Best of the Week
of Feb. 18, 2001

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of Feb. 18, 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.

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Question:

Do the Jewish and Muslim religions have special guidelines regarding step-parenting and foster or adoptive parenting? If so, what are the recommendations to members of their faiths?

POSTED 2/19/01

Kathi L., Camas, WA, United States, Female

Mesg ID 21501110052

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Question:

To gays and lesbians: When did you know you liked the opposite sex? And how did you know that was how you really felt?

POSTED 2/19/01

Michelle G., Porterville, CA, United States, 29, Female

Mesg ID 21601112835


Responses:
We get asked this question quite a lot on Y Forum, so I hope I am not being too flippant in suggesting that 'I realized I was queer about the same time you realized you were straight.' It's the same process: a gradual realization that you probably never really notice.

POSTED 2/22/2001

Ben S., Hobart, NA, Australia, <bscaro@hotmail.com>, 32, Male, Rosicrucian, White/Caucasian, Gay, Student, 4 Years of College, Lower middle class, MsgID:2212001122425

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Question:

For the ladies: We men are being bombarded by magazine articles that allege that half of all women want to sleep with this Hollywood actor or that gorgeous pop idol. Because it has become so fashionable for women to express these desires, can anyone give me a good reason why I should marry my partner on the basis that she will promise to forsake all others? I really do believe, when it comes to the crunch, that very few married women would be able to resist the temptation to have a bit of fun on the side if Mr. Right were to pop up.

POSTED 2/12/01

David, Oxford, NA, United Kingdom, 45, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, teacher, 4 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 21001113526


Responses:
Women can certainly ask this question of you men, and it has been asked by women regarding men for centuries. Men are the ones constantly bombarded by half-naked Hollywood honeys. How do we, as women, know if you are willing to 'forsake all others' for us? I think women can resist temptation far more strongly than men.

POSTED 2/19/01

Redeemed One, Newport News, VA, United States, 52, Female, Black/African American, HR Coordinator, 4 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 21301110133


Your question indicates you seem to have low self-esteem. Who is to say that YOU'RE not Mr. Right? Why should a partner of yours think someone is better than you?

POSTED 2/19/01

Priscilla, Sydney, NA, Australia, 24, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Bisexual, 4 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 2140141610


It's been fashionable for men to express such desires for far longer than it has for women, but women still risk having faith in their male partners. Your assumption that few married women would be able to resist temptation is generally much more applicable to married men. Why should she trust you? I do wonder what a fashion for expressing such desires has to do with your actual relationship with your partner. Your question about why you should trust your partner to forsake all others has to do with the level of love and trust between you and your partner. It has nothing to do with a general 'fashion' for expressing such desires. The only question at issue between the two of you is do you trust each other to forsake all others, not do you trust all members of the opposite gender to do so.

POSTED 2/19/01

Jean, Plano, TX, United States, 40, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, writer, Over 4 Years of College

Mesg ID 21501102319


There are male AND female jerks. If a person knows his or her partner's character, he or she can evaluate whether a match will be honored by each other. It is a good idea to evaluate character prior to such a committment. If character is proved, a person is the sum of his/her choices, and not the sum of his/her hormones.

POSTED 2/19/01

Ronald V., Edmonton, Alberta, NA, Canada, <draugas@mailcity.com>, 48, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Over 4 Years of College

Mesg ID 2150123259


Give us a little more credit. Sure, there are some women who would be unfaithful given the chance, but the same could be said about men. Keep in mind the type of people who write for the fashion magazines. Hollywood does not represent the majority of society. Most people who choose to get married keep their marital vows.

POSTED 2/19/01

Trudy, San Jose, CA, United States, 19, Female, Mormon, White/Caucasian, Straight, Student, 2 Years of College

Mesg ID 2160111417

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Question:

I am curious about the history of giving someone the middle finger. To be specific, what is the origin and how did it come to be?

POSTED 2/12/01

T. Thomas, Flint, MI, United States, 30, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, driver, 2 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 21101115341


Responses:
There's a rumor that it comes from a battle during the Hundred Years War, when British soldiers cut off the middle fingers of archers to prevent them from using a bow, then taunted them by flipping theirs. However, this is highly unlikely, as this site shows: http://www.snopes.com/spoons/fracture/pluckyew.htm Most likely the longest finger is supposed to represent a male member, as a way of saying: 'Up yours!'

