Best of theWeek
of Jan. 5, 2003

Best of WeekArchivesArchives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchangeseither begun or advanced during the week of Jan. 5, 2003, as selectedby Y? These postings, as well as "Best of the Week" entries fromprevious weeks, also can be found by accessing Y?'s database usingthe search form , or, in the case ofanswers posted before April 24, 1999, inthe Original Archives (allquestions from the Original Archives have been entered intothe database as well). In the Original Archives, as well as in thedatabase, you will find questions that have received answers, as wellas questions still awaiting responses. You are encouraged to answerany questions relevant to your demographic background, as well as toask any provocative question you desire. Answers posted are notnecessarily meant to represent the views of an entire demographicgroup, but can provide a window into the insights of an individualfrom that group.  
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Question:

Is it true thatNative Americans in the media speak in a slower, more deliberatefashion than Caucasians?

POSTED1/7/2003

Matt S., LosAlamitos, CA, United States, 17, Male, Agnostic, Eastern European /Jewish, Straight, Student, Less than High School Diploma, Middleclass, Mesg ID 112003101844

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Question:

A lot of bisexuals Iknow (including myself) use terms like 'fag,' 'half-fag,' 'dyke' and'half-dyke' in casual, joking terms with each other. We think of itas 'taking the thunder' out of the words and taking the power awayfrom the homophobic. But do gay and lesbian people find thisoffensive or in poor taste? Is it OK for bisexuals to use gayslang?

POSTED1/7/2003

Alex, n/a, MI,United States, 18, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Bisexual,Student, High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID132003125053

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Question:

It seems like everyguy I go out with is just looking for a good time or a one-nightthing. Why is it that it is so hard to find the whole package in aguy and get him to commit? Why do I feel like they are always lookingfor something better, when there is something great right there? Whycan't girls and guys be on the same page for once?

POSTED1/7/2003

Melissa, Littleton,CO, United States, 18, Female, White/Caucasian, Straight, 2 Years ofCollege, Mesg ID 162003105620


Responses:

I think your biggestproblem is your age, and the age of the boys you date. You are, afterall, still a teenager. Boys your age are not known for their steadyhabits and settled ways, and never have been. If you date much oldermen, they are possibly going to be men who are not well-developedpsychologically (or they'd be more interested in somewhat olderwomen). Relax, shop around, and you'll find somebody.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Jerry S., New Britain,CT, United States, 55, Male, Jewish, White/Caucasian, Straight, 4Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 17200360920


It would seem to methat perhaps where you are looking may be the key. At the risk ofsounding politically incorrect, you probably will not find thecaring, settle-down type of family-oriented guy you're seeking at thelocal bar, club or hang-out dive. Another key question is how you arelooking. Do society's 'standards' of what constitutes handsome play afactor when you look? Do you ignore those nice guys that society call'nerds' or square, or who may not be male celebrity look-alikes, andpursue the jocks, regardless of behavior? Sometimes a simple shift inparadigm such as the type I have tried to lay out may prove helpfulfor you.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Me, Everycity, NA,United States, Female, 4 Years of College, Mesg ID17200362403


How old are the guysyou are dating? If they are under say 24 or 25, then they probablyaren't ready to settle down. Another question is, why are you lookingfor commitment at 18?

POSTED 1/9/2003

Lucy, San Jose, CA,United States, 28, Female, Middle class, Mesg ID17200373400


There may be a coupleof reasons for your problem. I notice you are only 18, and many menunder about 21 consider this too young for a serious commitment(though some are ready). As you get older, you will find men morewilling to have a long-term relationship, so be patient. Also, areyou only willing to date good-looking guys? These men tend to beconceited and enjoy the attention of too many women to settle on justone, so you may have better luck with more average-looking guys whowould appreciate your attention. Look for a really nice guy,regardless of his looks, who respects you and who makes youcomfortable being yourself, and your luck may change. While some menindeed are jerks looking for only sex, there are plenty of great guysout there, so no woman should settle for less.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Doug, Jacksonville, FL,United States, 37, Male, Lutheran, White/Caucasian, Straight,Marketing Manager, 4 Years of College, Upper class, Mesg ID182003102047


I have been with mygirlfriend for almost two years, but I do have a few friends who aresaying exactly what you are. For them the problem is the kind of guysthey are attracted to. For some reason, that group of guys is veryfocused on getting laid and moving on. Maybe in a few years maturitywill take over and they will begin acting differently.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Mike, Rochester, NY,United States, 20, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Student, 2 Yearsof College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 19200385513


Honey, you answeredyourself in the question: they are boys. They think something betteris going to come along tomorrow or the next day. I know men, and I'mold, honey; they look for new stuff every day. Find one who adoresyou and can't get enough of you. Believe me, he will be less trouble,unless of course he's a stalker. You're only 18, why do you want acommitment?

