Best of theWeek
of Jan. 4, 2004
 

Best of WeekArchivesArchives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchangeseither begun or advanced during the week of Jan. 4, 2004, asselected by Y? These postings, as well as "Best of the Week" entriesfrom previous weeks, also can be found by accessing Y?'s databaseusing the search form , or, in the case ofposted before April 24, 1999, in the OriginalArchives (all questions from the Original Archives havebeen entered into the database as well). In the Original Archives, aswell as in the database, you will find questions that have receivedanswers, as well as questions still awaiting responses. You areencouraged to answer any questions relevant to your demographicbackground, as well as to ask any provocative question you desire.Answers posted are not necessarily meant to represent the views of anentire demographic group, but can provide a window into the insightsof an individual from that group.
 First-time users should first make a quick stopat Y?'s guidelines pages for asking andanswering questions.

 


Question:

Why do a lot of African-American women make their hair straight likewhite people's? Why don't they wear their naturally nappy hair? They don'thave to sport white hair just to get a black man. If black men like our big,black a**es, they should like our black hair.
POSTED 1/8/2004
Laila S., Johannesburg, AR, United States, Mesg ID 16200434119

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Question:

I have been in an abusive relationship for 2.5 years with a boy I metfreshman year of college. I do not know how to get away from him. I've tried,but he is so scary and controlling. He knows where I live, my schedule, everything,and if not, he always manages to find out. He constantly loses his temperfor the most insignificant reasons and beats me for it. Last Monday, he punchedme because I accidentally got some crumbs on his dorm floor that he justmopped (he is a clean freak). I have three grotesque bruises on my shoulderand arm. I can't take this anymore and I don't know what to do. Is thereany other way than going to the police? He's going to seek revenge on meif I do. I'm scared. Please help me. I would really like some advice fromthose who have been through this, too, and know what it's like.
POSTED 1/4/2004
Sarah, New Brunswick, NJ, United States, 20, Female, Atheist, Asian, Straight,2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1220200381813


Responses:

Get to a friend's house, shelter or assistance center - please! If youare afraid he will follow you, have someone you trust meet you in a publicplace, like a shopping mall, and have them take you there in their car. Leaveyours at the public place, preferably in a well-lit area. Call the policefrom there; they can help advise you on getting a temporary restraining order.Also, try to find a social worker to help you - most shelters can give assistance.It will only get worse. Please save yourself.
POSTED 1/6/2004
J.J., San Diego, CA, United States, 29, Female, Wiccan, White/Caucasian,Lesbian, web design, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 15200414413



Find a women's shelter in your area, or search student services. Collegesare beginning to offer help to those in your situation. Get to a doctor assoon as possible to get this documented. You are not alone.
POSTED 1/8/2004
kce, Orlando, FL, United States, 28, Female, Mesg ID 17200460133

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Question:

Why are some men attracted to pregnant women? I'm curious because my husband seems to be.
POSTED 1/4/2004
Robin J, Greensboro, NC, United States, 29, Female, Agnostic, Straight, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1028200330845


Responses:

I watched one of my pregnant friends go through this. She rarely got maleattention before she was expecting, but once she was pregnant, whoa! I'venoticed that healthy pregnant women have a glow about them. Maybe it's thatthey have clear skin, or stand up straighter and with confidence. Or maybea pregnant woman brings out men's protective instincts. I don't know thatit's common, but I know it happens.
POSTED 1/6/2004
J.J., San Diego, CA, United States, 29, Female, Wiccan, White/Caucasian,Lesbian, web design, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 15200414832

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Question:
 
I have noticed quite a few surplused cop cars on the road, and it seems likeall of them are driven by 20- to 40-year-old black males. The majority ofthe vehicles are in the poorer neighborhoods. Why are these cars predominantlydriven by blacks?
POSTED 1/4/2004
Marc M., Jacksonville, FL, Saudi Arabia, 33, Male, Catholic, White/Caucasian,Straight, Manager, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1028200395809

