Best of the Week
of Jan. 16, 2000

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of Jan. 16, 2000, as selected by Y? These postings, as well as "Best of the Week" entries from previous weeks, also can be found by accessing our new database using our search form, or, in the case of answers posted before April 24, 1999, in our 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. We encourage you 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.

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Question:
A new employee has been hired to teach at the college where I work. She used to be a male but has either had the required operation to switch genders or is working very hard at looking as though she has. This bothers me not at all. What I can't seem to understand is that her partner is a female as well. Why go to all of the effort to cross genders to have a relationship (I don't even know if homosexual relationship is the right word) with someone of the same sex?
POSTED 1/16/2000
Richard T., London, NA, Canada, <baggywrinkle@home.com>, 46, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, professor, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 1162000121020

Responses:
Sexual orientation and gender identification are different things. The former refers to sexual/physical/emotional feelings toward another human being. The later refers to how one sees oneself.
POSTED 1/20/2000
Alicia, Seattle, WA, United States, 31, Female, Black/African American, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 1190043657

I saw a really good program on public television last week titled �In the Life� that touched on this idea. The program highlights gay and lesbian issues. One of the people interviewed was a transgendered woman. She described her life as it is in the context of her work environment (fire station captain). She said she had encountered the same question that you are asking. She answered that even though her physical being had transformed, her emotional and psychological attractions had not. She was very blunt in saying that sexual orientation and sexual identity are two completely different, independent things. The program �In the Life� also has an associated web site that, among other things, lists when programs are scheduled to be aired. You may want to check the schedule and see if you can catch this program (January episode) in your viewing area. The address is www.inthelifetv.org.
POSTED 1/21/2000
Cheryl H., New Haven, CT, United States, Female, Lesbian, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 1202000110839

Being a lesbian does not mean I wish to be a man. They are two separate issues. A transgendered person, as I understand it, is born with the physical anatomy of the sex opposite from the sex with which he/she identifies him/herself. A transgendered person can be either homo- or heterosexual.
POSTED 1/22/2000
Nancy S., Butler, PA, United States, <ranebow@iname.com>, 45, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Lesbian, Laborer, High School Diploma , Lower middle class, Mesg ID 122200025225
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Question:
Many African-American female clerks, such as at the grocery checkout, look past me instead of at me when they talk and don't respond to my friendly demeanor. I know it's not personal. Is there a cultural basis for it?
POSTED 1/16/2000
Ken D., Orlando, FL, United States, <mail@kentraco.com>, 58, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, Water Treatment, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 112200050023

Responses:
In African-American culture it is considered disrespectful to look directly into the eyes of a person who is either older or in a position of authority. As a child I was always taught to lower my eyes when my parents or grandparents spoke to me. On the flip side, when an African American wants to show contempt or to challenge someone's authority, we'll often stare directly at the person.
POSTED 1/20/2000
Rhonda, Lansing, MI, United States, Female, Black/African American, Middle class, Mesg ID 119200091543
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Question:
I used to go out with a Scot who wore nothing under his kilt, and insisted that this was the normal practice. Is this indeed so?
POSTED 1/16/2000
Pamela B., Portsmouth, NA, United Kingdom, 42, Female, Wiccan, White/Caucasian, Teacher, 2 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 115200080922

Responses:
Yep, that's the traditional practice. The tartan is typically made of a fairly thick wool that can be very warm, so there is very little need for extra clothing underneath.
POSTED 1/20/2000
John K., Cranford, NJ, United States, <jkeegan3@home.com>, 26, Male, Chemical Engineer, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 1172000105947
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Question:
What do Americans really think the climate is like in Canada? Specifically, winter/summer temperatures (please state metric or imperial units), amount of snow/rain. In addition what percentage of the Canadian population do you think owns dog sledding teams? This question stems from both personal and second-hand experiences with American visitors to Canada. In the spirit of this site people from nations other than the United States are quite welcome to respond, but please state your country of residence and where you did your childhood education.
POSTED 1/16/2000
E. McKie, Thunder Bay, NA, Canada, 26, Female, White/Caucasian, Geography/GIS Student, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 115200035138

