Running head: Unit Six Microaggression 1
Unit 6 Microaggression 9
Unit Six Assignment 1
Section 1: The Disenfranchised Jewish Woman
The United States has a long history of microaggression towards Jewish women living in the United States. Towards the 20th century many Jewish women in the United States participated in several mass social movements such as the suffrage movement. The number of Jewish women in the United States increased tremendously due to mass migration from other countries in Western Europe. These migrations increased the diversity of Jewish women in the United States. Before the nineteenth amendment passed in 1919, Jewish women had no right to vote (Ephraim, 2016). The formation of the National Council of Jewish Women in 1893 played an essential role in safeguarding the freedoms and rights of Jewish women in the United States. The council emphasizes research and advocacy of children and women in American society. The council has helped deal with various challenges facing Jewish women, such as equal pay, issues of sexual harassment, and domestic violence among women and special groups. During the early years, the council was focused on assisting immigrant Jewish women arriving in the United States from Eastern Europe.
Jewish women in the United States continued to pressure for voting rights that were granted in 1919. Since then, the lives of Jewish women in the United States have been significantly transformed. Many Jewish and non-Jewish women activists combined efforts with civil rights movements in supporting American Jewish women’s suffrage (Shain, 2019). Voter suspension was considered suppressive and one of the facets of reproductive injustice. For a long time, Jewish women in the United States wanted to take part in the political process to transform American society’s attitude towards Jewish women.
Section 2: Identify and Discuss; Microaggression
In contemporary American society, microaggression is a common phenomenon. microaggression encompasses environmental, behavioral, and verbal indignities that can be intentional or unintentional; they tend to communicate hostility or express negative racial insults. microaggression can also be defined as actions or comments targeting a vulnerable group of people in society. It is considered one of the common forms of discrimination. Many people direct microaggressions to marginalized groups in society (Lui & Quezada, 2019). People experience microaggression as a result of their race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender. Some people perpetrating microaggression may not mean to hurt the marginalized groups in the society. This happens as a case of unintentional microaggression.
On the other hand, some perpetrators of microaggression execute it to hurt or discriminate against minority groups. Such happens in a case of intentional microaggression. Microaggression in some instances can be slightly difficult to identify, while on the other hand, discrimination is easy to identify. In contemporary society, microaggression is a common phenomenon in workplaces targeting minority groups.
Microaggression takes several forms; verbal, behavioral, or environmental. In verbal microaggression, hurting comments and questions are used against a marginalized group of people. The verbal form of microaggression is common in the workplace (Torino et al., 2018). In behavioral microaggression, perpetrators exhibit a behavior aimed at hurting and discriminating a group of people. In environmental microaggression, subtle discrimination occurs within society. According to Derald Wing, a leading psychologist, microaggression can be grouped into three types; microassaults, microinsults, and microinvalidations.
Section 3: Consider and Analyze; Microaggression Encountered by the Jewish Woman
In the United States, Jewish women are one of the groups most vulnerable to microaggression. The microaggression towards Jewish women hurts their productivity in the workplace. It also has a negative social and psychological impact on their well-being. Jewish women experience both intentional and unintentional microaggression. Microaggression towards Jewish women is aimed at undermining their culture. American Jewish women have unique cultures, traditions, and values (Nadal et al., 2018). In modern organizations, the values and traditions of Jewish women are frequently ignored, which undermines their workplace experiences; it also negatively impacts psychological and physical health.
Microaggression tends to reinforce the privilege of the white people while undermining the inclusion culture. Some perpetrators of microaggression perceive American Jewish women as foreigners on their land. Some of these comments have damaging impacts. They amount to discrimination. In earning institutions, American Jewish women encounter various forms of microaggression. Microaggression is perpetrated by both educators and other learners in the form of different cultural backgrounds. One common form of microaggression faced by American Jewish women in educational institutions is the judgment of their emotions and reactions based on their race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation (Wilson, 2019). Some educators also use humorous statements that undermine Jewish women from other groups of women in society. The use of sexist language and discrediting validity and credibility of Jewish traditions in another common form of microaggression targeting American Jewish women in both learning facilities and educational institutions. Some educators and students use heteronormative metaphors in class which also translates to microaggression.
Society and the environment also perpetrate microaggression among Jewish women in the United States. There are many institutions and facilities named after other dominant groups. This tends to undermine the minority communities. It makes them feel in a foreign land.
Section 4: Three Strategies to Combat Microaggression
Several strategies can be deployed to combat and cope with microaggression. Some of the strategies include social support, humor, rituals, social justice, and education and training. Microaggressions are delivered to Jewish women in the United States in several forms, such as tones, gestures, and dismissive looks. Microaggressions are harmful to people of color. They perpetuate inequalities and impair their organizational performance. The form of microaggression involved determines the strategy selected in combating microaggression. Microinvalidations encompass communications that eliminate or negate psychological thoughts, experiential feelings, and feelings of people of color. On the other hand, micro assault refers to nonverbal and verbal attacks aimed at hurting victims. On the other hand, microinsults refer to insensitive and rude communications aimed at demeaning victims.