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Question:

Is it possible for me as a black person to join an anti-Semitic group?I recently was courted by groups telling me the Holocaust really didn't happenand was a ploy by the Jews to extort money from various countries. They alsosaid that Jews began slavery. This group made compelling arguments - andthey were a mixture of white and black people who believe the racial dividewas orchestrated by Jews. I'm also pro-Palestine. My question is, can a blackperson join a racist organization and still be called racist - even thoughracism is about power and blacks don't have much?
POSTED 1/4/2004
Dena, n/a, NY, United States, 18, Female, Black/African American, Straight,High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 12102003122440


Responses:

If you don't believe blacks can be racist, what word would you use todescribe a black person who dislikes, distrusts, resents, prejudges or denigratesa person on the basis of his or her color, ethnicity or religion? Unfortunately,SOME Jews were involved in slavery - just as some black Africans were willingpurveyors of other black humans for involuntary servitude. No racial, ethnicor religious group has clean hands on the sordid issue of slavery. Regardingthe Holocaust: there's far too much documentary evidence establishing itsoccurrence, and you might check some history books, because if I'm not mistaken,African Americans were among the blessed, wonderful soldiers who liberatedthe death camps. Your being 'pro-Palestine' doesn't necessarily equate withbeing anti-Jewish, unless you make it so. A number of Jews - in America,Israel and elsewhere - are troubled by the Palestinian issue. Before gettingyour membership card in this organization, do some self-examination. Areyou against Jews as those who practice a monotheistic religion based uponthe first five books of the Old Testament (the Torah), or are you dissatisfiedwith Israeli political policies regarding Palestinians? Only you can answerthat question. It's worth noting that a number of traditionally anti-blackgroups, notably the KKK, had no more affection for Jews (or Catholics orother religious or racial minoritie) than they had for blacks specifically.The same hotel ballrooms that blacks had to enter through a service doorbefore performing onstage were often 'restricted,' meaning they did not allowa Jewish clientele. Jews died alongside blacks during the struggle for civilrights in the United States, a fact your recruiter probably 'conveniently'forgot to mention. This posting saddens, far more than angers, me, becausethis 'divide-and-conquer' approach further estranges two groups with farmore in common than recognized. It's interesting that your new group is blamingJews for the racial divide, when that is exactly what it is doing to minoritygroups. Knowledge is power, and clearly you have internet access. If you'restill serious about joining, research each of the group's allegations, andtry to find multiple sources to support - and knock holes in - each position.
POSTED 1/6/2004
Cari, Austin, TX, United States, 30-ish, Female, Jewish, White/Caucasian,Straight, attorney, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 15200440356

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Question:

In Native American chants, the singers often emit syllables that soundto my uneducated ear like 'Uh hey hey ya yup uh hey hey.' Are these realwords in the singer's language, or are they just sounds meant to follow therhythm and melody, and to convey some kind of general mood?
POSTED 1/4/2004
Jim, Houston, TX, United States, 46, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight,Network Administrator, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 13200485552

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Question:

Is it a sin to dream about devilish things?
POSTED 1/4/2004
Danielle, Kamloops, KY, United States, Female, Atheist, White/Caucasian,High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 11152003104501

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Question:

Why does it seem that when an African American walks by a Caucasian person, the Caucasian is required to speak first?
POSTED 1/4/2004
Rebecca B., Memphis, TN, United States, <Zensmurf2@yahoo.com>, 43,Female, Unity School of Christianity, White/Caucasian, Gay, Student, Over4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1125200341528

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Question:

For people from the United Kingdom/British Isles: What does the U.S. accentsound like to your ears? Can you distinguish different accents from stateto state? Is it true that most British people confuse our accent with theCanadians?
POSTED 1/4/2004
Ryan, New York, NY, United States, 25, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, Mesg ID 1132003104740

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Question:

