Mikroaggressionen

Mikroaggressionen sind eigentlich mal etwas, was einen eigenen Beitrag verdient.

Ich stelle dazu mal was aus dem englischen Wikipediaartikel ein, da dieser der ausführlichere ist:

Microaggression is a term which some use to refer to unintended discrimination. Psychiatrist and Harvard University professor Chester M. Pierce coined the word microaggression in 1970 to describe insults and dismissals he said he had regularly witnessed non-black Americans inflict on African Americans.[1][2][3][4] In 1973, MIT economist Mary Rowe extended the term to include similar aggressions directed at women; eventually, the term came to encompass the casual degradation of any socially marginalized group, such as poor people, disabled people and sexual minorities.[5]

Es geht also um unabsichtliche Diskriminierungen, meist wohl kleinerer Art, die zuerst im Bereich Rassismus festgestellt worden sind, dann aber auf alle andere „marginalisierten Gruppen“ ausgeweitet worden sind.

Psychologist Derald Wing Sue defines microaggressions as „brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership.“[6] Sue describes microaggressions as generally happening below the level of awareness of well-intentioned members of the dominant culture. Microaggressions, according to Sue, are different from overt, deliberate acts of bigotry, such as the use of racist epithets, because the people perpetrating microaggressions often intend no offense and are unaware they are causing harm.[7] Sue describes microaggressions as including statements that repeat or affirm stereotypes about the minority group or subtly demean it, that position the dominant culture as normal and the minority one as aberrant or pathological, that express disapproval of or discomfort with the minority group, that assume all minority group members are the same, that minimize the existence of discrimination against the minority group, seek to deny the perpetrator’s own bias, or minimize real conflict between the minority group and the dominant culture.[7]

Also „kurze im Alltag passierende Austäusche, die eine verunglimpfende Botschaft an eine bestimmte Person senden, weil sie Teil einer bestimmten Gruppe sind.

Ein Beispiel wäre dann wohl die Frage an eine Frau, ob man ihr bei etwas technischen helfen soll, was dann die Botschaft sendet, dass sie als Frau sich eben mit etwas technischen nicht auskennen kann

Die zweite Definition ist dann noch weitgehender: Jedes wiederholen oder bestärken eines Stereotyps ist eine Mikroaggression, wenn sie von der „dominanten Kultur“ gegenüber der Minderheit erfolgt. Da ist wieder die Absicherung, dass es nur in eine Richtung geht, solche Bezeichnungen gegenüber Männern („soll ich das Kind wickeln? zum Vater des Kindes) wären demnach keine Mikroaggressionen.

Die weiteren Gründe, die dort aufgeführt sind, machen eigentlich alles, was irgendwie eine Gruppeneigenschaft ansprechen könnte zu einer Mikroaggression.

Und Mikroaggressionen in Bezug auf das Geschlecht sind dort wie folgt ausgeführt:

omen, including trans women, report experiencing gender-related microaggressions.[13] Some examples of sexist microagressions are „[addressing someone by using] a sexist name, a man refusing to wash dishes because it is ‚woman’s work,‘ displaying nude pin-ups of women at places of employment, someone making unwanted sexual advances toward another person.“[14]

Members of sexual minorities commonly report experiencing microaggressions.[15] These commonly include the sexual exoticization of lesbians by heterosexual men; linking homosexuality with gender dysphoria or paraphilia; and prying questions about one’s sexual activity.[7] Transgender people are commonly misgendered (labelled as having a gender other than the one they identify with), among other forms of microaggression.[16]

The following have been proposed as „microaggressable“ themes:[7]

  • Sexual objectification
  • Second-class citizenship
  • Sexist language
  • Assumptions of inferiority
  • Denial of sexism
  • Second-class citizenship
  • Sexist language
  • Assumptions of inferiority
  • Denial of sexism
  • Traditional gender role assumptions
  • Social invisibility
  • Denial of individual sexism
  • Sexist jokes

Wie „Leugnen von Sexismus“ zeigt ist hier zusätzlich eine wunderbare Immunisierung enthalten: Wer bestreitet, dass ein kleiner Umstand eine Mikroaggression ist, der begeht gleich noch eine weitere Mikroaggression.

Zu den Effekten:

Recipients of microaggressions may feel anger, frustration, or exhaustion. African-Americans have reported feeling under pressure to „represent“ their group or to suppress their own cultural expression and „act white“.[28] Over time, the cumulative effect of microaggressions can lead to diminished self-confidence and a poor self-image, and potentially also to mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and trauma.[24][26][28][29] Many researchers, Greer & Chwalisz, 2007; Solórzano, Ceja, & Yosso, 2000; Watkins, LaBarrie, & Appio, 2010, have argued that microaggressions are actually more damaging than overt expressions of bigotry precisely because they are small and therefore often ignored or downplayed, leading the victim to feel self-doubting rather than justifiably angry, and isolated rather than supported. On the other hand, some people report that microaggressions have made them more resilient.[29] Harvard’s DuBois Institute associate Paula J. Caplan and research assistant Jordan C. Ford, wrote that although microaggressions “might seem minor” they are “so numerous that trying to function in such a setting is ‘like lifting a ton of feathers.“‚ [30]

