On Microaggressions

Alison Scott
2 min readOct 18, 2017

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Hello men! I’m so pleased that you engaged with all of our #MeToo posts. If you’re being a bit smug about what an ally you are right now, could you please not…

a) post about things you might have done in the past which might be construed as sexual harassment or even assault but which were ‘innocently meant’. Just learn and move on.

b) explain that while you are of course an ally, free speech means it’s just fine for a man to write about how his female colleagues are inferior at their jobs, on a work intranet on company time.

c) describe the ‘me too’ postings as stories of ‘unproved sexual assaults’. Because seriously, WTF dude? When someone writes about Literally The Worst Thing That Ever Happened To Them Ever, do you respond and say ‘ah, but did it really happen?’

d) argue that the ‘me too’ postings aren’t doing enough of a job of distinguishing between stuff that doesn’t really matter, like, oh, I don’t know, being called out to on the street by a stranger, repeatedly, for no reason, while walking home late at night only a week ago, and sexual assault. As if one doesn’t make you afraid of the other, or in the worst cases lead to the other.

e) suggest that the clothing worn by women, the way women behave now, or the excesses of a televised ballroom dancing competition, are encouraging this sort of behaviour.

f) explain that some boys and men experience sexual harassment and assault too. We know that; the point is that almost all women experience it to the extent that all women moderate their behaviour from time to time to mitigate the risk, and that’s the right choice, not some sort of over-reaction.

g) explain how dreadful it is to be falsely accused of sexual harassment or assault. I’m sure it’s very unpleasant, indeed, but the fact that it’s much less common than being sexually harassed or assaulted doesn’t make it worse.

h) explain that it’s not all men. We get that.

i) explain that no men you know are like that. Unless you’re a hermit, that’s just not true. You’re going to have abusers and harassers amongst your friends, neighbours, relatives and co-workers, and my guess is that if you think hard, you’ll probably know who they’re most likely to be. Start working actively to change those men’s behaviour. Try, ‘oh, dude, you might not want to say stuff like that, cos women might think it’s a bit creepy’.

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