Best of the Week
of Feb. 25, 2001

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of Feb. 25, 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.

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Question:

To gay men who have had sex with a female before, I'm assuming it was your first time having sex. Knowing you were a closet gay, how did you feel when you got into bed with that female? Were you scared that you wouldn't 'perform' right? Did it turn out OK? Also, how did you get aroused by a woman if you were gay?

POSTED 3/1/2001

Rocky T., Boulder, CO, United States, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 2272001113655

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Question:

People often talk about skinny people and it is considered OK, but as soon as you make a comment about someone who is fat, you are being 'mean.' Why is that? Also, when you make jokes about 'capable' people, it is the most funny thing in the world, but as soon as you make a joke about someone who is disabled, you are again being 'mean.' I crack jokes about everyone, so why should I not make jokes about these people? That would mean I was making an exception for them, and they have explicitly stated that they want to be treated like everyone else.

POSTED 3/1/2001

Syncere, Columbus, GA, United States, <nicholle_syncere@yahoo.com>, Female, Mesg ID 227200144204

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Question:

I always wonder why a lot of these kids are going the wrong way and don't have respect for their folks. When I was growing up, I wouldn't have even thought about cursing my family, etc. Where are parents going wrong? One thing I learned when I was young was respect, and honoring my family.

POSTED 2/28/2001

Diana, Richmond, VA, United States, 53, Female, Catholic, Italian, Straight, nurse, Technical School , Mesg ID 227200131930

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Question:

Why did Jews discontinue the practice of animal sacrifice?

POSTED 2/28/2001

Jo, Rochester, MN, United States, 25, Female, Christian, Mesg ID 2282001111131

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Question:

It is extremely exciting for a man to look at a woman's body and to touch her. What about women? Do they really enjoy looking at a man's body? His sex organs? Do they enjoy touching it and feeling the texture?

POSTED 2/27/2001

P.C., Kuala Lumpur, NA, Malaysia, Male, Christian, Asian, Straight, Technical School , Middle class

Mesg ID 221200194519


Responses:
I think it is normal to be attracted to a guy, but I don't have the desire to touch him, just to look and admire.

POSTED 2/28/2001

Diana, Richmond, VA, United States, 53, Female, Catholic, Italian, Straight, nurse, Technical School , Middle class, Mesg ID 227200124545


I do. Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes.

POSTED 2/28/2001

S.R., San Antonio, TX, United States, 23, Female, Humanist, White/Caucasian, Straight, unemployed, Over 4 Years of College , Mesg ID 2282001113114

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Question:

I have noticed when walking on the sidewalk that black men frequently seem to look back over their shoulder, even when there is nothing interesting to see. I don't notice other races doing this. Is there a specific reason?

POSTED 2/12/2001

A. Jordan, London, NA, United Kingdom, 37, Male, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Finance, 4 Years of College, Middle class

Mesg ID 2100154352


Responses:
Only blacks and Latinos have had their males lynched for no apparent reason - only for looking at a white woman, or just because someone felt like hanging someone for pleasure. The bad thing is that some black men still have this little fear in the back of their minds.

POSTED 2/26/2001

Michelee, Chicago, IL, United States, 24, Female, Black/Latino, Straight, Over 4 Years of College , Upper middle class

Mesg ID 2222001121736


I think you're looking too hard for things. I have neve noticed what people do as they walk down the street. Black males looking over their shoulders? Just how many black males have you seen do this? How many people have you seen look over their shoulder? Have you ever done it? I ask all these questions because it's not out of the norm for people to want to know who's behind them and to be aware of their surroundings.

POSTED 2/26/2001

Lisa, Gaithersburg, MD, United States, Female, Straight

Mesg ID 223200123314

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Question:

Why do so many gay men speak with a lisp?

POSTED 2/27/2001

Jeff, Upland, CA, United States, 27, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, 4 Years of College , Upper middle class

Mesg ID 226200171445


Responses:
I am gay, and none of my friends speak with a lisp.

POSTED 2/28/2001

Matthew, New York, NY, United States, 43, Male, self-developed spirituality, Gay, actor, Middle class, Mesg ID 228200145918

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Question:

I am almost 30, and when I was 11 something happened that I still do not understand. I watched a black woman in her sixties pull up her purse and clinch with a hostile face when a young, very dark-skinned man approached in her direction along a path. Although I thought it was just odd at the time, I saw it more often, when I would be at the bus stop or something: older black women who appeared afraid of younger black men. Why is this? Why do older black females appear to be afraid of younger black men when they are out in public? I'm not sure I see the same dynamic between older white females and younger white men. I want to make sure I am not socializing my daughter to be that way, and without knowing how it happens, I don't know how to defend against it.

