A new social justice guideline released by a women's college in Boston has listed "Merry Christmas" and "God bless you" as forms of "microaggression."
The document, prepared by librarians at Simmons College, lists six "anti-oppression" categories — "anti-racism," "anti-transmisia," "anti-ableism," "anti-Islamomisia," "anti-sanism" and "anti-queermisia" — with which students should be familiar.
Under "anti-Islamomisia," students are warned that saying "God bless you" after someone sneezes is microaggression against Muslims.
The document argued that wishing someone "Merry Christmas" is also a microaggression because it "conveys one's perception that everyone is Christian or believes in God."
Other microaggressions under the section include "endorsing religious stereotypes," viewing hijabs as trendy or fashionable and suggesting that Muslims follow the wrong religion.
The authors also asserted that Christians suffer from "Christian fragility" and may become angry, hostile or defensive when discussing religion. They surmised that this occurs because Christians do not have the "skills for constructive engagement with [religious] difference" as they are the dominant religious group.
They also contended that Christians benefit from "Christian privilege" because they can expect to have some free time off work during religious holidays.
The guide explains that it is intended for providing some general information about "anti-oppression, diversity, and inclusion" as well as information about available resources about key social justice issues in the community.
According to The College Fix, the guide includes hyperlinks to more than 100 resources, such as articles and videos.
The guide stressed that it avoids using the suffix "phobia," and has replaced it with the term "misia" because the term "phobia" is offensive to those suffering from a phobia or mental health disorder.
"Misia (pronounced 'miz-eeya') comes from the Greek word for hate or hatred, so similar to how Islamophobia means 'fear of Islam,' the more accurate Islamomisia means 'hatred of Islam,'" the document explained.
Under the "transmisia" tab, students are warned against using incorrect gender pronouns or "misgendering" their classmates.
The authors maintained that attaching the prefix "micro" to the noun "aggression" does not minimalize or otherwise evaluate the impact or "seriousness of the aggressions."
"The prefix 'micro' is used because these are invocations of racial hierarchy at the individual level (person to person), where as the 'macro' level refers to aggressions committed by structures as a whole (e.g. an organizational policy)," it stated.
Simmons College Library Deputy Director Jason Wood noted that the guide was created as a collaborative effort that included all of the librarians at the university. But a school spokesperson has stated that the document published by the librarians is not an official policy of the university.