Being Taught To Hate Ourselves

As marginalized people, we learn to accept our marginalization through school, television and other mass-media; and sometimes our families. The way sociologists decribe it, we internalize tooltip available ideas about ourselves and others from our socialization tooltip available

Here's an example of what that means: U.S. schools socialize tooltip available children to be patriotic through the pledge of allegiance and U.S. history class. Their internalized tooltip available patriotism makes them, for instance, believe that the United States is a shining example of democracy and freedom. Internalized tooltip available patriotism is why many Americans are shocked to learn that the United States has the highest prison population in the world, and people of color, particularly african-americans, are disproportionately put in prison compared to white people. Some might not even be willing to believe it.

The same messages in media which socialize tooltip available more privileged popover available people to see marginalized groups as lesser, are in the same media we consume too, and we learn to see ourselves as lesser because of it.

Studies have found that more marginalized people are more likely to report feeling powerless, meaningless, stupid, sad, and lonely; when compared to their more privileged peers. This makes them more likely to develop clinical depression. [1-2] As if this didn't suck enough already, marginalization has a physical health impact too. The added stress and anxiety, called "minority stress", can also lead to heart problems. [3-5]

Everything on this site about microaggressions, marginalization, and privilege; is to say: You're right, life totally is harder for you than for others. Let this be validating rather than disparaging. And if all this makes you mad, that's justified! When your privileged co-worker or peer says you're overreacting, know that you really aren't. Seriously. You are not weak, stupid, worthless, or lazy. You're doing the best you can in this moment in your life, given what you're facing.

[1] Roots, James. “Political Socialization and Marginalization.” In Politics of Visual Language: Deafness, Language Choice, and Political Socialization, 7–25. McGill-Queen’s Press-MQUP, 1999.

[2]Nadal, Kevin L., Yinglee Wong, Katie E. Griffin, Kristin Davidoff, and Julie Sriken. “The Adverse Impact of Racial Microaggressions on College Students’ Self-Esteem.” Journal of College Student Development 55, no. 5 (2014): 461–74. doi:10.1353/csd.2014.0051.

[3] Burn, Shawn, Kelly Kadlec, and Ryan Rexer. “Effects of Subtle Heterosexism on Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexuals.” Journal of Homosexuality 49, no. 2 (August 9, 2005): 23–38. doi:10.1300/J082v49n02_02.

[4]Huebner, David M., and Mary C. Davis. “Perceived Antigay Discrimination and Physical Health Outcomes.” Health Psychology 26, no. 5 (September 2007): 627–34. doi:10.1037/0278-6133.26.5.627.

[5]Donovan, Roxanne A., David J. Galban, Ryan K. Grace, Jacqueline K. Bennett, and Shaina Z. Felicié. “Impact of Racial Macro- and Microaggressions in Black Women’s Lives A Preliminary Analysis.” Journal of Black Psychology 39, no. 2 (April 1, 2013): 185–96. doi:10.1177/0095798412443259.