S/O- "What are you?" - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-06-2008, 02:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Minxie View Post
I'm one of those who finds the "What are you?" question rude so I usually respond,

"American."
Dh said he answers "Human." That is also his race.

Interestingly he said the question that doesn't bother him is "What's your nationality?"... but he's probably disappointing for them, since he's American.

Interestingly, my sister's ILs thought Dh looked Egyptian. That same sister has been told she looks Romanian or Bulgarian (we have zero known heritage in that area.)

Jannah5, the woman could also have been from Uzbekistan,Kyrgyzstan, etc. I had a couple of close friends in college who were Kyrgyz.

~ Colleen ~ Joyful Unschooling Pagan mama to hearts.gifenergy.gifsuperhero.gifjog.gif and babyf.gif
"When I'm sad, I stop being sad and be AWESOME instead."
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:05 PM
 
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I struggle with finding a polite way of asking people what their cultural background is. For the most part I just don't do it, then wish I had. I am white, but my husband is Japanese and Korean. Our daughter looks mostly white, except she has sort of Asian looking eyes. Her hair is light brown and her skin is like mine (except in the summer when she tans). Mostly my reason for asking people is because I sort of feel like I have some Asian heritage myself (even though that sounds stupid) and I would like to talk with other Asian people to see what kind of things they do with their family and to somehow parent my daughter better. I'm not sure I'm explaining what I mean very well, but it seems like I am missing out on what could be meaningful conversations because I don't want to come off as the rude white person asking an annoying question. Also, I am trying to find a good way to respond to other people when they ask me about my daughter. I usually get told I have a beautiful daughter and is she mixed with something? I think "mixed with something" is such a strange word to use.
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:21 AM
 
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pokeyrin View Post
I agree it's all in the context. Sometimes the "What are you?" question bugs me when I feel like it could be asked in a more intelligent way such as "What is your ethnic background?"

For the most part I'm pretty laid back about it until someone uses the word Oriental. That just makes me grit my teeth, I can't stand being referred to as Oriental and I can't stand hearing people call other Asians or refer to Asian things as Oriental.
I totally agree! I really hate it when referred to as Oriental. The other thing hate is that I get comments that I speak so well. When I used to work as an auditor for a large government contractor company, I had to travel to the midwest a lot. I would interview people regarding their jobs. The comments I get all the time would be what I am and how I spoke english so well. I just didn't like the assumption that just because I was Asian that I would be speaking with a an accent or that I would be speaking broken english.
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RainCoastMama View Post
Hee hee I'am always asked that Q b/c I look (Mexican, Italian, Spanish, Native, biracial, Greek) (I'm actually South Asian).

An ex bf once took me to a B and B and the (white) manager asked my (white, redheaded Irish) bf what I was when I was out of earshot. His anwer? "She's perfect." :
Awwww.....

Monica , DH :cop , DD (8) , DS1 (5) , DS2 (2/09) , and the pup
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:48 PM
 
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when I was younger, it had never been explained tactfully how to ask about someone's ethnic background. We just said, "what are you?" But, as I got older, I learned that it was rude and tacky to ask that.

I had a man recently stop me at Walmart and say, "is their father white?" to me, that was fine. I said yes. Had he said "what are your kids," I would have been offended.
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Old 07-12-2008, 03:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RainCoastMama View Post
An ex bf once took me to a B and B and the (white) manager asked my (white, redheaded Irish) bf what I was when I was out of earshot. His anwer? "She's perfect." :

My - with a quote like that, bummer he's an ex!
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:58 PM
 
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I totally agree! I really hate it when referred to as Oriental. The other thing hate is that I get comments that I speak so well. When I used to work as an auditor for a large government contractor company, I had to travel to the midwest a lot. I would interview people regarding their jobs. The comments I get all the time would be what I am and how I spoke english so well. I just didn't like the assumption that just because I was Asian that I would be speaking with a an accent or that I would be speaking broken english.
Being multicultural is a lot more acceptable and more of the norm now and I think that is why I get irritated now and then if someone calls me Oriental, because it's so outdated. My step-mom who is Korean will use the word Oriental to refer to Asians when speaking to a non-Asian. But if she's talking to me or other Asians she'll actually refer to them as Chinese, Korean, Japanese etc... or what she thinks they look like.

When I was younger I would also get those "Wow you speak perfect English!" or "Hey, how come you don't have a Chinese accent?" comments before. As I got older I would get it more from Chinese people who were shocked that I spoke Mandarin with no American accent.
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