microaggression
by

Liz Chassey

on 4 April 2013

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Transcript of The Little Things

The Little Things That's gay. You're a retard. You play ball like a girl! Things that are gay: Translation: When you do something stupid, clumsy, and worthy of reproach, you remind me of a person who has an intellectual disability. Rape jokes Activity! Watch out for townies. You don't act Black. This language devalues the power and worth of women and girls. Translation: I am devaluing part of your identity while at the same time boxing you into a stereotype of what it means to be Black. Translation: Both this thing and LGBT people are ineffective, annoying, and useless. It's not the same thing as hate crimes or overt bigotry. There are 3 forms of microaggression. What is microaggression? "the brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial, gender, sexual orientation, and religious slights and insults to the target person or group." Actually, it is a big deal. "You're making a
big deal out of nothing." It causes significant long-term harm. It's not good for the perpetrators, either. Dr. Derald Wing Sue Thank you! Microaggression can be: Verbal Nonverbal Environmental Microassault Microinsult Microinvalidation More conscious than the other forms Intended to hurt, intimidate, make victim feel unwelcome/unworthy For example:
*Using slurs
*Avoiding people
*Displaying offensive images
*Telling/laughing at bigoted jokes Similar to overt bigotry, but only happens when it's "safe" Not committed consciously For example:
*"You're strong for a girl."
*Assuming Asian people are good at math
*Crossing the street/checking your wallet when you pass a Black man
*Assuming LGBT people are promiscuous Invalidates and denies the realities and experiences of the victim and assumes that everyone's experiences are/should be the same. For example:
*Asking an Asian or Latino person where they're from
*Denying that bigotry "still" exists/can make life difficult
*"You're not a real..."
*The "color-blind" mentality Subtle, but has an insensitive hidden message that demeans a person's identity group Not committed consciously Let's talk about some common microaggressions. Did that really just happen? Should I respond? Victims of microaggression face a difficult situation. Am I overreacting? What are the negative consequences if I speak up? It wouldn't do any good, anyway. I'm sure my friend wouldn't hurt me on purpose. Am I a coward? Can feel exhausted and depleted and class/work/relationships suffers Victims are affected physically, cognitively, emotionally, and behaviorally. More at risk for illness and a decreased immune system Microaggression contributes to serious anxiety and depression. Not "bad" people; usually "good" people socialized by dominant culture. A good person who has buried biases can experience warped reality, anxiety, & guilt. Don't want to acknowledge it, so avoid/lie to themselves and others. Translation: the Black residents of Farmville make me uncomfortable. The Sandlot Gay people
Gay bars/gay friendly places
Gay pride flags/events
Happy people
Rainbows Things that are not gay: Everything else Translation: Being a girl is worse than being a "scab eater" or a "butt sniffer". It's not "just a joke". Telling these jokes promulgates rape culture and trivializes the suffering of survivors. Oreos are cookies, not people. Every person experiences his/her ethnicity differently. There is no "right" way to be a "real" member of your race. So, Asian person + math does not always = genius. Discuss: what does a "townie" look like? Actually, this is what a "townie" looks like. It enforces the stereotype that people with intellectual disabilities are less than or different from human. www.r-word.org “It hurts and scares me when I am the only person with intellectual disabilities on the bus and young people start making 'retard' jokes or references. Please put yourself on that bus and fill the bus with people who are different from you. Imagine that they start making jokes using a term that describes you. It hurts and it is scary.”

–Joseph Franklin Stephens, Special Olympics Virginia athlete and Global Messenger "Mental retardation" used to be a medical term, but now its purpose is pejorative. Ash Beckham
Ignite Boulder 20 For more info, check out
"Microaggressions in Everday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation"
by Dr. Derald Wing Sue. Microaggression Overt bigotry Anything else?
Full transcript