Responses:
I'm from Minnesota, and I think that we and Canada share a lot of stereotypes. I've told people that I'm from Minnesota and they just say 'brrr.' I think I visualize Canada as moderately cold (0-20'F) with a lot of plains, and Toronto as large and gray. I also think that you're all into cultural studies because I had a Canadian teacher of that subject once. And I love your television shows (Red Green, Newsroom)!
POSTED 1/19/2000
Emily, Minneapolis, MN, United States, 18, Female, White/Caucasian, Straight, Student, 2 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 11900112535

I was born in England but went through all of my primary and secondary schooling in the United States. I have never been to Canada but am looking forward to it. I've heard it is a very beautiful country. As Canada is a rather large country, and located in a temperate area, I would imagine it has a rather diverse climate, but I am assuming you want a generalization. I would imagine that Canada has mild summers (with temperatures averaging 65-75 degree F) and fairly cold winters (with temperatures averaging from below freezing to 40 degrees F). It would be very hard to generalize the precipitation. Coastal areas would be much more prone to precipitation than inland areas. As for dog-sledding teams, I doubt they are common occurances in urban/suburban areas, and are probably seen only slightly more in rural areas. (Perhaps as often as rodeo teams in Texas?)
POSTED 1/19/2000
Shawn, Fort Worth, TX, United States, <pharaun@aol.com>, 24, Male, Episcopalian, White/Caucasian, Gay, Flight Dispatcher/US Navy Reserve, High School Diploma , Lower middle class, Mesg ID 11800100310
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Question:
A number of people I know who have either lived in or moved to the South have remarked on the poor treatment of animals - especially dogs - as contrasted with the rest of the country. Is this just a class thing due to a higher concentration of low-income and uneducated people, or is it somehow linked to Southern culture?
POSTED 1/16/2000
John, Chicago, IL, United States, 43, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Gay, System Analyst, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 1132000121749

Responses:
I have lived in many parts of the North and South and have never observed this distinction.
POSTED 1/17/2000
Frank, Orange Beach, AL, United States, 56, Male, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Engineer, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 116200064426

What you may be noticing is that in a rural environment (and the South is largely rural), pets such as dogs and cats tend to spend more time outdoors. The climate is warmer, and it just makes more sense for them to be outside. I do not think these pets are treated more shabbily than pets in other parts of the country.
POSTED 1/17/2000
Augustine, Columbia, SC, United States, 39, Male, White/Caucasian, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 116200092949

I have lived in the South my entire life and have never known anyone to mistreat their pet. On the contrary, everyone I know treats their pets as beloved family members. Also, the majority of these people are college-educated or at least have some technical training.
POSTED 1/22/2000
Lathan, Chester, SC, United States, 22, Female, Presbyterian, White/Caucasian, Straight, College Student, 2 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 117200015730

I agree. I have lived in the North and South and could tell you disgusting stories about abuse that I have observed in the South. I even discussed this with a co-worker while I was living there. I know where I used to live the dog-catcher would go around town and write citations if you did not have a doghouse in the winter and there was a dog seen outside. I am not sure whether it is cultural or that the animals on the whole are less domesticated, but I have observed a notable and disturbing lack of interest in animal cruelty.
POSTED 1/22/2000
Merry, New York, NY, United States, 25, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 117200020859

Perhaps what your friends are observing is the distinction some people make between 'working' dogs vs. 'house' dogs. A lot of people who hunt have dogs who retrieve the kill for them. Dogs are also used to help round up cattle in a pasture. Although these working dogs are well-fed and well-taken care of, they generally aren't treated like house pets - they don't come indoors, they aren't cuddled, they don't have a collection of little squeaky toys, etc. Some people may see this as mistreatment, and since hunting and raising cattle are prevalent in the South, they may be stereotyping everyone here.
POSTED 1/22/2000
Jodi, Houston, TX, United States, 26, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Editor, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 117200065745

