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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Bounty Information | Wanted Dead or Alive: Mad Scientess Nanila
Deeds of Derring-Do | Full of Wild Inaccuracies and Exaggerations

I refuse to apologise on behalf of the phenotypical expression of my genetic material [20110926|16:12]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Algerian man in restaurant: You look Algerian, actually.
Me: No no. I'm half southeast Asian.
AM: You're sure you aren't part Algerian?
Me: Yes.
AM, looking disbelievingly at me: Hm...I'll have to get you tell my fortune later.
Me: ?!

You could replace "Algerian" in that story with just about any nationality or ethnic group on Earth and I will have experienced it previously. Okay, you couldn't replace the part about the fortune-telling. Are mixed-race people renowned for their psychic powers? If so, how come no one told me earlier? I could have made my fortune as Madame Nanila by now. Curses.

Here are the groups to which people have not only insisted I must belong, but gotten upset with me to some degree for not belonging to them, over the years.

  • Moroccan
  • Thai
  • Jewish
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese
  • Samoan
  • Indonesian
  • Indian
  • Japanese
  • Mexican
  • Italian
  • Cuban
  • Unmixed white


I don't mind being difficult to pigeonhole. I do mind, however, when people get peeved because I don't fit into the preconceived identity box they made for me. How on Earth is that offensive?
linkReply

Comments:
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-09-27 16:24 (UTC)
I like it. I also like a suggestion on Dreamwidth, which is that I should start telling people I'm from SPACE.
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[User Picture]From: anthrokeight
2011-09-26 18:05 (UTC)
Anthropologically speaking-wise, I would hazard any of these things, which I am sure you already know as the rhetorical question above plus narrative suggests, and I am only mulling because this sort of stuff is what class discussions are made of:

Because people don't like to have their preconceptions about who belongs and who doesn't rattled.

Also, because they feel threatened by things (PEOPLE!!!) that belong neither here nor there (BELONG????), and when the mixed thing they are most comfortable isn't the thing you are, they get more rattled.

Because if they are the thing you aren't they feel rejected that you don't belong to their group, especially if they have taken to you, because then they lose you as an ally.

People don't like to be wrong, especially not about something as touchy as race, if it is touchy for them. Because if they got you wrong, they might get other people wrong, and that can be dangerous.

Because you are okay with whatever you are, and they might not be okay with whatever they are, and that's upsetting.

Unserweite.

None of it is fair or rational, except because our ideas about race are such a mess, rational actually is irrational.

I am surprised you haven't been mistaken for Native. Not because I have an opinion about your Native or Non-Native Lookingness, but because that's a category people have trouble with on all kinds of levels.

Also, here is this:

http://www.pbs.org/race/002_SortingPeople/002_00-home.htm

Which you might find interesting. I love doing this in class, because people are so engaged in understanding the difference between what people SAY to them about identity and what they as students PERCEIVE about the people who are saying things.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-09-27 16:23 (UTC)
I would like to tick the "all of the above" option on your list.

I've been mistaken for Native/First Nations, but no one's ever gotten upset with me for it.

I tried the people-sorting page. I got about 50% of them, which is pretty rubbish. Perhaps I was supposed to find that unsettling, but I found it comforting. :D
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[User Picture]From: anthrokeight
2011-09-27 17:06 (UTC)
I think PBS would like that you are comforted!
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[User Picture]From: anthrokeight
2011-09-28 02:05 (UTC)
I've been asked if I am Irish three times this week. You should see the looks of disappointment on their faces when I point to my hair and say "it is fake."

But... but... it looks so reeeeeeaaaallllll! Usually you can tell if it's faaake.

[well, how do you know, since you keep assuming my hair is really red, world?- ed.]

As if red hair is IRISH ALERT!