I recently became friends with a guy who I heard through the grapevineis gay, and we are what I consider very close friends. More times than notwe flirt. I found a profile he had online that stated he was gay, yet hehas never told me he was, and he almost tries to come off as though he isstraight. To gay men: have you ever had an attraction to a female, and haveyou ever hid your sexuality from someone in this way? If yes, why?
POSTED 1/4/2004
Sarah, Barnesville, PA, United States, 20, Female, Catholic, White/Caucasian,Straight, Entertainment, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 113200361150


Responses:

Sexuality is not classified as it once was. One isn't purely 'straight' or'gay' - there are many variances. Sexuality is now rated on a continuum.That is, one can be 25 percent gay and 75 percent straight, or some othervariant. And no one else can tell you what YOU are. For example, I considermyself straight, but I once fell in love with a girl. Does that make me gay?Or bisexual? I'm the only one who can say, because it's my body, mind, souland decisions. And sometimes it gets confusing. He may be attracted to youin ways other than sexual: There are many levels of love and friendship.Perhaps he has not told you because he is afraid of what you would say. Orperhaps he doesn't quite know himself.
POSTED 1/8/2004
Jamie, Tacoma, WA, United States, 20, Female, Wiccan, Straight, Student, Mesg ID 17200484925

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Question:

Does anyone out there know how it feels to have and use a penis implant?And does anyone out there know how one feels when inside?
POSTED 1/4/2004
Just a normal women, London, NA, United Kingdom, 22, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian,Straight, student, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 115200392749

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Question:

What goes on in a male's head when he sees a woman he wants or would like to be with?
POSTED 1/4/2004
Ashley, Iowa City, IA, United States, Female, Mesg ID 1192003113833

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Question:

I have talked to my male black friends, and we seem to agreethat most black women are rude. I have met many women of alldifferent races, but it just seems that black women have moreattitude than any other race. Obviously not all black women are thesame, but is it safe to say that a lot are rude? If so, why? My malefriends also comment that black women expect more. They just come outand ask, 'What are you gonna buy me?' Why is that?

POSTED 9/7/2003

Trina, Cleveland, OH, United States, 22, Female, AmericanIndian/White/Hispanic, Straight, Massage Therapist, Middle class,Mesg ID 942003111132


Responses:

I think it's a shame that black men seem to be the main people saying this.There are 'lots' of women of all races who are rude. And if we're going togeneralize and stereotype ... maybe we're tired of 'lots' black men expectingus to be freaks between the sheets and substitutes for their mothers. Maybewe're tired of 'lots' of men only seeing us as a quick piece of a** and nevertrying to get to know us as a person. Maybe we're tired of 'lots' of blackmen only wanting to mooch off us.
POSTED 1/4/2004
Sick of Defending Myself, Robinsonville, MS, United States, <braejelle@yahoo.com>,24, Female, Baptist, Black/African American, Straight, 2 Years of College,Middle class, Mesg ID 1017200322900



It's not that we are rude, we just don't take sh*t off of anyone. We speakour mind. And as far as expecting more, I don't expect nothing from no one.We figure 'if you my man and we dating, you could buy us something.' We ain'tdumb, we testing the black man and making sure he ain't broke or cheap. Nobodywants a broke-ass man. But I have a question to you: Why is it that mostwhite women suck it up and never speak your mind? And why is it y'all alwayswant to buy the man something?
POSTED 1/5/2004
Nabriya S., Baltimore, MD, United States, 17, Female, Baptist, Black/AfricanAmerican, Straight, Student, Less than High School Diploma, Middle class,Mesg ID 1031200375021

My theory is that black women have had to endure hardships stemming fromslavery all the way through to the Civil Rights movement. Having two strikesagainst you for being a female and a minority, especially being black, wouldmake anyone develop a tough shell and be bitchy on top of that - just forsurvival. As far as black women being golddiggers, I believe that stems fromthe fact that since the feminist movement, black fathers have given up andabandoned their families, leaving black women to pick up the slack, shortlyafter a time when this country was extremely bigoted and segregated, racialtensions were somewhat high and black women were having to find jobs whilebeing discriminated against. As a result, I believe black women constantlyinstilled in their daughters the need to find a 'good man' who will takecare of you - and you better not settle for second best. Now, black womentoday are trying to find that father figure that didn't provide for themwhen they were younger, thus coming off as gold diggers.
POSTED 1/4/2004