POSTED 1/9/2003

Valerie, Ft.Lauderdale, FL, United States, Female, Mesg ID 19200381640

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Question:

Is it possible forwomen and men to be just friends?

POSTED10/27/2002

C.M.T., Spokane, WA,United States, <babycakes5982@yahoo.com>, 20, Female,Christian, Hispanic/Latino (may be any race), Straight,student/military, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID1022200220753


Responses:

Definitely. I haveseveral female friends who I have no interest in romantically, and Ihave no doubt that they feel the same way. Many men may not be ableto have female friends, but there are a lot of men who can aswell.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Ben, Morgantown, WV,United States, 25, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight,salesperson, Over 4 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID1028200274826


Of course. Do you thinkmarried couples all practice spouse-swapping? Do you think there areno gay men with lesbian friends?

POSTED 1/9/2003

Rick, Springfield, OH,United States, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Yearsof College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1121200242147


I believe women and mencan be friends. I know firsthand. My best friend is male. I love himvery much. He and I have slept together (sleeping) but never had sex.He is gorgeous, very masculine, and women love him. He is myconfidant and holder of many of my deepest secrets. I wouldn't changethis for anything.

POSTED 1/9/2003

M.J., Dale City, VA,United States, 35, Female, Black/African American, Straight,engineer, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID1127200294559


I was in the militaryand worked around many men. Many of the guys I worked with treated meas a kid sister and looked out for me. But I was married and myhusband believed it was impossible to be just friends. He forbade meto talk to any guy - ever. To make a long story short, his attitudedrove me away. If there is trust and love, there can be such a thingas just friends.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Amanda, Bradenton, FL,United States, 24, Female, Lutheran, White/Caucasian, Straight,Stay-at-home mom, High School Diploma, Lower middle class, Mesg ID1127200212116


I think that on thewhole, women and men cannot be friends and mutually see each other asonly friends, because one side is always interested in being morethan just friends. More often than not, the two become friendsbecause one side is somewhat/subconsciously attracted to the other.Speaking as a man, I severely doubt that any man with an extremelyattractive female friend desires only friendship. We approach andbefriend women because we like something about them, i.e.personality, physical attribute, etc. Now of course there areexceptions to every rule. In the rare cases in which women and mencan truly be just friends, both sides must have no interest orphysical attraction to each other whatsoever. Then there's noquestion whether either side wants to take the friendship to the nextlevel.

POSTED 1/9/2003

K.H., Los Angeles, CA,United States, 25, Male, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, MesgID 1127200221727


It is very possible formales and females to just be friends. But I also think there is somesort of attraction there, either one-sided or mutual. The attractionis natural, though, because something obviously brings them to eachother, and usually that thing broadens the interest in theother.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Lauren, Oklahoma City,OK, United States, 19, Female, Christian, Native Hawaiian, Straight,student, High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID11282002100349


I work with apredominantly female staff and have become close friends with myco-workers. The friendships haven't gone beyond that because we're onthe same level of understanding that we're just friends. I haven'tthought about trying to start a relationship with one of myco-workers. Don't get me wrong, there are many attractive women, butI know when not to cross that fine line.

POSTED 1/9/2003

D.G.S., Pembroke Pines,FL, United States, <alabamastate1995@yahoomail.com>, 31, Male,Black/African American, Straight, Teacher, Over 4 Years of College,Middle class, Mesg ID 1130200214104


My freshman year ofhigh school I would have thought it was impossible. I wasromantically or sexually interested in all my female friends. Now Ihave very deep, personal relationships with three women, one of whomI dated for two years and who is now one of my best friends, one whois like another sister, and one whom I can talk to for hours on endabout anything in general. I find all of them to be absolutelygorgeous. However, obviously with the latter two I've neverconsidered anything romantic or sexual with them.

