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Inappropriate Questions
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Inappropriate Questions

Author: CBC Podcasts

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People are curious, and that's great. But there are some questions you just shouldn't ask—or at least not like that. Elena "#millennial" Hudgins Lyle and Harvinder "just a dad" Wadhwa break these questions down with guests who get asked them.
24 Episodes
Talking about money can be uncomfortable, especially when we grow up hearing that it’s a taboo topic. It can be really scary to ask a coworker how much they make. But does talking about our salaries more openly lead to more equal pay? Harv and Elena talk to Monica about what she learned from asking this question to her coworkers. YA author L.L. McKinney shares why she started #PublishingPaidMe and whether large-scale pay transparency can lead to change. Diversity and inclusion expert Raafi Alidina talks about the limits of asking this question and what steps employers can take. Connect with our guests below: Monica: IG: @monica.yumeng L.L. McKinney: Tw: @ElleOnWords Raafi Alidina: Tw: @ralidina Follow us! Twitter: @IQ_Podcast Instagram: @IQ_Podcast
In the pandemic, answering “How are you?” isn’t as easy as saying “I’m fine.” Elena and Harv chat with linguistics professor Deborah Tannen and try to figure out if we should still ask “How are you?” when things just haven’t been great. Also featuring some of our favourite pandemic email greetings and signoffs. For more on this question, check out our Season 2 episode “How are you?” where we explore what this question means when you’re grieving. Connect with Deborah on Facebook: @deborah.tannen.1 Follow us! Twitter: @IQ_Podcast Instagram: @IQ_Podcast
It’s a staple of small talk, but should it be? People are genuinely curious to learn about each other’s backgrounds or cultures. While this question might start a good conversation, it can often make people feel othered and unwelcome. So where do we go from here? Harv and Elena speak with journalist Eternity Martis about getting this question as a Black woman both in big cities and smaller towns. Eva Jewell offers some insight into how this question can be a great way to make connections when Indigenous peoples ask it to each other. Psychology professor Kevin Nadal shares some helpful tips for anyone who asks or gets asked this question. Connect with our guests below: Eternity Martis: @eternitymartis on Twitter Eva Jewell: @ebaans_ on Twitter Kevin Nadal: @kevinnadal on Twitter and Instagram Follow us! Twitter: @IQ_Podcast Instagram: @IQ_Podcast
Not every amputee has a shocking story behind their amputation, and those who do don’t always want to talk about. When your experience is a visible part of you, people often ask about it. Elena and Harv talk with musician Julianna Romanyk about her first day of school speech as a congenital amputee. Comedian Courtney Gilmour shares her thoughts on “inspiration porn” and how cab drivers inspire some of her comedy. Reporter Kerry Benjoe tells us how she uses this question to start important conversations about domestic violence. And adaptive athlete Jamie Gane shares what strangers get wrong about his amputation (no, he wasn’t in the army). Connect with our guests below: Julianna Romanyk: @heyromanyk on Twitter Courtney Gilmour: @courtneyugh on Twitter and @courtneyjgilmour on Instagram Kerry Benjoe: @kerryberryxox on Twitter Jamie Gane: @jamieganeadaptiveathlete on Instagram Follow us! Twitter: @IQ_Podcast Instagram: @IQ_Podcast
2020 was wild but 2021 is wilder with even more inappropriate questions. Harv and Elena are back to unpack more tricky conversations with our guests through personal stories, advice, and dad jokes. Season 3 is coming your way April 21st, with new episodes every other week.
Asking for the manager can be loaded. It can reveal who we think holds the power in a business—and who we think doesn’t. So what should a customer do when they’re not getting the right service? Jason Suerte Felipe shares his experience handling this question as a retail cashier. Beauty practitioner Asha Allen-Silverstein tells us why people don’t believe she owns her own business as a Black woman. Dr. Laura Morgan Roberts sheds light on the history of the worker-customer power dynamic and where it comes from. Find the webcomic by Amie Wilensky for this episode on our Instagram @IQ_Podcast Connect with our guests below: Jason Suerte Felipe: Ig @JasonSuerte Asha Allen-Silversetin: Ig @torontobrowsxbeauty Dr. Laura Morgan Roberts: Tw @alignmentquest Amie Wilensky: Ig: amiewilenskyart
“How old are you?"

“How old are you?"


