kiranwearsscienceblues asked: Hi - does it count as a McGill microagression if said issue was in the assigned reading (which was advocated by the professor) but not explicitly said by the professor?

Well, I guess it depends. But it’s totally possible. :)

like-i-never-left asked: The lab instructor for a Solid mechanics CIVE 207 came up to me and 5 of my friends and said "did they search your bags at the entrance? someone search their bags" as a joke. We were all speaking arabic and he was implying that we have weapons or something in our bags. We did not find it funny and we looked at each others awkwardly like "really? did he just say that?"

My friend and I (we are both women, I am racialized) were at the graduate house. We were sitting by a cabinet filled with boardgames and a guy (non-racialized) comes over to pick out a game. He exclaimed to us “Wow! This is so disorganized! I’m going to write to PGSS about fixing this game cabinet! Like, I don’t care about women’s issues, or problems of new Canadians on campus, these games need to be sorted out!” When neither of us laughed at his “joke” I think he realized what he said was racist and sexist, and he put his head down and walked away. This is a microagression because what he said assumed the normal students were male and non-racialized, and women and racialized people were categorized as problems PGSS has to deal with.


Après avoir dmandé à un prof d’utiliser mon nom choisi au lieu de mon nom légal, il m’a appelé par mes deux noms en prenant les présences et a dit : “Ça se peut que je switche entre les deux.”

(contribution anonyme)

From our neighbours at UQAM!

Triggers in a university context

Submitted by a follower:

Hi everyone!

I am currently working on a paper/journal article on triggers, triggering material and teaching sensitive material. A huge part of this work is using personal examples to examine how university class material and discussions can often be triggering for students and suggest possible ways to avoid this. For this, I’m trying to collect as many personal anecdotes and opinions as possible and that’s where you come in, lovely people! I am looking at various triggers: racism, trans*phobia, homophobia, classism, sexual assault, eating disorders, violence, etc.

If you have ever felt triggered by in-class material or discussions, I would love to know about it. I have a few questions to ask about the experience and about what you think could have been done differently to avoid this happening. I’d rather do the interviews in person, but if you’d prefer to make your contribution anonymous, you can fill out the SurveyMonkey below instead!

All contributions will be made anonymous and gender-neutral! Thank you so much for your help, this will help Education students learn how to better treat sensitive material to keep their students safer. The final paper will also be sent to various faculty and department members in hopes that it will help develop frameworks to make classrooms at McGill safer.

*Please feel free to share this with as many people as possible! Thank you 

Raaaape culture

Hype week bros overheard at McGill Pizza:
"She doesn’t deserve to be on our team anymore! She wouldn’t take off her shirt. How can she expect to be on our team when she doesn’t even show us her tits when we tell her?! She’s not even pretty." 


A preliminary hearing is set to take place next month regarding three McGill football players charged with sexual assault with a weapon and forcible confinement occurring in September 2011. We, the Sexual Assault Centre of the McGill Students’ Society (SACOMSS), denounce the McGill administration’s efforts to distance itself from this case and from rape culture at McGill in general. As a pro-survivor and anti-oppressive student service, SACOMSS is dedicated to the support of survivors of sexual assault and their allies. Through our work, it has become increasingly apparent that McGill fails to address sexual assault in any meaningful way. In fact, McGill has no sexual assault policy.

     McGill appears to act only when its reputation is at stake. In 2005, the McGill football team’s season was cancelled following the media backlash after shameful hazing with explicit sexual connotations. At the time, then-Interim Provost Dr. Anthony Masi stated, “Greater vigilance, a stronger emphasis and investment in positive team-building programs and activities, a greater awareness and responsibility on the part of our coaches, staff and the players themselves are critical to ensure that this never happens again. That is our clear goal.” 

     This stands in sharp contrast to McGill’s current response. The Gazette article published on November 1st, 2013 reports that the newspaper contacted McGill in the weeks following the events of 2011. Furthermore, the coach at the time was informed after the students were arrested in April 2012. Despite this, no action has been taken on the part of the McGill administration to address these events. We find this reprehensible.

