ARTS & CULTURE
04/28/2016 11:31 am ET

Let This Feminist Punk Band Explain The Meaning Of Microagressions

"This Stupid Stuff," by Houston-based band Giant Kitty, gives context to the term in a way dictionaries can't.

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According to Merriam-Webster, the 1970s term microaggression has experienced a significant increase in usage over the past several years, used to refer to comments or actions that are subtly and often unintentionally hostile or demeaning to a member of a minority or marginalized group. Be it an "everyday slight, putdown, indignity, or invalidation," microagressions can include those harmful actions that occur unbeknownst to the microagressor.

The term, some believe, has "leapt from the shadows of academic writing into the bright light of general conversation" largely as a result of student discourse on college campuses. The definition is somewhat vague, and thereby vulnerable to Internet critics who want to decry the term as hyperbolic, counterproductive or too easily misused.

Musician Miriam Hakim is not one of those critics. The Syrian-American woman and leader singer of the Houston-based punk band Giant Kitty recently released a song called "This Stupid Stuff" that succinctly explains the impact of microaggressions on women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and other marginalized communities.

In the video for the song, she uses Post-It notes to visualize just how microaggressions accumulate and lend themselves to systemic discrimination. Go ahead, let this feminist punk band explain the meaning of microagressions better than any dictionary can:

"This Stupid Stuff" Lyrics:

Don't you dare cause a fuss, don't be one of those people
You have to earn respect and love just like the rest of us
Hey girl, you're gonna need thicker skin than what you've got
Haven't you heard you have to live in the world?
Take a little bit every day till you don't feel the burn
It'll never taste good but eventually you'll learn to swallow
Never mind that dog whistle, just be their exception
Just ignore your gut and peace is sure to follow
Strip yourself naked so they can't do it first
Nobody understands what you're even whining about
Take help the way they want and get your fill of poisoned words
Go ahead and cover up, see if you stop sticking out
Take a little bit every day till you don't feel the burn
It'll never taste good but eventually you'll learn to swallow
Never mind that dog whistle, just be their exception
Just ignore your gut and peace is sure to follow
There was a girl who stayed small and quiet
The spitting image of girl's platonic form
Until she'd sampled all this many venomed earth and
Found she couldn't stomach any more
I take a little bit every day, I just can't stand the burn
It tastes like something that I'll never learn to swallow
It's too late, I won't be anyone's exception
This kind of peace is just too fucking much for me to swallow
I take a little bit every day, I just can't stand the burn
It tastes like something that I'll never learn to swallow
It's too late, I won't be anyone's exception
This kind of peace is just too fucking much for me to swallow

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