POSTED 1/9/2003

James, Denver, DE,United States, 17, Male, Acknowledgement of a non-specific higherpower, White/Caucasian, Straight, Baskin Robbins scoop peon, HighSchool Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 1212002124928


I am female and my bestfriend is a male, and sex issues don't come up, except as jokes. Butthat might be because my friend is gay.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Amanda H., Baltimore,MD, United States, <Amandahunter97@aol.com>, 23, Female,Wiccan, White/Caucasian, Straight, Babysitter/Mom, High SchoolDiploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 126200240036


I do not think it ispossible. At some point, one member of the friendship may start tolook at the other sexually. I guess they can just 'be friends' ifthey don't act on this feeling, or vocalize it. But I think it isimpossible if you are straight to not have one of the people catchfeelings for the other.

POSTED 1/9/2003

C.R., Cleveland, OH,United States, Female, Baptist, Straight, college student, Uppermiddle class, Mesg ID 112003121339


Billy Crystal'sdialogue on this in 'When Harry Met Sally' offers a great explanationon why it's not possible. That said. I think it IS possible for menand women to be just friends, but the likelihood of that is far lessthan that of same-gender friends. I guess it depends on what yourmeaning of 'just friends' is. If you mean it to be that neither partyhas any attraction or wishes for something more than friendship, thepossibilities of a platonic relationship go even further down. In myexperience and speaking with friends, men are generally always on thelookout for possible partners, sexual or otherwise. Given theopportunity, I believe a lot of male friends would readily switch tomore than that. I suppose this happens because men and women oftenbecome friends because one side started the relationship with theintent of something more, made a bad turn and ended in the friendcategory (credit Chris Rock with that one). They may have movedbeyond those initial feelings, but there's usually some remnant ofit; perhaps moreso because they know them so well. By no means isthis absolute, but I think straight male/female 'friendships' aremuch rarer than people think or believe.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Peter, Lehigh Valley,PA, United States, 33, Male, Deist, Hispanic/Latino (may be anyrace), Straight, Telecommunications, 4 Years of College, Middleclass, Mesg ID 19200334825

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Question:

Why is that incorporate America my hairstyle can be an issue if I choose to wearnatural hair, pinups or braids?

POSTED1/7/2003

Tiffany, New York,NY, United States, 25, Female, Black/African American, marketing rep,4 Years of College, Mesg ID 16200320737

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Question:

When a woman makes acomment about a guy's butt, what is she attracted to? When men checkout a woman's chest and butt, usually we are associating them withspecific sexual acts (fondling or holding). Is this the same forwomen and the male butt, i.e. holding it during a sexual act? My onlyguess is that a 'tight, firm' butt is associated with the thrustingduring intercourse and is thus more desirable. The few women I'veasked about this, though, said they weren't sure what it was that wasattractive about it.

POSTED1/7/2003

Peter, LehighValley, PA, United States, 33, Male, Deist, Hispanic/Latino (may beany race), Telecommunications, 4 Years of College, Middle class, MesgID 16200352034

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Question:

Why would anyonechoose a homosexual lifestyle? It cannot serve any meaningfulpurpose. By definition, homosexuality cannot be genetic. Ifhomosexuals cannot reproduce, then it is not a genetictrait.

POSTED1/7/2003

Michael, Denver, NC,United States, 35, Male, Baptist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Marineservice, High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID15200313538


Responses:

Some genetic qualitiescan be passed on from parent to child, without the parent possessingthe characteristics of that quality (for example, a mother can have agene for blue eyes and pass it on to her child, but the motherherself may have brown eyes). If homosexuality is genetic, perhapsthis would explain how someone can be homosexual even though they arethe product of heterosexual parents. Also, homosexuals do sometimesbear children with the help of a willing heterosexual partner.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Tracy, Edmond, OK,United States, 30, Female, White/Caucasian, Straight, 4 Years ofCollege, Middle class, Mesg ID 17200323044


If sexual orientationcannot be genetic, why are you heterosexual? When did you 'choose' tobe straight? If a straight man cannot father a child because hissperm count is too low, does that mean he's really gay? You saidhomosexuals can't reproduce...

