08/13/2017

The Size Of Chairs Deemed A ‘Microaggression’ Against Overweight People

Katherine Timpf, National Review

Too many people, particularly on college campuses, use their emotions in a tyrannical way.

The size of our society’s chairs is now being considered a “microaggression” against overweight people, according to a guide released by The New School, a private college in New York City.

In a list titled “Common Examples of Microaggressions in an Academic Setting,” the guide states: “Seats in the classroom / auditorium / office are too small for many people.”

Other items on the list include: “Students cast as the lead in school plays or dance shows, and models chosen for school fashion shows are all conventionally thin and conventionally beautiful,” and “Being called ‘overly sensitive’ when addressing a microaggression.”

As many of these sorts of guides tend to do, this one takes care to point out that a “Microaggression is not ‘Micro’ in Impact,” because “if it impacts someone, and it’s a big deal to them, it’s not micro.”

The guide goes on to explain that it’s the job of the school community to tackle any and all microaggressions using methods such as reporting them to the administration and/or doing a “check-in” with any perceived victim, which is something that I’m not sure would go over so well in the case of the chair example. (“Hey Jessica, I noticed you are way too fat for all the chairs in class, and I just want you to know that I’m here for you” doesn’t really sound like it would be too helpful or kind.)

Now, I absolutely do not doubt that living in society as a member of a marginalized group presents difficulties, and I absolutely do not object to being sensitive to that sort of thing. What does become a problem, however, is when we set the standard at “if it impacts someone, and it’s a big deal to them, it’s not micro,” because that places any given person’s feelings about a situation above that situation’s facts.

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