Best of the Week
of Feb. 13, 2000

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of Feb. 13, 2000, 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.

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Question:
Why is it that Asian communities seem less willing to integrate than blacks and whites?
POSTED 2/15/2000
Alex, York, NA, United Kingdom, 22, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Health Consultant, 4 Years of College , Upper middle class, Mesg ID 2102000101420

Responses:
Why is it that European-American communities seem unwilling to integrate with Asian-Americans? Why are jokes about Asians passed around by European-Americans? Lastly, why do American movies, television shows, and newspapers, ridicule Asian-Americans or treat them as 'foreigners.' People do not like to mix with others who do not respect them or welcome them.
POSTED 2/17/2000
David L., Chicago, IL, United States, 27, Male, Asian-American, Straight, Law Clerk, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 216200035401
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Question:
I want to know whether I will ever find a man who is monogamous.
POSTED 2/14/2000
U.K., London, NA, United Kingdom, <r5_d4@hotmail.com>, 17, Male, White/Caucasian, Gay, 2 Years of College , Upper middle class, Mesg ID 2142000115417

Responses:
If you look up the term "monogamy," among its varied definitions, one is 'having only one partner at a time.' I suspect that in the relationships you have had to date, there was some time when you two were only seeing each other. In response to your question, I suspect if you discuss each other's views of relationships prior to adding intense emotions, you might avoid a painful realization in the future. As you are 17, you will gain more experience with which to view your involvements and how to maintain respect and integrity for yourself.
POSTED 2/17/2000
Matthew, New York, NY, United States, 42, Male, White/Caucasian, Gay, arts, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class,Mesg ID 217200073742

As an AIDS educator and longtime gay activist in West Virginia, I have been to my share of meetings and health conferences at which the subject of monogamy has come up. After combining those discussions with what I have seen among my gay male friends and acquaintances, I have concluded that 70 to 75 percent of gay male couples agree to 'open' relationships, while the remaining 25 to 30 percent prefer monogamy. So it is quite possible for you to find a partner who is monogamous. You may have to try a bit harder, though, and it may require patience. I am very happy to be 'married' to a man who values monogamy as much as I do, but I am by no means judgmental of those who prefer 'open' relationships. Many such couples mutually agree to the freedom to 'play' with other men as long as the solid emotional bond between the two of them can be preserved. For some, this freedom actually seems to strengthen the relationship. Personally, I would not feel secure in such an arrangement. My partner Greg and I are sufficient for each other, thank you very much.
POSTED 2/17/2000
Chuck A,, Spring Hill, WV, United States, <PolishBear@aol.com>, 40, Male, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Gay, 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 2162000105813

There is hope for you out there. I have had many gay male friends all of a sudden decide to settle down and find Mr. Right and not fool around any more. And remember, it's when you are not looking that love happens.
POSTED 2/17/2000
Deb, Boston, MA, United States, <Prince7@gis.net>, Female, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Lesbian, baker assistant, High School Diploma , Middle class, Mesg ID 216200072509
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Question:
Every time I've seen "racists" like the KKK on a television talk show, they are shouted down and denied the right to speak before they get a word out, simply because of their identity. The KKK came to our hometown last year, and the same thing happened. People might think they know what they are going to say, so they shout them down, but how can we expect to solve ethnic diversity problems if one side is always denied permission to speak? If there is something that someone else is doing that you abhor, there are two ways to handle it: 1) Address the problem to them and hope they take steps to solve it, or 2) Keep it to yourself and perhaps dislike them because of it. Instead of just shouting down hate groups like the KKK, why don't people listen to them and force them to address specific problems?
POSTED 2/14/2000
M. Barkley, Harrisville, PA, United States, <mbarkley@csonline.net>, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, truck driver, High School Diploma , Mesg ID 213200054928