The most Irish thing on me is my double chin. [Thanks, grandma!]
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From: anokapolis
2011-09-26 18:14 (UTC)
People want to take the easy road, the one which is only based on preconceived notion, just the appearance, which is far from reality. I have had such experience with my life. People say you are what others think you are, I say, sh*t! Not really, and I like that you fit so many groups, I really dislike such questions that like that dude asked! Probably uneducated fool.
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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-09-27 16:01 (UTC)
Maybe I'll just start saying "yes". Or maybe I'll make up fake ones based on heavy elements in the periodic table. "I'm Titanian!"
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[User Picture]From: victorine
2011-09-26 21:51 (UTC)
Why aren't you Algerian?! And why don't you know everything about Algeria?!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-09-27 15:59 (UTC)
I know! I'm so disappointing! It's terrible!
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[User Picture]From: trendyprof
2011-09-27 02:10 (UTC)

Russell Peters has a great skit about this..



(He's Canadian from Indian heritage)
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[User Picture]From: anthrokeight
2011-09-27 14:29 (UTC)

Re: Russell Peters has a great skit about this..

I know how I will be spending my semi-tasking time today.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-09-27 16:00 (UTC)

Re: Russell Peters has a great skit about this..

Be careful not to have hot drinks in your vicinity.
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[User Picture]From: trendyprof
2011-09-28 04:29 (UTC)

Re: Russell Peters has a great skit about this..

You like Amitabh Bhachan! :)
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[User Picture]From: anthrokeight
2011-09-29 00:42 (UTC)

Re: Russell Peters has a great skit about this..

I do! I do like him. I especially like him in Don, and most especially in the opening song sequence where he discusses the madness of modern living in a big city.

Man in skirt. Tall, dark, and handsome. Poppets and singing.

Smoking. Hot.

And Shahrukh's version of the same song while BIG AND SPARKLY is not as charming.

*ahem*

Or so I think.
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[User Picture]From: trendyprof
2011-09-29 01:28 (UTC)

Re: Russell Peters has a great skit about this..

I haven't seen SRK's version...
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[User Picture]From: anthrokeight
2011-09-29 01:30 (UTC)

Re: Russell Peters has a great skit about this..

I suspect this fact doesn't really do to change your quality of life. It was fine. Lots of EYEBROW ACTING and QUIVERING LOWER LIPS by SRK, as you might expect.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-09-29 11:51 (UTC)

Re: Russell Peters has a great skit about this..

Ooh. I'm planning to do a Bollywood Actors week on multibeautiful - would you be willing to help me with this please?
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[User Picture]From: anthrokeight
2011-09-29 13:35 (UTC)

Re: Russell Peters has a great skit about this..

Sure. What kind of help do you need?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-09-30 08:54 (UTC)

Re: Russell Peters has a great skit about this..

A list of five each of your favourite male & female actors would be great if you have time. If you know of any alternately-self-identifying stars as well, that would be grand. If you want to provide a brief bio, that would be awesome but is not necessary.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-09-27 15:59 (UTC)

Re: Russell Peters has a great skit about this..

I'm glad I waited until my work colleague had left the office to watch this. That's brilliant. I've had people treat me like I had suddenly walked through a wall when I told them I was Filipino.
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[User Picture]From: sekl
2011-09-27 13:16 (UTC)
I love this thought process, "Ah beautiful woman you must be part me. And you must be clairvoyant." There is such a thing as admitting with good grace that you can't claim every attractive person for your own ethnicity...but maybe only in California.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-09-27 16:20 (UTC)
AHAAAAA. I'm starting to think this clairvoyance thing could work out for me as a fallback plan if all else fails.
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[User Picture]From: anthrokeight
2011-09-28 02:09 (UTC)
Them: something tells me you are... Norweigan. What do you mean you're... but... but...

You: Something tells me you are... a juicebox! Yesss, a juicebox is what you are.
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[User Picture]From: minirth
2011-09-30 23:01 (UTC)
WOW. Did your jaw actually hit the floor or did you bite through your tongue? What the... fortune telling?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-10-03 14:36 (UTC)
I was pretty bemused, I have to say. He bustled off after that.
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