Microaggressions, Invisibility and Reality

by Amanda Green on September 5, 2017

by doppelbanger

When did we become a nation of perpetually offended? It seems barely a week goes by without someone claiming a new form of micro-aggression. I can usually laugh it off. After all, if I don’t, I’ll become macro-aggressed and that’s not a good thing. Unfortunately, this morning I saw an article on The Daily Caller that not only had me shaking my head but wondering what in the world they are teaching in schools today. It seems two professors claim to have discovered a new form of micro-aggression. Nothing surprising there. Their sample base to support this so-called discovery is. They interviewed – wait for it – 13 non-white women at five different campuses and from this small group discovered “invisibility microaggressions”, of which there are five different forms. My first reaction was to wonder if a microaggression from this small a group was a micro-microaggression. Then I wondered if it was all a joke. But no. There is a professional paper written about it. C’mon, give me a break.

So, what is a microaggression, other than the current buzz word of the socially enlightened?

The Daily Caller, and presumably Professor Jasmine Mena and Professor Annemarie Vaccaro, define microaggression as “when someone — say a white person — asks an Asian person where they’re from. While the question isn’t offensive in and of itself, the act of asking a person who may get the same question repeatedly throughout the week can be annoying and therefore offensive.” I don’t know about you, but I’m micro (or is it macro?) aggressed by this example that it would be a “white” person asking. But then, in the parlance of all too many social justice mavens, only whites can aggress.

Graduation Scroll and Book Stack By Franny-Anne

“Invisibility microaggresion”, according to the professors, falls into “environmental” and “interpersonal” forms. The former occurs when these women are “among the few, or only non-whites in a workplace or communal context.” Interpersonal invisibility microaggressions supposedly “hinder non-white people in everyday work roles because their ethnicity or gender is being ignored or because they don’t see other non-white people there.” The solution is to do away with the meritocracy on college campuses when it comes to instructors and administrators. Don’t recognize the merit of these microaggressed people like you would any other employee. Instead, the college administration should select “non-white women for high-profile awards and celebrate them on alumni magazines, newsletters, and other materials.” They should be “especially vigilant” in recommending the offended for leadership roles. Again, without looking at merit.

Here’s the problem with all this. To begin with, they had a study sample of 13. THIRTEEN out of how many “women of color” in all the universities and colleges across the country? Based on the article in the Daily Caller, as well as the corresponding article in Campus Reform, we don’t know how the professors define “women of color” or “white”. Nor do we know how they selected the 13 participants in the study. We don’t know what questions they asked or what protocols they had in place to verify the information gathered. We also don’t know what campuses they went to or the social, economic or racial breakdown for the campuses. In other words, there are a lot of questions and one has to wonder if the data wasn’t carefully skewed to fit a predetermined conclusion.

But here is the real kicker. As noted in the Daily Caller, this form of microaggression doesn’t require a second person to be the “aggressor”. All that is needed is for someone to “feel invisible in an environment.” My head almost exploded with the next comment: “A lone black person among a sea of white faces could qualify as one of these invisibility microaggressions — especially if he or she isn’t singled out for being black.” Wait, I’m confused. We aren’t supposed to single someone out because of their sexual orientation or race or creed or any of that and yet, not to single them out is to put them in danger of falling victim to “invisibility microaggression”?

I don’t know about you, but as a parent, I don’t care about the color of a professor’s skin or what their sexual orientation might be (as long as they aren’t breaking the law). I don’t care about their political orientation as long as they aren’t spouting it at every chance – unless, of course, it is pertinent to the class. What I do care about is having qualified instructors teaching my child. More than that, I want the best qualified instructors and administrators available.

What about the “white” female instructors who have felt the same way as these 13 “women of color”? Are they to be punished simply because they don’t have the right skin tone? Because that is what these professors appear to be advocating. The female instructor who has felt marginalized over the years doesn’t qualify as a victim of “invisibility microaggression” because of the color of her skin. Isn’t that a microaggression in and of itself?

When are we going to say this is getting ridiculous and get back to the real problems that plague our education system, both public and private? When are we going to address the real problems facing our country in the forms of security, economics and foreign and domestic relations? When are we going to grow the hell up and admit we bear some responsibility for how we feel and what role we take in our society?

I was raised to be proud of being female and to take no guff off of anyone who tried to use my sex against me. But I was taught to do it with the man and without becoming a professional victim. I learned I won’t always be the best at everything I do and that there will be the occasional failure. I don’t expect anyone to step aside for me because I’m female if they are more qualified for a job. In other words, I wasn’t raised to be a victim and, as I look at our society today, I fear we have a generation that is filled with victims who expect recognition because they want it and not because they earned it. Worse, we have academics who are willing to give credence to their feelings because these academics want to show how socially aware they are. That will, I hope, run its course and disappear. In the meantime, we will continue to have the perpetually victimized and butt-hurt.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

parker September 5, 2017 at 2:28 pm

I suffer a macroaggersion every time I see or hear this silly term. I am starting to think the screen door of reality will smack these people in the butt simply because they will never open the door to reality.

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Amanda Green September 5, 2017 at 2:39 pm

I’m not sure the butt is where the screen door needs to smack them.

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parker September 5, 2017 at 2:29 pm

oops, insert never befor smack

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wyldkat September 5, 2017 at 4:15 pm

“feel invisible in an environment.”

