Best of the Week
of March 14, 2004
 

 

Best of Week ArchivesArchives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of March 14, 2004, 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 database using the search form , or, in the case of posted before April 24, 1999, in the Original Archives (all questions from the Original Archives have been entered into the database as well). In the Original Archives, as well as in the 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.

 


Question:

I just wanted to know if any gays are offended by 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy'?

POSTED 3/17/2004

Kerrie, Raleigh, NC, United States, 23, Female, Black/African American, Straight, Media Relations Representative, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 3102004122828

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Question:

I'm a Filipino. Can I fall in love with an Asian Indian woman? It seems Indians are tied to their culture, and their culture doesn't permit interracial relationships.

POSTED 3/17/2004

Jeff, Manila, NA, Philippines, <jeffreymatawaran@mediabanc.ws>, 24, Male, Catholic, Asian, Straight, Marketing Analyst, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 3122004120004

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Question:

Why is it that Caucasian people don't like talking to their friends of different races or ethnic backgrounds about their differences? Why is this subject all of a sudden so uncomfortable to discuss?

POSTED 3/17/2004

Arree C., Chicago, IL, United States, <aclay@depaulstudents.edu>, 30, Female, Christian, Black/African American, Straight, student, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 312200492129

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Question:

How did the Nazis get the Jewish people to wear the yellow Stars of David? My theory is they fed them some line of positive B.S. and then when everyone was wearing them, they changed their tune. And why didn't they rip them off when they found out it was being used for a nefarious purpose?

POSTED 3/17/2004

klowdermom, Springtown, TX, United States, 50, Female, Pagan, Lesbian, nurse, Technical School, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 315200455845

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Question:

So how come I don't feel squeamish putting suntan lotion on a girl's back, but straight men won't put it on mine?

POSTED 3/3/2004

Mark, New York, NY, United States, 47, Male, White/Caucasian, Gay, 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 33200491932


Responses:

I think some men are conflicted about touching other men, simple as that. I guess they're worried about what it might indicate about their own sexuality, or how it might appear to others. Seems silly to me. Just as a data point, I'm a straight guy, and I'm not conflicted about rubbing suntan lotion on anybody - male, female, gay, straight, whatever. I may be sensitized to the necessity for suntan lotion because I burn easily!

POSTED 3/11/2004

Todd, New York, NY, United States, 37, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Writer, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 372004124503


I can tell you that any touch is, for me, an expression of intimacy. That's not to say it's necessarily sexual. But for me to agree to touch, there must be an emotional connection. Being a Midwesterner, I'm, unfortunately, uncomfortable hugging or touching anyone without that connection. That said, if I were to put suntan lotion on a woman, there would definitely be sexual electricity flying around in my head. Maybe it's one of the curse's of being a straight guy. But because that level of intimacy or comfort doesn't tend to be part of a straight man's male friendships, I probably wouldn't put lotion on any of my friends, nor would they ask me. And because touch is so tied in with intimacy and sexuality, I would be reluctant to put any on you. Sorry Mark!

POSTED 3/11/2004

Jeff, Bloomington, IL, United States, 46, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 3102004120147


Because they don't want to be thought of as gay (but you already knew that).

POSTED 3/11/2004

E.D., Kansas City, MO, United States, 47, Female, Black/African American, Mesg ID 311200411304


Straight guys are weird - they have such hangups about homosexuality. I'm a straight female and wouldn't be at all bothered putting lotion on a lesbian. But straight guys would consider it gay to do the same for a gay guy. I wish I knew why - it's just so strange.

POSTED 3/17/2004

Jay, New York, NY, United States, Female, Straight, Mesg ID 3152004123317


Does the girl you're putting lotion on have the thoughts going through her mind like, 'Does he like me? Is he doing this because he likes me?' That's really the problem. There is always a fear that a gay man likes every straight guy they see. And they probably won't touch you in such a way because they fear you may like it, or like them, or something along those lines. It's a level of comfort. The girl has nothing to fear because you're gay. The guy, on the other hand, may still have nothing to fear, per se, but still the thoughts linger in his mind.

POSTED 3/17/2004

Jesse C., Palm Coast, FL, United States, Mesg ID 316200480730

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Question:

Do African-American parents discipline their children differently than white parents, and if so, how and why?

POSTED 3/17/2004

Kathy J., Baltimore, MD, United States, <katjonesmd@aol.com>, Female, Mesg ID 3162004122954

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Question:

Should a person have an affair with a person they work with, provided both know up front it is not a 'power play'?

POSTED 3/17/2004

Eric, Toronto, Ontario, na, Canada, 38, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, 2 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 3172004124957

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Question:

At my university, and when I was in high school, I noticed that the Italians, Greeks, Lebanese, Armenians and Persians all seemed to hang out together. To me, there seems to be a link among Southern Europeans and Near Easterners. Do you think these groups are realizing they are largely similar in appearance and are coming together? I also noticed that they have quite a lot of racist attitudes toward both minorities and whites. Can anyone help explain these observations?

POSTED 3/17/2004

D. Heesen, Fullerton, CA, United States, 21, Male, Baptist, White/Caucasian, Straight, College student, 2 Years of College, Upper class, Mesg ID 39200415936

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Question:

Why is it that Middle Eastern people seem to be the only ones working at 7-Eleven and Dunkin' Donuts?

POSTED 3/1/2004

Tamika, Bolingbrook, IL, United States, <Tamika256@aol.com>, 21, Female, Black/African American, Straight, student, 4 Years of College, Lower class, Mesg ID 2252004103910


Responses:

Perhaps they are more sociable and like meeting and serving people. Could it also be that a majority are more independent-minded and prefer to 'try out' at retail stores to pick up tips on running a business that caters to the masses?

