Meanwhile, in the world of clown-shoe education:
Saying “God bless you” after someone sneezes is listed as a microaggression on a lengthy “anti-oppression” guide posted online by Simmons College. “This guide is intended to provide some general information about anti-oppression, diversity, and inclusion as well as information and resources for the social justice issues key to the Simmons College community,” it states, adding “this guide is by no means exhaustive.”
It does, however, have eight subsections and contains links to over 100 further sources of recreational agonising. Because the fever dream must never end.
Apparently, the sneezing thing is fraught with oppressive potential because it implies an “assumption of one’s own religious identity as the norm,” and “conveys one’s perception that everyone is Christian.” (There is as yet no word on the injurious effects of greetings and gestures favoured by other religious groups, or on how offended one should be when, following a sneeze, someone says sahha or yarhamukom-Allah.) And that time when I sneezed in the checkout queue in a Marks & Spencer Food Hall and the lady behind me instinctively said “Bless you,” what she really meant, obviously, is “Convert to the one true faith or may The Lord damn your heathen carcass.”
Given the university’s Augean mission to catalogue and denounce all possible sin, however small and theoretical, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the act of compiling lists of things to complain about has itself proved problematic. Specifically,
Labelling oppression with “phobia” suffixes is harmful,
The guide’s authors explain that they replaced the typical suffix “phobia,” such as Islamophobia, with the term “misia,” because the term “phobia” is offensive to people with phobias.
At which point, the very fabric of spacetime began to boil.