     How many times must these assaults occur before McGill develops a policy to address sexual assault? Currently, there is neither a policy to mandate support services and awareness campaigns, nor an outline of how McGill responds to sexual assault at all. While SACOMSS is proud to offer its many services and is committed to continuing its valuable work, we believe that the responsibility to offer these essential services should not fall solely to our volunteers. McGill needs to take responsibility for addressing the harms caused within its community. 

     When will the administration stop making empty statements and start taking concrete steps to end the systemic perpetuation of rape culture on our campus?

     We would like to emphasize that SACOMSS is a pro-survivor service, meaning that we believe this survivor as well as all survivors. While this case may be highly publicized, it is important to remember those survivors whose voices are never heard. SACOMSS is open to all survivors and their allies. For support and more information on our services call our line at 514-398-8500, drop in to the Centre, or visit

Fight Rape Culture at McGill

Fight Rape Culture at McGill

On November 1st, 2013, the Montreal Gazette released an article reporting the case of three McGill Redmen football players charged with sexual assault with a weapon and forcible confinement. The students were charged 15 months ago, and, to this date, McGill has taken no action. They have remained on the team despite their disclosure of the event to their coach and are still enrolled as students. We, the Union for Gender Empowerment, are outraged, not only that this happened, but also by the total lack of response from the McGill University administration. We condemn all manifestations of rape culture, and we wish to extend our support and solidarity to the survivor in this case and to all survivors of sexual assault.

This is not an isolated incident but rather a symptom of systemic rape culture. Sexual assault is a daily reality that is consistently silenced and normalised, whereby the survivor is blamed and the perpetrator’s actions are rationalised and excused. McGill University, along with the majority of university campuses, is a place where sexual assault is a frequent occurrence. The institutions and practices commonly celebrated blatantly perpetuate rape culture. By not taking any disciplinary action to hold the perpetrators in this case accountable, McGill has further demonstrated their lack of commitment to supporting survivors and dismantling rape culture on campus. We demand that disciplinary action be taken against these perpetrators and that efforts be refocused on the needs and support of sexual assault survivors. In light of these and past events, we demand that McGill sports teams have mandatory consent workshops and training. We demand more effective accountability procedures on the part of the McGill administration, as well as greater transparency in those existing. We demand that McGill recognizes and changes the glaring error of not having an explicit policy addressing sexual assault.

These demands are only part of a greater fight against rape culture and creating safer spaces on our campus. It’s important that each of us hold ourselves, our communities, and the institutions of which we’re a part accountable for perpetuation of a culture of sexual assault. McGill needs to address its grossly inadequate sexual harassment and discrimination policies, but more importantly recognize and combat the ways in which McGill upholds and reproduces both societal and systemic forms of rape culture.

To sign on in solidarity with this statement, go to:

The original petition is working again after both the original and a replacement were showing as “nonexistent” earlier. Thanks for your patience!

coolthingsiappreciate asked: Hi, I am considering starting a blog similar to this one at McMaster. As a WoC I feel I have recently been aware of and dealt with a number of microagressions along with my friends. Has there been a lot of pushback and any tips?

Hey, I would totally recommend making a similar one. UBC Microaggressions was also recently created. :) I haven’t experienced much pushback but perhaps it is because we haven’t received an exorbitant amount of submissions. 

Promo it intensely. One thing that I would consider is whether or not you wish to be anonymous about it. Or alternatively, to share the responsibility of managing the account. This account is shared in case we need to respond to questions and need collaborative advice. It also diffuses the stress and responsibility of running a tumblr like this.

I hope this answers your question. Let me know if you have any other thoughts or questions!

McGill football players face sex assault charges

Beyond a microaggression!

Gender Binary

In my Organisational Behaviour class, the first clicker question in every class asks people to answer “Are you 1. Male or 2. Female”. This is a way of checking if the clicker system works. When I mentioned to the prof that this reinforced the gender binary, he laughed and said “it’s too difficult to change that. And it’s not like there’s anyone who would answer anything else.”

Black face, cultural appropriation, and more! Thanks SSMU!

So SSMU tried to make an anti-racist costume guide and it ended with SSMU in black face. They could have just used the photos from last year’s 4 Floors. 

