A growing trend among among social justice jihadis, especially Women of Color, is exhaustion from all the emotional labor they perform enduring microaggressions on campus. From Inside Higher Education:
A faculty member describes some of the lessons she’s learned the hard way.
The author is a faculty member at a small liberal arts college.
November 17, 2017
Readers, I will be honest with you: when I accepted my first tenure-track position, I was excited to formally join the academy. I naïvely assumed the bubble of academe would insulate me from, well, everything. I raced toward my Ph.D. in search of social protection, professional stability and financial freedom. Instead, I found early-career emotional, physical and mental exhaustion.
… Most of us, instead, experience professional death by a thousand cuts. We spend our days ducking microaggressions, hurdling stereotypes and navigating emotional distress. Most of us will be denied tenure, and many will be too exhausted to protest if we managed to land a tenure-track job at all.
When I went to work mobilizing support for change, I had no idea the toll institutional racism in this setting and academe more generally would take on my physical health, my spirit and my passion for educating. …
Here are some lessons about surviving academe’s institutionalized racism that I have learned the hard way.
The job of a professor is physical work. In graduate school, I rarely heard discussions of the physicality of academe. … A short critical comment in faculty meeting requires brute force to momentarily pause my shaking hands as I stand to address fellow faculty. There is no alternative action in this example. To allow my hands to shake would undermine the little power I’ve amassed, but the physical exhaustion I feel afterward is palpable.
… I let students unload their experiences on me, but it is difficult to maintain emotional distance when we are angry about the same things. … I lost sleep, I cried. I want to give these students a voice but almost lost mine in the process. …
… I thought myself a burden to those struggling through their own fatigue.
I’m not just making fun of this essay. There really is a trend to proclaim oneself “exhausted.” Here are some other examples: