The Wednesday Weigh-In: “What Weird Mix Are You?” and Other Awesomely Bad Microaggressions

We’ve written before about Microaggressions, a sweet blog that provides a platform to expose some of the subtle and not-so-subtle forms of ‘isms that invade our daily lives.

As Chloe explained earlier this year, the blog catalogs small expressions of inequality, from a parent who pointedly leaves newspaper articles about HIV lying around for her gay son to see to a white classmate claiming, on MLK Day no less, that she’s been discriminated against because she’s white.

I thought of the site this Memorial Day weekend when I was asked during a party by two white European women “What weird mix are you?” and felt like causing a scene. Instead, I smiled politely. “I’m half Russian- maybe we share some relatives.” She confusedly scoffed.

I’m also reminded of it when a friend of mine and I are constantly asked if we’re sisters when we’re out together. I am half black and half Russian, she is Mexican. Needless to say, we pretty much look nothing alike except for the fact that we are women of color. We generally reply that we are “sistas” and that seems to quell the questions.

Which brings me to the point of this post: a question for you all on this lovely first day of June!

What are some microaggressions you’ve witnessed or experienced, and how did they make you feel?

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman started blogging with Feministing in 2008, and now runs partnerships and strategy as a co-Executive Director. She is also the Director of Youth Engagement at Women Deliver, where she promotes meaningful youth engagement in international development efforts, including through running the award-winning Women Deliver Young Leaders Program. Lori was formerly the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and has also worked at the United Nations Foundation on the Secretary-General's flagship Every Woman Every Child initiative, and at the International Women’s Health Coalition and Human Rights Watch. As a leading voice on women’s rights issues, Lori frequently consults, speaks and publishes on feminism, activism and movement-building. A graduate of Harvard University, Lori has been named to The Root 100 list of the most influential African Americans in the United States, and to Forbes Magazine‘s list of the “30 Under 30” successful mediamakers. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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