Microaggressions, Power & Control

What are Microaggressions?

Aggression is aggression. Like most things, there is a type of scale involved, a range. To one extreme the aggression is war, violence, physical abuse. whereas the other end of the spectrum presents as snide comments, passive-aggressive behavior and other types of micro-aggressions, such as minimizing, trivializing, and grouping.

These techniques are used by those who have power when they are, or feel, threatened, insecure individuals in particular. It becomes a defense mechanism, it’s purpose is to keep you down, to ‘put you in your place’, thus restoring the persons feeling of power and feeding their fragile ego.

Constructing normal aka normal is a made-up concept.

To understand the construct of social identity, we first need to understand how these constructs came about. Race is a social construct, race is a false classification of people that has no biological or scientific truth. The concept of race was created to classify human beings with the purpose of legitimizing the power of white people over non-white people, in the 18th & 19th centuries, for purpose of enslaving the ‘lesser than’.  

The concept of disability is also a construct. What is a ‘disability’, having one leg? Not being able to hear a siren? Having no sense of taste? This concept presupposes the idea of “normal”.

Prior to industrialization, there was the ‘Ideal” which people strove for, post-industrialization, measurement became important. Things were measured in an industry context and the goal was to strike a “Norm”. Something might be greater than the norm, or lesser than the norm. So then you have an idea of the Normal. Someone who is disabled is someone outside of the norm.

Why is this important?

It leads to what we as a society value or what we believe has value. Which is a social idea. We could just as easily value anything, being short & brown, seashells over coins, it is all a social construct that through reinforcement has become a social contract. 

The power structure is another social agreement.

Power among the powerless varies over generations, feminists during the suffragette movement used the power that they had at the time, those striving for equal rights in the 1970s used different (yet still limited) power that they had, as those protesting today use the power that they have.


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