There’s a character in the office I like to avoid like the plague because of his silly sexist jokes. This week, he asked me a question which I found very insensitive and intrusive. After the usual office chit chat at the water dispenser, he blurted out, “By the way, when is baby number three coming?”
“That’s none of your business, Mark. Please mind your business and enjoy your day,” I told him politely but with a firm tone as I walked away from the water point. Like Mark, there are annoying characters in the office and other social circles who have guts to ask very intrusive questions.
There is a territory of sensitive questions, unless you are in a woman’s inner circle of friends, it is rude and intrusive to ask. There are many issues that fall in this no-go zone but because of space limitations, I will share five questions you should never ask a woman be it career, stay at home, single or married woman. Here goes:
1.When is baby coming?
Society has this thing of putting unnecessary pressure on individuals, especially brides. For instance, after getting married, they start probing when baby is coming. And after you get your first child, once they hit one year, the questions start again, when is baby two coming... and baby three...it never stops. Please never ask when is baby 1,2,3,4 ... coming, you never know what fertility struggles a couple is going through.
2.When are you getting married?
This is a question eligible career woman are confronted with every so often. I have a friend who even dreads going to shags because all the relatives, from her mum to her nosy aunties cannot give her a break regarding her marital status. This is a very personal decision.
3.You’ve lost weight, are you OK?
Or the other culprit, you’ve added weight, are you pregnant? Weight matters are such a weighty matter to women so before you broach that subject with a sister, make sure you are tight and you mean well. If you are not close to me and notice that I have added weight or lost it, don’t remind me because I already know and it’s giving me sleepless nights.
4. How much rent do you pay?
Why would you want to know how much I pay for my rent? Asking me how much rent I pay is almost like asking me how much my salary is. How much rent I pay is my business? If you want to gauge how much I pay, just ask me where I live and do your math.
5. Are you sure you are the younger one, you look older?
Age is a very sensitive matter to women. So there is this classical age related question that is sickening. If I introduce you to my older sister and you notice that I look older, just go with the flow. Don’t ask me, “Are you sure you are the younger one?” Of course I am.
The writer is a married working mother of a toddler boy and a pre-school girl. She shares her experience of juggling between career, family and social life.