Microagressions

Microagressions is a site about venting those little racist/sexist/classist dings that hit throughout the day.  Some examples:

“Excuse me, do you speak English?”  Man at the bus stop.  I am an Asian American woman.  I was reading Jane Austen.  In English.


“Wow, from talking to you on the phone, I’d never know that you were a fat girl. You don’t sound fat at all.”  My friend’s grandmother, upon our first meeting.


Woman in store:: You’re so skinny, you must be anorexic.
Me:: No, not anorexia – Grave’s disease.


My friend tells me that he doesn’t think women should be engineers because when women join a traditionally male profession, average salaries go down whereas when men join a traditionally female profession, salaries go up.  We are both majoring in engineering, and I am a woman.

If you want to vent, it’s a good place.  If you want to get a better understanding of some of the fail out there?  Also a good place.

12 thoughts on “Microagressions

  1. lolz that reminds me of work… I am white but speak Mandarin as a second language, I have students from China come in to see me, I greet and speak to them in Chinese but I use their first name (as it is here in the west) they then inform me that in China the family name goes first. Yes Xiaowei… I studied Mandarin for YEARS but THANK YOU for pointing that out… I would not have possibly known that basic tenet of chinese language without YOU. It just makes me laugh… its like telling someone who is foreign but is speaking english that MR. means mister.

    • Maybe your Chinese students would prefer to stick to their cultural preference (Family Name first) despite you *KNOWING* that fact and choosing to ignore it. You studied Mandarin for years, but that language may be native to them. Check yourself.

  2. At work, I wore a dress for a change. The one coworker says “Your legs are really skinny compared to the rest of you!” And they let people with brains like that have jobs?

  3. Perhaps I’m being a bit cheeky, but the comment at another of your posts about white male accountants and lawyers being in charge of companies such as Lane Bryant was also racist and sexist and a stereotype. No one is immune to the human tendency towards prejudice.

    • You can’t be racist or sexist against the majority. Racist and sexism are prejudice, plus power. White men have the power, PoC and women do not. Prejudice without power is very different than prejudice plus power, so it is incredibly important to keep the distinction.

      It might be prejudice, if they’re claiming that a white man doesn’t have the ability to run a company for women like Lane Bryant, but there’s way more that goes into it than that.

      • Thanks doorslam. Your reply to Aggie has given me fresh insight and an inroad to discussing this complex issue with my son.

  4. Love it.

    Last year I was swanning around in a new coat I was very proud of. Very stylish and the most expensive thing I’d ever bought. A colleague looked at it and said, “you make cheap clothes look great”.

  5. I used to work in a 7-11 years ago and there was a woman who would come in occasionally who was extremely thin and gaunt. I didn’t say anything to her but she looked very ill. After she left the store, my co-worker told me that she was suffering from AIDS. A clear case of why you shouldn’t judge people by weight.

    On the other side, I had a classmate ask me in high school why I talked like a white girl. I’m biracial and my mother is white. Not that it was any of this other girl’s business, but I told her that since my mother was white, it would be pretty normal that I inherited her some of her qualities, which would include tone of voice. That shut her up.

  6. I’m here via Shakesville but ZOMG — the one about sounding fat on the phone — that’s mine! I submitted it a while back when I first heard about the tumblr. I was 15 years old and starting high school and this is the first thing a brand-new adult said to me. Amazing how you never forget it, even though it’s been close to two decades since. “Microaggressions” aren’t so micro when they stay with you that long.

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