I have a confession to make. Kick me out of any possible minority group I might be a part of but didn’t know it, but any word ending in “-ism” annoys the daylights out of me.
Words to express our affront are being made up left and right by the mere addition of “ism” to the ends of what were formerly perfectly neutral words. It seems like pundits can take basically any word and add “ism” to the end of it and that means they’re being slighted. The list of isms could go on and on, but instead of promoting more equality, all they’re doing is promoting more division. Isn’t that divisionism?
Personally, I’m affronted by the constant barrage of affronts. When did we, as a nation, become such weenies? How is it that such a collection of whiners has become the vocal majority? Certain people are constantly offended and demand the attention of others so they can express the epic level of their personal offendedness.
So vast is the recent level of Great American Butthurt that no mainstream news outlet is complete without breathlessly exposing a secret “ism” each day. These secret “isms” are called “microaggressions,” defined as “the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.”
Oh my gosh. SHUT UP ALREADY.
Here are a few examples of microaggression alerts aka butthurt.
Here are some examples to support my highly unpopular opinion on this matter. Feel free to yell at me or agree with me in the comments. I promise not to tell you I’m offended. I really don’t care if you are black, brown, white, gay, straight…whatever. I’m just not into whining.
In this little piece, the plight of the poor confused white teacher is brought to the forefront. White teachers are performing an injustice to children of any other race by mispronouncing their names or “valuing whiteness.”
Though I know there are actively racist teachers out there, most White teachers mean well and have no intention of being racist. Yet as people who are inscribed with Whiteness, it is possible for us to act in racist ways no matter our intentions. Uprooting racism from our daily actions takes a lifetime of work.
I’d just like to say that my children, blond and blue eyed, have their father’s Swiss last name that contains far too many vowels for American tongues, and not once did they ever have it immediately pronounced correctly by a new teacher. We always knew if someone said their first names and then began to stutter, they were calling on my children. Clearly, we too, have been discriminated against and my children’s very education was greatly placed at risk.
Heaven forbid that someone tell a joke or make a comment that a woman looks nice at work. It’s sexist and destroying her chances at success, dontcha know?
While overt sexual harassment can make headlines, this study suggests that daily sexist jokes and comments made by co-workers can also chip away at a woman’s well-being. It’s not all bad news, though. According to the researchers, their findings can be used to spark progress: If employers recognize the detrimental effects of the more subdued, pervasive sexism, women may be motivated to make formal complaints and organization-wide actions can be taken.
This little gem is full of “isms” without calling them “isms”.
Microaggressions can be based upon any group that is marginalized in this society. Religion, disability, and social class may also reflect the manifestation of microaggressions. Some of these examples include the following.
• When bargaining over the price of an item, a store owner says to a customer, “Don’t try to Jew me down.” (Hidden message: Jews are stingy and money-grubbing.)
• A blind man reports that people often raise their voices when speaking to him. He responds by saying, “Please don’t raise your voice; I can hear you perfectly well.” (Hidden message: A person with a disability is defined as lesser in all aspects of physical and mental functioning).
• The outfit worn by a TV reality-show mom is described as “classless and trashy.” (Hidden message: Lower-class people are tasteless and unsophisticated.)
The most detrimental forms of microaggressions are usually delivered by well-intentioned individuals who are unaware that they have engaged in harmful conduct toward a socially devalued group.
Be careful when you do try to be inclusive, because if you don’t do it right, you could be guilty of “tokenism.” Somewhere there exists a fine line between making a person of a race other than white enough of that race without being so much of that race that you must certainly be mocking or stereotyping them.
There is nothing wrong with that, in theory – except that it signals to the industry that it’s acceptable to represent the growing racial diversity in American through what advertising executives like to call “ethnic ambiguity”. Minorities featured in advertising, the sentiment goes, shouldn’t look too black or brown, or sound too unassimilated or uneducated; instead, “acceptable” diversity in advertising remains middle class, unassuming and nearly invisible by being as close to “white” as possible. The problem is that, when racial difference is represented in this way, we aren’t actually acknowledging diversity: we are homogenizing it. These diverse-but-not-too-diverse advertisements create a false promise of racially normalized society.
