Touchiness At Oberlin—Best of MicroAggressions.com

(Earlier: Oberlin has a wonderful website for the racially aggrieved, of which it has no shortage, called Oberlin Microagressions.)
Highlights from MicroAggressions.com:

I noticed that when I eat out and order a Coke, I’m often asked whether I want it to be a diet Coke. I asked some male friends about this and they told me it never happens to them.

24, female-bodied, in a relationship – so Facebook shows me ads with babies, wedding dresses, and engagement rings. Change gender on Facebook to male – suddenly I get ads pertaining to things I actually care about.

“I don’t date bisexuals. They’re never faithful.” 

Said to me by woman who identifies as lesbian.

Often when I have dinner at people’s houses, they ask me if I would prefer chopsticks, regardless of the meal!

“You can do [x]. It’s not that hard.” 

I have an invisible physical disability. I hear this from teachers, friends, and parents when I try to tell them about my ability level.

Being called “hearing impared,” instead of deaf or hard of hearing. 

The term “hearing impaired” seems silly to be upset over, but when used over and over to describe you, you begin to believe that you are indeed broken instead of just different. I fight against the use of this word everyday.

"Push like a man!"

One man to another while trying to load a delivery cart in Manhattan.

My daughter is a college freshman three states away from home. She’s having some depression so went to college counseling office this week at my insistence. The counselor asked if she belonged to any clubs and she mentioned the gay-straight alliance. He replied by asking “Are you having trouble adjusting because you’ve been rejected by your fellow lesbians?” For the record, she thinks she may be asexual but said nothing to him to warrant his assumption.

I walk out of my office and approach a waiting cab, make eye contact with the cab driver, reach out my arm to open the door… and a white woman rushes past me, gets in the cab, closes the door and starts telling the cab driver where she wants to go. Does she think that she deserves the cab more? Did she see me but assume I wasn’t taking the cab? Did she simply not see me at all (despite touching me as she brushed past)? I don’t know which is worse. I do know that I immediately thought, “next time someone asks me why “all” black women are angry, I’m going to tell them its because of stuff like this”.

Hey! White girl! I love you! You are beautiful! 

Shouted to me on the street 15+ times a day during my study abroad experience in Nicaragua. I never truly understood what it meant to feel objectified until this experience. 

Comments upon Nicaragua anecdote
ToruKun1: 
This submission is very, VERY problematic…as much as I sympathize with her plight I’m calling BULLS*** on this woman ~never TRULY feeling objectified~ until some random brown guys in a foreign country hollered at her…subconscious racism/xenophobia much? 

 

eiVega: 
This complaint of a microaggression is a microagression in and of itself. It is perpetuating the idea that ‘white beauty’ is ideal and that Latinos are machismo & objectify women. 
As a side-note, it is also a humble-brag. Let’s complain about how annoying it is to be beautiful because unwanted men try to flatter me. 
Sorry your beauty was such an inconvenience while trying to study abroad in the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, grappled by earthquakes, hurricanes, dictatorships, two revolutionary wars, oppression and a history of US interference and manipulation. 
-A Nicaraguan-American, reading white girls complain about Nicaraguans on the microagression blog… 

R: 
As a white American girl living in a small town in the Dominican Republic, I’m going to have to agree with ToruKun1 and elVega on this one. I feel a hell of a lot more sexism coming from my white, male, American, ivy league-educated, nonprofit bosses than the constant catcalls coming from Dominican dudes, who are living in poverty that is directly related to my part of the world’s exploitation and oppression of theirs. You know our lives are like super f’ing easy in comparison, right? So much so that you can go study abroad, invade their lives and then complain when they act how their culture acts, wow. Even if it is objectifying (not saying it is), it isn’t your place to get offended. How bout you try to spend your time trying to genuinely and respectfully learn about culture and life and your role there instead? 

Kenocka: 
Why isn’t it her place to be offended? Perhaps she’s only pointing out one of many times that this has happened to her? What “role” is she supposed to assume? 
I’m just really confused by this response. She doesn’t feel safe with random dudes yelling at her in a foreign country. Purely conjecture but she probably felt the same way back home but for whatever reason, being at home it might not have “been as bad” because she could call people she knew at a moment’s notice and have them help her or a million other reasons. 
I’m just wowed that you would be mad at her for voicing her insecurities and fears. You could’ve been nicer about your points instead of just attacking her the way you seem to have done.

