32 episodes

Have you ever been curious to know the answer to a question that might be intrusive or too personal for other people? On their biweekly podcast Inappropriate Questions, now in its third season, cohosts Elena Hudgins Lyle and Harvinder Wadhwa make a space for curiosity where guests can unpack the tricky questions they get asked and learn stories about them—whether they ask if polyamorous people cope with jealousy in relationships, if Indigenous people are full Native, or brave the dreaded “have you lost weight” assumption.

Created by Hudgins Lyle alongside producers Sabrina Bertsch and Cindy Long, the podcast was built out of a school project while they were studying Media Production in Toronto, Ontario. Bertsch, who’s mixed-race, had been asked a lot of questions about her background and ethnicity after studying abroad for a semester. Long and Lyle, both LGBT, would also get frequently asked about their identity and sexuality. Even if these frustrations served as a jumping-off point for them, they quickly realized that they could also learn about a variety of topics from others too—especially from their parents and older generations. So they auditioned a “dad-like” figure to be a counterpart as co-host. Wadhwa, a project manager with an engineering degree, was the unanimous choice. “Harv was the very first interview we did,” Lyle says. “After the interview, he was like, ‘All right, how many more of these do you have to go?’ You know I'm it, right? You can stop now.’”

In each episode, guests share stories about being asked the week’s specific inappropriate question. Though, occasionally, they'll have an expert or academic who can break down more of the historical and social aspect of the question. Both Hudgins Lyle and Wadhwa bridge together their different generational perspectives to challenge themselves and their guests, having casual, yet meaningful conversations that are engaging, unpredictable, and humorous. “Though I've been in Canada for over 20 years, I consider myself an immigrant coming from India,” Wadhwa says. “So, what the show is also trying to do is also bring the balance. Because if everybody's thinking the same way, then we lose out a lot.”

Even if they sometimes step into difficult territory, what they both hope to provide with each episode is a starting point for listeners to ease into these topics. “It could be that we've left you with some new ideas and perspectives from the guests who have this lived experience,” Lyle says. “You don't need to change and develop overnight, but hopefully, we've given you a starting place where you can then do your own research or reflection.”

Inappropriate Questions CBC

    • Society & Culture
    • 3.2 • 290 Ratings

Have you ever been curious to know the answer to a question that might be intrusive or too personal for other people? On their biweekly podcast Inappropriate Questions, now in its third season, cohosts Elena Hudgins Lyle and Harvinder Wadhwa make a space for curiosity where guests can unpack the tricky questions they get asked and learn stories about them—whether they ask if polyamorous people cope with jealousy in relationships, if Indigenous people are full Native, or brave the dreaded “have you lost weight” assumption.

Created by Hudgins Lyle alongside producers Sabrina Bertsch and Cindy Long, the podcast was built out of a school project while they were studying Media Production in Toronto, Ontario. Bertsch, who’s mixed-race, had been asked a lot of questions about her background and ethnicity after studying abroad for a semester. Long and Lyle, both LGBT, would also get frequently asked about their identity and sexuality. Even if these frustrations served as a jumping-off point for them, they quickly realized that they could also learn about a variety of topics from others too—especially from their parents and older generations. So they auditioned a “dad-like” figure to be a counterpart as co-host. Wadhwa, a project manager with an engineering degree, was the unanimous choice. “Harv was the very first interview we did,” Lyle says. “After the interview, he was like, ‘All right, how many more of these do you have to go?’ You know I'm it, right? You can stop now.’”

In each episode, guests share stories about being asked the week’s specific inappropriate question. Though, occasionally, they'll have an expert or academic who can break down more of the historical and social aspect of the question. Both Hudgins Lyle and Wadhwa bridge together their different generational perspectives to challenge themselves and their guests, having casual, yet meaningful conversations that are engaging, unpredictable, and humorous. “Though I've been in Canada for over 20 years, I consider myself an immigrant coming from India,” Wadhwa says. “So, what the show is also trying to do is also bring the balance. Because if everybody's thinking the same way, then we lose out a lot.”

Even if they sometimes step into difficult territory, what they both hope to provide with each episode is a starting point for listeners to ease into these topics. “It could be that we've left you with some new ideas and perspectives from the guests who have this lived experience,” Lyle says. “You don't need to change and develop overnight, but hopefully, we've given you a starting place where you can then do your own research or reflection.”

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

    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. Advocate Sara Tessier explains why this question requires understanding of broader contexts and social systems, and how society can better help formerly incarcerated people move forward.

    Connect with our guest below:
    Sara Tessier Tw: @SaraTessier15

    Follow us!
    Twitter: @IQ_Podcast
    Instagram: @IQ_Podcast

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

    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 her vision, and when she finds this question to be helpful. Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai, Director of Research at the Canadian National Institute of the Blind, suggests ways to make this question more useful, and explains how inclusive design could make this question less necessary. Plus, a spoken word piece by Amy Amantea about what it feels like to receive inappropriate questions as someone living with sight loss.

    Connect with our guest below:
    Christine Ha: IG: @theblindcook Tw: @theblindcook

    Follow us!
    Twitter: @IQ_Podcast
    Instagram: @IQ_Podcast

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

    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 Kelsey Darragh about what she does to cope, checking in with loved ones, and why this question can help open discussions about mental health.

    For another angle on this question, check out our Season 2 episode “Have you tried _____?” where we discuss this question with people who have chronic illnesses.

    Connect with our guest below:
    Kelsey Darragh: Tw: @kelseydarragh IG: @kelseydarragh

    Follow us!
    Twitter: @IQ_Podcast
    Instagram: @IQ_Podcast

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

    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 discusses what people want to hear when they ask this question, and shares the positive aspects of their job.

    Connect with our guests below:
    Andrea Werhun IG: @weenerwoman Tw: @andreawerhun
    AK Saini IG: @akaaksaini

    Follow us!
    Twitter: @IQ_Podcast
    Instagram: @IQ_Podcast

    • 37 min
    Should I ask someone “Why are you single?”

    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 pressure to get married and how to feel okay with being single. Asexual activist and model Yasmin Benoit breaks down myths about asexuality and aromanticism, and why she’s never felt single. Money and culture writer Renée Sylvestre-Williams shares how financial systems often aren’t built with single people in mind.

    Connect with our guests below:
    Salma Hindy IG: @salma.hindy Tw: @salooma911
    Yasmin Benoit IG: @theyasminbenoit Tw: @theyasminbenoit
    Renée Sylvestre-Williams IG: @reneesylvestrewilliams Tw: @reneeswilliams

    Follow us!
    Twitter: @IQ_Podcast
    Instagram: @IQ_Podcast

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

    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 to find resources, and how to fill someone’s metaphorical cup. Professor Andrea Davis explains emotional labour, our responsibility to seek to know, and how “doing better” isn’t a quick and easy process.


    Connect with our guests below:
    Frederick Joseph IG: @FredTJosephTw: @FredTJoseph
    Andrea Davis: Tw: @Adavis777A

    Follow us!
    Twitter: @IQ_Podcast
    Instagram: @IQ_Podcast

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5
290 Ratings

290 Ratings

Refreshed snoozer ,

Inappropriate Groaning

Interesting content but Elena’s groaning and mmmmmming every few seconds is uncomfortable. How do you have a job in radio and aren’t aware of your provisional tics? I gave it three episodes, but I just can’t anymore.

working rich ,

PC INDOCTRINATION LESSONS

At first it seems cool, but after listening don’t listen. Thanks
Waste of time. Can’t ask a hooker questions? “ inappropriate “
Pompous nonsense

TXPatriot411 ,

Loved this show a lot.

Five stars.

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