Best of the Week
of Jan. 14, 2001

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of Jan. 14, 2001, as selected by Y? These postings, as well as "Best of the Week" entries from previous weeks, also can be found by accessing Y?'s new database using the search form, or, in the case of answers posted before April 24, 1999, in the Original Archives (all questions from the Original Archives have been entered into the new database as well). In the Original Archives and the new database, you will find questions that have received answers, as well as questions still awaiting responses. You are encouraged to answer any questions relevant to your demographic background, as well as to ask any provocative question you desire. Answers posted are not necessarily meant to represent the views of an entire demographic group, but can provide a window into the insights of an individual from that group.

First-time users should first make a quick stop at Y?'s guidelines pages for asking and answering questions.

The book on Y? is here!
"Why Do White People Smell Like Wet Dogs
When They Come Out Of The Rain?"

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Delivery in 2-3 days via Priority Mail
Read the Associated Press story on "Wet Dogs"

Order the book on Y? today!

 


Question:

Did anyone else find the title of the book based on the Y? web site (Why Do White People Smell Like Wet Dogs When They Come Out of The Rain?) amusing? I did, but I am white. What if it was titled Why Do BLACK People Smell Like Wet Dogs When They Come Out of The Rain? It would be labeled hateful and racist. Who, then, is more tolerant of the other race: blacks or whites? And who is the racist? Without insulting black people by saying, 'Because they have been treated worse historically,' who can give me a good reason why it is appropriate that black literature can make fun of whites, but whites cannot make fun of blacks?

POSTED 1/14/2001

Nate, Seattle area, WA, United States, Male

Mesg ID 17200123232

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Question:

What is it with guys and spitting? And as a subgenre, throat clearing? Why do guys feel so phlegmy that they have to spit and clear their throats frequently? I've noticed that it's guys who spit on sidewalks (how pleasant is that to walk past?) and it's the guys, not the gals, who are constantly clearing their throats. I'm just trying to understand. Maybe I wouldn't cringe so much if I understood why the guys around me at work sound like a bunch of lusty frogs on a spring pond. (Maybe if I hold that mental image it will be easier to smile through the chorus!)

POSTED 1/10/2001

Cheryl, New Haven, CT, United States, Female

Mesg ID 110200135629


Responses:
I think it is more cuturally acceptable for men to spit and be loud when clearing mucous than women. It's considered 'unladylike' to hock a big lugee while walking down the street, and though it's not necessarily attractive to spit, it's better than holding it in and swallowing it, in my opinion. There are obviously women who will spit whenever they feel like it and men who won't, but I believe cultural mores tell us it's OK for men to do it but not women. Maybe the throat-clearing thing relates to this point, with men being more free to be noisy about it without negative reactions. Do you react more harshly if a woman does the same thing?

POSTED 1/16/2001

Marc, Morgantown, WV, United States, 24, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Grad Student, Over 4 Years of College , Upper middle class

Mesg ID 116200132651

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Question:

The first time I heard about peepholes being used for sex by gay men at reststops, I became extremely turned on. I am a straight woman and mother of two who has had gay/lesbian friends but no lesbian fantasies or desires. I just get off watching and downloading pictures of guys having sex - especially group sex. I admit I have several fetishes typical of straight women: Threesomes with men, and maybe even a father/son duo or brothers with me. But nothing gets me turned on like this. I even had sex with a bisexual man and told him to tell me what he did to this man. I still rate this as the best sexual experience I've ever had. So what do I call myself? What term would describe my fetish, which I equate with straight males watching lesbians? It also seems to be more rare for women to want to watch men. Is this so?

POSTED 1/15/2001

Nikky, Knoxville, TN, United States, 27, Female, Buddhist, Straight, College Student, Over 4 Years of College

Mesg ID 115200111111

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Question:

Why is it OK, for example, that when an Asian and Hispanic have children, those children can claim to be Asian and Hispanic, but when a white and black person have children, the children are automatically labeled black? And if the offspring chooses to say they are of mixed race, such as Mariah Carey, they are viewed by others as hating blacks or in denial?

POSTED 1/15/2001

Timothy B., Bronx, NY, United States, 20, Male, Methodist, Black/African American, Straight, student, 2 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 115200184937

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Question:

Why have I always been attracted to the smell of sweaty butts, especially males butts, and in particular, my own? Is it a special chemical that makes it stimulate me? Is anyone else attracted to this smell, male or female?

POSTED 1/14/2001

Phillip H., London, NA, United Kingdom, <prhudspith@hotmail.com>, 27, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, IT Recruitment consultant, High School Diploma , Middle class

Mesg ID 113200120256


Responses:
Let me see if I've got this right: You claim to be a straight, 27-year-old male who likes the smell of his own sweaty butt. If you are honestly interested in finding out more about pheromones (the natural scent one's body gives off to attract the opposite sex - not to be confused with bad body odor), please clarify your question. As for the pheromones, it's commonly known that animals give off various scents to attract a desirable member of the opposite sex. This is why you see dogs smelling each other's behinds, for example. Humans give off a natural scent also (again - don't confuse this with the smell of a sweaty, 300-pound fat guy), but to a lesser degree. It is mostly subliminal. The problem is we cover it up with cologne/perfume.

POSTED 1/15/2001

Taz, Windsor, Ontario, NA, Canada, 29, Male, White/Caucasian, Middle class

Mesg ID 1152001122059

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Question:

How do women view a man who's been to prison? Will they still date a man after they find out he has a record?