I grew up in the North (not far from Chicago) and have lived in the South for 11 years. I have not found the mistreatment of animals to be any more abundant in Southern regions than Northern. However, what you may be thinking of is a difference in how one views the value of an animal. With the Christian religion, one believes that God created man to be a steward of the world (see Genesis). With this idea in mind it is important for the Christian to understand that being a steward does not mean we worship the created. We only worship the creator. Many people who say they love animals actually are placing the animal in a position above the value of many. For a Christian, this is wrong. Animals do not have more value than a human being. Given the choice, a Christian is required by the laws of God to choose the life of a human over the life of an animal. Given the fact that many people might see this as less than 'humane,' and given the fact that many Christians are located in the 'Bible Belt' (the South), it would seem to continue that some might believe Southerners are less caring of animals than Northerners. I for one would indeed save the life of a human before that of a dog or cat. I, however, do not believe this should put me in a class of people deemed less caring about animals. Priorities must be made toward the human race.
POSTED 1/22/2000
C.J., Richmond, VA, United States, 42, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College , Upper class, Mesg ID 117200091749

Had dogs all my life and they get no less treatment than your dogs. We do like to catch catfish and shoot deer, though.
POSTED 1/22/2000
Bubba, Mobile, AL, United States, 44, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Executive, 4 Years of College , Upper middle class, Mesg ID 1172000103435

I have lived in various areas of the country and have found that people all over treat their animals about the same. Either they treat them like the animals they are or they treat them like people - clothing, etc. Many men in the South hunt and have hunting dogs, which are treated much differently than pets. Maybe this has something to do with the perception.
POSTED 1/22/2000
Cheryl, Atlanta, GA, United States, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, 4 Years of College , Upper class, Mesg ID 11900115621

I don't know what kind of treatment of animals you may have observed here in the South, but my suspicion is that you have fallen victim to a popular stereotype. As another respondent stated, I also have lived in both the North and South and have never witnessed animals being treated any worse in one part of the country than in others. If you get your information from the liberal media, consider the source. If they portray most Southerners as being poorly educated and belonging to a lower socioeconomic group in general, that's their reason for pushing this stereotype. It's no more true than the popular stereotype of gay men abducting children off the street and forcing them into a homosexual lifestyle - or have you heard that stereotype?
POSTED 1/22/2000
Pete S., Winter Park, FL, United States, 51, Male, White/Caucasian, Technical Trainer, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 119200091037
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Question:
Why do white men immediately lower their eyes when a black woman they were just looking at (usually in the street) makes eye contact with them?
POSTED 1/16/2000
Denise C., New York, NY, United States, 37, Female, Christian, Black/African American, Straight, Executive Secretary, High School Diploma , Lower middle class, Mesg ID 114200045407

Responses:
I've noticed something similar myself, but more of a general behavior. It seems like people in New York City (where I note you are from) tend to avoid eye contact when in transit. I work in a section of Queens, and it is the same way. And it's fairly true across all racial/cultural divisions as well. Only people of similar race/culture seem to want to have eye contact. I think it might have something to do with the culture around here. I don't think it is something specific to black women/white men.
POSTED 1/20/2000
John K., Cranford, NJ, United States, <jkeegan3@home.com>, 26, Male, Chemical Engineer, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 1172000105445

I have always found black women attractive. In my hometown of Spokane, I have seen only a few black women. But last summer I got to go back East. The first place I went was Chicago. I remember thinking, "Wow, I did not know there were this many black women." When I was downtown, I met some lovely black women, and they showed me all over the town. I am still friends with them. I noticed a lot of black women in Chicago are really nice. Then I went to New York. I remember thinking the same thing: "Look at all these black women." When I was in the mall, I saw some black women and thought they were making eye contact with me, so I started to approach them. I heard their voices get loud, and one talked to this black male and pointed my way. He approached me. He asked why I was looking at his sis in a racist way. I told him I thought she was attractive. He started laughing and said "my bad" and walked off. I noticed in New York when I made eye contact with black females, I got a hostile look from them. In general, a lot of my friends who are white males are afraid to approach black women, but they do find them attractive. Maybe black women have a grudge? Or maybe white males think that if they mess up in a relationship with a black female, they'll have to answer to her big bro or pops?
POSTED 1/22/2000
Chris L., Spokane, WA, United States, <crazzyfish@netscape.net>, 25, Male, Christian, White/Latino, Straight, 2 Years of College , Lower class, Mesg ID 1202000104159
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Question:
The phrase "nice guys finish last" must be true. It seems like women are only interested in jerks, morons and deadbeats. They say they want a nice guy, but they end up with just the opposite. As a former "nice guy," I've been getting the attention of women by treating them like I don't care about them. That seems to get a response. I need to know what the real deal is ladies. I think I'm better off treating whores like ladies, and ladies like whores. If you think I'm wrong, let me know.
POSTED 1/13/2000
Lamar, Detroit, MI, United States, 29, Male, Black/African American, Straight, Technical School, Middle class,Mesg ID 1132000121042