Studies have shown evidence that when women experience microaggressions, they may become depressed, develop low self-esteem, or experience sexual dysfunction. Some develop eating disorders and body image issues.[29] There are also studies showing evidence that microaggressions can lead people of color to fear, distrust and avoid relationships with white people.[24]

Ich kann mir schon vorstellen, dass viele kleine Mikroaggressionen sich aufstauen. Allerdings ist bei der oben verwendeten Auflistung nahezu alles eine solche. Die meisten Leute werden durchaus in der Lage sein, bestimmte Stereotype für ihre Gruppe zu akzeptieren ohne diese gleiche als sie ärgernde Mikroaggressionen wahrzunehmen. Leider gehören Anhänger dieser Theorie üblicherweise nicht dazu, sie suhlen sich eher in der Opferstellung, was zu einem weiteren dort angeführten Effekt führt:

A study conducted by two sociologists – Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning[31] – argues that the culture of microaggression leads to a culture of victimhood. Jonathan Haidt points out that being a victim is at the height of this culture.[32]

Older cultures relied on either dignity or honor, but this new culture is explicitly a culture of victimhood

Die dort zitierte Studie ist die folgende:

Campus activists and others might refer to slights of one’s ethnicity or other cultural characteristics as “microaggressions,” and they might use various forums to publicize them. Here we examine this phenomenon by drawing from Donald Black’s theories of conflict and from cross-cultural studies of conflict and morality. We argue that this behavior resembles other conflict tactics in which the aggrieved actively seek the support of third parties as well as those that focus on oppression. We identify the social conditions associated with each feature, and we discuss how the rise of these conditions has led to large-scale moral change such as the emergence of a victimhood culture that is distinct from the honor cultures and dignity cultures of the past.

Quelle: Microaggression and Moral Cultures

Und Haidt schreibt:

The key idea is that the new moral culture of victimhood fosters “moral dependence” and an atrophying of the ability to handle small interpersonal matters on one’s own. At the same time that it weakens individuals, it creates a society of constant and intense moral conflict as people compete for status as victims or as defenders of victims.

Haidt zitiert dann lange Stücke aus der oben genannten Studie, ich kopiere hier mal die Zusammenfassung hin:

The emerging victimhood culture appears to share [dignity culture’s] disdain for risk, but it does condone calling attention to oneself [as in an honor culture] as long as one is calling attention to one’s own hardships – to weaknesses rather than strengths and to exploitation rather than exploits. For example, students writing personal statements as part of their applications for colleges and graduate schools often write not of their academic achievements but instead – with the encouragement of the universities – about overcoming adversity such as a parent’s job loss or having to shop at thrift stores (Lieber 2014). And in a setting where people increasingly eschew toleration and publicly air complaints to compel official action, personal discomfort looms large in official policy. For example, consider recent calls for “trigger warnings” in college classes or on course syllabuses to forewarn students they are about to exposed to topics that cause them distress… [This is a clear link between microaggressions and trigger warnings — both make sense in a moral culture of victimhood]

What we are seeing in these controversies is the clash between dignity and victimhood, much as in earlier times there was a clash between honor and dignity…. At universities and many other environments within modern America and, increasingly, other Western nations, the clash between dignity and victimhood engenders a similar kind of moral confusion: One person’s standard provokes another’s grievance, acts of social control themselves are treated as deviant, and unintentional offenses abound. And the conflict will continue. As it does each side will make its case, attracting supporters and winning or losing various battles. But remember that the moral concepts each side invokes are not free-floating ideas; they are reflections of social organization. Microaggression complaints and other specimens of victimhood occur in atomized and diverse settings that are fairly egalitarian except for the presence of strong and stable authority. In these settings behaviors that jeopardize equality or demean minority cultures are rare and those that occur mostly minor, but in this context even minor offenses – or perceived offenses – cause much anguish. And while the authorities and others might be sympathetic, their support is not automatic. Add to this mix modern communication technologies that make it easy to publicize grievances, and the result, as we have seen, is the rise of a victimhood culture.[p.718]

Zudem noch der Passus: „Kritik“ aus der Wikipedia:

Scientific investigation of microaggression has been criticized for lacking a theory that makes any empirically testable prediction.[34]

Several journalists have written pieces questioning or criticizing microaggression theory. Writing for The Federalist, Paul Rowan Brian argued that microaggression theory pools trivial and ignorable instances of racism with real, genuine prejudice and exclusion.[35] Viv Regan, writing for Spiked Online, wondered whether the comfort provided by having a convenient label for alleged rudeness outweighs the damage caused by overreaction.[36] Amitai Etzioni, writing in The Atlantic, speculated that obsession about microaggressions is a distraction from dealing with much more serious acts.[37]

Microaggression theory has also been criticized by several conservative think tanks. Christina Hoff Sommers, in a video for the American Enterprise Institute, has criticized microaggression theory as oversensitive and paranoid.[38] Heather Mac Donald, writing for theManhattan Institute for Policy Research’s City Journal, has said that the theory is simply self-victimization.[39]