In my area, the rude, stuck-up gold diggers are white. They are very rudeand will do anything (and anyone) to get a man of any color to take careof them so they don't have to work. Rude people come in every shade, dear.I believe black women deserve respect and admiration, especially for gracefullydealing with the legacy of hatred that has been thrown on their shouldersfor centuries. They have always had to be strong to deal with this racistworld. So if one, or some, are so-called rude to you, either have the courageto ask what's up, or just imagine walking in a black woman's shoes for thelast 400 years. You have no idea.
POSTED 1/4/2004
Anthony, Washington, DC, United States, 30, Male, A strong black man wholoves black women, tech writer, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID992003112931

I'll admit that yeah, some of us are rude and have a lot of attitude - myselfincluded, sometimes. Basically, some of the reasons for this are that historically,we have had to fight damn hard to get any respect in this society, and alot of us have had to put up with a lot more stress, dealing with racismand sexism on a daily basis, plus always having white women shoved up inour faces as the ultimate beauty icon we can never measure up to, or someBS like that. I have to admit, I get tired of having to deal with a lot ofsisters' bad attitudes and rudeness myself, especially when it seems thatthey've had a bad day and just want to take their stress out on anybody whohappens to be around. A lot of black women (like myself) also tend to bea lot more upfront and straight to the point about what we expect from aperson, instead of beating around the bush and trying to be coy and makenice all the time. Add to that all the ignorant, negative stereotypes thathave been hung on us continually: that we're either whores or welfare queensliving off the state, or that we're nothing but gold diggers or whatever.Don't most women generally ask a man if he's going to buy them somethingsimply because it proves he cares? I've met rude women of all colors. I thinkit's also because, traditionally, we've always had to be more independentand aggressive to make it because we were never put on a pedestal like whitewomen and basically were taught to hate every damn thing about ourselves- our looks, our bodies, our hair, everything. For so long we had to takea back seat to everyone, and now that we've won many a hard-fought battlefor equality, we're holding on to it with both hands and no longer steppingback to anybody. And if they don't like it, that's too damn bad.
POSTED 1/4/2004
G.K., Detroit, MI, United States, <Kgreene12_248@hotmail.com>, 30's,Female, Black/African American, Public Service, 2 Years of College, Middleclass, Mesg ID 914200333011

I am more interested in the fact that the black men you asked actually agreedwith your premise. These same men you spoke to probably feel that white womenare beautiful, easier to get along with and more feminine than their blackcounterparts. Many black men are quick to believe the best about women ofother races (especially Caucasian) and even quicker to believe the worstof their own women. Ask them if their mothers were rude.
POSTED 1/4/2004
Devin, New York, NY, United States, Male, Black/African American, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 10102003114820

We may have sass and aren't afraid to say what is on our mind, but we generallyhave good hearts, and most times are way more sensitive to others' needsthan our own. Most people fail to realize that black women have had to bestrong, not only for themselves but for a lot of others. We have raised babieswho were not our own, taken care of houses, worked fields and bore a whip,yet still we conquer all. That's not attitude. That is strength.
POSTED 1/4/2004
Nelly, Tampa, FL, United States, 35, Female, Black/African American, Straight,Military, 2 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 1025200381636