POSTED 1/9/2003

Alma J., Kempner, TX,United States, 49, Female, Methodist, White/Caucasian, Lesbian,government employee, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID17200374759


Unlike your religiouspreference, homosexuality is not a choice. I know you like to thinkit is, as this allows you your prejudice to go unchecked. Your lackof knowlegde of genetics is apparent by your comment, so I won't evenaddress this ignorance. I tire of non-gay people stating as fact thathomosexuality is a choice. Did you choose your straightness? And doyou constantly remind yourself not to look at guys and desire them?No, because you are constantly reminding yourself of your dogma(religious belief) and how to be a bigot.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Matthew, New York, NY,United States, 44, Male, Mesg ID 18200390601


First, homosexuals nomore choose to be gay than heterosexuals choose to be straight.Sexual orientation is a morally neutral indication of whether one isinclined toward romantic relationships with members of the oppositesex (heterosexual), same sex (homosexual) or either sex (bisexual).It is a naturally occurring variation of sexual inclinations, just asbeing left-handed is a naturally occurring variation of manualdexterity. It has nothing to do with parenting, as most gay childrenare born to heterosexual parents. As for the 'meaningful purpose' ofhomosexuality, ask any gay couple how meaningful their relationshipis. My partner, Greg, and I are both gay and have been together foralmost four years, and I can tell you that the love and commitment wehave for each other is just as meaningful, valuable and profound aswithin any married, heterosexual couple. Such love and commitment aremeaning enough when two people are building a life together. If you'dtake the time to get to know some gay couples, you might come torealize that.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Chuck A., Spring Hill,WV, United States, <PolishBear@aol.com>, 43, Male, Gay, AIDSEducator/Radio Announcer, Mesg ID 182003112619


If you're saying thatsexual intimacy serves only one meaningful purpose based on genetics,then we would have to conclude that sterile people should not engagein sexual relationships because they cannot reproduce. However,science shows that failure to reproduce is often based on genetics.Or do you believe that sterility is a lifestyle choice?

POSTED 1/9/2003

Johnny, Washington, DC,United States, Male, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID182003114749


Unlike you, I do notclaim to have the definite answer. However, my studies lead me tobelieve a different theory than yours: homosexuality is very probablygenetic, because the human species has reproduced way beyond itsmeans throughout history, and mother nature always finds a way tolimit population growth and therefore rid the world of whateverparasitical species happens to be going over the limit - in thiscase, human beings. Also, human beings are not genetically set up toonly have sex in order to reproduce; we, like certain sea mammals,have sex for pleasure that has nothing to do with reproduction. Thatis a genetic trait. Finally, in answer to your actual question, I ambisexual, which is not a choice for me, but I do choose to act uponmy sexuality, because it gives me much pleasure. If I have thechoice, I also would rather be around a gay or bisexual person anyday vs. a straight person, because in the gay and bisexual communityI am less likely to encounter bigotry and ignorance concerningsexuality.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Jessica, Huntsville,TX, United States, 23, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Bisexual,Graduate Student, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID18200314806


No one chooseshomosexuality; no matter how much your religious leaders want thepublic to believe that, it simply isn't true. Ask any gay or bisexualperson and they can tell you in detail how they discovered, notchose, their sexuality. There is also more scientific evidence thatsexual orientation is genetic than that it is choice. And why do yousuppose that something cannot be genetic just because it interfereswith reproduction? A woman can have genes that make her moresusceptible to uteral cancer, which could ultimately lead to herinfertility. Are you saying that because this woman can no longerhave children that there is no way her cancer was caused by a geneticpredisposition and that she in fact sinned by choosing the cancerthat made her infertile? It is just as ludicrious to make theargument that cancer, anemia, diabetes or any other number ofdisorders/diseases aren't genetically influenced as to make the onethat homosexuality is a choice.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Alex, PH, MI, UnitedStates, 18, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Bisexual, Student,High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 18200343312


I was watching MTV's'True Life - I'm Gay' and one Mormon guy was so afraid of coming outand being excommunicated from everyone he knows that he underwentpainful shock therapy that included having the current attached tohis penis. If that isn't a reason to 'choose' not to be gay, I don'tknow what is. Just like you can't help being attracted to a girl onthe street with a nice figure and big boobs, a gay guy can't helpbeing attracted to another guy with a nice six pack and firmbutt.

