In no more than 3 and no less than 2 full double spaced page(s) of text, APA format respond to the following about the information you have already covered (Ch. 7) about oppression and microaggressions. Also read “Confronting a Bias” that is attached to this assignment. (Don’t forget to cite and source!)
1. How do you see yourself in relation to the information presented in your textbook about racism and prejudice? (remember that we all have some prejudices and that the purpose here is to help you explore within yourself so you can increase your own self-awareness)
2. What did you read in the microaggressions chart in Ch. 6 that resonated within you? This is likely to be among the things you read that you had the strongest reactions to. Be SPECIFIC in your responses. Describing generally what you didn’t like or don’t ascribe to is too general.
3. What are your thoughts and reactions to the reading “Confronting a Bias?” Use the information about oppression and microaggressions thatyou have read, and analyze the situation described in the reading.
Confronting a Bias:
Personal Example of Communicating an Observed Bias
Initially upon reading the text about racism and prejudice, I was able to identify times
when I was on the receiving end. A recent encounter at the Michael Kors store came to mind as it resonated within me for some time.
Just for background purposes, when you enter the Michael Kors store you are greeted by the salesperson and they will let you know of any specials they have. On this particular day I entered right behind a daughter, her mother, and grandchild in a stroller, which were white. As soon as they got in the middle store area the sales person greeted them and told them about the sale they were having. I was within a couple feet of them and received no greeting or sales pitch.
Often I believe that in order to be sure it is not just me that I need to observe. In my observation, there was an Asian female that entered the store and she also did not receive a greeting or sales pitch. At this point, I am feeling offended an aggravated and felt that this behavior needed to be pointed out. So I politely explained to the manager that because of my current class at school I am being more observant with regards to interactions and treatment. Furthermore, “I observed the discriminative behaviors of your worker and it should be addressed.”
Initially the manager was contributing the busyness of the store to the worker being
distracted. However I was able to show the manager that as another white female walked in the worker was always readily available but I still had not received a greeting.
At this point, I was thinking of the Pretty Woman scene when she was able to come back and let the sales person know that their prejudgment of her had cost them big on commission and sales. Unfortunately, I was unable to spend big and the commission would not have resulted too much.
I definitely felt like a second class citizen in this situation.
Textbook: Sue, D. W. and D. Sue (2013); Counseling the Culturally Diverse: Theory and Practice. 7th ed., John Wiley and Sons. (available as an e-book on Cengage Unlimited)
Chapter 6: Microaggression in Counseling and Psychotherapy
Kiana is a 34-year old multiracial bisexual woman living in a large metropolitan city. Her father is African American and her mother is biracial: Korean and Italian American. Kiana has medium skin tone and wears her hair very short and natural. She is currently an administrative assistant at a large university where she has worked for three years. Kiana works in this position while pursuing her Master’s degree in Fine Arts. She performs and choreographs modern dance. Kiana has felt marginalized in her place of work and also recently ended a long-term romantic relationship. She struggles with managing her work environment and with re-entering the dating scene. She has also had some trouble getting out of bed in the morning and generally feels melancholy. She asked a friend to recommend a therapist, hoping it might help her feel more energetic and motivated to meet a new partner. Kiana’s friend referred her to a psychoanalyst she had been seeing for years: Alan, a White male in his late 50s. Kiana had some reservations about therapy; her mother felt it was disgraceful and inappropriate to tell a stranger about personal problems and her father felt it was for “crazy” people. In the first therapy session, Kiana described the difficulties she was having meeting other single people in the city. Alan asked Kiana if she might be contributing to her inability to meet men by having an “unapproach able air.” Kiana was surprised by his question and asked him what he meant by “unapproachable”? He shared his first impression of her, which was that her body language seemed closed and she appeared angry. Kiana paused, as this was not the first time someone had perceived her as an “angry Black woman.” She did not have the energy to explore this with him, and so accepted his observation