POSTED 2/26/2001

Rhonda R., Aurora, CO, United States, <rcrichmond@home.com>, 29, Female, Baptist, Black/African American, Straight, Computer Technician, 2 Years of College , Lower middle class

Mesg ID 225200143945


Responses:
In the past, young black men have targeted older women because they usually had the mis-notion that older people have money, and an older woman is an easy target because of her age and inability to chase after them. If you live in a area where all your targets look like you, you usually have to target them. At least, this is the way it used to be years ago. I'm sure it still goes on.

POSTED 3/1/2001

Gloria W., Atlanta, GA, United States, Female, Mesg ID 228200135121

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Question:

Do African-American people (or other minorities) view affluent white people as spoiled, or, put differently, do African-American people believe that, for white people, wealth/status is easy to come by? I'm a 'racially colorblind' white teen who comes from a wealthy family who has worked hard for their money, and (although I don't mean to generalize) I believe that the majority of Afro-Americans and other ethnic groups that I interact with see me as just a spoiled little white kid from a rich family - rather than the hard-working, responsible person I see myself as. I'd like to hear some people from the African-American community give their take on this subject.

POSTED 2/26/2001

William, New Hartford, NY, United States, <ajperry_1999@yahoo.com>, 16, Male, New Thought Movement, White/Caucasian, Bisexual, Student / Office Assistant, Upper class

Mesg ID 225200160413


Responses:
Who cares what people think of you? Be proud of the white race, and your family. I'd rather be looked at as a rich kid than a poor one. Stick to the people who are like you if you don't feel others can understand the way you are.

POSTED 2/27/2001

Arthur, N/A, NA, Poland, <gkd217@aol.com>, 18, Male, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Bisexual, Paralyzed, schooling, High School Diploma , Mesg ID 2272001112605


My husband, who is black, and I (I'm white) have similar class and educational backgrounds, yet our experiences in the world are very different. I find it much easier to secure employment, housing and other opportunities, because of my racial privilege. The history of slavery and racial oppression in this country confers advantages to white people, whatever our class may be. As white people, we benefit from an elevated status, no matter how poor we are or how 'colorblind' we might think we are. Although you and your family may have worked hard, it is their status as white people that allowed their hard work to be transformed into success. This country has had millions of people of color who have worked just as hard, if not harder, yet have not had economic success because of the discrimination and racism they've experienced. Not recognizing these key facts about U.S. history certainly makes us seem ignorant, if not spoiled. Don't let being 'colorblind' keep you from recognizing the reality of racism in this country and your own racial privileges. (See Peggy McIntosh's article on the invisibility of white privilege for more information.)

POSTED 2/27/2001

K.L.O., San Diego, CA, United States, 26, Female, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 2272001114510


I think it all depends on how you portray yourself. I have friends who work hard and have some money, but they don't come off like they have 'worked sooo hard and earned their money by slaving away more than the rest of us.' And I have some friends who do have that attitude, along with the 'If you work hard and you work smart, anyone can do what I have done.' attitude. Those people annoy everyone, no matter what their color.

POSTED 2/27/2001

Samm, Boston, MA, United States, 36, Female, New Age/Metaphysical, Black/African American, Straight, office manager, 2 Years of College , Mesg ID 227200121034


There are wealthy teens of all sorts of races and ethnicities. I'm sure you'll find some very wealthy black kids, Asian kids, etc.

POSTED 2/28/2001

Katherine, Somewhere, NA, Canada, 21, Female, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 228200163500


I admit to being a class bigot. I stereotype those who are better off than I in myriad ways, from thinking of them as marks to seeing them as bigots. I also never realized it until I had contact with a few in college. I will say this, many who don't make as much money feel superior about rich people, especially people who grew up rich. Do we have any reason or right to feel this way? No, it's mainly jealousy on my part, a way to feel superior to a group that by all social inclinations and feelings is usually considered superior to mine. Now, my own prejudice doesn't affect the rich like their prejudice would affect me. Individually, the lower-class's prejudice might hurt, but institutionally, it really has no effect.