Responses:
I am a young woman who goes for the nice guys, and I can only tell you my opinion. I know many people, men and women, who feel the same way. I figure that you are trying to 'woo' women by showing your nice side first. You are assuming that you are meeting women who value that! The plain truth is: Don't give them the nice guy unless you are sure that they deserve it. If you make yourself too open, available and giving to someone who will not appreciate it, than it's going to be "give them an inch and they will take a mile." Overall, it sounds to me as though you are not meeting the kind of women you want. It sickens me because I know firsthand that feeling like this makes you frustrated and bitter. Your nice girl is out there as sure, as you are out there, too! Reevaluate where you are going to meet these women. Don't start treating women like 'whores' indiscriminately or you will perpetutate the same thing you are trying to absolve. Remember the golden rule - perhaps those you have met have been in your position. You have also got to stop taking peoples' inability to return your kindness personally. Don't let this handful or peoples' behavior determine your reality of yourself or the world - let alone change you from a kind soul to a jerk.
POSTED 1/17/2000
Kris, Wharton, NJ, United States, 24, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 113200030520

Women don't want a jerk, but they don't want a doormat, either. There is a lot of middle ground between these extremes. Women want guys who will treat them with respect and kindness, and who they can respect as well. Women want a man with strength, substance and depth, someone with whom they can have a multi-dimensional relationship. If a man's only purpose in life seems to be pleasing her and submitting to her every whim, how much substance can he have? A man like that wouldn't seem to have much strength, either. Men also need to have their own things going on in their lives; otherwise they will smother the woman. Women want men who they can trust and who they can talk to. Of course, not every woman looks for this type of man, and not every woman is looking for a man with whom to have a long-term relationship. If a woman is just looking for a good time, the bad boys are better, because the nice guys get serious too quickly.
POSTED 1/17/2000
Julianna H., Santa Clara, CA, United States, 25, Female, Hispanic/Latino, Systems Analyst, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 113200041219

Well Lamar, you are right: Nice guys finish last, but then again, so do nice girls. There are many reasons why some (not all) girls like bad boys. Some girls want a guy they can change, someone they can mold into their prize. Some girls want someone they think needs their help. I guess that's from lack of attention in their past. And some girls are just selfish, with that "step-on-or-get-stepped-on" attitude. Not all girls are like this, though. I guess that's called "looking for that special someone." I don't think you should turn into a jerk. Do you really want that kind of girl? The one who doesn't want you for you? Be nice again. Love hurts, but if you give up, you'll never really get what you truly want.
POSTED 1/17/2000
Theresa, Anchorage, AK, United States, 21, Female, Native American/American Indian, Straight, Teacher, 4 Years of College,Mesg ID 1142000102510

I'll agree that it seems that 'bad boys' get the girls; however, birds of a feather often flock together as well. What makes a guy 'bad'? Usually a poor sense of self-worth. In turn they act out and take out their own sense of inadequacy and low self-esteem on others. The girls they attract are usually those suffering from a similarly low sense of self-worth - low enough to think that they need to put up with the antics of the 'bad boys.' When given the chance and enough encouragement (persistence on the part of the 'nice guy') most women will realize that being treated nicely and with respect by a 'good guy' is much better than the 'bad boy' alternative, especially if the 'good guy' makes her feel positive about herself, something 'bad boys' don't often do. In closing, be a 'good guy.' You'll be doing both you and her a favor.
POSTED 1/17/2000
Shelly, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, 24, Female, White/Caucasian, student and researcher, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 1142000104936