To combat microaggression, one of the strategies is the promotion of actionable awareness. Microaggression emanates from the limitation of awareness and being exposed to diverse experiences (Wilkins et al., 2019). As mentioned earlier, some perpetrators of microaggression are not aware that they are hurting others. The creation of awareness accompanied by actions is an effective strategy in combating microaggression. There is a need to empower Jewish women as a group and deliberate on suitable solutions. In the workplace, victims of microaggression should be provided with psychological support.
The second strategy is the facilitation of respectful dialogue. Failure to address instances of microaggression results in hostility in the workplace. A hostile work environment hinders interactions in the workplace. Escalation of hostility in the workplace has a negative impact on the culture in an organization. Employees also become demotivated and less valued at the workplace. The managers in an organization must facilitate sensitive conversations. Employees should be discouraged against actions such as singling out certain demographic characteristics of a specific group, such as Jewish women’s parents (Siguenza et al., 2020). During conversations, it is essential to maintain a wide focus. Rather than focusing on the demographic features of one group, there is a need to explore the demographic factors of several groups in the organizations. In such instances, minority and vulnerable groups do not feel discriminated against. In schools, workplaces, and society, there is a need to establish ground rules that guide interactions and engagements. There should be standard grounds.
The third strategy is the enforcement of consequences. In some instances, disciplinary actions can serve as a response to microaggression. Failure to combat microaggressions encourages bullies to continue bullying vulnerable groups. They generate a toxic culture. One of the recommended approaches is consistency in applying disciplinary actions.
Section 5: Evaluation of Personal Experience
It is difficult, but of the utmost importance that each person look in the mirror and reflect if and how they have been a perpetrator of prejudice. During a recent discussion with a friend who is a conservative Jewish American woman I expressed my distain for her support for the State of Israel. I shared my belief that perhaps at one time the Jewish people needed a unifying place to call home because of the Holocaust. But, now I believe that Jewish people alone should not inhabit and govern this particular piece of land in the Middle East. Other non-Jewish people deserve to have the same right to citizenships as Jews; especially when Jewish people from American have “the right of return” and can set up residency in Israel. These new settlers have more rights than Palestinians who were born in the State.
This statement was translated to microaggression; in this case, I was a perpetrator. The statement was perceived to equate with anti-Semitism. I was perceived as not understanding the Jewish experience. In another instance, I was on the receiving end of microaggression. I converted to Judaism during my undergraduate years. One of my co-workers at the time asked me if this meant I would feel entitled to special treatment, and be more selfish with my money. These statements are part of very old racist stereotypes of the Jewish princess and the cheap Jewish person. I felt more insulted on behalf of the people whom I embraced as my own. My co-worker had dismissed the seriousness of my conversion, and demeaned the Jewish people with old racist tropes. Everyone in society can be a victim or a perpetrator of microaggression. However, groups who have been outside of the white, male, straight, Christian majority are the main victims of microaggression.
In these instances, there were some aspects of cultural competencies lacking. The first one is value for diversity (Hook et al., 2016). In contemporary organizations, there are diverse cultural differences between cultures. There is no common culture shared in an organization. The employees have distinct cultures, traditions, and backgrounds that need to be appreciated in organizations. Another aspect of cultural competence is conducting a self-cultural assessment.
Davis, D. E., DeBlaere, C., Brubaker, K., Owen, J., Jordan, T. A., Hook, J. N., & Van Tongeren, D. R. (2016). Microaggressions and perceptions of cultural humility in counseling. Journal of Counseling & Development, 94(4), 483-493.
Ephraim, M. (2016). Reading the Jewish Woman on the Elizabethan Stage. Routledge.
Hook, J. N., Farrell, J. E., Davis, D. E., DeBlaere, C., Van Tongeren, D. R., & Utsey, S. O. (2016). Cultural humility and racial microaggressions in counseling. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 63(3), 269.
Lui, P. P., & Quezada, L. (2019). Associations between microaggression and adjustment outcomes: A meta-analytic and narrative review. Psychological Bulletin, 145(1), 45.
Nadal, K. L., Erazo, T., Fiani, C. N., Parilla, M. C. M., & Han, H. (2018). Navigating microaggressions, overt discrimination, and institutional oppression: Transgender and gender-nonconforming people and the criminal justice system. In Exploring the toxicity of lateral violence and microaggressions (pp. 51-74). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Shain, M. (2019). Understanding the demographic challenge: Education, orthodoxy and the fertility of American Jews. Contemporary Jewry, 39(2), 273-292.
Siguenza, G., Knebel, C., Segal, S., & Moors, A. C. (2020). Speak Up! Challenging Microaggressions by Intervening As an Ally.
Torino, G. C., Rivera, D. P., Capodilupo, C. M., Nadal, K. L., & Sue, D. W. (Eds.). (2018). Microaggression Theory: Influence and implications. John Wiley & Sons.
Wilkins-Yel, K. G., Hyman, J., & Zounlome, N. O. (2019). Linking intersectional invisibility and hypervisibility to experiences of microaggressions among graduate women of color in STEM. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 113, 51-61.
Wilson, T. T. (2019). Jewish Doctor. In Diversity and Inclusion in Quality Patient Care (pp. 407-412). Springer, Cham.
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