Question of the Week: May 19th, 2015

How do you react to microagressions?

Recently I was interacting with some of my more distant relatives, and much heteronormativity was to be had by all.  Some just don’t know me that well and compliment me by saying that, “girls like that sort of thing”.  And then there’s the comment, “You could always adopt,” which is annoying for reasons that are difficult to explain.

I don’t really react to any of these sorts of things.  Sometimes I fantasize about saying something mean, but it’s probably for the best to not actually say it.

About Siggy

Siggy is an ace activist based in the U.S. He is gay gray-A, and has a Ph.D. in physics. He has another blog where he also talks about math, philosophy, godlessness, and social criticism. His other hobbies include board games and origami.
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9 Responses to Question of the Week: May 19th, 2015

  1. Silvermoon says:

    I just sort of stew, because I wish I could come up with a great retort but I’m not witty and articulate enough to think of anything on the spot and deliver it.

  2. Kimberly Horton says:

    Occasionally, if the situation calls for it, I’ll make a quick objection–not ever with relatives, but just a sort of, “well, no, I feel x way about z.” However, I’ve been in a few situations where I’ve tried to stick up for something and ended up looking pretty stupid because no one really understood, so I can be a bit of a doormat in these sorts of areas. 😛

  3. I tend to bite my tongue when they’re happening and then complain about them later to people I know and trust. I’m not usually confident enough to bring them up to the people in question, though.

  4. Carmilla DeWinter says:

    Usually, I’ll anwer with a raised eyebrow plus a “you have no idea and your opinions are thus beneath my notice”-expression. If possible, I will also try and ignore the hell out of the offender.

  5. Sciatrix says:

    Depends how much energy I have and how pissed off I am and how much I expect out of the other person and whether I feel favorably inclined towards them at that moment. Sometimes I make an irritated comment or say “Wow.” Sometimes I go “Well, actually, my partner isn’t a guy, but they definitely like that thing!” or “We haven’t made concrete plans about having children yet, but we’ll keep that in mind!” Most often I raise my eyebrows and sidestep the remark entirely, which I’m very very good at doing.

  6. queenieofaces says:

    I was going to say that I mostly ignore them, but then I remembered that I need to turn in my 1,500 word angry letter to university administration about Prof. Harassment, and, uh, I’d like to amend that to, “I ignore them to a point and then I start angry letter-writing campaigns and swear eternal vengeance.”

  7. I can be very conflict averse and sometimes socially awkward, so I usually don’t have a good response right in the middle of a challenging situation and may not think of something clever or effective to say until later.

  8. Nowhere Girl says:

    I just quarrel about it with people I know. And as for family, it is a complex situation… My first sign of future asexual identity was a strong aversion to having children that I felt when, at the age of five, I read two books teaching children about “where do babies come from”. Already around this age I started declaring that I don’t want to have children when I’ll be an adult. I’m fairly sure nobody treated my declarations seriously at that point – however, almost thirty years have passed and nothing changed in this respect. So my mom and all aunties, uncles and so on know very well that it’s not a good idea to question my lifestyle choice.
    However, there is a “newbie”… My father died over ten years ago. Some years later my mother ot to know another man and three years ago they got married. Last Christmas was very calm and quiet, with a dinner just for the three of us and fairly small gifts because my mom said they invested everything in building their houe and were almost broke. And so B., mom’s husband, wished me that I “finally found a man”. To which I reacted: “But I don’t want to!” – then a milisecond of hesitation over the thought “so why not make a full, political coming out?” – and I added: “I’m an asexual lesbian”. And that’s it. Now he knows too. And he surely knows I won’t let others tell me how I should live.

  9. Writer Ace says:

    I’m coming rather late to the party on this question, but it’s actually something that has become an issue in the past couple of days. I feel like I might be being a bit overly sensitive, but the professor for my Romance and Shakespeare class (which I’m taking because it fulfills a requirement) occasionally seems kind of…mocking of this idea of long-term virginity, and she made some big speech about how when two people are “obsessed with each other” the “biological imperative” associated with their romance (that part of the speech got a bit confusing) will get everything to work out in the end. So far I’ve been saying silent, because it’s just small things/tone of voice stuff, and because I’m not out to the class and don’t particularly want to be, but I’m not sure if I should say something.

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