Monday, May 01, 2017

The politics of eye contact get into trouble

In attempting to avoid microaggressions, Oxford University stumbled into one.

Last week, Oxford’s Equality and Diversity Unit disseminated a newsletter highlighting unintentional but supposedly racist behaviors that it claimed could make people feel like they “do not belong” and cause “mental ill-health.” Among the microaggressions listed: Avoiding eye contact.

But on Twitter, several people noted that this directive was insensitive to people with autism.

According to the organization Autism Speaks, some autistic people find “the act of making eye contact extremely stressful,” while others say it makes them “further distracted and unable to focus on the conversation.”

A chastened Oxford rushed to apologize, backtracking on its microaggression guidelines.

“We are sorry that we took no account of other reasons for difference in eye contact and social interaction, including disability,” the university said in a series of Tweets. “We made a mistake. Our newsletter was too brief to deal adequately and sensibly with the issue. … Oxford deeply values and works hard to support students and staff with disabilities, including those with autism or social anxiety disorder.”



Bird of Paradise said...

Eye contact makes little liberal snowflakes shutter and whine and go whimper,whimper,whimper all day and all night long

Bill R. said...

So, if I'm having a conversation with an Oxford woman and I'm staring at her tits, it's okay?

Anonymous said...

I can confirm that eye contact is a big issue for lots of people with Autism. It is also a cultural thing. It can be rude and confrontational in some cultures.
Can't people all just STFU and so being so damn sensitive about everything?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the morons at Oxford should have shut up and made no comment in the first place without truly evaluating their article.

Spurwing Plover the Fighting Shorebird said...

Its too bad liberals cant ever open their mouths without sticking their foot in but that's the life of a liberal snowflake suffering from foot in mouth disorder