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 is a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to her work at Feministing, Lori is an Associate Director at Planned Parenthood Global. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

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

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