and tried to change the subject by pointing out that she is attracted to both men and women. Alan was curious about Kiana’s bisexuality and how she understands it. He offered an interpretation of bisexuality as being a phase during which a person is trying to find their sexual identity. He asked her if identity issues had been an ongoing theme in her life and wondered aloud about her ethnicity. Once again, the kind of curiosity Alan was expressing was a familiar experience to Kiana, but she did not want to waste her time in therapy educating Alan about her sexuality or her ethnicity. She agreed with him that identity issues were an ongoing theme in her life and moved the discussion to her workplace. Kiana shared with Alan that in her current role as administrative assistant, she experiences persistent feelings of invisibility. She relayed multiple incidents in which she would be sitting at her desk and people would look right past her, act as if she was not there, and generally treat her as unimportant. Further, though she was in this job to support her Master’s degree studies, she felt she was often treated by professors and students as a “second class citizen”: there to serve them. She frequently noted looks of surprise and shock when she revealed that she was a Master’s candidate. For example, a professor from a different department had recently come in to inquire about prerequisites for a particular course. Though the professor hadn’t directed her question to her, Kiana spoke up, saying that she had taken the course and the student should be fine even with a limited background in the subject matter. The professor looked somewhat stunned and thanked Kiana tentatively before asking, “Why did you take the course? Is it free for staff?” Kiana shared an office space with another administrative assistant named Michelle, who was a younger White female and newer to the job. When a colleague would come into their office with a policy or inventory question, they always directed it to Michelle. When a delivery person or tech would come in, they would address Michelle, and if Michelle was not at her desk (but Kiana was), they would simply walk out, as if no one were in the office. She shared with Alan that she sometimes wonders: can anybody see me? While exploring this, Alan wondered if Kiana was “making a mountain out of a mole hill.” For example, he asked if Michelle’s desk was positioned closer to the door in the office, implying that she is the “first line” for inquiries. He also asked how Michelle greets people: was she smiling and cheerful? Pleasant and warm? Alan felt it was important for Kiana to consider where these feelings of invisibility may be coming from, and invited her to consider if she felt that she was not worthy of others’ attention and admiration. He then began to ask her how her relationship was with her parents as a child, with particular interest in how she felt about her father. These questions frustrated Kiana, but she was aware that Alan was already experiencing her as closed and angry. Actually, she was feeling angry, and it felt very similar to the anger she experienced in her workplace. She felt caught in that moment between sharing her authentic reaction and being type cast as an angry Black woman and holding in her true feelings to avoid the stereotype. It was a familiar scenario. Alan interpreted Kiana’s silence as resistance to the therapeutic process. Kiana responded that she had come to therapy to deepen her self-awareness; however, she could see that there were going to be too many barriers between herself and Alan for her to be able to authentically share herself. Alan expressed regret about this and asked if Kiana would consider coming to another session the next day. He felt that Kiana’s desire to terminate their work prematurely was a defense mechanism; a common reaction for those who are new to therapy. Somehow, this did not resonate for Kiana and she did not return for a second session. here is clearly misunderstanding and miscommunication between Kiana and Alan. Kiana was attending therapy in hopes of deepening her self-understanding; however, her initial session has served as a microcosm for her experiences in society at large where she feels invisible. Alan seems to relate to Kiana as a stereotype (“angry Black woman”) and explains her feelings of invisibility as being self-imposed (rather than being caused by the environment and larger climate of racism and sexism). Kiana’s feelings and experience are unknowingly invalidated, negated, and dismissed by the therapist. This anecdote illustrates how racial, gen der, and sexual orientation microaggressions can have a detrimental impact upon marginalized groups and also undermine the therapeutic process. Let us briefly review Kiana’s interactions with others from her perspective. In her workplace, Kiana experiences persistent feelings of invisibility. She feels she is often overlooked by others and is generally taken to be less important and qualified