Best of theWeek
of May 4, 2003

Best of Week ArchivesArchives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchangeseither begun or advanced during the week of May 4, 2003, as selectedby Y? These postings, as well as "Best of the Week" entries fromprevious weeks, also can be found by accessing Y?'s database usingthe search form , or, in the case of postedbefore April 24, 1999, in the OriginalArchives (all questions from the Original Archives havebeen entered into the database as well). In the Original Archives, aswell as in the database, you will find questions that have receivedanswers, as well as questions still awaiting responses. You areencouraged to answer any questions relevant to your demographicbackground, as well as to ask any provocative question you desire.Answers posted are not necessarily meant to represent the views of anentire demographic group, but can provide a window into the insightsof an individual from that group.   
 First-time users should first make a quick stopat Y?'s guidelines pages for asking andanswering questions. 

 The book on Y? ishere! 

"Why Do White People SmellLike Wet Dogs
When They Come Out Of The Rain?"


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Read the Associated Press storyon "Wet Dogs"
 

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Question:

Why is it that so many of my black sisters would rather walkaround with damaged relaxed hair than simply wearing their hairnatural? Most relaxed heads of hair look terrible, and the weaves andponytails look downright tacky. Why are some of us still so ashamedof what is ours - and beautiful?

POSTED 5/8/2003

Rhonda P. Outlaw, Laurelton, NY, United States,<Rhonda_Outlaw@ars.aon.com>, 41, Female, Lutheran,Black/African American, Straight, 2 Years of College, Middle class,Mesg ID 58200354640

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Question:

I hear it is against the law in Canada to spank. Is it onlyexcessive spanking, or anything, even a swat? Do people actually getarrested or fined for this? I only spank as a last resort and toprevent my kids from dangerous situations like running in the road,and I enjoy the freedom of choice. How do Canadians feel about yourcountry telling you how you can raise your kids?

POSTED 5/8/2003

Tanya S, Flint, MI, United States, 26, Female, White/Caucasian,Straight, Photographer, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID57200334519

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Question:

Why do gay guys over-enunciate when they speak?

POSTED 5/4/2003

Jen, Cincinnati, OH, United States, Female, Mesg ID512003121524


Responses:
I don't quite know whatyou mean by 'over-enunciate,' but it might be based in education.People who are educated usually don't use colloquialisms. But as youare from Cincinnati, I would caution you on making assumptions aboutall gay guys. I bet you don't even know all of the gay men with whomyou speak on a daily basis. By this I mean, Cincinnati doesn't havethe reputation as being a liberal city and hence many gay guys mightprefer to keep their sexual orientation confined to their circle offriends and family.

POSTED 5/8/2003

Matthew, New York City,NY, United States, 44, Male, Gay, Mesg ID 57200391837


You forgot the wordãsome,ä as in ãsome gay guys over-enunciate when they speak.ä Thereare all kinds of gay guys, and many of them act perfectly straight.You might even know a couple and not even know theyâre gay. As to theones who do over-enunciate, itâs an affectation that theyâve adoptedbecause it suits them, the same way you might affect a certain look(say, sexy, or demure) or a certain style (say, boisterous, or shy).Perhaps it differentiates them from straight people, or binds themtogether with other gay people. Interestingly, some English peopletend to speak that way, too, which makes Americans think theyâre gaywhen theyâre actually just being themselves.

POSTED 5/8/2003

James D., Summit, NJ,United States, <james_witted@hotmail.com>, 46, Male, Atheist,White/Caucasian, Gay, 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID582003112003

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Question:

My girlfriend lives in a college dorm with two other ladies.Their perishable groceries are purchased individually because theydon't all have the same schedule. But one of the roommates isconsuming groceries that my girlfriend has purchased, without herpermission and in rather large quantities. My girlfriend triedspeaking to her and even wrote notes on the things she had purchased.The roommate ripped the notes to shreds. In the end my girlfriendbought herself a private refrigerator. I have wondered if perhapsthere were some cultural differences involved here that may have alink to ethnicity. The roommate is black, and my girlfriend is white.Can African Americans out there help me out? Is there some kind ofunderstanding among roommates that everyone buys a few groceries andthen everything under the roof is up for grabs? Could that be ageneral way of doing things among some groups of African Americans,or is it a cultural thing that doesn't follow an ethnic trend?

POSTED 5/5/2003

Matt, n/a, TN, United States, 23, Male, White/Caucasian,Software Engineering student/Musician, Over 4 Years of College,Middle class, Mesg ID 552003103920


Responses:
That's not a culturalthing at all. My thing is, if I didn't buy the food, I won't eat it.I will ask first before I eat something - unless my roommate and Iagree to share food. I was raised to be respectful of others and noteat up everything. So I think the problem is just with yourgirlfriend's roommate. Please don't take things done by others as anethnic norm.

