About Me

Being called “sweet”

Today I overheard someone saying that I “seemed sweet.” Just in case you were wondering, this is NOT a compliment, particularly when it is directed at an Asian(-looking) woman.

The connotation in this case seems to fall along the lines of thinking of me as cute, non-threatening, helpless, demure, and a follower. In the American context of things, these qualities do not seem to spell out “virtue.” Pretty condescending.

What should I say? What can I say? I wonder. Memories of college days come flooding back when people in the (mostly white) Jewish community saw and described me as “that sweet Asian-Jewish girl.”


3 thoughts on “Being called “sweet”

  1. Yes. I personally prefer “scary and intimidating”. “Sweet” implies easily taken advantage of, possibly competent but not a trailblazer. Something that we academics do NOT WANT. I find that a very blunt “WHY ARE YOU ASKING” or “WHAT DO YOU WANT” can work well.

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