Some of us might be guilty of stereotyping what people do for a living based on their race, gender and what they wear to work. This way of thinking should no longer exist in 2019, but unfortunately in still does.
The incident occurred when she boarded an e-hailing car that she booked from her office. She shared the conversation between her and the driver:
“Oh, you work in the canteen ah in Google?”
Dumbfounded, Atikah wasn’t sure if she heard him correctly. She asked to clarify, “Canteen?”
“Yeah, the food court upstairs.”
She admitted that she had to take a moment to process what the man said and the implications behind it. She responds,
“No, I work in Google.”
Atikah mentioned that from the conversation, she felt angry, humiliated and confused. She said,
“Just because I’m a Malay woman in hijab, it was immediately assumed that I work in the canteen when he picked me up at the office – because surely someone like me cannot be working in Google, right? Wrong. I was very upset, and the driver didn’t say anything after that.”
She also explained that there is nothing wrong with working at the canteen but the stereotyping is what’s wrong with the whole conversation.
Atikah took the opportunity to remind everyone to be more aware when they are communicating. She wrote,
“The key here is the unawareness of the communicator, and how it may be seen as trivial and one-off. But here’s the thing: microaggressions are active manifestations or a reflection of our worldviews of inclusion/exclusion, superiority/inferiority, and desirability/undesirability. Much of this is outside the level of conscious awareness, thus we engage in actions that unintentionally oppress and discriminate against others.”
The incident that has happened to Atikah Amalina is a good example of what some of us go through daily. So remember to always be wary of what you say to someone.
As for the driver, shame on you!
You can read her full post here:
Also read: M’sian Girl Shares How Parents Are Against Her Interracial Relationship & Threatened Violence