POSTED 5/8/2003

Dwayne M., Detroit, MI,United States, 22, Male, Christian, Black/African American, Straight,Education, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID55200361441


I've been in the samesituation as your girlfriend. This is not related to culturaldifferences or ethnicity. It's how you were raised, plain and simple.I was taught at a very young age not to steal from others. Eatinganother's food in large quantities without asking is inconsiderate,discourteous and uncouth. I've never done it, although I have hadroommates of all different backgrounds and ethnicities unrightfullytake food. I sympathize with your girlfriend, but please know thather roommate's manners, or lack thereof, has absolutely nothing to dowith her being black. I would hate for you to think that thissituation had a link to race. Nevertheless, I applaud you for askingabout it instead of accepting a false truth. Most prejudiced peoplewould have accepted it without inquiring; you didn't, and I respectthat.

POSTED 5/8/2003

Anna, Providence, RI,United States, <LiaTheAngel@yahoo.com>, 18, Female, Catholic,Black (Ethiopian)/Indian (East India), Straight, Student, High SchoolDiploma, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 56200322701


I am sick and tired ofhow when an individual black person does something, it's alwaysassumed to be a matter of culture for the entire race. Stop this typeof thinking ... this is why there is still tension among the races.Anyway, to answer your question, no, this is not a cultural thing --it is a personal issue. Some roommates are lazy and irresponsible,which is related to their character, NOT their race. These typesoften have a tendancy to think the world owes them -- they are lateon rent, and they eat your groceries, etc. Others may think thefriendship is so close that the grocery thing is pretty much how itwould be in a family situation. Regardless, if your girlfriend madeit clear for her roommate not to eat her food and even went as far asto put a note on the refrigerator, the roommate should have knownbetter. It sounds like she just wanted to be a freeloader and not payfor her own groceries. I think getting the private refrigerator wasthe best option for your girlfriend.

POSTED 5/8/2003

Kristina, Washington,DC, United States, 22, Female, Christian, Black/African American,Straight, Transcriber, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID56200320339


No! It's a RUDE thing.For some reason this roommate thinks she's not accountable to yourgirlfriend. Your girlfriend needs to get some backbone and demandrespect from this leech. What I find more telling is that you mightconsider behavior such as ignoring requests and ripping notes toshreds as an accepted way that blacks treat each other. Rude peopletreat you the way you allow yourself to be treated. Dear Abby hasbeen telling ALL ethnicities that for years!

POSTED 5/8/2003

Cheryl, Atlanta, GA,United States, 39, Female, Black/African American, Office Manager, 2Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 56200332600


I don't believe it is aracial issue, but then again, there may be particulars I don'tunderstand. However, if the problem has persisted to the point thatyou are at Y? Forum to address it, it means there is some seriousmiscommunication between all parties involved. Why doesn't everyonesit down and address the issue? Why is this person so disrespectfulto someone else by ripping to shreds someone's notes to ownership? Iam an African American/Native American living in San Francisco, andall my roomies are white but not American, except my gay roomie. Theothers are from Spain, Yugoslavia and India, and we get along great.Straight up, the woman ripping up the notes is just out and out rude.I really don't know if there is a racial spin on it. In our house, weshare, but we don't take things with notes on them, rip them up andeat someone's food.

POSTED 5/8/2003

touchy buffalo, SanFrancisco, CA, United States, <www.anthonychapman@hotmail.com>,48, Male, African American/Native American, unemployed, 4 Years ofCollege, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 57200312040


You're reaching. Yourgirlfriend has a selfish, immature, possibly greedy and lazy, anddefinitely disrespectful roommate. It doesn't matter what culture orrace she is. The roommate has shown a lack of respect for theboundaries that must exist in any relationship - especially so withroommates, and it's a situation that will end badly. I can honestlysay I do not believe it to be racial or cultural. There is nocultural understanding that says food or anything else is up forgrabs, unless it is specified by the roommates. Your girlfriend hasmade her preferences clear - her roommate is taking advantage, and ithas nothing to do with race.

POSTED 5/8/2003

Serene, Chandler, AZ,United States, 44, Female, Black/African American, SelfEmployed-Contractor, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID57200375817


This problem that yourgirlfriend is having with her roommate has nothing to do with herskin color, culture or religion. The girl is a straight-up thief. Myroommate also stole food from me in college. She also wore my clotheswithout asking, and both of us are black. (I'm mixedblack/Brazilian.) This person who your girlfriend has to put with isone of the major reasons why I moved off of campus. People who takeadvantage of others, sadly enough, come in all shapes and colors, andit can be a real pain trying to deal with them. I know yourgirlfriend probably doesn't want to create tension with a person shehas to live with and see every day, but going into someone's privatethings, be it food, clothes, mail or money, is a serious no-no. Thisother chick knows it, and it sounds like she's trying to intimidateyour girlfriend. I would either confront her face to face, or moveout. Who wants do deal with that crap? It's rude and unfair.

