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.    

awkward, exoticized, and embarrassed

(I am a female-identifying, Asian-American student at Davidson.)  I visited a Walmart around campus my first year here and was approached by a white man at the register who asked me if I was Korean. After affirming, he continued to talk to me across the register, asking me if I ate kimchi, if I spoke Korean, and other questions about my heritage. He proceeded to tell me about his Korean wife and even showed me a picture of her. He couldn’t hide his pride at having successfully guessed my ethnicity. I felt incredibly awkward, exoticized, and embarrassed to be having the conversation at such a volume/distance that others could overhear.    

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