I spent many, many years feeling bad about me, and unworthy of or at least uncomfortable around, 'nice guys.' I figured they'd find me out as being uncertain about my looks/future/politics/etc., and dump me. So rather than take a chance on a good one, I decided to waste my time with the wrong ones - the sorry ones, the ones who treat you poorly or with disrespect. Finally, I chanced into dating two different, absolutely wonderful men who treated me with great respect, intense interest in me and my brain and my body and my thoughts, and with great affection (thanks, David and Britt). I owe them both a debt of gratitude. I can say now that I'm a really nice girl, with a strong sense of self, and of what I'm worth as a person. I am thrilled to share my life now with a wonderful boyfriend who's a bit older and wiser than I, and he is so incredibly kind, passionate, interested, loving, attentive, blah blah blah. A true prince. I'm honored to be with him and thrilled that he's in my life. He's not what I thought I was looking for, but he's exactly what and who I needed. Hang in there. Keep being kind, attentive, honest, open-minded and sweet. You'll meet her, but it might just take a while.
POSTED 1/17/2000
Kat, Birmingham, AL, United States, 29, Female, White/Caucasian, Straight, web developer, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 114200051115

My whole adult life I've noticed the same thing. As a 'nice guy' I've often been turned down by women who then go on to date jerks. I've also noticed that the guys who are the biggest jerks seem to get the most dates. I'd also like to hear what women have to say about this.
POSTED 1/17/2000
Brian, Minneapolis, MN, United States, 33, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, 4 Years of College , Lower class, Mesg ID 114200070326

I have a theory about this: I think women tend to like the jerks because we women are very attracted to confidence in men. So attracted, in fact, that we err on the side of the assholes. Given a choice between a guy who is so-called 'nice' and a guy who is a bit of a jerk, with equal levels of confidence, we will pick the jerk because we mistake the cockiness of the jerk for confidence.
POSTED 1/17/2000
Jennifer, Miami/Washington, DC, FL, United States, 24, Female, Black/African American, Straight, Graduate student, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 114200081322

Don't underrate the power of chemistry to make people stupid. Women date guys who attract them, and lot of the time there's a component of Dad in the attractiveness equation. How many parents are sane? My Dad was a psychopath. I ended up dating psychotics and deadbeats for a long time. None of them looked like my father, but there were key ways in which they acted like my father. Psychological abusiveness and inability to love were key 'Dad' signals that triggered 'Dad' chemistry. I was young then. I don't take any of that crap now. But by refusing the crap, I find myself mostly dateless these days. No big loss, as far as I'm concerned; who needs the grief? That doesn't mean nice guys aren't out there. It's just that they got snapped up early by women smarter than I was. In my age bracket today, nice guys with brains and a real job are already married or seeing someone quasi-permanently. (I don't date 'nice' married men; they disqualify themselves by asking.) You may be seeing a lot of sweet young things with no clue about the guys they're dating. They'll grow out of it, but they may get really bitter about men before they do. If so, they'll quit dating altogether. As for older gals (30+), they're dealing with the dregs for one of three reasons: (1) The guy is stinking rich, and she plans to get half of the action. My golddigger sister made this work for her twice - and the guys never caught on to her barracuda nature. (2) Some girlfriend told her she won't meet nice guys by staying at home. She's got to at least get in the game, be visible, be available, go out. Maybe her current, dreadful boyfriend knows someone nicer, someone she can dump the jerk for when the time is right. (3) She's scared that no one will ever love her. In that frame of mind, any boyfriend is better than no boyfriend at all.
POSTED 1/17/2000
T. Lynn, San Diego, CA, United States, 30+, Female, Deist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class,Mesg ID 1142000110925

Whore? What kind of so-called nice guy would call any woman a 'whore'? I've met plenty of nice guys who are undatable in a 'nerdy' kind of way. Any emotionally healthy woman would never date a man who treated her like a whore.
POSTED 1/17/2000
Allison, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 25, Female, Straight, Over 4 Years of College , Lower middle class, Mesg ID 115200015048