But when you include someone’s ethnic identity, be careful not to include it too much or in any way that might be seen as insulting, because then…racism.
There are a plethora of myths out there about black people, but the question is, which ones are actually true? For years, the black community has been inundated with oxymoronic myths that just continue as the years go on.
As well, you must also take care not to use ANY of these phrases, because it’s just another way you’re secretly insulting a minority. (Even when you’re referring to someone who is NOT a minority, although I’m not 100% sure how that works.)
Now, many words act as substitutes for the slur that, more than any other, has come to define race relations in America. These words are united by a hurtful message: Black people don’t deserve to be treated with respect or regarded as fully human.
Whether it’s commentators implying that Michael Brown deserved to die because he was a “thug,” or civic leaders peddling racial welfare stereotypes, coded racial language seeps into mainstream conversations far more than most people assume.
It’s an easy, yet insidious way for the speakers to prompt or stir up an audience’s negative biases against black people.
Individually, these instances might seem insignificant. But taken collectively, the common use of these coded words — words otherwise assumed to be free of any political or historical context — serve to reinforce stereotypes that stem from a sordid history of slavery, segregation and unequal treatment under the law.
White people can’t even MENTION race without getting a smack on the hand for it. Because discussions of race are racism (there’s that ism again) unless the race discuss-er is of the accepted race.
Heaven forbid that you think someone of another ethnicity is cool and try to wear the same things or do your hair the same way. Then, you are guilty of “cultural appropriation.
Cultural appropriation is when white media trivializes and adopts aspects of other cultures without proper recognition, representation and respect. At least, that is how we can currently define it in 2015. Because really, that’s the main issue right now.
Journalists, tv hosts, bloggers, artists, lend me your eyes! I give to you a sure-fire guide on how to avoid cultural appropriation. All you have to do is simply ask yourself these questions before you publish or submit your potentially problematic posts/stories/segments.
You can easily be guilty of cultural appropriation without even knowing it. For example, white people getting a tan is considered by some to be an affront. Those people who go to Jamaica and pay to get beads in their hair? Also offensive. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Racist.
Our melting pot is boiling over
It seems to me that the most marginalized, discriminated against person in America right now is the white male. Because of his so-called “white male privilege” he’s passed over for promotions so that the more politically correct candidate can receive it. Because of his “white male privilege” he has to be even more careful about what he says and how he behaves. Everything about him is vilified.
Why does it have to be like this? Why does there always have to be an enemy? This is the problem with too many “isms” and too much butthurt. The pendulum always has to swing and whack someone else in the head. This just creates a larger divide and stokes the fire under our melting pot of a country until it boils over and makes a mess on the stove.
As parents, we teach our children not to be sore losers and throw the checker board at their opponent’s head when they lose. Unfortunately, that lesson is getting erased through our media and public school system. The odds are rarely all lined up in our favor. Overcoming them is a measure of success. Throwing a hissy fit about those odds is, however, now held up and applauded. If it was a kid, you’d just take the game away until the child could behave.
When I worked in the male-dominated automotive industry, I certainly never wanted a handicap just because I had ovaries. That’s not how you gain respect from your peers. It wasn’t easy to get to the top of my field, but when I did, it wasn’t because I performed poorly but got the job anyway. It was because I deserved it. If you’re busy whining about “microaggressions”, where is your self-respect? Getting ahead despite the odds is far sweeter than a handout to shut you up because you’re a baby.
I know that some folks will read this and say that I don’t understand their struggles. That’s true. I have never been black or Latino or gay or blind. But we ALL have struggles.
When will people stop searching for things to be outraged about? I’m personally outraged by the misplaced outrage. Why not take responsibility and make it impossible for anyone to pass you over because your performance is so incredible? Instead of using butthurt as fuel for your social media whining, why not use it as fuel to excel? Why not use it to propel you to make the world a better place?
You want to even things up in America?
- Go help someone.
- Teach an illiterate person to read.
- Feed a hungry child.
- Mow an elderly neighbor’s lawn.
Stop focusing all of your energy on crying the blues and expressing your butthurt. Focus it on making the world better. Be a shining example of your minority or trod-upon group instead of a wailing beacon of warning.
At the risk of sounding like I’m trying to silence people (because I seriously am – I just can’t take it anymore) …