AU1.4 – Microaggressions

What is a Microaggression?

A black woman holding a sign over her face that reads Where are you really from?

Micro aggression is a term used for brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioural or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative attitudes toward stigmatised or culturally marginalised groups.

Three forms of microaggression

A gay man holding a sign that reads Dude, I totally forgot you were gay when we played ball earlier

Preventing Microaggressions

It is possible to prevent microaggressions:

  • Microaggressions are everyday insults made by usually well-intentioned people.
  • They affect people from any underrepresented groups.  
  • They’re caused when your brain gets “stuck” on noticing someone’s differences. 
  • You can learn how to retrain your brain and prevent yourself from committing microaggressions.
  • Check your assumptions, show empathy and try not to get defensive if someone calls you out.
Two black women holding up signs. One reads courtney I never see you as a black girl and So what does your hair look like today. She said this as she pulled off my hat without my permission

Negative Impacts

  • Lack of Trust
  • Poor working relationship
  • Lack of respect or dignity
  • Unexplained behaviour
  • Service delivery
  • Team dynamics
  • Impact on bystanders
  • Patient Outcomes
  • No sense of belonging
  • It’s not responsibility of the person on the receiving end to do all the education

Common Defences for being called out on a microaggression

Cloud bubbles with the following text in each one, you're just being oversensitive, it's your problem, not mine, It was only meant as a joke, I thought everyone like you was called, I call everyone, Well everyone else found it funny, i've got a friend who I say that to and they never complain

People of all different identities can experience microaggressions. Though the term originally referenced white-on-black offenses (and that’s still important to note), anyone who is part of a minority group in some way can be affected.

Collapse Comments
Evangeline Martinez June 17, 2023 at 12:26 am

Very telling videos that awakens your subconscious to the surface, to be re-fashioned as an ally. Thank you for these powerful materials.

I sometimes wonder if our thoughts were automatically scrolled on our foreheads , what would this world become…………

Makes such a difference seen all this highlighted and to know I have experienced it and still able to support and encourage someone.

Gloanne Marie LAPUZ-FLORES September 1, 2023 at 3:37 pm

We need to respect each other differences and learning accepting start with US. No matter who what colour, race, creed, age you are if you see, heard , felt that someone is insulting some one, we need to make a stand against it.

very thought provoking videos, highlighting issues i have witnessed and given me a sense of action to help change some narratives.we need to speak up

Dawn Shipston-Gray May 7, 2024 at 9:32 pm

Very thought provoking I think everyone can relate in one way or an other, more people need to challenge these situations.

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