Yep, most women do find the 'bad' guy more attractive, and for various reasons. My reason is mostly about committment. If I begin to date a bad guy and want to break the relationship off, I feel less guilty about it, feel more vindicated by it, worry less about maintaining a relationship as friends after the breakup, and will spend less time dwelling on it after the fact. A nice guy involves a lot more committment, as I don't want to chance hurting his feelings. An independent, self-confident woman often wants a man in her life as an accessory and fears being truly needed or, gasp, truly needing a 'nice' guy. But despair not, when a woman begins to think about marriage, the nice guys do come out on top
POSTED 1/17/2000
Rachel M., Montreal, Quebec, NA, Canada, 21, Female, White/Caucasian, student, 2 Years of College, Mesg ID, 115200011359

I hope your experiences don't make you assume all women are like that. It all depends on the individual, their experiences and their motivations. Also, pressure to 'appropriately' present oneself in front of others often gets in the way of what people actually feel and think and want to say. More importantly, why would you want a woman who apparently doesn't want a 'nice guy' like you? If she can't appreciate you for who you are, it's most probably her loss. Forget about her and direct your efforts toward looking for a woman who will understand you and appreciate you for who you are - for whom you would not have to change. I know it is so much easier said than done, but I took my own advice some time ago. Those countless lonely weeks and months were much more than worth the wonderful person I eventually met. Decide what kind of a person you would like to be with and don't let her go once you meet her.
POSTED 1/17/2000
A.V., Brooklyn, NY, United States, 20, Female, White/Caucasian, Straight, college student, Mesg ID 1172000123547
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Question:
I am a middle-class Jewish guy with strong Progressive/Liberal political ideas. I admit that I lead a pretty sheltered life. I was wondering if minorities see people like myself, with ideas like mine, as pompous?
POSTED 1/12/2000
Adam N., Encino, CA, United States, 36, Male, Jewish, White/Caucasian, Straight, Computer Technician, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1122000122638

Responses:
You are a minority - you are Jewish. I am also Jewish, but my life is no longer so sheltered. I think many bleeding-heart liberals (as I am) tend to have a rather simplistic view of things. But you would have to be more specific about what your ideas are in order for us to tell you if they are pompous or not.
POSTED 1/17/2000
Beth, Anchorage, AK, United States, Female, Jewish, Mesg ID 112200080033

Minorities in general have political opinions and orientations that are as equally diverse, if not moreso, as those of whites. In some of the circles of Chicano activists I've participated in, you'd be astounded by the variety of views and opinions, and we all come from pretty much the same, if not similar, backgrounds. As for how a working- or lower-class minority would view a person of sheltered background who holds progressive/liberal ideals, they'd probably have similar views as that of many white working-class people. To speak frankly, some folks might see you as naive or unaware of the issues we face daily, but others would not. Speaking on behalf of Latinos, we've had it a lot better when rich liberals controlled California than rich conservatives (Pete Wilson, etc.).
POSTED 1/17/2000
Dan, Los Angeles area, CA, United States, 21, Male, Pentecostal Christian, Hispanic/Latino, student/dishwasher, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 114200033856

I don't think your ideas are pompous. I'm not from a racial minority but I am from a sexual minority and I think the more accepting people are, in general, the better society will be.
POSTED 1/17/2000
Madeleine, Sydney, NA, Australia, 23, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Lesbian, Accountant, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 115200020434

I wouldn't say pompous so much as potentially naive and paternalistic, an "I know what's best for 'you people'" attitude. When I meet someone from a background such as yours, I appreciate their sympathy while at the same time wonder if they really understand as much about me as they think they do. Sometimes sheltered liberals harbor hidden prejudices (more often class than racial/ethnic) or are acting out of guilt rather than more healthy motives. So I usually am very cautious around them until I find out what is behind their surface. What I would suggest to you is to put your beliefs to the test. Get involved with a political or charitable group that deals with the needs of us 'others' you don't have much contact with. It may shatter some or all of your illusions about what you think we need, but it will definitely be better for you and us in the long run.
POSTED 1/17/2000
A.C.C., W Lafayette, IN, United States, Over 4 Years of College , Lower class, Mesg ID 1142000105433
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