I stand 5 foot 5, just about breast-high to a supermodel. This however, is about the only thing a short dude like me has going for himself. For me, life is less than advantageous. I have to stand on my tiptoes to reach the cupboards. Women can literally look DOWN their noses at me. I can’t find any jeans that fit.
Worst of all — I can’t dunk. But I’m not giving up yet because this is 2015 and the times are changing.
Enter the term microaggression.
This notion has gained media attention recently. You’ve definitely heard about it if you’re white or conservative or are offended that minorities are actually offended.
A microaggression is something so small that you need a microscope to see it. It is an offhand comment or a rude gesture. Say for example, a white couple is walking home at night and they pass a black guy. The woman clutches at her purse and looks frightened. You can see how her actions imply that black men are dangerous and threatening. Although this act falls short of telling the guy to sit at the back of the bus, it’s still aggressive and discriminatory.
It’s not overt racism, it’s racism under a microscope. But don’t be fooled. The microscopic is still real and it can be very aggressive. Ever heard of E-Coli? That shit’s pretty small but look what it can do. In fact, all sorts of gestures/contexts/utterances can be classified as microaggressive. Here’s an appetizer menu of statements that are classified as microaggressions:
“You speak English very well..”
“I believe the most qualified person should get the job.”
“Where are you from?”
“This one might be more affordable for you.”
“What are you? You look so interesting.”
All of the above fall under this classification because they imply things that are in some way insulting or offensive. They tend to reinforce stereotypes and continue the long tradition of marginalizing people based on their ethnicity, gender etc.
See that etc. ?
That’s where I come in. I sense a whole new world opening up for me in which the contexts and comments that I find myself subjected to will now be addressed. Yes, as shocking as it sounds, there’s a long list of shit that short people put up with that will soon be the fodder for political pundits, Twitter hashtags, and peaceful/violent protests. Eventually someone will give a self-congratulatory TED Talk about it.
“As shocking as it sounds, there’s a long list of shit that short people put up with.”
Yes, I look forward to the day when someone will make a comment about my height and I will be able to blow my whistle and pull out my microaggression card.
“Hey buddy. Your compliment is uncalled for. It implies that people of a shorter stature are somehow inferior and I resent that comment because it directly opposes our current PC norms and there is a scientific consensus that concludes in fact that short people are just as intelligent and competent as any other individual contributing member of society.”
Sounds like a little bitch, I know, but this is my moment to shine. This is my moment to take back my power. I’ll stand there and gloat for a second — the pregnant pause. Waiting for the truth to sink in. Waiting for the moment of epiphany to wedge itself firmly into the offender’s consciousness.
Then I’ll add:
“Furthermore, our current socio-political systems and our modern consciousness are in agreement that you are an asshole for insinuating such an outdated idea. How you like them apples?”
If that pisses them off and they try to kick my ass, I’ll bolt for the nearest chain-link fence and scale it like a monkey in no time flat.
But my day is coming, you mark my words. The term microaggression is really just a micro step toward the inevitable state in which all wrongs in society will be corrected with one little multi-syllabic word. Microaggression is my get out of jail free card, my Hometown Buffet. It is a sign that the future belongs to those who have the power to stop other people from offending them.