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I’m from NC (white) and my girlfriend is from the Philippines. My housemates make incorrect assumptions about her race, religion and family background and intentionally mispronounce her name.

Possible Responses

  • Talk to your girlfriend. Generally, if you’re someone’s partner you should stand up for them, but she may be uncomfortable with you speaking on her behalf.
  • In this scenario, the privilege of your race affords you the opportunity to address this issue without the danger or negativity a person from a marginalized group may encounter. Perhaps you can encourage dialogue around stereotypes and bias.
  • Address the issue with your housemates directly, “I would prefer that you called her by her name. No one mispronounces your name intentionally. Would you want this to happen to you?”
  • “I know you all are more respectful than that.”
  • You can also say, “I really care about her, I need you to respect her not just as my girlfriend but as a human being.”