than her younger and less experienced White officemate. Yet she is placed in an unenviable position of not being absolutely certain that colleagues are reacting to her race. Further, she is keenly aware of the stereotype of the “angry Black woman” and does not want to be typecast should she express her frustrations. She is aware that if she is experienced as hostile and angry, then people may avoid her in the future, only compounding her feelings of invisibility. Therefore, Kiana feels a persistent need to monitor her authentic reactions and her tone of voice, impeding her ability to be her true self (and using a lot of psychic energy!) while at work. Although the therapist may be attempting to help Kiana by asking her to look inside herself for the cause of these feelings of invisibility (a common psychodynamic intervention is to explore intrapsychic dynamics) he actually undermines and invalidates Kiana’s experiential reality. Instead of exploring the workplace environment and considering that racism and sexism cause people to see a Black woman such as Kiana as less capable, intelligent, and important, Alan immediately locates the problem within Kiana (“blaming the victim”). He does the same thing when asking her about dating. He uses his own experience of her in therapy (closed body language, angry expression) and asks her about an “unapproachable air”; again locating the problem within Kiana. Alan also makes a heteronormative assumption about Kiana’s sexuality when he asks her why she is having difficulty meeting men. Then, when Kiana responds that she is interested in men and women, he has difficulty owning up to his lack of awareness and instead interprets bisexuality as a phase, thereby invalidating Kiana’s sexual identity. He goes on to further alienate his client by suggesting that Kiana struggles with identity issues, given her multiple ethnic identities. Being multiethnic, Kiana has faced questions her entire life about “what she is” and even though she has a strong understanding of herself as a racial being, Alan has enacted the idea that she must be confused and unsure of her identity. he incidents experienced by Kiana are examples of microaggressions. The term racial microaggressions was originally coined by Chester Pierce to describe the subtle and often automatic put-downs that African Americans face (Pierce, Carew, Pierce-Gonzalez, & Willis, 1978; Pierce, 1995). Since then, the definition has expanded to apply to any marginalized group. Microaggressions can be defined as brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to a target group, such as people of color; religious minorities; women; people with disabilities; and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered individuals (Sue, 2010; Sue, Capodilupo, et al., 2007). These microaggressions are often subtle in nature and can be manifested in the verbal, nonverbal, visual, or behavioral realm. They are often enacted auto matically and unconsciously (Pierce et al., 1978; Solórzano, Ceja, & Yosso, 2000), although the person who delivers the microaggression can do so intentionally or unintentionally (Sue, Capodilupo, et al., 2007). Investigators have recently introduced the term hierarchical microaggressions, defined as “everyday slights found in higher education that communicate systemic valuing (or devaluing) of a person because of the institutional role held by that person” (Young, Anderson & Stewart, 2015, p. 66). Consistent with Kiana’s experiences, participants in that study felt that staff were devalued and made to feel unimportant. When colleagues and service workers seek answers only from Kiana’s coworker and ignore Kiana, they are sending a nonverbal message (walking out of the office) that they do not believe Kiana is competent to handle the task at hand. When the professor is surprised to learn that Kiana has taken a graduate course and assumes it is free for staff, she is sending a nonverbal (look of surprise) and verbal message that Kiana does not belong in the advanced academic environment. The underlying thought process seems to be that Black people are less qualified, less competent, and less educated. As we shall see, microaggressions may seem inno cent and innocuous, but their cumulative nature can be extremely harmful to the victim’s physical and mental health. In addition, they create hostile work environments such as Kiana’s where she may be denied opportunities and have difficulties advancing because of unconscious biases and beliefs held by the colleagues. To help in understanding the effects of microaggressions on marginalized groups, we will be (a) reviewing related literature on contemporary forms of oppression (e.g., racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, and religious discrimination); (b) presenting a framework for classifying and understanding the hidden and damaging messages of microaggressions; and (c) presenting findings from studies that have explored people’s lived experiences of microaggressions.