POSTED 1/9/2003

spork, Los Angeles, CA,United Kingdom, 23, Female, Agnostic, Asian, Straight, Student, Over4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 18200345507


I'm sure this will geta lot of answers from the gay community but perhaps a response from astraight person will lend some balance. Michael, your questionanswers itself. On the most basic level, why indeed would anyonechoose to be gay (I of course mean lesbian as well)? Gays areconsidered sinners or worse by most religions, discriminated againstby the government in regards to benefits, and face violence by thepublic. You think someone would choose to go through that? What isthe possible upside to make it worth going through that? The factthat homosexuality does not lead to procreation doesn't mean thatit's not genetic. By that standard, men born with low sperm counts,or women born without ovaries, chose to be that way as well. Justbecause homosexuality resides in the brain - the most complex organof all - and we can't 'see' its roots does not mean it's not genetic.A more germane question would be is homosexuality an anomoly?Perhaps, but so what? It doesn't shorten one's lifespan {from apurely physiological standpoint) so it doesn't need a cure.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Peter, Lehigh Valley,PA, United States, 33, Male, Deist, Hispanic/Latino (may be anyrace), Straight, Telecommunications, 4 Years of College, Middleclass, Mesg ID 19200341525

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Question:

My friends arealways giving a dollar or two to the homeless person on the corner,and they think I'm stingy because I refuse to. I feel that Americanshave plenty of opportunity to make something of themselves, and thatthese people are homeless or poor by choice. I work hard for everydollar I earn, and I give my time and money to the charities I feeldeserve it. Why are the poor poor and the homeless homeless? Am Istingy?

POSTED10/27/2002

Tiffany, Spokane,WA, United States, 25, Female, Baptist, American Indian/Caucasian,Straight, Military, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID10222002115137


Responses:

Do you seriously thinkpeople 'choose' to sleep on heating grates in the winter and getcovered in sweat and dirt in the summer, risking beatings, robberyand police harassment? Do you seriously think people 'choose' to livein run down dangerous neighborhoods with rats and roaches andshootings? Frankly, what you think about the poor is a slur and justso much ugly and vicious character assassination. (You say you areIndian. I'm surprised, cousin, I don't think I've ever heard ofIndian people who didn't think generosity to poor people, whichincludes most Indians, is not one of our most important values.) It'seasier to blame the victim than to think about the way the economy isdeliberately structured to keep some people poor. The Federal Reservequite openly says it deliberately plans to keep the unemployment rateat 5 percent. That keeps wages down all across the board. Tell me howthat 5 percent (plus the additional 25-30 percent who live inpoverty) could possibly 'choose' to be poor, then? Outside of monkswho've taken a vow of poverty, I doubt anyone has ever 'chosen' to bepoor or homeless. Most poor people do work, and they work damnedhard, far harder than people with money. Many hold down two or eventhree jobs. In my home town, it's quite common to have both parentsworking at minimum-wage jobs, and still have a poor household. Evenmany homeless people work at jobs that no one else wants, at carwashes, as day laborers, etc. Many homeless have mental healthproblems, or drug or alcohol addictions. Many of the poor, homelessor not, are so trapped in a cycle of despair that they can't see anyway out. That includes some of our own Indian people on thereservations, possibly your own relatives. Who you choose to giveyour money to is your own choice, certainly. But please, don't be somean-spirited as to justify your scrooge attitude by attacking peoplewho have, for the most part, done nothing to deserve the state ofpoverty they are living in. A roll of the dice, and you could easilywind up where they are. We all could.

POSTED 1/9/2003

A.C.C., Phoenix, AZ,United States, Male, Mexican and American Indian, Over 4 Years ofCollege, Lower class, Mesg ID 10282002105309


I don't think you'restingy. I feel the same way about most panhandlers on the street,because most of them look like they should be working. But there'sone guy I don't mind giving to because he's severely retarded and ina wheelchair. His limbs are visibly deformed so I don't think he canwork, but I think someone takes care of him because he's alwaysclean. I give to him on the street. But I believe some of the otherpeople on the street would be best served by shelters, drug rehabs,soup kitchens, mental institutions and other service organizationsthat are helping them get back into society. I think it's better togive to the organizations than to facilitate their lifestyles bygiving easy handouts on the street.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Bella, Washington, DC,United States, 30, Female, Afro-Caribbean, Mesg ID1031200230033