Responses:
Your putting 'racist' in quotes as though it weren't really true says volumes about your own beliefs. But let's set that aside and discuss the flaws in your argument: 1) I think I can safely say the KKK does NOT speak for the overwhelming majority of whites. They represent themselves, a tiny number (less than 10,00) of isolated fanatics despised as pariahs by nearly all whites, all nonwhites and just plain anyone who has a conscience and a sense of morality. The 'other side' you refer to is people of European background, not white supremacists. Last time I checked, whites did not have a hard time getting themselves heard in this country. 2) Show me when the KKK has EVER shown the same respect to those who oppose them that you demand they now get. The KKK has the blood of tens of thousands of people on their hands from lynchings, bombings and assassinations. Their victims were almost always unarmed and blameless, and often included women and children. The KKK are nothing more than a terrorist organization. Should we also give a platform to Timothy McVeigh and declare him the 'true' representative of those who don't like big government? 3) The KKK and nearly all racists don't respond to logic, well thought-out arguments or appeals to compassion. The very nature of racists and racism is illogical and blinding hatred with no thought behind it. 4) There are plenty of other ways of dealing with groups like these than what you suggest. One that hasn't really been tried enough is to use the law against them consistently. An estimated one-third of Klansmen are in law enforcement. The Klan have infiltrated many state militias (not the ones that run around the woods in camouflage, these are state auxiliaries to the National Guard). Yet the law does little about them. Th real danger in seeing these groups shouted down is that some people will fool themselves, saying, 'Oh, that's what a racist is. But I'm not a racist because I don't practice violence against group X.' Yet at the same time that person might forbid their daughter to date someone black. Or they might enjoy going to see the Atlanta Braves and doing the tomahawk chop. Sometime talk shows that feature racist fanatics do a real disservice by setting them up as straw men while ignoring the much more deeply rooted and more difficult-to-handle aspects of trying to end racism and hatred.
POSTED 2/17/2000
A.C.C., W Lafayette, IN, United States, Mexican and American Indian, Grad student, Mesg ID 2162000113440

I think you're absolutely right. The simple fact is, the KKK is its own worst enemy when people let its members speak in public. As a newspaper reporter, I've seen several of their demonstrations and listened to their arguments. Almost without exception, their statements are filled with vulgarity and illogical sensationalism. Their response to specific questions ranges from 'you're a member of the left-wing faction trying to destroy America' to 'you're a @!?/*&-lover.' John Stuart Mill once wrote that illogical and evil arguments should not be silenced, but rather should be let out into the open. Its own ignorance will show itself. Unfortunately, the KKK has tied itself to issues like affirmative action and immigration that require serious discussion, but whenever people take a conservative stance on those issues they're associated with people like the Klan.
POSTED 2/17/2000
Brian, Kokomo, IN, United States, 24, Male, Methodist, White/Caucasian, Straight, reporter, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 216200031639

You've got to be kidding. A calm, sit-down, brain-storming session with members of the KKK? A group that has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of people throughout the years, simply because they are of a different color or belief? A group that, for the most part, wants the removal of every minority group from U.S. soil, through one means or another? A group that distributes literature that promotes the most hate-filled, vicious and false stereotypes available? Sorry, but I don't think reasoning with them is going to get any positive results. They have had ample time and opportunity to read and discuss their 'problem' with those of other groups and perhaps come to understand that we all must live in this country together if it is to survive. Yet they still choose to vilify and attack anyone who doesn't look like them. Because they haven't changed their tune in the hundreds of years since their existance, people know what they are going to say, and they haven't disappointed yet. In fact, the 'reformed' David Duke was on television the other night, and he sounded just like the 'old' David Duke. I have yet to hear a member of the KKK plead for peace and understanding between the races. You're right, the shouting does seem kind of pointless. I'm in favor of simply ignoring them, and that goes for the media, too, whose presence gives them what they crave: Attention and the chance to promote their 'cause.' Sorry, but the KKK's stance is pretty predictable by now and shows no sign of changing.
POSTED 2/17/2000
Kenny G., Chicago, IL, United States, 36, Male, Catholic, Black/African American, Straight, marketing, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 216200072500
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Question:
Why do lesbians wear a lot of Winnie the Pooh clothing items and own a lot of items that depict Winnie the Pooh? What makes the character a sort of icon for them?
POSTED 2/14/2000
Jill A., Ann Arbor, MI, United States, Female, Mesg ID 2132000121549