Pictures linked below:

Black Face

Native Appropriation  

Mexican Appropriation 

lilmisschique asked: Mcgill is my top choice to attend next year. I hope to get in but after reading this page I'm extremely hesitant about my choice to apply. I'm Chinese-Filipina so I would be a minority because, as I hear, McGill is predominantly white? Is it always like how these posts say it is?

Sorry for taking so long to respond. To be honest, I haven’t been sure about how to do so. Recently, I found out that a Human Rights Complaint had been filed against the School of Social Work. I think in many ways the fact that it was accepted validates a lot of the shitty experiences at McGill. I learnt a lot being here and met tons of badass POC who have challenge me and reframed the way I think about the world. Sometimes in places of massive BS, we learn a lot about ourselves. The question is, is it worth it? I don’t know because I don’t know the intricacies of your life. I don’t even know if it was worth it for me in the long run. I will say that many times, people, friends, professors and staff would step up and make things better in those small micro-moments. There are also great student run resources like Queer McGill, the Union for Gender Empowerment, the Black Student Network, and SACOMSS (a sexual assault support centre). If you speak French, it is easier to resist the fucking bubble. Talking to peers who have been to different universities, there is a general concensus that McGill’s adherence to maintaining hierarchies of privilege is unique and extreme. But, a lot of other students have a great time here. It really depends.

Tumblr, what are your thoughts?

The McGill Daily » McGill School of Social Work accused of perpetuating systemic racism


This is HUGE news! Please signal boost!

Source: (The McGill Daily)

Written by and

A course lecturer and doctoral student at the McGill School of Social Work has filed a human rights complaint against McGill University, alleging systemic racism on the part of the School. In his complaint, Woo Jin Edward Lee alleges that the Employment Equity Guidelines of the School of Social Work, and generally campus-wide, perpetuate practices that discriminate against racialized persons for faculty positions.

The complaint was sent to Quebec’s human rights commission, and was officially received on July 4 of this year, on the premise of “discrimination based on race intersecting with gender and sexual orientation in violation of sections 4, 10 and 16 of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.”

According to the School of Social Work’s updated list of professors, Lee is the only racialized person and visible minority – not including Indigenous peoples – registered as a lecturer this calendar year.

“I don’t think there is any representation of people of colour when it comes to the administrative level,” said social work undergraduate student Sidara Ahmad, adding, “I don’t think there is an understanding of what people of colour – students of colour – go through. I don’t think there is any acknowledgement of the discrimination and racism they face.”

Lee, a self-identified member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community, and a visible minority, is currently a course lecturer for SWRK 325: Anti-Oppression Social Work Practice. He is also a doctoral student specializing in the experiences of LGBTQ immigrants and refugees.

In April 2013, Lee said, he applied for a part-time faculty lecturer position at the School of Social Work, recognizing the lack of racial diversity at the School. “Out of 22 tenure- and non-tenure-track faculty members, one or two are racialized, and one is LGBTQ,” he told The Daily in an interview.

“I don’t think there is an understanding of what people of colour – students of colour – go through. I don’t think there is any acknowledgement of the discrimination and racism they face.”

A month after applying, Lee said he was notified that he had not even been short-listed for an interview. The five candidates short-listed for the position were all white women.

According to Lee, when meeting the director of the School, Wendy Thomson, he was informed that his application was rejected because he lacked clinical experience. The job posting never mentioned the necessity of such experience, Lee said, asking only for five years of experience as a social worker in Quebec’s community, health, or social services. The job posting also included the University’s statement committed to diversity and equity in employment, “[welcoming] applications from indigenous peoples, visible minorities, ethnic minorities, persons of disabilities, women, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities and others who may contribute to further diversification.”

“The hiring committee’s internal and unwritten requirement regarding clinical experience produces a recurring, adverse impact on racialized persons who are underrepresented in clinical institutional settings in Quebec,” said Lee about his application rejection.

“I have been serving as course lecturer at the School of Social Work since 2008, in addition to devoting hundreds of volunteer hours in serving the McGill social work department and broader Montreal community,” said Lee. “It’s disappointing and saddens me that I was not at least short listed for the part-time faculty lecturer position. There are hiring criteria and procedures that must be reviewed by the human rights commission because there have been so few racialized teaching professionals that have been hired by the School within the last ten years. This is why I hope that my complaint of systemic racism in hiring will lead to change and better representation of the Montreal community among the School’s staff.”

