Microaggressions don’t have to terrify

Mea Culpa, I ‘ve dropped a few in my time.

The vast majority of those who drop a microaggression mean exactly the opposite of what they say. Because the term ‘microaggression’ is now so loaded, I agree with the authors of ‘Subtle Acts of Exclusion’, Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran, that it’s best to use a less judgemental term – Subtle Acts of Exclusion (SAE). Often the instigator of the SAE is just trying too hard – they are often aware they have biases, like everyone else, and then overcompensating for them, they drop an SAE.

Mea Culpa – here are a few of mine. My name ‘Jane Perry’ is very boring, a bit like being called ‘The.’ So when I come across more interesting names, I feel like complimenting their owners – you can’t do that as it can mark that person out as not belonging, as being other.

When first diagnosed with M.S., I thought everyone who used a wheelchair was automatically nice!

The third one concerned my dog Coco who is mischief personified – she’ll do something a bit naughty, and then she’ll turn and look at me wagging her tail like – you can’t be cross with me cos I’m too cute! So I started to refer to her as a ‘monkey’ – which she is – but the word is so polluted you can’t use it. So Little Devil she now is.

As the authors suggest, assume the best intentions when on the receiving end of an SAE and respectfully point out the issue. If you were the instigator, don’t be hark on about what your intentions were; they are irrelevant; learn. 

#antiracism #diversity #inclusion #privilege #SubtleActsOfExclusion #SAEs @docjana_ @MichaelDBaran

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