Responses:
Being a gay male with a lot of experience with lesbians, I have never seen one wear any Winnie the Pooh clothing, accessory, etc.
POSTED 2/17/2000
Matthew, NYC, NY, United States, 42, Male, Gay, arts, Mesg ID 217200074047

That's a new one for me. I'm a lesbian who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where there is a relatively large concentration of lesbians, and I can honestly say I've never seen a woman I knew was a lesbian wearing Winnie the Pooh clothing. In fact, I associate Winnie the Pooh clothes on grownups almost exclusively with straight suburban women. I wonder if this is a local phenomenon - the lesbian community is as susceptible to fads as any other group. I also wonder how many lesbians you've seen wearing these clothes, and whether perhaps they knew each other.
POSTED 2/17/2000
S.W., Berkeley, CA, United States, 31, Female, Pagan, White/Caucasian, Lesbian, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class ,Mesg ID 216200042259
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Question:
I have just found out my husband is constantly looking at hardcore pornography on our home computer. I discovered this inadvertently. He downloads pictures and movies all the time. I have looked at some of the items and found that many of them are white males (which he is) "involved" with black females (I am a white female). Does he need help? Is this natural? Is this a phase? He's a 36-year-old, white-collar worker.
POSTED 2/13/2000
Jill A., Ann Arbor, MI, United States, Mesg ID 211200081409

Responses:
Pornography is a problem with most, if not all, men. Even pastors and highly respectable people have succumbed to pornography. Physiologically, men are sexually aroused by visual images. The adrenalin rush can be as addictive as nicotine or cocaine. Sex, drugs and alcohol are powerfully addictive. Unfortunately, this is an epidemic problem. Speaking as a married man, my wife has told me that if a man needs visual pornographic stimulation, his wife isn't doing her job. As I see it, sex between couples needs to be innovative and creative constantly, or it becomes as exciting as eating a hamburger. Sex between couples is natural and healthy, while pornography is not. It's like trading in a brand new car, a Ferrari, for a picture of a Lambourghini. The mind is what makes sex so exciting. As for solving the problem of someone addicted to pornography, it will take counseling. Those not yet bitten by the pornography bug, as I see it, should flee from it, as an obese person should avoid streets lined with bakeshops.
POSTED 2/14/2000
Ronald V., Edmonton, Alberta, NA, Canada, 47, Male, Mesg ID 214200030343
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Question:
I am trying to understand the use of fake fingernails, and why so many women now wear them. It seems to be mainly with black women, then Latino women, now white women. I have yet to see fake nails that did not look fake. I thought the purpose of wearing something fake was to make it look real, and not wear something that ugly. Fake nails do not look real. Why wear them?
POSTED 2/13/2000
Tony, Cincinnati, OH, United States, <tonyfromroselawn3@zoomtown.com>, 45, Male, Baptist, Black/African American, Straight, Manufacturing, Over 4 Years of College , Upper middle class, Mesg ID 211200092319

Responses:
The popularity of fake nails comes and goes just like all fashion trends. And just like all fashion trends, some people think they look good, and others don't see the point. I have fake nails, and since I maintain them, they always look good. And of course you think that you have never seen any fake nails that did not look fake because when you saw them, you thought they were real.
POSTED 2/14/2000
Lucy H., San Jose, CA, United States, 25, Female, Hispanic/Latino, Engineer, 4 Years of College , Middle class,Mesg ID 2142000112909
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