CONTEMPORARY FORMS OF OPPRESSION
Most people associate racism with blatant and overt acts of discrimination that are epitomized by White supremacy and hate crimes. Studies suggest, however, that what has been called “old-fashioned” racism has seemingly declined (Dovidio & Gaertner, 2000). However, the nature and expression of racism (see Chapter 4) has evolved into a more subtle and ambiguous form, perhaps reflecting people’s belief that overt and blatant acts of racism are unjust and politically incorrect (Dovidio, Gaertner, Kawakami, & Hodson, 2002). In a sense, racism has gone underground, has become more disguised, and is more likely to be covert. A similar process seems to have occurred with sexism as well. Three types of sexism have been identified: overt, covert, and subtle (Swim & Cohen, 1997). Overt sexism is blatant unequal and unfair treatment of women. Covert sexism refers to unequal and harmful treatment of women that is conducted in a hidden manner (Swim & Cohen, 1997); for example, a person may endorse a belief in gender equality but engage in hiring practices that are gender biased. The third type, subtle sexism, represents “unequal and unfair treatment of women that is not recognized by many people because it is perceived to be normative, and therefore does not appear unusual” (Swim, Mallett, & Stangor, 2004, p. 117). Whereas overt and covert sexism are intentional, subtle sexism is not deliberate or conscious. An example of subtle sexism is sexist language, such as the use of the pronoun he to convey universal human experience. In many ways, subtle sexism contains many of the features that define aversive racism, a form of subtle and unintentional racism (Dovidio & Gaertner, 2000). Aversive racism is manifested in individuals who consciously assert egalitarian values but unconsciously hold anti-minority feelings; therefore, “aversive racists consciously sympathize with victims of past injustice, support the principles of racial equality, and regard themselves as nonprejudiced. At the same time, how ever, they possess negative feelings and beliefs about historically disadvantaged groups, which may be unconscious” (Gaertner & Dovidio, 2006, p. 618). Inheriting such negative feelings and beliefs about members of marginalized groups (e.g., people of color, women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered per son [LGBT] populations) is unavoidable and inevitable due to the socialization process in the United States (Sue, 2004), where biased attitudes and stereotypes reinforce group hierarchy (Gaertner & Dovidio, 2006). Subtle sexism is very similar to aversive racism in that individuals support and actively condone gender equality, yet unknowingly engage in behaviors that contribute to the unequal treatment of women (Cundiff, Zawadzki, Danube, & Shields, 2014). Much like aversive racism, subtle sexism devalues women, dismisses their accomplishments, and limits their effectiveness in a variety of social and professional settings (Calogero & Tylka, 2014). Researchers have begun to underscore the importance of these daily experiences of subtle sexism, arguing that they are in fact harmful and need to be recognized as such (Becker & Swim, 2012; Cundiff et al., 2014). Researchers have used the templates of modern forms of racism and sexism to better understand the various forms of modern heterosexism (Smith & Shin, 2014; Walls, 2008) and modern homonegativity (M. A. Morrison & T. G. Morrison, 2002). Heterosexism and anti-gay harassment has a long history and is currently prevalent in the United States. Recent studies find the following for LGBT persons in the workplace: (a) 15–43 percent experience discrimination or harassment; (b) 7–41 percent report verbal or physical abuse or had their workplace vandalized; and (c) 10–28 percent were not promoted because they were gay or transgender (Burns & Krehely, 2011). Anti-gay harassment can be defined as “verbal or physical behavior that injures, interferes with, or intimidates lesbian women, gay men, and bisexual individuals” (Burn, Kadlec, & Rexler, 2005, p. 24). Although anti-gay harassment includes comments and jokes that convey that LGB individuals are pathological, abnormal, or unwelcome, authors identify sub tle heterosexism by the indirect nature of such remarks (Burn et al., 2005). For example, blatant heterosexism would be calling a lesbian a dyke, whereas subtle heterosexism would be referring to something as gay to convey that it is stupid. For sexual minorities, hearing this remark may result in a vicarious experience of insult and invalidation (Burn et al., 2005; Marzullo & Libman, 2009). It may also encourage individuals to remain closeted, as the environment can be perceived as hostile. The discriminatory experiences of transgendered people have been very rarely studied in psychology (Nadal, Rivera, & Corpus, 2010), yet there is evidence to suggest that the pervasive daily discrimination faced by this population is associ ated with an elevated risk for suicide (Marzullo & Libman, 2009). One term used to define prejudice against transgendered individuals is transphobia, “an emotional disgust toward individuals who do not conform to society’s gender expectations” (Hill & Willoughby, 2005, p. 533). There is recent evidence to suggest that the microaggressions experienced by transgender individuals are distinct from those experienced by lesbian, gay, and bisexual people (Nadal, Skolnik, &Wong, 2012). Although it is increasingly considered politically incorrect to hold racist, sex ist, and, to some extent, heterosexist beliefs, gender roles and expectations tend to be rigid in the United States, and people may feel more justified in adhering to their transphobic views (Nadal, Issa, Griffin, Hamit, & Lyons, 2010; Nadal et al., 2012). Another area that has received limited attention in the psychological literature is religious discrimination, despite a high prevalence of religious-based hate crimes in the United States (Nadal et al., 2010). The largest percentage of religious harassment and civil rights violations in the United States are commit ted against Jewish and Muslim individuals (Nadal et al., 2010). Some commonly held anti-Semitic beliefs are that Jews (a) are more loyal to Israel than to the United States, (b) hold too much power in the United States, and (c) are responsible for the death of Jesus Christ (Nadal et al., 2010). The prejudice experienced by Muslim individuals is often referred to as Islamaphobia and has been well documented in Western European countries both before and after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks (Nadal et al., 2010). The media tends to depict Muslims as religious fanatics and terrorists (James, 2008), and one study reveals that Americans hold both implicit and explicit negative attitudes toward this group (Rowatt, Franklin, & Cotton, 2005). Finally, though discriminatory practices toward people with disabilities (PWD) is long-standing in the United States and even believed to be increasing in frequency and intensity (Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund [LCCREF], 2009, as cited in Keller & Galgay, 2010), ableism is rarely included in discussions about modern forms of oppression (Keller & Galgay, 2010). The expression of ableism “favors people without disabilities and maintains that disability in and of itself is a negative concept, state, and experience” (Keller & Galgay, 2010, p. 242). What makes this phenomenon of subtle discrimination particularly complex is that ambiguity and alternative explanations obscure the true meaning of the event not only for the person who engages in this behavior, but also for the person on the receiving end of the action. This is the central dilemma created by microaggressions, which are manifestations of these subtle forms of oppression.