The reasons people arepoor and/or homeless are so numerous as to defy counting. People arepoor and homeless because things go wrong. A lost job. A lost family.A failed business venture. Bad investment choices. Drugs. Some peopleare poor because of a lack of education. Some people are poor becausetheir parent(s) were poor and it runs in the family. You can actuallyhave third- and fourth-generation people on welfare, because it's thelife they're accustomed to. If you lose a job or a home, sometimes itis extremely hard to get any of that back. No family to help you getback on your feet. No friends to give you a place to stay until youfind a new job. Without an address, most places won't give you a job.It's a vicious circle. I doubt there are many people who decided onemorning to become homeless and poor. Very few people, if actuallygiven a choice, would choose to be homeless and poor. You must haveno idea how embarassing it is to have to ask people for money. True,there are people who do this with no shame, but they're rare. As togiving to the poor on the street, consider these words from Jesus"'Who was this man's neighbor?' In the story of the Good Samaritan,Jesus wasn't concerned about the position of the poor man beaten onthe road. He was concerned about who was truly the right kind ofperson in reacting to his situation. Apply this to yourself. Are youthis person's 'neighbor?' If, as a child of God, every person is yourneighbor, your brother (either in Christ or through Adam) then giveto whomever you can.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Tim, Fairbanks, AK,United States, 42, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight,Military, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID111200252104


Just because you'refortunate enough to earn a living doesn't mean other people are inthe same boat. I think it's good to help others and not be soselfish, because we all are people and should help one another. Ithink it is very critical and judgmental of you to assume that anyonewho is living on the streets chooses to live that way. You tell mewho in their right mind would want to be in the freezing cold whenit's 10 or 15 degress outside, when they can be in a warm, cozyhouse. Who in their right mind would want to live in a cardboard boxwhen they could sleep in a warm, comfortable bed? Who wants to worrywhere their next meal is coming from? Things happen to people, likethe man who is laid off and still has to feed his family and can'tget a job, the mother in an abusive relationship and desperatelytrying to flee her abuser. Some people have severe mental illnesses,which makes it difficult to function in society. If that was a memberof your family, say your mom or somebody, you'd be singing adifferent tune.

POSTED 1/9/2003

Monique M., Ft. Myers,FL, United States, Female, Christian, Mesg ID 112200265811

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Question:

Why do Jews and Catholics usually support Democratic candidatesin elections? It would seem that the Democrats' (particularly theextremely liberal segment) stand on Israel and abortion respectivelywould be totally opposite of what Jews and Catholics believe in.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Kathy, Springfield, IL, United States, 50, Female, White/Caucasian,Medical, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID1221200251826


Responses:

Catholics support Republicans because Republican candidates aretypically against abortion. What your are refering to is howCatholics used to support Democrats because the majority were workingclass and the Democratic Party used to support the working class. Nowthey support the welfare class and are strictly anti-abortion.Furthermore, many Democratic candidates were Catholic themselves inthe past, for example John F. Kennedy.

POSTED 1/7/2003

Patrick D., Kansas City, MO, United States,<burbonsnlacs411@yahoo.com>, 25, Male, White/Caucasian,Straight, Software Engineer, 2 Years of College, Middle class, MesgID 12272002125633


For more than 100 years, the Democratic Party has been morewelcoming to immigrants and non-Protestants. Check out the famous'Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion' speech of 1884. In addition, theRepublican Party has typically been conservative with respect toeconomic policy (although it had a socially progressive wing for manyyears). As such, many people associate it with the entrenched socialorder. Jews and Catholics were primarily immigrants fleeing religiouspersecution and poverty, and they arrived here with nothing and hadto fight their way into the economic mainstream. People with thatbackground would hardly be sympathetic toward maintaining the statusquo. More specifically, the Democratic Party generally supportsIsrael and did so during a Republican presidency whose StateDepartment was widely known as anti-Semitic. Many Jews are notopposed to abortion; the religion has no official stance on thesubject that I know of. I'll let someone else speak for Catholics onthat issue.

