True-Life Microaggressions or How I Learned To Live In America

by J.A. Pak

Where are you from? No, I mean where are you really from? (tone: angry)

I told her American guys just don't find you Asian gals attractive until they get much older. (tone: sympathetic)

You speak English so well. (tone: condescending)

You look just like one of those tiny dolls they give away at carnivals! (tone: enthusiastic)

That's not how you pronounce your name. (tone: angry)

Guys don't find Asian girls attractive until after they've been overseas in the military. (tone: knowing)

I was with my Asian/Jewish/Black friend... (tone: clueless)

I suppose we shouldn't tweet that we play the piano because now we sound stereotypically Asian. (tone: ?)

Why is your writing so minimal? I suppose it's because you're Asian and Asian writing is like that. (tone: “I'm the queen bitch here and don't you forget it.”)

You look just like those girls I saw in Malaysia! (tone: batty)

I don't like Asian girls with curly hair. Asians should have straight hair. (tone: “I don't like my worldview messed with.”)

Does your name mean anything? (tone: curious)

You're the first Asian I've liked since Chiang Kai-shek and he was a bastard. (tone: drunk)

You got any Asian stories? (tone: “I'm only interested in making money off you.”)

You don't look Korean/Japanese/Chinese... (tone: baffled)

No, you're wrong. Korean is just like Chinese. They both use pictograms. (tone: annoying)

What are you? (tone: various)

I'm sure no malice was intended. (tone: denial)