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What are Microaggressions?

24 Jun 2015, 17:19 UTC
What are Microaggressions?
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This past week I attended the Inclusive Astronomy conference in Nashville and there was an incredible talk by Kenjus Watson about microaggressions.  This term gets brought up frequently in feminist and equity conversations, but a lot of people I've talked to don't really understand what it means, or how microaggressions manifest in everyday life.  In fact, I was guilty of one of the microaggressions that Mr. Watson highlighted, when I recently asked a trans* woman what the trans* community thought about Caitlin Jenner's transition.Some examples of #microaggressions via @kenjuswatson #IA2015 pic.twitter.com/6HUfveQJ9d— Dr. Jess Kirkpatrick (@berkeleyjess) June 17, 2015 What are microaggressions?Psychologist and Columbia University professor Derald Wing Sue has the following definition:Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership. In many cases, these hidden messages may invalidate the group identity or experiential reality of target persons, demean them on a personal or group level, communicate they are lesser human beings, suggest they do not belong with the majority group, threaten and intimidate, or relegate them to inferior status and treatment.I like to think about microaggressions ...

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