EVOLUTION OF THE “ISMS”: MICROAGGRESSIONS
Microaggressions are “brief and commonplace daily verbal or behavioral indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults that potentially have a harmful or unpleasant psychological impact on the target person or group” (Sue, Bucceri, Lin, Nadal, & Torino, 2007). Microaggressions can also be delivered environmentally through the physical surroundings of target groups, where they are made to feel unwelcome, isolated, unsafe, and alienated. For example, a prestigious Eastern university con ducts new faculty orientations in their main conference room, which displays portraits of all past presidents of the university. One new female faculty of color mentioned that during the orientation she noticed that every single portrait was that of a White male. She described feelings of unease and alienation. To her, the all-White-male portraits sent powerful messages: “Your kind does not belong here,” “You will not be comfortable here,” and “If you stay, there is only so far you can rise at this university!” Environmental microaggressions can occur when there is an absence of students or faculty of color on college campuses, few women in the upper echelons of the workplace, and limited or no access for disabled persons in buildings (e.g., only stairs and no ramp; no Braille in elevators). Research suggests that the socialization process culturally conditions racist, sexist, and heterosexist attitudes and behaviors in well-intentioned individuals and that these biases are often automatically enacted without conscious awareness, particularly for those who endorse egalitarian values (Dovidio & Gaertner, 2000). Based on the literature on subtle forms of oppression, one might conclude the following about microaggressions: They (a) tend to be subtle, unintentional, and indirect; (b) often occur in situations where there are alternative explanations; (c) represent unconscious and ingrained biased beliefs and attitudes; and (d) are more likely to occur when people pretend not to notice differences, thereby denying that race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, or ability had anything to do with their actions (Sue, Capodilupi, et al., 2007). Three types of microaggressions have been identified: microassault, microinsult, and microinvalidation.
The term microassault refers to a blatant verbal, nonverbal, or environmental attack intended to convey discriminatory and biased sentiments. This notion is related to overt racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, and religious discrimination in which individuals deliberately convey derogatory messages to target groups. Using epithets like spic, faggot, or kyke; hiring only men for managerial positions; requesting not to sit next to a Muslim on an airplane; and deliberately serving disabled patrons last are examples. Unless we are talking about White suprema cists, most perpetrators with conscious biases will engage in overt discrimination only under three conditions: (a) when some degree of anonymity can be insured, (b) when they are in the presence of others who share or tolerate their biased beliefs and actions, or (c) when they lose control of their feelings and actions. Two past high-profile examples exemplify the first condition: (a) Paula Deen’s use of the N-word and racial harassment to employees of color (caught on tape), and (b) Justin Bieber’s use of the N-word and racial jokes (caught on video). There are also high-profile examples of the last condition: (a) actor Mel Gibson made highly inflammatory anti-Semitic public statements to police officers when he was arrested for driving while intoxicated, and (b) comedian Michael Richards, who played Kramer on Seinfeld, went on an out-of-control rant at a comedy club and publicly insulted African Americans by hurling racial epithets at them and by demeaning their race. Gibson and Richards denied being anti-Semitic or racist and issued immediate apologies, but it was obvious both had lost control. Because microassaults are most similar to old-fashioned racism, no guessing game is likely to occur as to their intent: to hurt or injure the recipient. Both the perpetrator and the recipient are clear about what has transpired. We submit that microassaults are in many respects easier to deal with than those that are unintentional and outside the perpetrator’s level of awareness (microinsults and microinvalidations).
