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Victims of "Microaggressions"

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Re: Victims of "Microaggressions"

Postby superking » 07 May 2012, 16:41

BigJohn wrote:Most of the long timers I know about like to bitch sometimes. They would largely agree about these micro aggressions, sometimes called "subtle racism".



Which acts would you consider subtle racism John?

For me subtle racism would be ignoring you because you are foreign. It would be ridiculing your Chinese accent. It would be not allowing you to sit on the MRT. It would be a comment like, "I only like foreigners who can speak Chinese." Talking to you in the street in English and grinning like an idiot when it happens, saying your Chinese is great when it sucks, offering you things, these are not subtle racism for me. They are not aggressive acts.

I don't know how I feel about people shouting 'waiguoren,' in the street, because I used to feel upset about that myself, mostly because I was not happy having it pointed out that I looked different. It might be racist, or insensitive. I wasn't bothered about being called a gaijin in Japan though. So I am not sure what I think about that one, but acknowledge it is tricky.

For me the rest is just human condition + idiocy + short fuse.
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Re: Victims of "Microaggressions"

Postby Icon » 07 May 2012, 16:54

I was taught gaijin is insulting, that the correct word was gaikokujin.

Matter of perception and mood, me thinks. Sometimes I mind, sometimes I don't. I like greeting my neighbors, I like smiling to people and saying hi. But I am not blind to that "passive aggression" where people display racist tendencies. In the States, I was subject to active, openly displayed racism, so I know the difference. It can be more subtle, but the hatred runs deep the same.

It is true that we all have to deal with this, in some manner and different forms. We are the monkey in the zoo.
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Re: Victims of "Microaggressions"

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 08 May 2012, 01:49

Icon wrote:I was taught gaijin is insulting, that the correct word was gaikokujin.


It is. I came across it in a business report that I was translating the other day (they were pointing out that an employee of a Japanese company at an academic conference in America was not Japanese...why?!) and I was actually quite pissed. At first I was reading it in Chinese for some reason and thought it meant an external contractor or something, and then I stopped and reread and went :raspberry:

As for the microaggression stuff, it's annoying as hell but you can try educating. I completely agree that it's an expression of a very deeply rooted us vs. them mentality, so I hate some of the more sweeping stuff: 'Oh, all foreigners like McDonald's, right?' 'No, I'm buying McDonald's for my Taiwanese husband, and I have no idea what most foreigners like because there's millions of them.' Or to 'You foreigners...' 'Wait, me and who? Who are you talking about? Americans? French? Iraqis?'

In my pet peeve of the day, I was drinking a slushie walking into the building this afternoon when an auntie who I see around a bit said 'Oh, you shouldn't drink cold things. It's bad for you.' The guards then chipped in with 'Yes, ice is bad for women.' It kind of solidified my fear that when we do have kids I am going to be a bitch incarnate. But this would fall under 'Neighbours showing me friendly concern and me not appreciating it' rather than any kind of aggression.

IronLady is 100% spot on the money in that the rules for social small talk here are different, and stuff we wouldn't dream of saying in the west is what you're expected to say. If I go to a shop I haven't visited in a month or so and the boss tells me I've put on weight I don't think 'You bitch!' but I think 'Really? Hmm, if a few other people tell me that maybe I need to eat more vegies.' (Similarly but the opposite if I get enough 'you've lost weight's in a week.) If the person knows you it's concern, if they don't know you they won't tell you you put on weight. They might tell your fat or skinny but...well...if you don't like it, don't be fat or skinny. :s

And to pick up from a long-forgotten snippet at the beginning of this thread:
People stand on the right in escalators in London because if you don't you will find yourself tutted at and then eventually smashed headfirst into the bottom of the escalator. I swear the UK is one of the very few places were courtesy is enforced with group violence o.O; (teenagers and chavs notwithstanding. They don't count.)
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Re: Victims of "Microaggressions"

Postby superking » 08 May 2012, 01:59

tsukinodeynatsu wrote:
And to pick up from a long-forgotten snippet at the beginning of this thread:
People stand on the right in escalators in London because if you don't you will find yourself tutted at and then eventually smashed headfirst into the bottom of the escalator. I swear the UK is one of the very few places were courtesy is enforced with group violence o.O; (teenagers and chavs notwithstanding. They don't count.)


I've lived in London many years, born there in fact and I see people tut when 'foreigners,' (SUCH A EASY WORD TO USE!) don't apply the rule, but I have NEVER seen someone be smashed headfirst into the bottom of the escalators by other passengers. Courtesy enforced with group violence? What a shocking insult. Tell me what country and city you were born in so I can make up some utter bullshit about that place to spread about like so much uniformed muck.
There are millions of people in the world. And none of those people is an extra. They're all leads in their own stories.