POSTED 2/28/2001

Seamus M., Charlestown, MA, United States, Male, Irish-American, Tree-Trimmer/Student, High School Diploma , Lower class, Mesg ID 228200114307


I can give you an answer as a Latino, which is more or less congruent with the African-American/ 'minority' perspective. The thing I have observed is that many of my brown and black brothers feel that affluent white kids have come up 'soft.' Whereas the toughest neighborhoods in Los Angeles County are filled with Latinos, blacks and poor whites, the cushiest neighborhoods are filled with affluent whites and a few token minorities. Many (but not all) of us feel that such people don't know what it's like to go through hard times... and that debt or divorcing parents is small-time compared to seeing your cousin get murdered or seeing the girl next door turn into a street addict, etc. The other factor is history. It used to be that the majority of wealthy people gained it via inheritance, whereas someone such as yourself, having witnessed your parents work hard for it, would have been rare. It's a bit different in this day and age, but for the most part, a rich kid's grandparents were going to formal balls in the late 1940s while our grandparents were out in the fields picking lettuce or trying to hold their own in the slums. Also, the United States' long history of discrimination is attributed to the ruling classes (wealthy plantation owners pressuring for the continuance of slavery, factory owners screwing over the workers, etc.). Also, it can be a political thing. Certain folks with leftist views may view the rich as 'bourgeoise' who don't deserve what they have. However, don't go thinking that the people who are judging you like this are representative of the entire African-American (or 'minority') spectrum. Certainly Black America is not a monolithic entity, and their opinions and beliefs are as diverse and varied as that of the majority.

POSTED 3/1/2001

Dan, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 22, Male, Pentecostal, Hispanic/Latino, student, 2 Years of College , Lower middle class, Mesg ID 31200190454

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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


Responses:
(1) No one knows why gay people are gay, but most of us feel it is some combination of genetics and prenatal delvelopment, and that we have no choice in the matter.

(2) Anal sex is practiced by gays and straights, and there are gay people who do not do it.

(3) Fisting (entire hands inserted into the rectum or vagina) is a fairly uncommon practice mostly associated with people (gay and straight) in the SM scene. It is again not limited to gays, and conversely, most gays don't do it.

POSTED 2/23/2001

John, Chicago, IL, United States, 44, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Gay, systems analyst, Over 4 Years of College , Upper middle class

Mesg ID 221200112238


I am gay. I am not interested in anal sex or fisting. Some of my gay friends are. Some of my gay friends aren't. Some of my straight friends are. Some of my straight friends aren't. I am afraid I don't understand the question. Presumably, people (straight or gay) enjoy certain sexual practices because they are physically pleasurable and part of an emotional closeness between themselves and their partner. Why do *you* like sex, Andrew?

POSTED 2/23/2001

Iteki, Stockholm, NA, Sweden, 24, Female, Recovering Catholic, White/Caucasian, Lesbian, Student, 2 Years of College , Lower middle class

Mesg ID 2232001124026


I can't answer why people are what they are. Why are you straight? As far as anal sex and fisting are concerned, not every gay person enjoys either of these. Being gay does not require 'gay sex.' Being gay is about who you are attracted to, who you have relationships with, who you love. Just as there are gay people who don't enjoy being penetrated, there are plenty of straight women who enjoy anal sex. Sexual acts don't define the sexual orientation.

POSTED 2/23/2001

Me, San Francisco Bay Area, CA, United States, 27, Male, Straight, Over 4 Years of College

Mesg ID 2190164113


Why are straight people straight? And why do they like anal sex and fisting? (I've seen the magazines and web sites.) Being gay is about more than the sexual act. It's about your entire emotional (and sexual) resonance being with members of your own gender. As to sexual likes and dislikes, a simple check of the spam in my e-mail account shows a bewildering array of behaviors - hetero, homo and all-sorts of sexual - none of which has anything to do with anything. When straight people focus on the 'act,' it's usually part of a pattern of denigration toward the gay person. The first step is to discount the relationship as something that's only sexual (and perverse or damaged), which knocks them down a notch on the social order, which then makes rationalizing about bashing them all the easier. It's especially bad when someone secretly harbors a sexual response and their internalized homophobia causes a violent lashing out.

POSTED 2/23/2001

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

Mesg ID 2200141005


Some people think it's a choice, others think it's genetics. I believe people are born gay. You just don't 'choose' your sexual orientation. Like race, you can't 'choose.' And not all of us are into fisting; that depends on the couple, or whoever. As far as anal sex goes, that's just part of the sexual relations. It's like when heterosexual have sex: the penis goes in a certain hole.

POSTED 2/26/2001

Devon, Albany, GA, United States, 22, Male, African Methodist Episcopalian, Black/African American, Gay, Psychologist, 4 Years of College , Upper middle class

Mesg ID 2232001115530

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