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Questions likely to unsettle you

Ideally, we should all mind our business and respect personal space. But there are nosy individuals who lack decorum and sensitivity and will engage you in irritating conversations and bombard you with illogical queries, writes Cynthia Mukanzi

1. Are you on your period?

A lot of women are put through this sexist trope whenever they speak up, stand their ground and call out crap.

It’s meant to humiliate, diminish and silence their voices and therefore, enable oppressive behaviour towards women. And that diverts attention from whatever issue she was confronting. No woman should ever be asked that.

2. How many people have you slept with?

For heaven’s sake, digging up someone’s dating or sexual history in that manner is inappropriate. I don’t understand why people think it is okay to ask that. Honestly, what is it they are looking for in a body count?

When you are dating someone, all you should care about is that they are with you and not whom else they were with before you. If it’s a sexual health concern, then I believe there are decent ways to go about it, but asking for a list of their former lovers is not one of them.

3. Is it just me or have you put on weight?

So, what if they have? Some people are thoughtless and get a thrill from putting others down. They project their insecurities onto others because that makes them feel better about themselves and that’s really messed up. We don’t go around asking people why they are ‘fat’. If you can’t be nice just shut up and mind your business.

4. How much do you earn?

Excuse me, why do you want to know? People actually boldly ask this question. I’m not sure whether they do that because they want to compare salaries, steal from the person or budget for them. But whatever the reason, it’s a question that should never be directed to anyone.

Someone else’s finances should be privy only to them. And if they choose to disclose it willingly then, well and good. Just don’t ask your lovers, spouses, friends, parents or siblings how much money they make. It’s irritating!

5. How old are you?

If you do not know someone’s age, chances are you are not friends or family and so, it is none of your business. This is a detail they would freely give you if they wanted to, but clearly they don’t want or need to. So, if it’s their birthday, just wish them a good one and go on with your life.

6. When will you invite me to your house?

This mostly comes from men to women. They are basically entitled and think they have a right to be in a woman’s intimate space just because they work, study or hang out with her. They are probably fishing for sex.

Bruh, it’s not cool and your mama didn’t have to teach you that. Others will even push it by ‘when will I sample your cooking?’ No, you won’t. Bye!

7. When are you going to get married?

African parents and aunties take the gold medal for this insensitive prying. In life, people have different journeys, goals and priorities. And if settling down in form of marriage is part of the plan, then they will get to it at their own timing. But you have no business in being nosy and looking at the clock for them.

I bet they can tell how time works and they have other things to do with it. Sadly, it happens that this societal pressure to get married and have children falls heavily on women who are constantly pelted by how their ‘biological clock is running out’ and ‘expiry date’ nonsense.

8. Why don’t you have children?

Here we go again. God forbid that you are married and have no children; everyone will speculate, gossip and look at you pitifully.

Then there are those who will shamelessly step up to your face to ask why there aren’t children in the picture as if they want to donate some. It is rude and insensitive. Married or not, you do not owe anyone answers as to why you do not have children. It is your life.

9. How much did you buy it for?

Some people always want to be annoyingly intrusive. They see your new car, hoodie or fancy handkerchief; they want to know how much it cost. They visit your house and they are all over asking how much you pay for rent or how much money you spent putting it up.

They will ask you everything including the school fees you pay for your children or your part-time studies at the college. This kind of meddling isn’t right at all.

10. Why are you not in a relationship?

Again, this is not a question that should be tossed around. People experience life differently and that is all we should know. Plus, it shouldn’t be strange for one to be single and yet they came into this world alone. Nobody asks you why you are in a relationship anyway. You do what works for you. Are we together?

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