Is it rude to ask someone their age? Harv isn’t comfortable telling people how old he is anymore and he’s not alone. He and Elena speak to author and activist Ashton Applewhite to debunk some myths about aging and discuss why our society fears growing older. Lifestyle writer Elizabeth Wellington explains how being seen as younger can mask the realities of aging for Black women, and actor Sam Pancake shares his story of facing ageism within the LGBTQ+ community. Connect with our guests below: Ashton Applewhite: Tw @thischairrocks Elizabeth Wellington: Tw @EWellingtonPHL Sam Pancake: Tw @jsampancake
Have you tried yoga? Or changing your diet? Well-meaning people propose lots of ways for people with chronic illnesses to treat their conditions. But managing a chronic illness can be more complicated than we might think. Elena and Harv speak with BuzzFeed deputy director and author Lara Parker about handling unsolicited advice as well as navigating privilege as it relates to chronic illness and potential treatments. Advocate Sneha Dave gives her thoughts on the importance of building a community with youth who share her chronic illness, and patient expert Lara Bloom explains why it can be so hard to find treatments that help. The webcomic for this week’s episode is by Hana Shafi. Find it on our Instagram @IQ_Podcast. Connect with our guests below: Lara Parker: Tw @laraeparker Sneha Dave: Tw @snehadave98 Lara Bloom: Tw @LaraBloom Hana Shafi: Ig @FrizzKidArt
Many Indigenous people get asked how much Indigenous ancestry they have. But identity isn’t all about fractions. Harv and Elena talk to Falen Johnson from The Secret Life of Canada about her identity journey and her “therapy play.” Actress Kaniehtiio Horn discusses how she navigates Hollywood stereotypes and what makes her feel connected to her people. Dr. Kim TallBear tells us why DNA alone doesn’t make someone Indigenous. Our webcomic this week is by Rhael McGregor, available on our Instagram @IQ_Podcast. Take a listen to The Secret Life of Canada’s episode about the Indian Act here: Connect with our guests below: Falen Johnson: Tw @FalenJohnson Kaniehtiio Horn: Tw @kaniehtiio Dr. Kim TallBear: Tw @KimTallBear Rhael McGregor: IG @raysdrawlings
There are lots of ways to start a family as an LGBTQ+ person, and not all of them are well understood. Harv and Elena speak to queer mom Farrah Khan about why she didn’t want to explain her pregnancy to strangers, and some of the challenges queer people face when it comes to getting pregnant. Journalist Freddy McConnell takes us through his ups and downs of navigating pregnancy as a trans man and single dad. The webcomic for this episode was created by Louise Reimer, find it on our Instagram @IQ_podcast Check out Freddy’s podcast Pride & Joy from BBC Sounds for more stories about queer families. Connect with our guests below: Farrah Khan - Tw: @farrahsafiakhan Freddy McConnell - Tw: @freddymcconnell Louise Reimer - IG: @louisereimer
“How are you?”

“How are you?”


It’s hard to know the right thing to say to someone who’s grieving. Even the simplest questions aren’t always helpful. Elena and Harv speak to comedian Michael Cruz Kayne, who lost his child, about why we should all talk about grief more. Grief counsellor Kayla Moryoussef gives her advice on what to say next time you want to help a friend who’s experienced a loss. The webcomic for this episode was created by Sara Goetter, find it on our Instagram @IQ_podcast Connect with our guests below: Michael Cruz Kayne – Tw: @cruzkayne Kayla Moryoussef – IG: @gooddeathdoula Sara Goetter – Tw: @sgoetter
Asking someone if they’ve lost weight is often seen as a compliment, but maybe it shouldn’t be. Elena and Harv talk with performer Ivory and writer Bob Kerr to unpack some thoughts about weight. Dietician Kimmie Singh discusses misconceptions between weight and health. Find the webcomic by Mollie Cronin for this episode on our Instagram @IQ_Podcast Connect with our guests below: Ivory (IG: @pureivorydotca) Bob Kerr (Tw: @mrbobkerr) Kimmie Singh, Body Positive Dietician (IG: @bodypositive_dietitian) Mollie Cronin (IG: @art.brat.comics)
Elena and Harv are coming back with a whole new list of inappropriate questions. Our millennial and dad duo sit down with more guests to find kinder ways to navigate difficult conversations.
Elena and Harv sit down with Rymn, Harv’s daughter, to answer your questions! Learn about their favourite podcasts, potential questions for Season 2, and what millennial slang Harv thinks he understands. Thank you for listening to Season 1 of Inappropriate Questions! We are so incredibly thankful we got to share so many interesting stories and perspectives with you. Follow us @iq_podcast for future updates.
People are curious about the choice to be childfree. Harv and Elena discuss it with Meghan Daum, editor of Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids. Sociologists Dr. Amy Blackstone and Dr. Kimya Dennis share some insight into their respective research about childfree people.
Some Muslim women cover their heads, and some don’t—either way, they get asked questions. Elena and Harv speak to writer and entrepreneur Mariam Nouser about her experiences both wearing and not wearing a hijab. Also, journalist Amira Elghawaby tells us why she might actually like to hear more questions about her headscarf from strangers.
You’ve met the hosts, you’ve met the guests, but what about the producers? Harv interviews the Inappropriate Questions team about their not-so-inappropriate origins. Hear how the project started, how Harv ascended to stardom, and some of our favourite moments from the season!
"Why don't you drink?"

"Why don't you drink?"


Harv doesn’t drink alcohol, and he doesn’t have a problem with people asking him why. He and Elena speak to numerous guests to find out whether or not they think “Why don’t you drink?” is an inappropriate question. Along the way, there’s a lot to unpack about alcohol’s role in our society and our personal lives.
"Can you have sex?"

"Can you have sex?"


People are curious about sex. They can be really curious about people with physical disabilities’ sex lives. Disability After Dark host Andrew Gurza joins Elena and Harv to talk sex and disability. Elena also calls up educator and paracanoe champion Christine Selinger.
"What are you?"

"What are you?"


Asking a mixed-race person about their background can get problematic. Elena and Harv welcome Rema Tavares, who founded Mixed in Canada. Also featuring educator Charlotte Henay.
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