I am a black woman and have asked myself that question many times: Why dosome black women seem so hostile? It seems that this could either be a self-perpetuatingstereotype or an observation with some merit. I believe the latter to betrue. Perhaps the expectations and burdens placed on us as a whole createa need to 'overcompensate' in some way. Defensiveness is a natural responseto constant and simultaneous attacks from a racial and gender standpoint.Many of us are told, 'You have two strikes against you: You are black ANDa woman...' Racism and sexism are a big part of black women’s lives on aday-to-day basis. Black women are overtly and covertly told that we are atthe bottom of the world's totem pole - unintelligent, undesirable, uselessand generally not good enough. Another noteworthy fact is that black womenoften cannot seek refuge from gender-based biases and attacks within theirown community. This is the reality that we swim through every day of ourlives. It can be especially painful for those who have fewer financial resourcesand prospects. This creates a pathological process in a person's psyche thatcan manifest itself in a number of ways, including defensiveness (being rudeand abrasive) or the opposite: being a doormat (trying to please everyoneand collapsing from exhaustion) - or even self-destructive behaviors (alcoholism,drugs, remaining in abusive or unfulfilling relationships...) Noticeably,members of this (or any) group tend to become more outwardly 'laid back'as their education and income level rise. But make no mistake: the 'pain'is still there - but the coping mechanisms become markedly different.
POSTED 1/4/2004
Julie, Woodbridge, VA, United States, 32, Female, Black/African American,4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 12242003113118

I suspect you've just been in contact with the wrong sorts of people, or,possibly, see rudeness where there is none because that is what you expectto see, given that you have this belief. An innocently intended action orcomment can take on all kinds of hidden meaning if the listener assumes negativethings about the speaker. That is, rudeness is a self-fulfilling prophecy.If you expect someone to be impolite, everything they do, no matter how neutral,will have rude undertones. I don't disagree with you about the chutzpah itwould require to demand specific purchases of a date, but I seriously doubtthat the only people out there who would have the gall to be that obnoxiousare black women (and I personally would never dream of asking such a thing).
POSTED 1/4/2004
Jay, Washington, DC, United States, 28, Female, Black/African American, Straight,Graduate student, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 12200414905

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Question:

Why do women have such a hard time reaching orgasm?

POSTED 9/7/2003

Sally B., Portage la Prairie, NA, Canada,<vanana_banana69@hotmail.com>, 45, Female, Pagan, AmericanIndian, Bisexual, cashier, Less than High School Diploma, Lowerclass, Mesg ID 96200312123


Responses:

Could it be that men have a hard time helping their partner reach orgasm?
POSTED 1/4/2004
Julie, Woodbridge, VA, United States, 32, Female, Black/African American,4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 12242003111037



It's weird, isn't it? I think it's cultural programming. Unlike the majorityof women, I can have an orgasm in 10 to 20 seconds, and do it again secondslater, and do it again seconds later. I watched a documentary the other night,and part of the program showed women giving themselves orgasms. They labored,wheezed, sighed, screeched and whined and carried on for several minutesand even hours, and I thought 'Geez! What's your problem? How come you womencan't have one? How come you can't be more like me - and I guess men?' Forme, orgasm is a state of mind and can be achieved through a variety of stimuli,as long as the mind is willing.
POSTED 1/4/2004
Merry T., Detroit, MI, United States, 42, Female, American Indian, Mesg ID 13200475712

Women are more emotionally attached to sex. Thus, their spirit/mind mustbe stimulated first before their bodies 'catch-up'. More romance and foreplayis needed to help get women excited. The more excited she is, the more she'llenjoy the sex. Also, women must be comfortable with their sexuality. Theyshouldn't feel they are doing something dirty, or something out of 'obligation.'
POSTED 1/4/2004
Kristina, Washington, DC, United States, 22, Female, Christian, Black/AfricanAmerican, Straight, Student, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 982003111528



Plenty of women reach orgasm quickly, easily and often. But for those whodo have some difficulty, the reasons could be many. The first question shouldbe, 'Can the woman have an orgasm while masturbating?' If she can and doesn'thave them with men, then maybe she is too nervous, or her partner isn't skilledor intuitive enough to know what she needs to have one. In that case, I'dhave the women show me exactly what she needs. There can be medical reasonswhy women can't have them, too. Your OB/GYN would be the person to talk toabout that.
POSTED 1/4/2004
Mark A., Detroit area, MI, United States, <acquaviva3@comcast.netnospam>,36, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, Paramedic, 2 Years of College, Middleclass, Mesg ID 102120037394

