UNH: gender roles and sexist jokes cause migraines, heart disease among women

The university's 'UNH Advance' program claims gender microaggressions have a 'detrimental impact' on women by reducing their standard of living.

The program also says microaggressions harm women's physical and psychological health.

The University of New Hampshire, which previously caused controversy after publishing a language guide claiming the word “American” was “problematic,” is now claiming that gender microaggressions are causing poverty and heart disease among women.

The claim is made by a university resource on gender microaggressions through the university’s “UNH Advance” program, which aims to “improve the climate for UNH faculty through fair and equitable policies, practices and leadership development.” UNH Advance is funded by the National Science Foundation, a federal agency created by Congress “to promote the progress of science.”

The document asserts that gender microaggressions have a “detrimental impact” on women, for instance by reducing their standard of living through “unequal wages” and “higher levels of poverty.”

Microaggressions, according the university, also harm women’s physical health by causing “migraines, heart disease, [and] autoimmune disorders,” as well as creating psychological health problems such as “depression, anxiety, body image dissatisfaction and eating disorders.”

The university resource lists ten types of gender microaggressions: “sexual objectification,” “second-class citizenship,” “use of sexist language,” “assumption of inferiority,” “restrictive gender roles,” “denial of the reality of sexism,” “denial of individual sexism,” “invisibility,” “sexist humor/jokes,” and “environmental invalidations.”

The University of New Hampshire lists Columbia professor Derald Wing Sue’s book Microaggressions in Everyday Life as one of the references for its claims. Microaggressions in Everyday Life lists the phrase “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” from the Declaration of Independence as one example of a “gender microaggression.” Microaggressions in Everyday Life also claims that gender microaggressions can only be committed against women.

In July, the University of New Hampshire was the subject of national controversy after Campus Reform reported that the university had published a “Bias-Free Language Guide” that discouraged students from using the word “American.” In response to the language-guide outrage, UNH President Mark Huddleston released a statement asserting that “speech guide s or codes have no place at any American university” and promising that the university would “review” its “web posting policies.”

Nevertheless, the microaggression resource on the university website encourages faculty to report “microaggressive behavior” to their department chair or to Donna Marie Sorrentino, the university’s Director of Affirmative Action and Equity.

Ms. Sorrentino did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment.

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