Cathy: At camp, Sex Geek Summer Camp which Reid respond amazing event there were lot of talks about people were talking about micro aggressions were and how to make people feel valued and welcomed. I don’t meddle a lot or talked to that really well. And one question we have is what is the difference about micro aggression and genuine expression for instance if one person always says you get to hang out with me which is a minor devaluation versus that’s just how I feel. How do you term the difference between micro aggression and genuine expression? This is Reid Mihalko from http://www.ReidAboutSex.com/
Reid: Cathy Vartuli from http://www.TheIntimacyDojo.com/ I’m curios explain more the example you just gave or define micro aggression to the audience.
Cathy: Micro aggression means baby put down might not be seen as that by general society some of us not knowing to look for it. But then overtime can wear people down so just small…
Reid: For you as somebody of woman of size ‘oh my goodness those clothes looks amazing on your shape “over and over again. There could be an assumption that what things aren’t supposed to look good on bodies like this or for me I’ve got a lot of wow you’re really smart for a jack back in high school. It’s kind of felt like a compliment but the assumption was jacks aren’t smart.
Cathy: I’ve gotten you’re really smart for a female engineer and there not huge aggression were I felt physically threatened it’s just like wow that’s kind of a put down. One may not be a big deal but if you hear it 3 to 5 days a time over time its start to wear people down. So there’s a lot of discussion about how there’s a lot of micro aggression of our society towards people of colors, people of size. I’m curious if you have a friend that always feels like they are letting you hang out with them were mutually hang out together or someone feels they’re always saying don’t go off you got to hang out with me. Which feels like a minor devaluation like I’m allowing you to hang out with me I’m not valuing the relationship as much as you do. Is that a micro aggression or a genuine expression of what they feel, how do you define the difference between those two.
Reid: They can be both like you can think somebody is genuinely articulate and the micro aggression is people like me can’t be articulate or smart or this or that. And so I think in some ways is the micro aggression is determined by the person that’s landing on because the other way to think about it again this is just my thoughts. There are people that way smarter about this you do some goggling and find some people smarter than me about micro aggression in their area of expertise. But the idea of If I were to say oh my goodness you’re so smart I loved how you loved Math and I didn’t like land on you…
Cathy: I hope you didn’t say to a woman that wouldn’t land on.
Reid: But a man saying that to a woman. There’s also the other piece that lands to a person, there’s kind of dynamic however specially for me for a cisgender white guy what has been useful is to understand that what a micro aggression is and to have more awareness of what I’m saying and if I feel like genuinely complimenting somebody or it’s more about the weariness on how things land on people and how I was saying, where is this coming from? Because culture rules so much of us, influenced so much of this and then of course there’s also huge power dynamics involved. So back to your question of if somebody feels like they’re letting somebody have access to something that is true to them they can be a micro aggression. In a corporate world or something if a company gives you a job is that a micro aggression?
Cathy: But if a friend tells me we can get to hang out with me sometimes it feels very either passive aggressive or kind of devaluation of who I am that they don’t want to hang out with me as much I want to hang out with them. They’re allowing me or permitting me to spend time with their presence.
Reid: I don’t know that I understand anything example as much probably everyone else does wow were not getting.
Cathy: No. It could be I’m not explaining well but I just…
Reid: Here’s a good example if you have a little sister or a little brother right? I know you have siblings and you let them go to the movies with you and your older friends, is that a micro aggression?
Cathy: I think for children not so much.
Reid: And do you have people that you care about that you don’t want them around you all the time?
Reid: So when you let them hang out with you, you make an exception or invite you along for something and you have a preference that maybe you didn’t want them near, is that you being or a micro aggressive?
Cathy: I maybe more passive aggressive if I let it out as if they don’t matter to me very much or I’m doing a little favor.
Reid: And what if you, you were doing it a favor?
Cathy: And I think it’s about time to reevaluate the relationship especially if it’s happening a lot.
Reid: That sounds fair.
Cathy: What do you think? Do you understand the concept? What are your thoughts about it? We love to hear.
Reid: Comments. Leave comments.