Rididill: 
Uh, you may be Nicaraguan American but whatever, clearly they don’t shout at you in the same way. So STFU. ‘Your beauty was such an inconvenience?’ That is a little MORE than a microaggression. Why don’t you stop defending your misogynist compatriots and have a little solidarity. Harassment is not a compliment. 
Actually, it’s your fellow Nicaraguans who are perpetuating the ‘white beauty ideal’ by saying that. Not her. Why don’t you take it up with them. 
So worse things have happened in the world. DUH. It’s a site called ‘microaggressions’. Not genocide etc. Same could be applied to anything here. Get over yourself, this is supposed to be a safe space.
It’s actually a fact that if you are white, and you go to a Latino country, you will get harassed like a million times more than in a white country. It is not racist to point this out, it is simply true. 

Simmerdownnow: 
This person went to another country, with a different society and cultural norms and expected to be treated like she is in her country and then got offended when she wasn’t. Don’t go to someone else’s home and judge them based on your house rules. Go to someone else home and learn their rules and try to be a humble guest. 
Rididill: Your comment was so offensive to me that I’m going to have to break it down and go through it piece by piece. Hopefully you can open up your mind and actually learn from this because your understanding of privileged oppression needs some deepening. 
1. ” Uh, you may be Nicaraguan American but whatever, clearly they don’t shout at you in the same way. So STFU. ” 
What does that even mean? And why was it even necessary to bring up this persons cultural identity here? Were you pointing out that elVega isn’t white and so they could never understand “white girl’s” situation? Everyone has imagination and intellect and can imagine what it was like from “white girl’s” description. You have no point here. Also don’t “whatever” someone’s identity. That’s just rude. Don’t do it. 
2. “Why don’t you stop defending your misogynist compatriots and have a little solidarity. Harassment is not a compliment.” 
Okay, so compatriots means fellow citizen of a nation. elVega is Nicaraguan AMERICAN, that means this person is American. That’s why it’s stuck in there at the end. Sorry to let you down, but elVega is you’re compatriot and you’re haste to jump to deny their American identity IS A MICROAGRESSION. If this person didn’t have Nicaraguan heritage you would’ve said “don’t defend misogyny” but instead you decided to go the racist route. Good job. 
And I’m not sure if you’ve just gotten out of a feminism 101 class and you’re hot to stomp out male privilege everywhere but something you might’ve not gotten to yet is Western European Feminism is exclusive and based off of Western European experiences. You’re definition of misogyny does not apply to Nicaraguan culture so don’t call all Nicaraguans misogynists. That’s, again, racist. 
Also elVega is showing mad solidarity, by speaking up when Nicaraguan people are being racially stereotyped by you and white chick. 
3. “Actually, it’s your fellow Nicaraguans who are perpetuating the ‘white beauty ideal’ by saying that. Not her. Why don’t you take it up with them.” 
Oh wow, you threw in another completely pointless reference to the fact that this person is Nicaraguan, look at you being casually racist all over the place. And no, it’s her, she took up space on this site to say “hey guys! people think I’m beautiful because I’m white! It’s awful.” The men who were cat calling her learned that white is “beautiful” through histories of colonization, U.S. interference and globalization. Through European people traipsing through the country, stealing resources, land and lives and meanwhile shaming dark skin and rewarding light skin. 
So worse things have happened in the world. Like colonization, that was a horrible thing that happened and is still effecting colonized nations, peoples and communities today as we try to recover what is left of these cultures and learn how to love our cultures when we are constantly told by the dominant one that we are inferior. This site is about the way we still live with those histories and how they come to head in small, daily interactions. How people who have historically had privileges, like being white, male, straight, rich, gender conforming – act out their feelings of entitlement and false superiority in just a few actions or sentences. And how people who have historically been oppressed and marginalized have to deal with that s*** like 15+ times a day, everyday, all the time.


Project much?