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Student op-ed: Constant microaggressions are a ‘macro problem’

Invoking the names of now-US Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh and his sexual assault accuser Christine Blasey Ford, a University of California-Santa Barbara student says the sheer quantity of so-called microaggressions women suffer on a daily basis adds up to a “macro problem.”

Writing in the Daily Nexus, Ally McCulloch sounds like the life of any party (/sarcasm), perpetually critiquing each and every gesture and word (from men) for possible offense to those possessing a pair of X chromosomes: “A small smirk, too small to even see a glimpse of a tooth, a quick shuffle, and my feet are flying toward the door. A stare held a few seconds too long […]”

McCulloch continues through a stereotypical feminist’s litany of gripes, from being taught that women’s bodies are “objects,” to having to prove their mettle in “male-dominated” college majors … and a poor checkout guy at a local supermarket bears the brunt of her microaggression accumulation (at least in her mind):

When it was my turn to pay, the 40-ish, balding cashier seemed nice at first. He asked me how I was, but then proceeded to tell me that I should smile more because I “look much prettier that way.”

At first, two responses came to mind: One, fuck you; two, you should put on some deodorant to cover that smell — but we can’t all have nice things.

Ms. McCulloch still retains some of microaggressions from the Kavanaugh hearings, apparently, because after all, of what import are facts and evidence when it comes to feminist dogma?

We see women like Dr. Christine Blasey Ford displaying her deepest emotions to the world, and what does she get in return? She is called a liar, and we are asked to consider the impact her accusation has on Brett Kavanaugh, as if he had not completely altered the course of her life years ago, all the while being swiftly appointed to the Supreme Court. It is discouraging at best. When these microaggressions stem from a source of power, dealing with them is all the more difficult. Dr. Ford withheld a traumatic life-altering experience for years and told her story not when she wanted to but when she had to.

When we have Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court and a president who says he grabs women “by the pussy,” my hope is withered. I fight this feeling day in and day out, trying to remind myself that it is worth it. Real change takes time. I have to remember that women’s suffrage was not an easy road. Women fought for decades to get us to where we are today.

To those who think McCulloch is being too sensitive, that itself is yet another microaggression — not to mention just “plain hurtful.”

“Listen to us,” she says, “and maybe you’ll begin to understand the strength it takes to keep moving despite this staggering feeling of powerlessness.”

Read the full piece. If you dare.

MORE: Study: ‘microaggressions’ associated with racism in white students

MORE: Little scientific evidence microaggressions are even a thing

IMAGE: Giulio Fornasar/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.