POSTED 2/19/01

Andy B., Sharon, MA, United States, 16, Male, student, Middle class

Mesg ID 2150151642

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Question:

Why are gay people gay? And why do they like anal sex and fisting?

POSTED 2/19/01

Andrew, Miss, n/, Denmark, Male

Mesg ID 2160153151

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Question:

I have noticed the words "NO FEAR" on caps, shirts, bumper stickers and car window decals. I also received an e-mail stating that the phrase "NO FEAR" is the National Organization For a European American Race. The e-mail also stated that this group was supported and backed by former KKK member David Duke. Could someone shed some light on this for me?

POSTED 2/12/01

Lion, St. Louis, MO, United States, 30, Male, Black/African American, Straight, Technical School , Middle class

Mesg ID 2110121532


Responses:
The organization is for real. Duke deliberately chose the name to try and take advantage of the clothing brand's name. The company has nothing to do with Duke at all, though. In fact, they have a lawsuit against Duke's group for product name infringement (right term?) and trying to libel their company name.

POSTED 2/14/01

A.C.C., W. Lafayette, IN, United States, Male

Mesg ID 2120143646


The two are unrelated. However, the clothing company was attempting to stop N.O.F.E.A.R. because of the confusion.

POSTED 2/14/01

Me, San Francisco Bay area, CA, United States, Male, Over 4 Years of College , Upper middle class

Mesg ID 2120155940


The NO FEAR logo is a name brand, which I first saw on adventure sports gear. It was meant to conjure images of an intrepid adrenaline junkie racing through some thrilling, awe-inspiring personal athletic challenge ... with no fear. Wear the gear, become fearless. Not for couch potatoes. I have seen the logo a lot lately as decals on muscle cars. Same idea: bravado. That someone would ascribe such a sick and twisted acronym to this merchandise is weird.

POSTED 2/14/01

Cheryl, New Haven, CT, United States, Female

Mesg ID 21301112009


NOFEAR (National Organization for European-American Rights) is, in fact, a white supremacist group run by David Duke. However, No Fear (in slightly graffitti-ish text) is a clothing and sportswear company. The No Fear brand is very popular, with shirts, bags, stickers, caps, etc. available with inspiring 'go for it' messages. More information can be found urban legend web site Snopes at http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/outrage/nofear.htm

POSTED 2/14/01

Iteki, Stockholm (Via Dublin), NA, Sweden, 24, Female, Recovering Catholic, White/Caucasian, Lesbian, Student, High School Diploma , Lower middle class

Mesg ID 2130123207


It seems that white people are afraid of black people. For example, white women clutching their purses at the sight of a black man. Or locking car doors when a black person crosses the street. It flatters me that white people think enough of blacks to feel they have to make up a slogan to prove they are not afraid of us.

POSTED 2/14/01

Jasmine, Jacksonville, FL, United States, Female, Black/African American, Straight, Customer Relationss, Technical School

Mesg ID 2130141011


No Fear is a clothing company that has been around for almost a decade. I'm 25, and when I was in high school, all the 'jocks' wore their stuff, had the stickers, etc. I guess anyone could claim it means whatever they want, but it's just a clothing line. This is the same thing that happened in the '70s, when KISS was a popular band. All the parents got scared because KISS supposedly stood for 'Knights In Satan's Service.' Someone just got really bored one day and started a chain e-mail about No Fear.

POSTED 2/14/01

Marc, Morgantown, WV, United States, 25, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Grad Student, Over 4 Years of College , Upper middle class

Mesg ID 2140112031


There is and has been for some time a clothing label called 'NO FEAR' that targets the young urban and suburban market. The clothes and accessories can be purchased at most major depatment stores. About 2 or 3 years ago, David Duke, a former KKK member from Louisiana who once had political aspirations, incorporated his own white supremacy group called National Organization for European American Rights. He claims it's just a coincidence that the initials spell out 'no fear.' But no one believed that, especially not the clothing label of said name. It sued David Duke and his group for trademark infringement, and won, sending Duke once again with his tail between his legs to his cave to lick his wounds.

