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Author Topic: Is it rude to ask someone....'WHAT ARE YOU?'  (Read 119 times)

Offline Jay_Thomas

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Is it rude to ask someone....'WHAT ARE YOU?'
« on: June 10, 2021, 04:44:25 PM »
Newbie in the office asked me if I thought it was rude, impolite, whatever to ask another coworker...
'WHAT ARE YOU?'  :shrug:

Me looking puzzled, I reply: What do you mean 'WHAT ARE THEY?'

And the newbie says "you know, like, their racial makeup, do you think it would be offensive?"

I just replied I cannot really say as nobody has ever outright asked me WHAT ARE YOU before.  ::)


This is our 2nd week BACK on the jobsite after working remotely since March 16, 2020. [Oh how I miss it so]. So some of these people were hired and are just now meeting the others as well as permanent staff.

I'm not HR so they are on their own with that one.  :shrug:   I got other stuff today, like jump in and out of these posts on Onnidan and keep Capler and Neymar inline.  :blush:
« Last Edit: June 10, 2021, 04:47:33 PM by Jay_Thomas »

Offline Devin

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Re: Is it rude to ask someone....'WHAT ARE YOU?'
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2021, 04:46:48 PM »
Working from home never seemed so attractive. .

Offline y04185

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Re: Is it rude to ask someone....'WHAT ARE YOU?'
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2021, 07:08:58 PM »
Just ask what nationality are you.  Or what sex are you?  I can tell by your accent you ain't from Texas.  Where are you from?
Fayetteville State by choice. Bronco by the Grace of GOD.

Offline cee dog

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Re: Is it rude to ask someone....'WHAT ARE YOU?'
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2021, 10:33:30 PM »
Don't let pookie or ray ray who works in the building doing maintenance or clean up see them. They ask "aye Ms. Shawty, what you is gul. You got that different look going on".
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Offline Capler

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Re: Is it rude to ask someone....'WHAT ARE YOU?'
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2021, 10:48:02 PM »
You should never ask someone that. Even if you and the person have become friends, that is a question you have to approach with caution. On a few occasions I have backed into it once an opening presented itself. A few years ago our department hired an openly lesbian coworker. We all assumed that about her judging by her dress, demeanor, and the way she wanted to be addressed. With all that information, it was inappropriate to ask her if she was a lesbian.  One day we were talking and she mentioned her wife, that was the opening.  The same situation holds true for race.  You just don't ask someone if  they are mixed. You wait  until the door is cracked and then go in.

Offline cee dog

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Re: Is it rude to ask someone....'WHAT ARE YOU?'
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2021, 10:50:40 PM »
If I'm trying to hit it I'll ask. This is why pookie and Dre get all the fine chicks. They ain't scared to to talk to them.

You should never ask someone that. Even if you and the person have become friends, that is a question you have to approach with caution. On a few occasions I have backed into it once an opening presented itself. A few years ago our department hired an openly lesbian coworker. We all assumed that about her judging by her dress, demeanor, and the way she wanted to be addressed. With all that information, it was inappropriate to ask her if she was a lesbian.  One day we were talking and she mentioned her wife, that was the opening.  The same situation holds true for race.  You just don't ask someone if  they are mixed. You wait  until the door is cracked and then go in.
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Offline Capler

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Re: Is it rude to ask someone....'WHAT ARE YOU?'
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2021, 11:12:42 PM »
If I'm trying to hit it I'll ask. This is why pookie and Dre get all the fine chicks. They ain't scared to to talk to them.

You should never ask someone that. Even if you and the person have become friends, that is a question you have to approach with caution. On a few occasions I have backed into it once an opening presented itself. A few years ago our department hired an openly lesbian coworker. We all assumed that about her judging by her dress, demeanor, and the way she wanted to be addressed. With all that information, it was inappropriate to ask her if she was a lesbian.  One day we were talking and she mentioned her wife, that was the opening.  The same situation holds true for race.  You just don't ask someone if  they are mixed. You wait  until the door is cracked and then go in.

You don't have to ask, once they take off their clothes, you will have your answer.

Offline Jay_Thomas

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Re: Is it rude to ask someone....'WHAT ARE YOU?'
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2021, 08:28:59 AM »
 :lol: I've never felt compelled to ask someone their sexuality. Either I assumed one or the other or it just wasn't a question for me....I don't care that much about the folks I work with.

