Article published in the WES Journal
How many times have you cringed at someone’s comments or behaviours? Or perhaps it has been a back handed compliment and you yourself were the recipient: “You’re doing really well, for a part timer”. Collectively these seemingly innocuous incidents, termed microaggressions, are unobtrusive, easily dismissed and casual and are not intended to cause offence or discomfort.
The target of these behaviours rarely complain about them and don’t appreciate how they can chip away at their confidence, until it’s too late and there is no confidence to talk back with.
These microaggressions are all around us in all walks of life and the easiest response is to ignore or gloss over that they took place, as no harm was intended. As a witness though you are an active participant whether you like it or not and are able to take action. The article below was written for The Woman Enginer, the journal of the Women’s Engineering Society following a meeting with Jan Peters and Stephanie Goodwin at the WEPAN conference in 2017 and a follow up interview. The article describes the CPR (Confronting Prejudice Response) model and outlines practical steps we can each take to confront prejudice.
Download the full article here Active Bystander PDF