Microaggression. For people who check Twitter and Tumblr frequently, this may be a word that sounds familiar. The word “microaggression” has recently been emerging rapidly through different social media sites, and is a problem that is currently being brought to attention. It is important to be aware of microaggression? However, are people making too much of a deal out of it?
According to Derald W. Sue, a professor at Columbia University, “microaggression” refers to insults that people of color, women, LGBT, etc. experience every day through daily interactions with others. Microaggression may seem like a positive comment, but they always tend to have a negative meaning behind them.
Many people are currently feeling offended as they are being called racists for saying microaggressive comments. In many cases, people who say or do these type of things actually do not realize that they are hurting another person’s feelings. Growing up in the current society filled with stereotypes, certain images about different types of people are planted into everyone’s mind. Whether something is a microaggression or not really depends on how sensitive a person is. For a person, a comment or action may mean nothing, for another it may be very hurtful. However, these types of actions are usually unintentional; people don’t usually intend on hurting others. In reality, microaggression is no one’s fault, and thus, it is wrong for some people to blame others for this problem.
In some senses, it could be said that some people are overreacting a little bit too much about the issue. Yes, microaggression hurts people’s feelings, and is a problem that needs to be considered. However, it is also important to note that it is impossible to completely get rid of this problem. As we continue to live, the number of vocabulary words are more likely to grow. If human kind tries to solve microaggression, we would end up living in a world like 1984 where words would be reduced to the bare minimum. What a boring world would that create! No one would be able to express themselves freely anymore, as they would have to worry about every single word they say. With the the increase of exchanges between people from different countries and different cultures, it is natural for microaggression to occur. We all just have to learn how to deal with it.
“Microaggression” is a word that was actually invented back in the 1970s by Chester M. Pierce, a psychiatrist and a professor at Harvard University. This signifies that this problem has been going on for a while, and that it will probably continue. Despite the fact that there is a limit to solving microaggression, web pages such as Microaggressions on Tumblr and #itooamharvard on Twitter are helping to make the situation a little bit better. By viewing real life cases of microaggression, more people are beginning to question their own actions and realize ways they may have hurt others in the past.
The problem of microaggression is already heading towards a positive direction as people are becoming more aware of what they say and do. Have you been unintentionally hurting someone? Have you been saying some of the phrases mentioned as examples of microaggression? Now is a great time for everyone to stop, think, and reflect about this problem.