Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Practicing Awareness of Microaggressions

An example of micro-aggression that I detected this week was: I went to the hospital to have Gallbladder surgery. When I arrived I got registered and prepped for surgery. I was brought back into a private room and there was a female physician wearing a stethoscope. My husband was in the room with me and told me to ask the nurse any questions I may have before going into surgery. He told me not to be scared to ask questions. He automatically assumed she was a nurse. The hidden message in this micro aggression is: Women are less capable of men. Women should not have decision making roles. When I observed this micro-aggression I felt bad even though it wasn't me that did it. I felt bad for the physician that we were not fully aware of her job title. I felt guilty like we should not be so judgmental. We were wrong in the assumption that she was a nurse when she was a physician. 

My observation experiences this week affect my perception of the effects of discrimination, prejudiced and stereotypes on people. It really was a clarification that everyone judges people, even if we don't realize it or mean it, we all do it. It's natural and it happens. I think there is a huge difference in judging others to be harsh and cruel and judging without others knowing you're judging and keeping your thoughts to yourself. From now on I truly want to take a few steps back before opening my mouth and stop being judgmental. I want to stop assuming and ask more questions!

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