Ahmad told The Daily about the very real implications of being a racialized person in the School. “I am one of the very few students who is racialized in the School of Social Work, and as soon as I started the program, I had a situation where there was discrimination and racism involved. [Lee] was one of the few faculty members who provided the support and the space to talk about it.”

Lee has been studying at the McGill School of Social Work since 2007, and is the recipient of numerous fellowships and scholarships for his studies. More recently, Lee was one of only four recipients in McGill history to receive the Award for Equity and Community Building, in the academic staff category. He was nominated by 16 students and community members. According to an article published in the McGill Reporter, this award “recognizes the work of students, faculty and staff committed to advancing equity and diversity at McGill.”

“In universities and corporations, the many professional and managerial positions produce a professional stigma when someone raises a claim of discrimination.”

“For me, just seeing where the students are before they take [Lee’s Anti-Oppression Social Work Practice course] and where they are after, it’s essential,” said undergraduate social work student Katrina Topping, who had previously taken Lee’s Anti-Oppression course, adding, “It challenges students to question who they are, both as people and as social workers.”

Lee has been teaching at the School for six years – as a course lecturer for five years in addition to being a teaching assistant for one year. He has also worked in the Montreal community sector for another six years and spent five years practicing social work with marginalized children and youth in Calgary.

“I think that there does seem to be some type of resistance to incorporate AOP – anti-oppressive practice – in a really big way,” said Topping.

Another current social work undergraduate, Annie Preston, added, “I think there is a structural change in the School that needs to be happening to push for this.”

On his part, Lee has been pushing for change. “There has been a lack of racial diversity that was apparent from the very beginning, it was something that I noticed when I served as Equity Commissioner for PGSS,” said Lee, who also co-created the Racialized Students Network (RSN).

In addition to the RSN, Lee is also the co-founder of AGIR, a community organization that advocates for LGBTQ immigrants, refugees, and non-status migrants in the Montreal area. He is also a member of the Social Work Association of Graduate Students (SWAGS), and was the co-coordinator of Ethnoculture, an annual event that raises awareness about LGBTQ racialized and ethnic minority communities in Montreal.

In the fall of 2009, the Principal’s Task Force on Student Life and Learning launched the McGill University Student Demographic Survey to “foster sensitivity to cultural and personal differences in the delivery of academic and other administrative supports to our students.” The survey was completed by 2,070 McGill students.

According to the survey, 26 per cent of students from any ethnic group – excluding students who identified solely as white – reported discrimination by fellow students, and 18 per cent reported some level of discrimination by McGill employees.

Section 2.6 of McGill’s Handbook on Student Rights and Responsibilities describes discrimination as “any action, behaviour, or decision based on race, colour, sex […] which results in the exclusion or preference of an individual or group within the University community. This includes both the actions of individual members of the University and systemic institutional practices and policies of the University.”

According to Fo Niemi, co-founder and executive director of the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR), his organization does not receive many complaints from universities.

However, Niemi argues that this is more of a reflection of an unsafe environment for disclosure of discrimination rather than an absence of discriminatory experiences themselves. “In universities and corporations, the many professional and managerial positions produce a professional stigma when someone raises a claim of discrimination.”

Another explanation for the rarity of complaints arising from university staff lies in a Supreme Court of Canada decision, under which unionized people cannot independently appeal to the human rights commission unless the union has found a specific reason to file a grievance in the place of the employee. “That might explain why in many unionized workplaces, such as universities, we do not see very often claims of discrimination going forward,” said Niemi.

As a part-time course lecturer, Lee is a member of the newly-formed McGill Course Lecturers and Instructors Union (MCLIU). However, the union is currently in negotiation with the University for its first collective agreement, and Lee believes he would not have been able to go through the usual grievance procedure in place.

Among the remedies sought, Lee’s complaint asks the Commission to require changes to the hiring policies of the University in general and the McGill School of Social Work in particular, and to order the School to adopt a mandatory employment equity action plan to increase the number of racialized individuals among the School’s faculty and course lecturers. Lee also seeks material and moral damages.

“There are many other students that have been in situations where they have been discriminated against,” said Ahmad, adding, “and found support with [Lee].”