Freshman students at a private liberal arts college in Massachusetts are being told that the phrase “you guys” is an anti-women “microaggression.”
According to an exposé in the New York Times, orientation for new students at Clark University now includes a lecture from Sheree Marlowe, the new chief diversity officer.
“Microaggressions, Ms. Marlowe said, are comments, snubs or insults that communicate derogatory or negative messages that might not be intended to cause harm but are targeted at people based on their membership in a marginalized group,” the article states.
“Among her other tips: Don’t ask an Asian student you don’t know for help on your math homework or randomly ask a black student if he plays basketball.”
Included in the instructions from Marlowe was the claim that stating “you guys” is offensive to woman. Marlowe said she first learned it was a harmful remark after a single student complained to her during another presentation.
The lesson also went on to argue that believing hard work is associated with success is similarly a microagression – more specifically a “microinvalidation” – because it assumes “that race plays a minor role in life’s outcomes.”
Several students chastised themselves after the lesson upon learning that they had been guilty of saying “you guys” before.
“This helped me see that I’m a microaggressor, too,” sophmore student Noelia Martinez said.