Altho just last year, white guy in the office revealed in conversation that he was part of the LBGTQ community.... OK, NOT UNUSUAL... but then HE added... "being transgendered" and it took me about 2 seconds and I was like WHAT? WHO? YOU? YOU'RE CHITTING ME!!!!  He then proceeded to show us pics on his phone from when he was a born-n-bred-girl. I was flabbergasted  :lol:  Short white guy, red FULL beard, bald with red hair on the side. I would have never guessed in a million years. Cool that he felt comfortable with enough with us to share it with us....I guess.  Shoot, I don't even tell these folks what I do and where I go when I take vacation  :lol:  Nosey Heffas!!!

Nationality? Some I have wondered but never fixed my mouth to ask them what they were. To me it just sounds ignorant altho I get some people are curious. Some are obviously NOT white. I guess I am just NOT THAT IN TO MY COWORKERS.  These are the nosiest people you ever want to meet.

And then there is one who's last name has changed at least 3 times. Maiden Name. 1st married last name. 2nd married last name. And now a hyphenated name. WHATEVER. We're on first name basis around here anyway.  ::)

Offline G-Ram

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Re: Is it rude to ask someone....'WHAT ARE YOU?'
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2021, 09:52:00 AM »
My problem is I don’t know what them call the person. Miss, Mam, Dude, Sir.  It just doesn’t sound right or I don’t feel good about calling a person by a man’s name if I know they are really a female.  It’s cool if your name was Samantha and you now want to be called Sam. But I can’t call you a man if I don’t feel you are one. Even if you think you are one.

Offline Jay_Thomas

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Re: Is it rude to ask someone....'WHAT ARE YOU?'
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2021, 10:14:39 AM »
In the case of the transgender dude, he worked here for 4 or 5 years. Was Alex [Alexander] when he came and thats all we ever knew [OR SAW] but I can see working with someone who is going thru that change complete with name changes, pronoun changes etc, MAY be an adjustment for the folks they work with. Honestly cannot say what I would feel about OR IF I would feel any way at all. They're just folks in the workplace.

Heyal, if they only knew the names that I actually do call them in my head, THEN THEY WOULD BE REALLY OFFENDED...and that probably goes both ways too.  :lmao:

Offline soflorattler

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Re: Is it rude to ask someone....'WHAT ARE YOU?'
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2021, 10:24:39 AM »
In the case of the transgender dude, he worked here for 4 or 5 years. Was Alex [Alexander] when he came and thats all we ever knew [OR SAW] but I can see working with someone who is going thru that change complete with name changes, pronoun changes etc, MAY be an adjustment for the folks they work with. Honestly cannot say what I would feel about OR IF I would feel any way at all. They're just folks in the workplace.

Heyal, if they only knew the names that I actually do call them in my head, THEN THEY WOULD BE REALLY OFFENDED...and that probably goes both ways too.  :lmao:

Back when I worked for a living, we had a similar situation at work. He went from being Mark with a family to divorce, wearing female clothing, hormone treatments, finally the operation to being Marcia.  :no:

Offline Bearforlife

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Re: Is it rude to ask someone....'WHAT ARE YOU?'
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2021, 11:00:06 AM »
I think it is acceptable and less rude to ask someone what they would like to be called or ask how they prefer to be addressed. It is rude to ask what are you or to be like I don't know whether to call you maam, sir, etc. Ask people how they'd like to be addressed and then address them as such.

Offline Capler

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Re: Is it rude to ask someone....'WHAT ARE YOU?'
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2021, 11:14:55 AM »
My problem is I don’t know what them call the person. Miss, Mam, Dude, Sir.  It just doesn’t sound right or I don’t feel good about calling a person by a man’s name if I know they are really a female.  It’s cool if your name was Samantha and you now want to be called Sam. But I can’t call you a man if I don’t feel you are one. Even if you think you are one.

In a situation like that it is best to ask how they want to be addressed .  And regardless of how uncomfortable you feel about it, you must do what they ask. This harkens back to the UNCG professor who asked the politician to call her doctor.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2021, 11:18:57 AM by Capler »

Offline Jay_Thomas

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Re: Is it rude to ask someone....'WHAT ARE YOU?'
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2021, 11:15:47 AM »
I think it is acceptable and less rude to ask someone what they would like to be called or ask how they prefer to be addressed. It is rude to ask what are you or to be like I don't know whether to call you maam, sir, etc. Ask people how they'd like to be addressed and then address them as such.



 :nod: Exactly. That sounds a lot more polite, 'what would you like to be called?' I think that goes down much easier than WHAT ARE YOU?  Shoot, I know if somebody asked me WHAT ARE YOU, knowing me I'd be inclined to shoot back WHAT DA FFFF ARE YOU?   ;D

 

 

 

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