Wow, is that it takes? Then I have been microaggressed most of my life. Cause I feel invisible anytime there are more then 4 people in the room. I always thought it was because I was what we use to call “shy” (or had social anxiety issues as they call it now.) :-p

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Amanda Green September 6, 2017 at 1:45 pm

I know, right? And what about those times when you want to feel invisible in a room? Are you being microaggressed then? What if I don’t care that I’m invisible?

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Keith Glass September 5, 2017 at 5:27 pm

No, that’s not a “micro-micro aggression”.

That’s a femtoaggression. Because, after all, the politically correct demand we use Metric. . . . (grin)

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malclave September 6, 2017 at 2:53 am

“when someone — say a white person — asks an Asian person where they’re from.”

I remember doing that. Once, she turned out to be from less than 10 miles away from where I’d been living. Weird that we’d both enlisted in the Army at about the same time, and for the same MOS for us to end up at Fort Sam Houston in the same AIT class. Another time, he was from Texas, but not any place I had any relatives.

Was it also microaggression when I asked non-Asians the same thing? Because I used to do it fairly often in college and the Army.

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Amanda Green September 6, 2017 at 1:47 pm

LOL. I’ve had similar things happen as well. Funny, the ones I asked seemed to understand I asked because I was interested in where they came from and not for any other reason. In fact, more than a few actually seemed pleased I cared enough to want to know about them. I guess they didn’t understand I was being an evil person and microaggressing them.

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Ralph Gizzip September 6, 2017 at 4:22 am

I think the most appropriate response to someone who feels “microagressed” is a hale and hearty, “GFY!”

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GWB September 6, 2017 at 8:26 am

Yes, because the correct answer to being accused of microagression is to make it a macroagression! Heck, go big or go home! 😉

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wGraves September 6, 2017 at 4:39 am

I asked a Japanese fellow who was renting my condo where he was from. That was because my eldest son, who is half Chinese on his mother’s side, has worked for a Japanese trading company for the last seven years. My kid speaks Mandarin and another one speaks Japanese. If some fatuous oaf wants to brand me as a ‘microaggressor,’ so what? First Amendment right back at you gal?

In the Army I frequently ran across guys who had served in the Far East, of various racial groups. One of the most interesting ones was serving on Bataan when the Japanese attack occurred. that was probably 7 JAN ’42. They were playing a regimental polo match and wouldn’t stop the game until the outcome was decided, even though they got strafed in the process.

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MrJest September 6, 2017 at 9:57 am

That story about the polo players does not surprise me. People think of polo as a hoity-toity game for the rich (and to a certain extent it is), but it’s a rough sport, for both the horses and the humans. I watched a match once at a local horse ranch, just a local weekend game; nothing professional. Some regional league. At any rate, by half way through just about everyone was battered and bruised, and one guy caught a mallet across the face and was bleeding profusely, but refused to stop. After the upper quarter or so of his shirt was soaked in blood, the ref finally stepped in and forced him to go to the sidelines and get first aid.

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Damon September 6, 2017 at 5:06 am

I remember that a few years ago someone invented the term “nanoagression” – “acts of bigotry too small for the human eye to detect” – as a joke. It was used a few times in a Twitter parody of Salon.com.

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Amanda Green September 6, 2017 at 1:49 pm

And now it’s been renamed and published in a so-called academic journal as a new form of microaggression. Welcome to the madhouse.

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GWB September 6, 2017 at 8:38 am

because their ethnicity or gender is being ignored

especially if he or she isn’t singled out for being black

IOW, because they aren’t being treated as special snowflakes who get all the attention because they’re different. *EYEROLL*

we don’t know ….

Not only don’t you know, you’re not supposed to care. Because… FEELZ!

as long as they aren’t breaking the law

Or grooming/recruiting my child (or others).

But I was taught to do it with the man

Ummmmm….. I think I’m missing some nuance here……..

Sadly, we’ll continue to have the perpetually aggrieved among us as long as our world doesn’t provide any significant come-uppance for it. As long as we’re rich and have easy lives, it will go on – because it can.

BTW, this and Jodi’s DACA post were linked by Sarah Hoyt on Instapundit this morning. Here comes the Instalanche!

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Amanda Green September 6, 2017 at 1:52 pm

I think it is a bit more than waiting for them to have a significant comeuppance. It is going to take society as a whole finally putting its foot down and smacking them across the nose with a rolled up paper and saying “NO!”. We need to get back to teaching our kids values and to teaching them that there are consequences to their actions. Most important of all, we have to teach them that they can’t always have their way and they won’t always be the best at everything they do. In short, we have to teach them that they will fail on occasion and that that’s okay as long as they were trying their best.

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GWB September 8, 2017 at 5:52 am

It is going to take society as a whole finally putting its foot down and smacking them across the nose with a rolled up paper and saying “NO!”.

Well, that would be a come-uppance. But, honestly, no matter how well we raise some kids, there will continue to be a group of moron snowflakes – because nature/we don’t weed them out.
Now, if we re-introduced bears and wolves into the college setting, we might have something……

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richard40 September 7, 2017 at 4:12 pm

So let me understand this. If we dont say anything to them, we are committing invisibility microaggression. But if we do say anything to them, it will be interpreted as actual microaggression. So now all they need to tell me is what I can do or not do that will NOT be interpreted as microagression. In the meantime, I will ignore this leftie BS, and just try treating everybody the same with ordinary politeness, which will also be interpreted by these loons as microaggression, but at least I will be doing what I think is right, since I dont give a hoot about what these loons think is right.

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