Acting

One time in a class, the professor had us act out a dialogue. He assigned me the role of the mother because I would “make a good mother,” and asked me to hold a baby doll. Then he asked for a volunteer to play my husband. He told us we were a beautiful couple. I’m gay and it was gross.

Pronouns

Microaggressions around correct usage of pronouns and preferred/chosen names are frequently committed by faculty and students at Davidson. Some professors openly mock the use of gender-neutral pronouns, refuse to use them, etc. In a similar vein, there is an assumption that if someone understands what a pronoun is, they are automatically being inclusive in their language and actions, which is incorrect and often harmful.

FIFA

I was walking back to my room from the shower one night, and as I passed by my neighbor’s open door, two of my hallmates were playing FIFA. “Suck it, fag!” one said to the other as I hurried into my room.

hey guys!

I was advertising this project, and in an email to a group of all women wrote, “hey guys!” I am usually conscious of this minor microaggression and try to say “everyone” or “y’all,” but sometimes I still fall back on masculine language.

Icebreakers

On my first ever day of classes at Davidson, my class went around and give icebreakers. Having experience with people assuming I’m born or raised in East Asia, I specifically mentioned being born and raised in [the United States] without mentioning anywhere else. After class, the professor came up to me and asked in [an Asian language] if I was from Beijing. He received tenure a year later.

“the stereotypical privileged white person”

Although I do not fit into the usual marginalized group, I have experienced microaggressions. I am a white, female and due to that everyone lumps me into the stereotypical privileged white person at Davidson who gets whatever she wants and is very rich. I have encountered this when I made mentions of how expensive an item is, me: “$20?! No way” other person: “oh that’s nothing for you” I do not receive money from my parents, everything I spend is my own earned money through work. I am not wealthy, but am consistently seen as such. Also, as a female, people have marked me as weak and not as smart. I am an athlete and it’s laughable how many times men will assume that I am not as strong as them or capable of doing physical labor on my own. In some instances, it has been politely offered and others the role of a ‘weaker female’ has been forced upon me.

“You looked it up!”

I just committed a microaggression while guest lecturing in a class a week ago. I was covering for another instructor and using their slides, and I didn’t know what they meant by a particular term. A student asked and I gave them my interpretation but said I wasn’t sure if that was exactly what the professor meant. A female student raised her hand and said something like “it means this” and gave a definition. We were in a computer classroom, so I assumed she had googled the term and I said something like, “great, thanks! You looked it up.” Her face flashed a weird look and I realized I had just insinuated that she couldn’t have known that without looking it up, and perhaps because she was a woman. This occurred to me after I had moved on to the next topic, and I didn‘t know how to go back and apologize or correct my potential misperception without being really awkward in class. I don’t know the student’s name, so now I just have a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that I contributed to her feeling unwelcome in science classes at Davidson. 

girl

My first year at Davidson I noticed that I called my black hallmates “girl” when speaking to them more so than I did with my friends of any other ethnicity.    

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