Five questions cool peoples should stop asking

4 May

Excuses for asking wack-ass questions:

 

    1. I was just curious
    2. I’m just trying to get to know you better
    3. It’s perfectly fair to ask
    4. You’re being too sensitive

 

To some these excuses will sound reasonable. To others they sound creepy. It greatly depends on the persons involved and context. Excuses aside, there are some questions that make the room measurably unsafe for those in question. There are other questions that are plain awkward. Whether these questions are innocuous or not, there is no question, they are oppressive questions.

 

  1. What’s your citizenship/work status? Even if you’re offering me salaried employment, I prefer that you ask me this question in writing only after we have engaged in at least preliminary contract negotiations. But your drunk ass thinks it’s appropriate to slur over cocktails “So umm… you were born in Mexico??? How do you work HERE then? You gotum ah GREENcard or sumthin?” I know you understand that people die and/or are imprisoned over this very question. This is not your cue to chime in with your thoughts on immigration policy. I didn’t ask and I don’t care!
  2. What with this whole “queer” thing? Hold on one sec while I get my Queer Identified membership card so that I can read you the universally recognized definition off of the back. Oh wait, first, let me ask YOU what’s with this whole gay/straight thing? You meet a person and you think “I am SO crushing on that person’s gender representation” or after getting to know some one better you say to yourself “I would really like to pursue a relationship with that person based on their sex organs“. And don’t give this bullshit that Queer is a political identity. It’s not. It’s a way of being, it’s the way that I exist. It’s what I am, which has nothing to do with white hipster lesbians gentrifying Brooklyn brownstones and adopting Haitian babies. I am not gay, or lesbian or bi-sexual. I am queer but it hardly matters because I have no interest in fucking you.
  3. Did you lose/gain weight? You’re being fatphobic.
  4. How do you make your money? Call me an idealist but I honestly believe that the most important things to know about some one has nothing to do with how they engage with the violence of capitalism. The paid gigs that we, as poor people of color, have to take on for the sake of economic survival often range from humiliating to illegal to stigmatized and sometimes a combination of these. Of course there are many of us who work perfectly awesome jobs. But even for them, for all of us, our jobs are not who we are. Our jobs are what we do. Sometimes our jobs intersect with who we are inside and sometimes they do not. We have varying privileges as to how much choice we have in this matter. It’s a source of hurt, conflict and stress. In short, all you need to know is that I keep it tight, aight?
  5. Are you single? Wouldn’t you like to know who and under what circumstances I am fucking. If I was interested in cluing you in, I would let you know the old fashioned way of putting a part of my body inside or strategically angled on top of a part of your body. The question you should be asking is Are you desperate? and the answer is, Not enough. Also, I find this question too intense. Like, I dunno, do you mean to ask if I’m alone and what constitutes alone? Do you mean am I alone in the world? You’ve raised an existential mystery that I don’t care to resolve in the polite company of strangers.

 

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