'Where are you from originally?'

It's @sweden. Where do you think?


  1. Yesterday, while taking a *short* revision break on Twitter, the following tweet came up on my timeline:
  2. It's a familiar response to an irritating question. I'm white and from the UK, so it's not a question I've ever been asked, but it's not hard to see the disquieting implication and wince in sympathy.
    Here's the original Maria was responding to:
  3. And the follow-up question was horribly predictable:
  4. This is the kind of subtle, maybe subconscious bigotry that seems impossible to tackle on Twitter, couched in short sentences and seemingly innocent questions. Perhaps it was innocent, someone genuinely failing to grasp that @sweden was, well, Swedish. Either way, an angry Twitter mob weren't going to help matters.

    Maria did not respond, instead entertaining anyone wise enough to follow her with gaming injury and cosplay stories and it looked like that might be an end to it. Then, this morning, she produced this erudite response. I had to storify it. 
  5. Intersectionality is a hard word, but this is one of the best, nuanced and personal explanations I've seen, and I hope storifying it helps keep it around.