I find it hard to climax when I concentrate too much. I think we just have to let go, relax and enjoy the sensations.
POSTED 1/4/2004
Louisa, Yorkshire, CA, United Kingdom, Female, Bahai Faith, Alaska Native,Bisexual, Over 4 Years of College, Upper class, Mesg ID 11192003101557

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Question:

Why do some gays (and lesbians) dislike fag hags? With so manybigoted people in the world, I would think they'd like somesympathizers.

POSTED 9/7/2003

Katie M., New York, NY, United States, 28, Female,White/Caucasian, Straight, Upper middle class, Mesg ID97200333400


Responses:

We don't, although I've noticed that while many fag hags are supportiveof gay men, they are scared sh**less of lesbians. Internalized sexism sometimescauses them to be scared of us. Also, many fag hags seek out the companyof gay men, often (incorrectly) assuming that gay men will be less misogynisticthan straight men. It's also annoying when straight people hang out withgay people to sample a bit of 'cultural experience.' You may have run intosome gay people who have had experiences with fag hags who want to hang outwith them for a bit, but then are too embarassed to defend gay people whenstraights treat them unfairly.
POSTED 1/4/2004
Sara, Atlanta, GA, United States, 27, Female, White/Caucasian, Lesbian, Over4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1111200381903



I have no problems with fag hags. I think it's because in some way gay mensee straight female friends of other gay men as competition. Fag hags arefine to me. I have mostly straight male friends, and they don't mind goingto a gay club with me, as they know they will meet women and, therefore,don't get left out.
POSTED 1/4/2004
Steph D., Richardson, TX, United States, 18, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian,Lesbian, College Student, High School Diploma, Lower middle class, Mesg ID915200343442

What's a fag hag?
POSTED 1/4/2004
Chandra, Detroit, MI, United States, 26, Female, Black/African American,2 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 915200382006



I don't like it when people dislike me for being gay, so why would I likeit when people like me for the same superficial reason? Faghags = NeoHomophobia.
POSTED 1/4/2004
Ian, Winnipeg, Ontario, NA, Canada, 23, Male, White/Caucasian, Gay, Student,2 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 918200351933

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Question:

Where did the term 'Indian Giver' orginate?

POSTED 9/7/2003

College Girl, Vermillion, SD, United States, Female, Mesg ID97200333916


Responses:

Around 1865, it was said that Indians had gift-oriented tribes. By sayingso, it meant that when one gift was given to another, a gift of equal valuewas expected in return. If one could not return a gift, then he was labeledan 'indian giver.'
POSTED 1/4/2004
James, Wagner, SD, United States, 44, Male, Native American, American Indian,Security Officer, High School Diploma, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 912200323423



It comes from 'Potlatch,' which was an Indian (Native) ceremony peculiarto the West Coast, I believe. There would be a huge party with feasting,etc., and the host would give all his belongings to the people he invitedto the party. Parties would be held often, so that the previous host wouldget some of his stuff back. This was a way of strengthening ties within thetribe. Needless to say, this confused the white man.
POSTED 1/4/2004
J.S., Vancouver, British Columbia, NA, Canada, 35, Male, Native American,American Indian, Straight, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1016200371115

The term comes from a cultural misunderstanding by the European settlerswhen they came to North America. Native Americans believe in the conceptof letting people borrow when they are in need. Items like land, blankets,etc were given in the spirit of borrowing and when they were not needed anymorethey were to be given back. The Europeans mistook this giving as a sign thatthe item(s) were given to them to keep and not to return. Thus the term fora person giving something and then wanting it back later was born: IndianGiver.
POSTED 1/4/2004
A Person, Atlanta, GA, United States, Mesg ID 1012200310537

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