Monday, August 1, 2011

So what's the rudest thing anyone's ever asked you?

Are you an American?

What's your religion?

Is your mother Black or is it your dad?

How much money do you make?

I heard you're getting married. Are you pregnant?

What nationality are you?

Have you gained weight?

Do you have cancer?

Your kids don't look anything like each other -- do they have the same father?

I got to thinking about rudeness after reading a post over at the Field Negro about how often people with less than lily-white skin get asked about their ethnicity. I thought it was bad just getting asked occasionally if I'm Canadian, thanks to my Yooper accent. (Answer: No, but there are a lot of days when I wish I was.) It must truly suck to have people quizzing you about whether or not you're Haitian/Mexican/Native American/Samoan/whatever simply because you're not a blue eyed blonde.

So what's the rudest question anyone's ever asked you?

[The appropriate answer to all rude questions, of course, as all the advice mavens can tell you, is a simple "Why do you want to know?" followed, if they persist, by "It's none of your business."]


  1. Not many questions I consider rude and I'm more than happy to answer 99 percent of the questions I'm asked.

    I'm a curios man so I ask others about their ethnicity simply because I enjoy learning such things, I'm a mutt myself, and proud of it.

    Helen asked me if I would marry a colored woman, I assume she meant a black woman, hell, I don’t know, depends on the woman, my first wife was an injun so what the hell difference does it make? Actually, it’s a non issue, I’ll never get married again, might shack up with one though.

  2. "When are you due?" (asked by a stranger, 2 months *after* the baby was born).

  3. I'm kind of with BBC on this one. I ask people about their ethnicity because I am honestly curious about them as individuals and want to know about them. Of course, I am a blue-eyed blonde, so that probably puts me into some "Too dumb to know better" category.

    Rudest question I have ever been asked? Hmm. I can't come up with a particular. I try to keep in mind that rude has less to do with the words than with the intention behind them. Someone can ask a surface-nice question and mean something really nasty by it.

  4. When I was a teenager I thought my mother was constantly rude, her nagging questions about, "When are you getting a girl friend?"

    My last name is Lithuanian and I know nothing of the country. I was born here ... but still I would get questions, "What's the name?", "Do you speak Lithuanian?" ... as if because the name is not Anderson or Owens I must be a foreigner.

    Now, unless it's a friend asking, I feel any question about my personal life is off limits and the asker is rude for asking.

  5. Is that your daughter or your wife? (actually she loves it - so do I)
    You get to my age and you tend to confront rudeness with rudeness;
    My answeer is always: Fuck Off.

    the Ol'Buzzard

  6. I think I have asked people about their heritage - I never thought much about it being rude and I know I am not racist because I have asked pale people the same thing! I won't do it anymore now that I realize it is considered personal.

    I will tell pretty much anybody pretty much anything that won't cause identity theft! I am pretty thick skinned when it comes to stuff.

  7. I love to know where people are from and how they got where they are. The movement of peoples throughout history fascinates me. No idea why anyone would think it is rude, though I guess how you word the question makes a difference.

    I am guilty of the pregnancy question and still feel so bad. But the woman got married the year before and was shopping for baby stuff and looked as pregnant as I do. Ah, well, it was for her sister. Dave Barry said it best NEVER ask if a woman is pregnant unless you can see the baby beginning to protrude during birth.


My space, my rules: play nice and keep it on topic.