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View Diary: Black Kos, Tuesday's Chile (169 comments)

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  •  From the other perspective...... (1+ / 0-)
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    Which is that this approach is encouraging a sensitivity to slights that are not meant as, or need be, offensive.  It is possible to ignore or laugh off expressions of stereotypes, and to separate those who mean harm from those who could even be trying to connect with another person.

    Italic is from diary:   For instance, a professor who says to a student who speaks with a foreign accent "I'm impressed you speak English so well" is guilty of a microaggression because although the professor means that statement as a compliment, the statement assumes that people with accents do not normally speak English well.

    An accent my be pleasing or impede understanding, so the comment is rather anodyne, meaningless.  Why assume that this is aggressive, when it could be simply an awkward comment.  

    A further example would be a female physician who is wearing a stethoscope being mistaken as a nurse, with the underlying assumption being that women in hospitals are more likely to be nurses.

    This is obsolete, as there are more female doctors, at least in training, than mail.  A silly comment may be a way of making conversations, are a sign of ignorance, but why aggressiveness.

    A few years ago at a public tennis court I made a stupid statement implying the 4 1/2 ft tall woman was a child.  I was embarrassed and felt that an apology would only make it worse.  It turned out she was used to it, and understood it was a natural mistake.  She even developed a stock answer when people asked her age, "old enough to be a high school teacher."  She said it without any anger, and when we talked about this later, she said that these things happen, and she just accepted them.  She is a delightful person, and didn't impute aggression or invidious motivation to such gaffes, unless there was real evidence of such.

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