If you lose one sense, your other senses are enhanced. That's why people with no sense of humour have an increased sense of self-importance.
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Re: Victims of "Microaggressions"

Postby Super Hans » 08 May 2012, 02:09

Exaggeration, perhaps, Superking? That's how I took it.
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Re: Victims of "Microaggressions"

Postby superking » 08 May 2012, 02:13

Super Hans wrote:Exaggeration, perhaps, Superking? That's how I took it.



You could be correct old chap. :D
There are millions of people in the world. And none of those people is an extra. They're all leads in their own stories.

If you lose one sense, your other senses are enhanced. That's why people with no sense of humour have an increased sense of self-importance.
superking
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Re: Victims of "Microaggressions"

Postby mike029 » 08 May 2012, 03:19

tsukinodeynatsu wrote: I swear the UK is one of the very few places were courtesy is enforced with group violence o.O;


It's the same in Boston, I think. I was on the T once (subway) with my sister who was on crutches at the time. Some middle aged guy wouldn't get out of his seat for her and watched her stand there. I asked him politely to get up because he can obviously see she's on crutches. He ignored me, so I asked him again, only changing my politeness to a very stern "get the f**k out of the seat". Next to me were a few people who started yelling at him for being an asshole then two Southie guys (...nicest way to phrase this is those Irish guys from the Departed) joined in swearing up a storm at this guy and literally pull him out of the seat and man-handled him off the train at the next station, met with a round of applause from the people in the car. Some of the people around also helped my sister into the seat. This is what I miss about home...also the T drivers will get everyone to sing Happy Birthday to you. Restores my faith in humanity. Northeastern Americans are such assholes, but at least they are genuine people, and you never have to sort through fake bullshit with them. Always speak the truth and say it like it is. Other person can't deal with that? That's their problem. Which is sort of why I prefer Mainland Chinese to Taiwanese in a way. If that situation occurred here (well, the Taiwanese would get up out of the seat by themselves but still...), it would be me and her arguing with the person while someone took out a phone and put it on YouTube. Evening news: Impolite foreigners yell at innocent Taiwanese person, disturbing the harmonious society.
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Re: Victims of "Microaggressions"

Postby superking » 08 May 2012, 03:35

mike029 wrote:
tsukinodeynatsu wrote: I swear the UK is one of the very few places were courtesy is enforced with group violence o.O;


It's the same in Boston, I think. I was on the T once (subway) with my sister who was on crutches at the time. Some middle aged guy wouldn't get out of his seat for her and watched her stand there. I asked him politely to get up because he can obviously see she's on crutches. He ignored me, so I asked him again, only changing my politeness to a very stern "get the f**k out of the seat". Next to me were a few people who started yelling at him for being an asshole then two Southie guys (...nicest way to phrase this is those Irish guys from the Departed) joined in swearing up a storm at this guy and literally pull him out of the seat and man-handled him off the train at the next station, met with a round of applause from the people in the car. Some of the people around also helped my sister into the seat. This is what I miss about home...also the T drivers will get everyone to sing Happy Birthday to you. Restores my faith in humanity. Northeastern Americans are such assholes, but at least they are genuine people, and you never have to sort through fake bullshit with them. Always speak the truth and say it like it is. Other person can't deal with that? That's their problem. Which is sort of why I prefer Mainland Chinese to Taiwanese in a way. If that situation occurred here (well, the Taiwanese would get up out of the seat by themselves but still...), it would be me and her arguing with the person while someone took out a phone and put it on YouTube. Evening news: Impolite foreigners yell at innocent Taiwanese person, disturbing the harmonious society.


Why did you select that guy to ask to move from his seat, Mike? Was he sat in a seat where you should give way to other people?
There are millions of people in the world. And none of those people is an extra. They're all leads in their own stories.

If you lose one sense, your other senses are enhanced. That's why people with no sense of humour have an increased sense of self-importance.
superking
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Re: Victims of "Microaggressions"

Postby Pingdong » 08 May 2012, 03:41

The one i REALLY love is being a kids only teacher and after a few years fo teaching them English they ask again if im from Italy (I don't get it but its always USA or Italy...). after telling htem again, which is fine, that im from Canada they go on to ask if we speak English in Canada :doh:

its annoying as shit, but you can learn to love to fuck with them. Sometimes we go off into a crazy 20 minute rant (in English) about how I don't know English and in Canada we only speak Chinese etc etc. Today i got 3 students convinced I was 15 years old and in Canada we are grown up by 12 and finished school.

they need to make a "Talking to Taiwanese" video like they did with Americans. It would need to be in Chinese and it would be classic!
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Re: Victims of "Microaggressions"

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 08 May 2012, 04:19

superking wrote:
Super Hans wrote:Exaggeration, perhaps, Superking? That's how I took it.



You could be correct old chap. :D


It very much is!

I did witness quite a few incidents of the like Mike mentioned when I still lived there. I grew up in Morden, which is pretty much the border of Croydon and South London. Haven't been there for god knows how long though, and last time I lived in London I lived in Kew...which was...rather different. :eh:

As for the escalators, a very loud 'excuse me!' never seems to fail anywhere in the world.
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