Friday 29 May 2020

Zoom meetings reinforce heteronormativity

'On May 14, Michigan State University published an article highlighting claims from MSU Professor Amy Bonomi and University of Colorado Interim Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion Nelia Viveiros that there exists an “unconscious bias” in video conferencing meetings.

'The pair argues that these settings are a particularly ripe environment for people to unintentionally practice prejudice or stereotyping.
'Viveiros and Bomoni claim that common vessels for “bias” during video conference calls are virtual meeting backgrounds such as family photos, or icebreaker questions that can serve to reinforce dominant social norms or minoritize coworkers. Bonomi adds that microaggressions are now communicated in virtual meetings just as they are in in-person meetings.

'Unconscious bias includes using language, symbolism and nonverbal cues that reinforce normative social identities with respect to gender, race, sexual preference, and socioeconomic status,” said Bonomi. “For example, when the virtual background of a Zoom meeting attendee has pictures of his or her wedding, it unintentionally reinforces the idea that marriage is most fitting between opposite sexes.'

That's in America. I wonder how many Protestant or Catholic bishops complain about this sort of thing and say married couples consisting of a man and a woman are normal and admirable. They find time to talk a lot about climate change and refugees.

You see why the novelist Ruth Dudley Edwards has given up writing satirical novels. She said it is literally impossible to write satire any more. 

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