POSTED 1/14/2001

Jesse, Warren, MI, United States, 24, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, engineer, Technical School , Middle class

Mesg ID 113200172657

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Question:

If the issues of historically disenfranchised groups (Africans, women, Native Americans, gays and lesbians, labor, poor whites, etc.) are represented zealously by the Green Party, and if there's no reason to believe they will betray their constituency, why did so many of us (Africans and women in particular) give our vote to the Democrats, who have taken us for granted and failed us repeatedly? Just because they're not Republicans? What about our future and our children's future?

POSTED 1/14/2001

Trenice, Chicago, IL, United States, Female, Atheist, Black/African American, Straight, data entry, 4 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 114200143247

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Question:

Many people are convinced that we are kicking our civilization down the drain if we carry on like this (global warming, wars, population growth, destruction of soil, forests and fishing grounds and so on). If we think we are going to spoil it, why don't we act and try and save the day? I don't get it. Or is it that few people think like me? Thorsten

POSTED 1/14/2001

Thorsten R., Bielefeld, NA, Germany, 28, Male, scientist, White/Caucasian, Straight, PhD. student, Upper class

Mesg ID 114200174628

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Question:

It appears to be widely accepted that most of the major news media - NBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, etc. - have news anchors and reporters whose cultural and political leanings are primarily liberal. This explains the slant put on news today, but what I don't understand is, why do so many liberals enter this field? I recognize that there are the Rush Limbaughs and Dr. Lauras who have talk radio shows, but these are syndicated and not part of the mainstream news that people see every night while eating supper. Do liberals enter this field specifically in an effort to influence the thoughts and attitudes of viewers?

POSTED 1/9/2001

Kathy, Springfield, IL, United States, 47, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Medical, Over 4 Years of College , Upper middle class

Mesg ID 9132000104306


Responses:
I think the nature of the work leads many journalists to become more liberal over time. We are taught to try to cover news objectively, from numerous points of view, and that tends to break down the walls between 'us' and 'them.' People can be amazingly open and vulnerable in an interview, and that humanizes even those who have very different views from your own. So while I may not agree with someone's beliefs or viewpoints, I do often come to understand why and how they came to them. I don't have an 'agenda,' I just have more compassion now than when I entered the field, and I think that may make people think I've become more 'liberal.'

POSTED 1/15/2001

Michelle, Oklahoma City, OK, United States, Female, Baptist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Journalist, Over 4 Years of College

Mesg ID 115200135630

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Question:

Why is sex with children legal in Japan? What is the reasoning behind it? How do the Japanese feel about this 'Rorikon' (Japanese for 'Lolita complex' - meaning an older man after a young girl.)? Is there an opposing view? How do Japanese Americans feel about it?

POSTED 1/8/2001

J., Pittsburgh, PA, United States

Mesg ID 15200154540


Responses:
It is not legal in Japan to have sex with prepubescent children. I forget what the cutoff age is, but it would not be permissible to have sex with an 11-year-old girl, for example. Rape is illegal in any case. However, there are no significant consensual sex laws regarding teenage girls. The main reason is that until recently, it wasn't common enough to merit attention. If it did occur, typically the couple would be either seeking a marriage or forced into it. Since the economic depression of the '80s, times have changed. An increasing phenomenon is the practice of 'compensated dating,' in which an older man pays a younger girl to be his girlfriend. The awareness of this is growing in Japan, and unprecedented laws are being passed to prohibit it. Ironically, it's the girls who end up having to pay the penalty, which is usually a hefty fine. It seems when it comes down to it, the Japanese put a lot more faith in a teenage girl to manage her own destiny than we would ever dream of doing in the United States. For the most part, they succeed.

POSTED 1/14/2001

Edward, Durham, NC, United States, 31, Male, Teacher

Mesg ID 111200163005


I don't know about Japan's consent law, but it is wise to realize that many Scandanavian countries, and Australia - which is rather similar to the United States - permit children to have sex with other children, as long as the age difference is not greater than two years.

POSTED 1/14/2001

Kent, Melbourne, NA, Australia, 58, Male, Episcopalian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Business consultant, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 113200161614


Sex with children is not legal in Japan. The age of consent in Japan is 16. In most American states it is 18, but I believe in a few it is lower. Rorikon is a type of manga, or Japanese comic book. Comics are not just for kids in Japan and are just as legitimate reading for all ages as books or magazines are in the United States. Rorikon is a subgroup of hentai, or pervert, manga. It is produced because children participating in sexual acts is illegal. Rorikon represents a very small amount of the manga in Japan, and while I am not Japanese, I have been told there are many moral objections there to hentai, and specifically rorikon. There is no organized legislative effort to ban its sale and production, however.

POSTED 1/14/2001

Ethan J., Berkeley, CA, United States, 19, Male, White/Caucasian, student, 2 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 19200184755

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Question:

Why is minority recruitment for HIV vaccine trials always so difficult? I remember the horrible Tuskeegee experiment, but that was decades ago. Still, perhaps this remains part of the background problem? Or is it difficulty with governmental paternalism? Or, is the conspiracy theory of HIV's governmental manufacture really that strong? Or a combination of issues? How can confidence be strengthened?

POSTED 1/8/2001

Curious, Los Angeles, CA, United States, Female, White/Caucasian, Bisexual, Over 4 Years of College

Mesg ID 18200130931

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