Microinsults are unintentional behaviors or verbal comments that convey rude ness or insensitivity or demean a person’s racial heritage/identity, gender identity, religion, ability, or sexual orientation identity. Despite being outside the level of conscious awareness, these subtle snubs are characterized by an insulting hidden statements such as “there is only one race: the human race” negate the lived expe riences of religious and ethnic minorities in the United States. Such statements have been coined by researchers as “color-blind” attitudes and new research shows that among White adults in a workplace setting, higher color-blind attitudes are associated with lower likelihoods of perceiving microaggressions (Offermann et al., 2014; Sue, 2010). To further illustrate the concepts of microinsults and microin validations, Table 6.1 provides examples of comments, actions, and situations, as well as accompanying hidden messages and assumptions. There are 16 distinct cat egories represented in this table: alien in one’s own land; ascription of intelligence; assumption of abnormality; color blindness; criminality/assumption of criminal status; denial of individual racism/sexism/heterosexism/religious prejudice; myth of meritocracy; pathologizing cultural values/communication styles; second-class status; sexual objectification; use of sexist/heterosexist language; traditional gender role prejudice and stereotyping; helplessness; denial of personal identity; exotici zation; and assumption of one’s own religion as normal. Some of these categories are more applicable to certain forms of microaggressions (racial, gender, religion,
Table 6.1 Examples of Microagression
Alien in own land
· When Asian Americans and Latinos are assumed to be foreign- born
· A person asking an Asian American to teach them words in their native language
· “Where are you from?”“Where were you born?”
· “You speak good English”
· You are a foreigner.
· You are not American.
Ascription of Intelligence
· Assigning intelligence to a person of color or a woman based on his or her race/gender
· You are a credit to your race.
· “Wow! How did you become so good in math?”
· Asking an Asian person to help with a math or science problem
· You only got into college because of affirmative action.”
· ” People of color are generally not as intelligent as Whites.
· It is unusual for a woman to be smart in math.
· All Asians are intelligent and good in math/sciences.
· You are not smart enough on your own to get into college
· Blindness Statements that indicate that a White person does not want to acknowledge race
· When I look at you, I don’t see color
· “America is a Melting Pot.”
· There is only one race: the human race.”
· Assimilate/acculturate to dominant culture.
· Denying a person of color’s racial/ethnic experiences
Criminality/Assumption of Criminal Status
· A person of color is presumed to be dangerous, criminal, or deviant based on their race
· A White man or woman clutching their purse or checking their wallet as a Black or Latino approaches or passes.
· A White person waits to ride the next elevator when a person of color is on i
· You are a criminal/You are dangerous.
· You are dangerous.
Use of Sexist/Heterosexist Language
Terms that exclude or degrade women and LGB persons
· Use of the pronoun “he” to refer to all people. Male experience is universal.
· Though a male-to-female transgendered employee has consistently referred to herself as “she,” coworkers continue to refer to “he.”
· Two options for Relationship Status: Married or Single.
· An assertive woman is labeled a “bitch.
· A heterosexual man who often hangs out with his female friends more than his male friends is labeled a “faggot.”
· Male experience is universal.
. Female experience is meaningless.
· Our language does not need to change to reflect your identity; your identity is meaningless.
· . LGB partnerships do not matter/are meaningless.
· Women should be passive.
· Men who act like women are inferior (women are inferior)/gay men are inferior
Denial of Individual Racism/ Sexism/Heterosexism/Religious Discrimination
· A statement made when bias is denied
· “I’m not racist. I have several Black friends.”
· “I am not prejudiced against Muslims. I am just fearful of Muslims who are religious fanatics.”
· As an employer, I always treat men and women equally.”
· I am immune to racism because I have friends of color.
· I can separate Islamaphobic social conditioning from my feelings about Muslim people in general.
· I am incapable of sexism.
Myth of Meritocracy
· Meritocracy Statements that assert that race or gender does not play a role in life successes
· “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.”
· “Men and women have equal opportunities for achievement.”
· People of color are given extra unfair benefits because of their race.
