According to an “educational presentation” on the Longwood University website, being an outspoken pro-life advocate may be a form of “assault.”
The presentation, first reported by Campus Reform, lists “an anti-abortion person attack[ing] my pro-choice beliefs” as one of several “examples of assault,” along with “A student slashed my tire (on my car)” and “Almost being raped.”
“Assault” is defined in another slide as “verbal or nonverbal derogations of an individual’s unique qualities such as family name or disability.”
The lecture also went over examples of “insults,” defined as “communications that convey rudeness, insensitivity, and demean a person’s unique qualities such as gender or language.”
Examples of “insults” included “Residents assumed I smoked pot because of the way I dress” and “Someone saying negative opinions (stated as facts) about my religion.”
“Invalidations,” a third category of microaggressions, were defined as “comments or behaviors that exclude, negate, or nullify a person’s thoughts, feelings, or experiences related to their unique qualities, such as social class or sexual orientation.”
Examples of “invalidations” included “Being told that I am too short to participate in something” or “Being made fun of for being myself.”
The slideshow was created by Maureen Walls-McKay, director of counseling and psychological services at the university, who has been studying microaggressions since 2007, Campus Reform reported.
In a slide titled “Lingering Problematic Feelings?” the presentation said 36 percent of Longwood students reported “negative feelings” when thinking about their most recent microaggression, compared to 47 percent who didn’t and 17 percent who hadn’t thought about it.
Matthew McWilliams, a spokesman for the university, said the examples of microaggressions were compiled from university students who responded to a survey.
“The presentation includes responses individual students provided to open-ended questions as part of a small, independent research project nearly a decade ago,” Mr. McWilliams said in a statement. ”Longwood values a diversity of opinions and works to ensure civil discussion among our students, faculty and staff.”
• Bradford Richardson can be reached at email@example.com.
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