To a certain segment of the population, babies and pregnant people are fair game for all kinds of bold questions from strangers. Maybe the only way to teach them otherwise is to answer their microaggression just as boldly, as one Indian American woman did to a nosy white lady recently. Their exchange has us ready to take notes for later.
“My friends and I decided to have an outdoor lunch together for the first time since February,” anjappari wrote in the AITA subreddit this week. “I take COVID very seriously because of my baby (now 6 months) but the cases in our area are very low and we all agreed to go to a place with less crowd.”
The new mom and her friends are all Indian American, and her baby’s father is white, which is why the girl also appears white. The baby was happily laughing and babbling, causing a white woman eating nearby to come up, unmasked, to compliment her, sort of.
“Her exact words were, ‘How cute! That baby is just adorable! I just want to eat that little face up! Where did she come from?'”
In what universe is this a polite or appropriate question?
“I was so confused and put off by that question,” anjappari wrote. “I didn’t know what she was talking about and my immediate response was, ‘Umm, well my vagina?’”
This offended the woman — as if vagina is a bad word? Does she not understand where babies come from?
“We carried on with our lunch, and then when we were leaving, the lady’s husband and son walked up toward us and told us that we disrespected her and asked us if we had any lessons in basic manners,” anjappari said.
We have some thoughts about who doesn’t have manners in this situation, but the conversation shook anjappari and her friends, which is why she took to Reddit to ask if she was the a-hole. Redditors don’t think so at all.
“Normally, I wouldn’t advise mentioning your vagina to a stranger, but the question was rude,” werebothsquidward wrote. “I don’t blame you for being taken aback. She came up to you and violated COVID restrictions, so I don’t think you really owe her that much courtesy. Plus what you said was weird but not really rude. Her husband should have dropped it.”
Many shared stories of strangers assuming mothers were their mixed-race children‘s nannies because of differing skin tones. Some recalled this happening to their own mothers.
“I can’t help but to laugh at this,” CestlaBella said. “I am a mixed-race Black woman, and my children’s father is white. Both our girls look white. I have been asked MANY times, when they were younger (both now adults), where did I get my girls from, and that was my exact answer!”
HeavenlyApple_666 was reminded of all the other times white people ask, “Where are you from?”
“The exact same way that question gets asked to POC all the time with the subtle assumption that we probably aren’t American based on our race,” they wrote. “A pure and basic microaggresion at its finest.“
And many agree with us that “From my vagina” should be a standard response to this question from now on.
“If you ever encounter a situation like that again I’d keep your original response,” PigDoctor suggested, “and then when the questioner acts affronted, calmly sit them down and start with, ‘Well, when a mommy and a daddy love each other very much …'”
Add these children’s books starring girls of color to your kids’ library.