· The playing field is even; so if women cannot make it, the problem is with them.
Pathologizing Cultural Values/ Communication Styles
· The notion that the values and communication styles of the dominant/White culture are ideal
· Asking a Black person: “Why do you have to be so loud/animated?
· Dismissing an individual who brings up race/culture in work/school setting
· Assimilate to dominant culture.
· Leave your cultural baggage outside.
· Occurs when a target group member receives differential treatment from the power group
· Person of color mistaken for a service worker
· Female doctor mistaken for a nurse
· Having a taxi cab pass a person of color and pick up a White passenger
· Being ignored at a store counter as attention is given to the White customer behind you
· A lesbian woman is not invited out with a group of girlfriends because they thought she would be bored if they were talking to men.
· People of color are servants to Whites. They couldn’t possibly occupy high-status positions.
· Women occupy nurturing roles
· You are likely to cause trouble and/or travel to a dangerous neighborhood.
· Whites are more valued customers than people of color
· You don’t belong.
Traditional Gender Role Prejudicing and Stereotyping
· Occurs when expectations of traditional roles or stereotypes are conveyed
· When a female student asked a male professor for extra help on a chemistry assignment, he asks, “What do you need to work on this for anyway?”
· A person asks a woman her age and, upon hearing she is 31, looks quickly at her ring finger.
· A woman is assumed to be a lesbian because she does not put a lot of effort into her appearance.
· Women are less capable in math and science.
· Women should be married during child bearing ages because that is their primary purpose.
· Lesbians do not care about being attractive to others.
· Occurs when women are treated like objects at men’s disposal
· A male stranger puts his hands on a woman’s hips or on the swell of her back to pass by her.
· Whistles and catcalls as a woman walks down the street.
Students use the term gay to describe a fellow student who is socially ostracized at school
· Your body is not yours
· Your body/appearance is for men’s enjoyment and pleasure.
· People who are weird and different are “gay.”
Assumption of Abnormality
· Occurs when it is implied that there is something wrong with being LGBT
· Two men holding hands in public receiving stares from strangers
· . “Did something terrible happen to you in your childhood?” to a transgendered person.
· You should keep your displays of affection private because they are offensive.
· Your choices must be the result of a trauma and not your authentic identity
· Occurs when people frantically try to help people with disabilities (PWDs
· Someone helps you onto a bus or train, even when you need no help.
· People feel they need to rescue you from your disability.
· You can’t do anything by yourself because you have a disability.
· Having a disability is a catastrophe.
Denial of Personal Identity2
· Occurs when any aspect of a person’s identity other than disability is ignored or denied
· “I can’t believe you are married!”
Your life is not normal or like mine. The only thing I see when I look at you is your disability
Occurs when an LGBT, women of color, or a religious minority is treated as a foreign object for the pleasure/ entertainment of others
· “I’ve always wanted an Asian girlfriend! They wait hand and foot on their men.”
· “Tell me some of your wild sex stories!” to an LGBT person.
· Asking a Muslim person incessant questions about his/her diet, dress, and relationships.
· Asian American women are submissive and meant to serve the physical needs of men.
· Your privacy is not valued; you should entertain with stories.
· Your privacy is not valued; you should educate me about your cultural practices, which are strange and different.
Assumption of One’s Own Religion as Normal3
· Saying “Merry Christmas” as a universal greeting.
· The sole acknowledgment of Christian holidays in work and school.
· Your religious beliefs are not important; everyone should celebrate Christmas.
· Your religious holidays need to be celebrated on your time; they are unimportant
Communication Styles and Its Impact on Counseling and Psychotherapy
In no more than 2 but no less than 2 pages of double spaced text,APA format reflect and respond to the questions below as they pertain to you personally.
1. How would you describe your own communication style?
2. How would you describe your personal helping style? Realizing that a counselor is in a position to influence clients, what would you say might be YOUR influencing skills?
3. When you read over the information about communication style differences, what culturally/racially influenced communication styles cause you the greatest difficulty or discomfort? (It is assumed that there will be difficulty or discomfort – we all have some!) What is the discomfort about? Reflect and write about where this comes from within yourself. What stereotypes, fears or preconceived notions do you have about various racial/ethnic groups? Please be honest with yourself and be assured that your responses are confidential!
Thank you! Please let me know if you have questions!