SAMPLE STATEMENT ON MICRO-AGGRESSION TO BE READ BEFORE WORKSHOP
THis is the statement on micro-aggressions we read at the escapery (www.escapery.org)
Sample statement on micro-aggressions/ violence.
THE ESCAPERY: STATEMENT ON MICRO AGGRESSIONS AND SAFE SPACES
Microagressions: a subtle but offensive comment or action directed at a minority or other nondominant group that is often unintentional or unconsciously reinforces a stereotype.
In other words, isms. Racism. Sexism. Homophobism. Classism. Ableism.
The Escapery has a zero tolerance for fuckery policy. Repeated micro-aggressions, macro-aggressions, mansplaining, whitesplaining, or other taking up of space away from people whose voices have been historically marginalized has and will result in showing people the door. In trying to create an art space that does not reinflict harm and the need for emotional labor on people of color, queer folx, women, disabled folx, and others, we do not believe in making it a safe space for people to process their privilege.
That said, we are artists at play and micro-aggressions do happen.
They’ve happened to all of us and from all of us, probably several times this week. Maybe several times today.
We do not think it is possible to create a safe space. But we can try to make it a space where micro aggressions don’t accumulate into macro-aggressions.
When a micro-aggression is called out, it is the responsibility of the group to acknowledge, say oops, apologize, and try to fail better.
While the responsibility of giving feedback when a micro-aggression occurs should fall on the workshop leader, the workshop leader (me) will likely fail at some point.
Therefore, the door in this class is open to any kind of feedback, whenever. If it feels like a micro-aggression, from me, or from someone else, it’s ok to say so, now, or later, or in two years, in public or private, whether someone is speaking or not.
There is no best way to notice micro-aggression. No right tone of voice or mood. Anger is ok. But one way to do it is to say, eg: “oh that [statement/ character description/ whatever] feels [sexist, racist, etc].” Or “why did you choose to write about this character?” or “why did you ask that question?”
There is no right way to get beyond the uncomfortable moment when someone points out your micro-aggression, but one way to do it is to imagine you dropped a dirty Kleenex on the floor. You say “Oh. Thank you. I am sorry,” as a way to pick it up and try not to do it again. (Thanking Kiese Laymon and Jericho Brown for the dirty kleenex metaphor)
Thank you all for your help in this.