Librarians invent new 'queermisic microaggressions'
Simmons College librarians are now warning against “queermisic microaggressions” in a new reference guide created for students and professors.
According to the guide, “Queermisic microaggressions” are similar to traditional microaggressions in that they can be unintentional comments that are interpreted as insults against LGBT people, except that microaggressions of the “queermisic” variety are rooted in “hate or hatred.”
“[Queermisia] obscures the reality of the fluidity of sexual identity, sexual/romantic attraction, and their complex relationship to gender."
To provide examples of such microaggressions, the librarians cite a BuzzFeed article that warns against making hateful comments such as “I’m not prejudiced,” “I don’t have a problem with lesbians,” and “is she a lesbian, or did she just give up on men?”
These microaggressions apparently fit into the broader societal pattern of “Queermisia,” which the librarians claim is the hatred of LGBT people stemming from heterosexuals’ stronghold on “institutional power.”
The librarians also warn that straight people enforce heterosexuality on society because of their desire to maintain “heteronormativity,” a term that refers to the fact that straight people overwhelmingly outnumber LGBT people.
Queermisia ultimately “obscures the reality of the fluidity of sexual identity, sexual/romantic attraction, and their complex relationship to gender,” the librarians write, adding that it “marginalizes the identities and experiences” of non-straight people.
Even gay and queer people can be guilty of queermisia, the guide notes, explaining that a gay person may feel that someone is “not really queer” or perhaps have the opinion that asexuality is a “problem not an identity.”
The librarians also warn of “straight fragility,” which is a “lack of stamina” among heterosexual people when discussing LGBT issues, asserting that straight people “therefore can exhibit a low tolerance for that which challenges their own sexual identities and their conceptions of sexual identity.”
The guide was collectively created by Simmons College librarians, according to Jason Wood, the deputy director of the school’s library system, which also published a guide on “Sanist Microaggressions” committed by people with “Neurotypical Privilege.”
Sanist microaggressions, the librarians explain, can be intentionally or unintentionally committed by people with “sane privilege” against anyone who is not “sane,” such as people with mental health issues, Asperger’s, autism, or anyone who is generally “low-functioning.”
Perhaps most notably, the same group of librarians recently warned that “Merry Christmas” and “God Bless You” can be considered microaggressions against Muslim people.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen