Best of the Week
of April 2, 2000

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of April 2, 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.

First-time users should first make a quick stop at Y?'s guidelines pages for asking and answering questions.


Question:
Men, what is your dream woman? How does she look, what does she say, what does she do? Women, what is your dream man? How does he look, what does he say and do? Be honest. Don't say you like romantic men/women just because it's the thing to say. What's beautiful seems to always change with fashion, but some things never change. So what do we truly appreciate in each other?
POSTED 4/2/2000
Adriana, Harrisburg, PA, United States, 17, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Less than High School Diploma , Lower middle class, Mesg ID 3312000125153
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Question:
Can black people grow their hair long? They always seem to have either short hair or weaves or wigs. Is it that they're impatient or because it just doesn't grow that long?
POSTED 4/2/2000
Michelle, Chico, CA, United States, 19, Female, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Mesg ID 331200030736
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Question:
I'm confused about how girls think. I've been going out with my girlfriend for a while, and we couldn't get along any better. But I've noticed she seems to talk about old boyfriends and the things they did together a lot, almost like she is talking to one of her girlfriends instead of me. It kind of bothers me because I don't care to hear who she went out with or what they did together. Is there any reason she would share this with me? Or anything I should do? I almost feel like just an object to her. But I want our relationship to work out.
POSTED 4/2/2000
David, Talladega, AL, United States, 20, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, student, 2 Years of College, Mesg ID 331200053734
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Question:
I'm heterosexual but find myself deeply in love with a man. I've since gone to gay bars 'just to see' and wasn't attracted to the men. I'm not attracted to any women now, either. Just this one guy. I'm really stressing; my life is falling apart. Any insights?
POSTED 4/2/2000
Jay, Oakland Park, FL, United States, 38, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College , Upper middle class, Mesg ID 331200095701
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Question:
Why are there not many young, married, African-American female homemakers? Does this have to do with feminism?
POSTED 4/2/2000
Amoranda, Washington, DC, United States, 30, Female, Muslim, Black/African American, Straight, Homemaker, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 42200040835
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Question:
I recently found some Playboy pictures in my 12-year-old son's drawer. I didn't make a big deal about it, just took them away and told him why I didn't like them. Any suggestions on how to handle this?
POSTED 3/30/2000
Lucille L., Kansas City, MO, United States, 42, Female, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Research, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 3302000120534

Responses:
I think I would sit him down and explain how these magazines degrade women and how they make you feel. I wouldn't make a big deal out of it, because then he'd feel drawn to them because they're forbidden. Remember how we used to go out of our way when something was off limits? I'd tell him that it's normal to be curious, but this is not the way to do it. Our society needs some of the male population to quit seeing us as T and A.
POSTED 4/2/2000
Sue, Springtown, TX, United States, 46, Female, Mesg ID 41200091651

A very difficult subject to tackle. In theory, pornography should not be seen by such a young boy, as it will encourage him to view women as sexual objects. In practice, you will never stop his burning curiosity, and if you try, it will only convince him that women think sex is 'dirty.' If you really have to, is it possible to find a man who will try and talk to him about it?
POSTED 4/2/2000
Ian, Durham, NA, United Kingdom, 31, Male, White/Caucasian, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 41200035801

You did it right. You established the standard he has to live by in your house, but at the same time you didn't make a big deal out of it. If you make too much of an issue out of it, you run the risk of making it seem attractive. And also, frankly, if Playboy is the most sinister thing a teenager (or almost-teenager) is involved with, you're in good shape.
POSTED 4/2/2000
Andrew, Huntigton, NY, United States, <ziptron@start.com.au>, 36, Male, Straight, 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 331200060626

I think you did great. By not 'punishing' him, you effectivly told your son that curiosity about sexuality is OK, but that you don't like the format in which it was displayed. He is very curious, and, for the first time, excited by women. Encouraging openess and the rules of your house together will only make him a well-adjusted young man. Kudos!
POSTED 4/2/2000
Jenny, St. Louis, MO, United States, 25, Female, Catholic, Hispanic/Latino, Straight, Real Estate Agent, 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 331200023731

I think it is a faily common occurrence for adolescent boys to be interested in Playboy, Victoria Secret, even the women's underwear section of the JC Penny catalog. Afterall, boys at that age are a raging pile of hormones. We just found some pictures in my 13-year-old cousin's room not too long ago. As women, it is sometimes hard for us to understand the interest men have in dirty pictures. But I think my aunt handled the situation very well. She talked to my cousin about sex and hormones and all that stuff and told him what he is feeling is normal. She also talked to him about masturbation, which is perfectly natural. Then she talked to him about the dirty pictures, about the need to respect women and that in our house, pornography is not permitted. She didn't make the dirty pictures the focus of the discussion, and she tried to make sure he didn't feel ashamed for feeling sexual desire. But she made it clear that the pictures were not allowed in our house.
POSTED 4/2/2000
Jacqueline C., San Jose, CA, United States, 26, Female, White/Caucasian, Engineer, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 330200021653
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Question:
This thought popped into my head and I've been hoping to get it answered. I understand that among certain cultures/religions, it is taboo to eat with your left hand, as it is the hand you use to wash yourself and is therefore considered unclean. What happens if someone in that culture breaks his/her right arm? Or doesn't have one? How do they circumvent this taboo? I know this sounds like a strange question, but I had to ask.
POSTED 3/29/2000
Annique-Elise G., Vancouver, British Columbia, NA, Canada, 22, Female, White/Caucasian, Deaf, University student, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 3242000121157

Responses:
I am originally from such a culture. Trust me, they are not that picky. I have lived away from that cultural area for a while, and when I have returned for visits, I have often used both hands, one occasion being when I simply was not dexterous enough to hold and tear a piece of bread with one hand. No big deal. If you don't have a right hand, just do everything with your left (just wash your hand often); similarly, if you don't have a left hand, you would have to wash yourself with your right. It is not a big deal.
POSTED 4/2/2000
Srinivas, Tucson, AZ, United States, 25, Male, Student, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 3312000115006
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