POSTED 3/17/2004

Juliana, Singapore, na, Singapore, 40s, Female, Methodist, Chinese, Straight, Teacher, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 32200453543


Maybe there is a high concentration of Middle Easterners living in your area, thus producing what seems to you as disproportionate numbers of Middle Easterners working at 7-11 and Dunkin' Donuts. I can tell you that here, most employees of our Dunkin' Donuts are white or black, as we have a very small Middle Eastern community. When I lived in San Diego, the employees ranged from Hispanic, black, white, Asian (where there is a large Filipino community) and some African natives. I suppose it depends on where you live and what ethnic communities live there.

POSTED 3/17/2004

Jane, Raleigh, NC, United States, <questionauthority@nc.rr.com>, 32, Female, Agnostic, Black/African American, Straight, Paralegal, 4 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 39200421417


Remember that a lot of people who are new immigrants to this country may have advanced degrees in engineering or medicine or law, but those degrees are not usually accepted by the organizations here. Does a man who's been working in the nephrology department of a top hospital in Saudi Arabia for 14 years know less than the recent American graduate about kidneys? Of course not, but the Mideastern man has to feed himself/his family somehow while he retakes entrance exams, and then is only allowed the capabilities (and salaries) of a new graduate from med school. The same situation holds true for many educated immigrants, not just from the Mideast but also from Asia (including South Asia) and a large part of the rest of the world. So next time, ask the guy what his educational background is and who he has to send money to. You might find some interesting answers.

POSTED 3/17/2004

Ridwan, Gaithersburg, MD, United States, Male, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 310200493151


Could it be that they're used to significantly lower wages than most people and can afford to live at such a lifestyle? That's most likey the reason.

POSTED 3/17/2004

Jesse C., Palm Coast, FL, United States, Mesg ID 316200480907

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Question:

I recently moved to New Orleans from a small town with not many black people, and one thing I've noticed is that a lot of black people here have gold teeth. I don't understand why they do this because I don't think it looks good. Is there a reason they do this? Is it cultural? Is there some sort of history behind it? Or is it cheap? Don't mean to sound ignorant, but I've had more than one friend who has moved here from somewhere else wonder the same thing.

POSTED 3/1/2004

Brenda, New Orleans, LA, United States, 25, Female, Unitarian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Nanny, High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 227200451312


Responses:

I had to answer since I am from New Orleans. The gold tooth thing is a regional oddity, like coconuts or beignets. In the early '90s, rappers from New Orleans, theretofore unheard of, used it as a publicity stunt. Why that particular thing, I don't know, but in any case it is part of what propelled rappers from New Orleans to the national scene. Of course that had the effect of perpetuating it. These days every young person thinks rap is cool, and rappers are cool, so they want to imitate. If you're still wondering why only black people do it, it's because (duh) New Orleans is 80 percent black. You'll have to go to Michoud to see Asians with gold teeth, or Chalmette to see whites with gold teeth.

POSTED 3/17/2004

Amanda, Fullerton, CA, United States, 24, Female, Christian, Black/African American, Straight, student, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 342004115307


It is not cultural, it is just a trend that is popular with the 'hip-hop' crowd now, especially in the Deep South. There is no history behind it, either. It is the same thing as white kids painting their faces and calling themselves 'goth'. It is neither cultural nor historical, just a trend. Interesting that blacks don't seem to relate every 'white' trend as being 'cultural or historical'. It is a fad that many young black men take part in, just as white kids have their fads.

POSTED 3/17/2004

Amber, Greenville, NC, United States, 23, Female, Black/African American, Student, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 332004121504


At the risk of sounding classist (OK, I'll go ahead), I think this is a cultural custom of lower-class blacks. Maybe you only notice the black people with gold teeth because they stand out, or maybe you have only seen lower-class blacks (depends on where you live and work). In the integrated neighborhood where I live, I can't think of when I last saw someone black with gold teeth. Now, go downtown or to some of the less affluent areas, and you will see some. Is it a problem? Does it hurt anyone? I think it's just a style choice - not my style, but there are lots of things that are not my style.

POSTED 3/17/2004

Ramonna, St. Louis, MO, United States, 50, Female, Episcopalian, Black/African American, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 362004113951


I have lived in Metairie (which is on the outskirts of New orleans) all my life, and it is not just New Orleans where you will find guys with gold teeth. I think guys here think it looks good, but in reality it looks cheap and tacky. I do not know what would make a person want gold teeth; they are known to rot your real teeth if you keep them in too long. There is no history behind them; it's just that guys here think they make them look good.

POSTED 3/17/2004

Leeley E., Metairie, LA, United States, <gabrial25@netzero.com>, 25, Female, Black/African American, graphic designer, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 392004102732


Some of us do this because we like to show the money we have. Gold teeth are not cheap - they are really expensive. Down South is known for having people with 'bling bling' in their mouth. You have nothin' to worry about; just because we wear it don't mean we are goin' to rob you!

POSTED 3/17/2004

Jazmine, Troutman, NC, United States, 17, Female, Christian, Black/African American, Straight, Student, High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 310200453718


I really believe the gold and platinum teeth appearance is just a phase that will blow over. It's pretty much the same phase that Caucasians went through in the '80s when the spiked mohawk was fashionable.

POSTED 3/17/2004

Arree C., Chicago, IL, United States, 30, Female, Christian, Black/African American, Straight, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 312200491628

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