POSTED 1/7/2003

Jerry S., New Britain, CT, United States, 54, Male, Jewish,White/Caucasian, 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID1227200265857


It's tough being Catholic and trying to fit into either of the twomajor political parties. The Catholic philosophy includes certainideals associated with the GOP, such as opposition to abortion, butalso other ideals associated with the Democrats, such as higherminimum wages, more aid for the poor, etc. Remember that these idealsare global and not forged on the basis of U.S. political parties. MyCatholic parish is hugely Republican, and the reason is abortion.They don't have meetings over the right to bear arms or the need torestrain spending or other GOP platforms. Look at the ages of theCatholics in your area. Are they working folks with families? Maybeunion members? If so, they would fit in with the Democratic socialideals. The Catholics in my area are mostly retired businessexecutives, so they have no economic-equity goals and can thus focussolely on the abortion issue and be Republicans. My own mainpolitical interest is in the environment as God's creation. And Ifeel the Republican approach mostly favors developers, so I agreemore with Democrats. But I don't favor abortion. So I have been apro-life Democrat, as most Catholic Democrats are - before I recentlydropped out of the whole party concept.

POSTED 1/7/2003

Henry, Vero Beach, FL, United States,<henricus@bellsouth.net>, 44, Male, Catholic, White/Caucasian,Straight, journalist, 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 1229200212043


Catholics should vote for the candidate that best mirrors theirbelief system. By not doing so, they risk losing their good standingin the church.

POSTED 1/7/2003

D. Arnaud, Eunice, LA, United States, 27, Female, Catholic,White/Caucasian, Straight, homemaker, 2 Years of College, Middleclass, Mesg ID 1230200280400


They say that Jews make money like Episcopalians and vote likePuerto Ricans. It's due to 'Tikun Olam' ('Repair the world'). Jewsstrongly believe in helping those in need, the widows and orphans,for example. Democrats tend to support more social services thanRepublicans; hence you get a strong support from the Jews.

POSTED 1/7/2003

Ronni, Toronto, Ontario, NA, Canada, 42, Female, Jewish, 4 Yearsof College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 112003114656

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Question:

Why do white people let their children use profanity towardthem? When I say children, I mean between the ages of 5 to adulthood.I can't for the life of me understand why you let them do this toyou. Do you not think it's disrespectful? Or do you think it's just away of expression?
POSTED 12/22/2002
Bambie, Raleigh, NA, United States, 34, Female, Baptist, NativeAmerican/African American, Straight, Pharmeceuticals, Over 4 Years ofCollege, Middle class, Mesg ID 1221200253417


Responses:

I think white children are much more disciplined than blackchildren. The majority of black kids I see are rude to adults, loud,obnoxious, curse and recite rap lyrics, which I think no one shouldlisten to. And every time I see a black mother talking to her child,she's cursing at them, i.e. 'Get yo' a** over here' and 'What thefu** is wrong wi' chew?'

POSTED 1/7/2003

Melissa, Antioch, CA, United States, 21, Female, Christian,White/Caucasian, Straight, High School Diploma, Lower middle class,Mesg ID 1224200242253


I have a child and several nieces and nephews, and I do not allowprofanity toward me or others. It is very disrespectful andinappropriate for any child to use such language. Most children useit because they pick it up from TV or hear it on the street. My childis 16 months old and has used the s-word several times. She doesn'tknow what it means, but heard it from my mother. I correct both ofthem each time - my child when she says it and my mom when she saysit in front of children. My sister allows her daughters to use allkinds of profanity because they think it is cute or funny, being soyoung. My niece Amanda gets called a bitch and 'ho' by her oldestson. He picked it up from music and other people. She laughs at himand calls him a bitch, and he is only 23 months. Then again, she is19. I hear children from all races talk this way toward theirparents. You can't direct your question directly to white people,because parents from other races allow it, too.

POSTED 1/7/2003

Julie, Antioch, TN, United States,<littlejulie458@yahoo.com>, 21, Female, White/Caucasian,student/management, High School Diploma, Lower class, Mesg ID1224200270853


My parents taught me well enough that I rarely use swear words,even in front of people my own age. If a parent thought there wassomething they could do to stop a child from cursing, they would doit. I think most of these parents believe it's a lost cause.

