Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hostility towards Microaggressions.

Specifically, my hostility towards the tenuously valid culture of victimization that exists on the website of Microaggressions, a Tumblr where people can and unfortunately do submit anecdotes with subtle tinges of injury from the cornucopia of progressive terminology: racism, feminism, religion, weightism, agism-or-is-it-ageism, so forth and so on until someone shuts the website down. It is the belief of this microaggressive community that it is possible, to quote this delightful APA article, to be racist or discriminatory in a manner "so subtle that neither victim nor perpetrator may entirely understand what's going on". Wonderful.

The original definition was bounded by interracial interactions, but the Tumblr expands this to any social construction [their words]; any person could decide to "construct" a personal class and claim insult against it. If, say, a lactose-intolerant person is offered cream with their coffee at a café, the waitress would be guilty of microaggressing the customer: How dare she assume the customer can digest milk sugars! The scheme of Microaggressions is that we are all,  or at least have the potential to be vicious microaggressors. Soon, even I will be accused of microaggression for assuming the person-waiting-the-tables was a woman.

It is unfortunate, perhaps, that some of the anecdotes are in fact totally valid, universally recognized instances of racism and sexism that have "somehow" ended up on a website that is supposed to be about injurious but not malicious or overt discrimination. For example, with the statement, "Practicing already, huh?", a young girl's act of eating a popsicle is sexualized by her stepfather, a blatant disregard for feminine sensibility and a rude thing to say in any respect. But the stepfather is just a jerk; this is no microaggression. It'd rather look like this gem, which like many submissions, involved an interaction in an inanimate and immutable environment:
I am playing a racing game. The game says “Gentlemen, start your engines.” I am a woman. It made me feel marginalized and annoyed.
Apparently, the microaggresse has been so repeatedly violated by these injustices throughout their life that even the most common of phrases can set them off. The concept that you should [and eventually will] have your feelings hurt by every politically-incorrect, non-inclusive statement, that not having sole domain over commentary about your class, is like the petulant artist who insists that no one understands their artwork, and those who criticize it or reveal its lack of substance, are incompetent.

I wish I could say that Microaggressions was an even mildly open platform like Fuck My Life, an apparent progenitor of this website, but I don't think any of us will ever know the content of those submissions which never make it to the home page. [Can a Republican be microaggressed?] Their submission template does not call for creativity. The emotional value of those that do make the cut is diluted by the generic language that every experience is transformed with. First, the offender:  which made the aggressee feel: , et cetera et cetera et cetera.

In conclusion, the more and more I think about this website the more and more I fucking hate it and the way it gives people an excuse to inflate the tiniest incidents into class warfare.