Inappropriate Questions

Inappropriate Questions

Release Date
Is it okay to ask formerly incarcerated people “Why did you do it?”

People are fascinated by the reasons people commit crime. But is “why” the right thing to ask a formerly incarcerated person? Kadeem Reid shares his story with incarceration, the impacts of the prison system, and what he wishes people would think about before asking this question ...  Show more

Is it helpful to ask a blind person “Do you need help?”

People who are blind or have low vision sometimes get approached with offers of help—whether they need it or not. Is it useful to offer help, or is it overstepping? MasterChef Season 3 winner Christine Ha joins Harv and Elena to talk about building a culinary career while losing ...  Show more

Should I ask someone with depression/anxiety “Have you tried _____?”

Especially in the past year and a half, lots of us have been trying new things to help manage our mental health. But can suggesting things like meditation and exercise actually help someone with anxiety and/or depression? Elena and Harv talk to comedian and mental health advocate ...  Show more

Can I ask a sex worker “What was your worst experience?”

Whether it’s by clients, friends or strangers, sex workers are frequently asked to share their bad experiences. Elena and Harv talk with author and sex worker Andrea Werhun about the misconceptions surrounding sex work and why people feel entitled to their stories. AK Saini discu ...  Show more

Should I ask someone “Why are you single?”

In a world of rom-coms and love songs, being single can be seen as a bad thing. It’s something our friends, relatives, and even potential partners ask about, but why do we assume we need a partner to be complete? Elena and Harv talk to comedian Salma Hindy about the parental pres ...  Show more

Can I ask a Black friend “How can I do better?”

Wanting to do better when it comes to fighting racism is great—but even with good intentions, asking the Black people in your life to tell you how isn’t the way to start. Elena and Harv talk to author and activist Frederick Joseph about what makes this question frustrating, where ...  Show more

(Re-release) “Why don’t you drink?”

This week, we’re bringing back an episode from our first season. 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. ...  Show more

Is it okay to ask an adoptee “Do you know your real parents?”

Adoptees all have different experiences when it comes to family. We might assume some parents are “real” and others aren’t—and that anyone who doesn’t know their birth parents is searching for them. But no one term or story fits for everyone who’s adopted. Elena and Harv talk to ...  Show more

Introducing: Telling Our Twisted Histories

Words have the power to shape how we see the world and each other. In Telling Our Twisted Histories, host Kaniehti:io Horn guides listeners through over 70 conversations with people from 15 Indigenous communities sharing their truths about the impact of words on our perspectives, ...  Show more

Can I ask a polyamorous person “Do you get jealous?”

When every love song and romcom is about finding your one true love, the idea of having multiple romantic partners can raise a lot of questions. One thing polyamorous people get asked a lot is whether they get jealous. But what really is jealousy and where does it come from? And ...  Show more

Should I ask my coworker “How much do you make?”

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 ...  Show more

What does it mean to ask “How are you?” in a pandemic?

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 pandem ...  Show more

Is asking “Where are you from?” appropriate small talk?

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 s ...  Show more

Is it okay to ask an amputee “What happened to you?”

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 ...  Show more

Season 3 is getting even more inappropriate!

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. 

“Can I speak to your manager?”

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. ...  Show more

“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 Eliz ...  Show more

“Have you tried _____?”

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 aut ...  Show more

“Are you full Native?”

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 naviga ...  Show more

“How did you get pregnant?”

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 gett ...  Show more

“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 h ...  Show more

“Have you lost weight?”

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 w ...  Show more

We’re back with Season 2!

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. 

Bonus: Asked and Answered:

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 in ...  Show more

"Why don't you have kids?"

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 res ...  Show more

"Why do/don't you wear a headscarf?"

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 lik ...  Show more

Bonus: "How did we get here?"

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?"

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 ou ...  Show more

"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?"

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.