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Is Your Birthday Card a Microaggression?

by Kelly Martincin, M.A.

My family has a tradition of a light-hearted competition of who can find the funniest birthday card for any family birthday.  My brother-in-law’s birthday was last week, so I spent a bit of time in a local card shop trying to find something that we hadn’t seen before and was truly funny.  As the minutes passed and I picked up card after card, I began noticing themes of “She looks good for her age” and “If he can remember anything at this age, that’s a win.”  I didn’t find any of them to be funny, and the more I thought about it, I found them all mildly offensive.  If the writers of these cards were to substitute any other personal characteristic where these cards say “age” (e.g. ethnicity, religious or sexual preference, other physical attributes such as weight or hair color), there would be an outcry. …

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