POSTED 1/7/2003

Emily, Rockland, NY, United States, 16, Female, Unitarian,White/Caucasian, Straight, High School Student, Less than High SchoolDiploma, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 12242002115318


I use profanity toward my mom because I just think it's a betterway to communicate when I'm mad or upset. But trust me: we get ourbutt whooped.

POSTED 1/7/2003

John, Lexington, KY, United States, 15, Male, White/Caucasian,Straight, Less than High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID12242002125213


I don't understand it, either. They need to slap their tonguesdown their throats. It is disrespectful. My kids are 3 and 1, andthey know mama and daddy don't play that.

POSTED 1/7/2003

Fatima, Ohio, OH, United States, <fngww@yahoo.com>, 24,Female, Christian, Black/African American, Straight, customer servicerep, Technical School, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 1224200211452


My 17-year-old son has cursed one time in his life. He was 3 andsaid 'farted' to announce what his father had done. After all thoseyears, he has never said the first cross word, curse word orotherwise, to my husband or me. You can't judge an entire race bywhat is seen by some, or done by a few. We know God and try to liveas though we do.

POSTED 1/7/2003

Stephanie, Atlanta, GA, United States, 43, Female, Methodist, RN,4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1224200241042


I'm a white parent of four children, all in the age range of yourquestion. I believe all children, black or white, have become muchmore disrespectful in the past 10 years. Im an educator in a schoolthat is 40 percent white and 60 percent black, and its not only whitechildren who use profanity. However, none of my children have everused profanity toward or around me.

POSTED 1/7/2003

Mitch B., Charleston, MO, United States, 42, Male, Baptist,White/Caucasian, Straight, teacher, Over 4 Years of College, Middleclass, Mesg ID 1224200244216


What white people are you hanging around with ... trailer trash?Any decent middle class Christian white family is not going to allowprofanity aimed at adults. I think black kids are the rudest andcrudest of all.

POSTED 1/7/2003

T.F., Flowery Branch, GA, United States, Mesg ID 1224200240103


Profanity usually occurs when parents don't instruct anddemonstrate the difference between right and wrong. All too often thelanguage is encouraged out of thoughts of 'cuteness.' This does seemto be a white problem, but it does occur in other races. Sometimesprofanity in one's eyes isn't profanity in another's.

POSTED 1/7/2003

SthrnDrifter, Burlison, TN, United States,<sthrndrifter@wmconnect.com>, 26, Male, White/Caucasian,Straight, Small Business Owner, High School Diploma, Middle class,Mesg ID 1224200250327


I have noticed some white children disrespecting their parents,especially in public places. I also have friends of many differentraces who have direspected their parents at one time or another.Whether they chose to do it again is a different story. Some parentsrule the house with respect. Their children don't disrespect thembecause they teach them respect. Some parents rule the house withfear. Which brings me to my question: Why do African Americans 'beat'their children? I have heard some of my friends say 'If I would ofdid that, I wouldn't of lived another day.' I have also watchedcomedy shows where they joke about this. I think if you do beat yourchildren, they will respect you out of fear. Maybe white parents areafraid to discipline their children. My parents never hit me. I neverused profanity toward my parents because they didn't use profanity.

POSTED 1/7/2003

Trina, Cleveland, OH, United States, 21, Female, Mesg ID1224200250944


My kids do not speak to me or anybody like that. I hope they don'tbehind my back. When I was a kid and my parents heard me talking toanyone like that, all you heard was 'whapppp' across the mouth or thehead. If anyone is to blame, it is the parents for not discipliningtheir kids. It is not just white people, it is everyone. So let's putthis kid-cussing to a stop. My children better not do it. They'lllearn real quick.

POSTED 1/7/2003

Robert, Sarasota, FL, United States, 30, Male, Baptist,White/Caucasian, Straight, Grocery warehouse employee, High SchoolDiploma, Mesg ID 1225200281903


I am not white, but I think they use profanity against theirparents because they are spoiled and have gotten everything in life.When they can't get something, they curse.

POSTED 1/7/2003

J.E., Atlanta, GA, United States, Mesg ID 1226200265239


I agree that it happens more in the white community than theblack. I just don't know why.

POSTED 1/7/2003

Luann, Jasper, AL, United States, 45, Female, Christian,White/Caucasian, Straight, CPA, 4 Years of College, Upper middleclass, Mesg ID 12272002103310

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