POSTED 2/19/01

Amanda, New Orleans, LA, United States, 21, Female, Christian, Black/African American, Straight, student, 4 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 21701122813


The e-mail you reference is wrong. To quote from an Urban Legends database: 'The retailer whose logo is now being confused with that of a white supremacist group, No Fear Inc., is a California-based manufacturer of young men's activewear and gear that has been in business since 1989. It currently employs 150 people, and its products are sold at outlets around the world.' It has nothing to do with the group started by David Duke. In fact, the company probably has good grounds for a trademark and copyright infringement lawsuit -- and they could do us all a favor and bankrupt another hate group. For more information, check out this link: http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/outrage/nofear.htm.

POSTED 2/19/01

Michael, Houston, TX, United States, 39, Male, Methodist, White/Caucasian, Gay, E-Business Manager, 4 Years of College , Upper middle class

Mesg ID 21901113504

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Question:

I have noticed often, not always, black women wearing 'slip on' styles of shoes with their heels hanging off the back. Why don't they buy shoes to fit them correctly? Does it make them feel good to say they wear a smaller size, or do they borrow the shoes from someone who wears a smaller size, or do they feel comfortable this way? Just curious.

POSTED 2/12/01

T.G., Springfield, IL, United States

Mesg ID 2120110248


Responses:
I've never noticed this to be a racial thing. It's a shoe thing. I have several pair of slip-on shoes, and if I don't buy them a half size smaller, my feet will stretch the bands just enough that they become too big, and my feet will slide right through if they are open-toed. I have seen people wearing slip-ons, and they are constantly trying to get the shoe back onto their foot. I don't need that hassle, so I buy them a half size smaller.

POSTED 2/19/01

Senetra, Anderson, IN, United States, 27, Female, Baptist, Black/African American, Straight, customer service, 2 Years of College

Mesg ID 2150124602

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Question:

Why do white people murder their spouses and children for money? I'm curious because of stories I read. It's either they're going broke or they don't want to see their spouse with someone else. I know it's not all white people, just quite a few.

POSTED 2/12/01

Crystal K., Chicago, IL, United States, 28, Female, Baptist, Black/African American, Straight, accountant, Over 4 Years of College

Mesg ID 2120124555


Responses:
I live halfway between Baltimore and Washington, where there are a lot of black people and white people. Despite the fact that they all seem to murder each other just for the hell of it, there has been more than one case of black homicide for money - the famous 'hit man' murder in Montgomery Counnty, Md., for example. The fact is that most black people don't have much money, or the money they kill for is clandestine - drugs, debt, fraud, etc. Citizens from the black community seem to settle many disputes with physical violence that frequently demands final retribution.

POSTED 2/14/01

Bob, Laurel, MD, United States, Male

Mesg ID 2130182342


As there are more whites in the United States than other races, we tend to get more coverage, good and bad. O.J. Simpson was black and killed his wife for, among other things, money. I don't think this is a white thing. Just a murder thing.

POSTED 2/14/01

Brian, Peru, IN, United States, 25, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, journalist, 4 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 21401120835


As there are more whites in the United States than other races, we tend to get more coverage, good and bad. O.J. Simpson was black and killed his wife for, among other things, money. I don't think this is a white thing. Just a murder thing.

POSTED 2/14/01

Brian, Peru, IN, United States, 25, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, journalist, 4 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 21401120835


As there are more whites in the United States than other races, we tend to get more coverage, good and bad. O.J. Simpson was black and killed his wife for, among other things, money. I don't think this is a white thing. Just a murder thing.

POSTED 2/14/01

Brian, Peru, IN, United States, 25, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, journalist, 4 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 21401120835


As there are more whites in the United States than other races, we tend to get more coverage, good and bad. O.J. Simpson was black and killed his wife for, among other things, money. I don't think this is a white thing. Just a murder thing.

POSTED 2/14/01

Brian, Peru, IN, United States, 25, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, journalist, 4 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 21401120835


The biggest difference I see is that the people are married. In the black culture, I don't believe people marry as much, so it is just refered to as murder. Whites, I believe, have a more conservative sense of family, so when that relationship is abused, it shocks more, hence the headlines. Don't worry, no one group has a 'heads-up' on the murder market.

POSTED 2/14/01

Matthew, New York City, NY, United States, 43, Male, actor, Middle class

Mesg ID 2140180741

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