I was curious about what these microaggressions might actually be, so I did a search and came up with a project about microaggressions from Fordham University in New York City. Various students were photographed with little placards explaining the microaggressions that they have personally experienced.
I was gobsmacked by just how petty these microaggressions are. Mostly they just involve students being asked where they are from or what ethnicity they are. If that's a microaggression, then most of us are both victims and perpetrators, as people commonly ask this question, both out of curiosity and as a conversation starter.
So, here is a sample of the microaggression complaints:
|A bit precious? I get the exact same question in the classroom, it's an abrupt way of asking for your ancestry.|
It's interesting that Asian students are jumping on the microaggression bandwagon. They are, after all, members of the most privileged group in America when it comes to career, education and income. Perhaps they realise instinctively that in a liberal system you become vulnerable if you don't strongly assert your right to be a member of a victim class. Or perhaps it is too tempting, even for intelligent people, to externalise their problems, i.e. to blame external "oppression" for your unhappiness, rather than to try to set things right in your own life.
At any rate, it's difficult to take microaggressions seriously. It seems to be more the case of people searching desperately for reasons to feel put out.