POSTED 5/8/2003

Anjela, Washington, DC,United States, 35, Female, Christian, Black/Brazilian, Straight,teacher, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID572003101520


I've been black all mylife and have yet to find that this type of behavior is linked tobeing black. More than likely it's linked to lack of goodold-fashioned home training. It's obvious you don't associate withtoo many African Americans, which is your prerogative, but if youdid, I'm sure you'd find that attributing this rude young ladyâsbehavior to a whole ethnic group is absurd.

POSTED 5/8/2003

finesse, Pittsburgh,PA, United States, 30, Female, Black/African American, Straight, MesgID 57200310150


It's not a culturalthing, it's a matter of sharing and respect. What your girlfriend andher roommate should have done was to make an agreement to stick toeating only the foods that each of them had purchased herself - thatway this problem would not have come about in the first place. Orperhaps the sister simply didn't understand the meaning of the words'share and share alike.' She could have met your girlfriend halfwayon the subject, or maybe she just took your girlfriend's request thewrong way because she's white and interpreted it as, 'Who the hell isthis white b***h to tell what I can and cannot eat?' Last but notleast, it may be just a clash of two personalities with completelydifferent habits. In that case, it made sense to get her own fridge.And no, this is not a 'general' way of doing things among blackfolks. I've heard of a similar situation involving three blackroommates, and in the end one of them had to leave because he wasdoing the same thing: eating up the others' food and not contributingto the expenses. So sometimes it's just human nature in general.Don't paint all black folks with the same brush, because we're notall alike.

POSTED 5/8/2003

G.K., Detroit, MI,United States, 30's, Female, Black/African American, SecurityOfficer, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID57200343234


I had a white roommatein college who did the same thing, so eating someone else's foodwithout permission isn't a cultural difference at all. What yourgirlfriend's got is an extremely selfish roommate.

POSTED 5/8/2003

M., Brooklyn, NY,United States, 33, Female, Agnostic, Straight, 4 Years of College,Middle class, Mesg ID 572003113635


This has nothing to dowith culture. When I was in the Air Force and living in the dorm,this same thing occurred. When someone baked some brownies laced withEx-Lax, we found out who the culprit was. It was a white chick.Rudeness comes in all colors.

POSTED 5/8/2003

Been There, NewportNews, VA, United States, 54, Female, Black/African American, 4 Yearsof College, Middle class, Mesg ID 582003103548


To my knowledge, beinggreedy and selfish is not a black or white thing. It's justignorant.I went through seven different roommates when I was in college,mostly because I was disgusted with the way they kept their dirtydishes in the room until they got moldy or did other similarly nastythings. It shocked me to find out that, contrary to the way I wasraised, many people just don't care about being respectful, or clean,or unselfish. I figured that if you can't show respect for mybelongings/my food/my money/me, I can't live with you. She may wantto switch rooms or find her own apartment if this other girl is sounreasonable. If the roommate will eat your girlfriend's food with noregard for who paid for it or the arrangement they had, what's next?She may start wearing her clothes...

POSTED 5/8/2003

Chandra, Detroit, MI,United States, 26, Female, Jehovahs Witness, Black/African American,2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 582003115446


This is, singularly,the biggest roommate complaint on the planet. Scarfing up free rangefood is what roommates do. No race and gender is immune. I, honest toGod, epoxied a box of Ho Ho's shut when I was in college, and myroommate(a white guy) still got into them. It is an axiom of humanrelations that roommates in college start out great friends, quicklydegenerate into part-enemies with simmering, petty, backstabbinghatreds, and then later in life tell outrageous roommate storiesabout each other. Forget the race angle on this, it isuniversal.

POSTED 5/8/2003

Steve, Houston, TX,United States, 46, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, Corporate CubicleRoommate, Over 4 Years of College, Upper class, Mesg ID58200351403

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Question:

I have heard that Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe inmedicine or blood transfusions. This concerns me because at the ageof 13 a blood transfusion saved my life. Would Jehovah's Witnessesactually let their child die before giving them a transfusion? All inthe name of religion? What religion would teach that, and what kindof mother would allow it?

POSTED 5/4/2003

Carrie, Norfolk, VA, United States, 22, Female, Christian,Black/African American, Straight, student, Middle class, Mesg ID542003124758


Responses:
I am so glad you askedthat question, and the answer is an emphatic no. It would be a clearviolation of Bible principles to allow our child to die if there werea way to save them. We do believe in medicine and going to doctors.We get sick just like everyone else! But according to the scriptureat Acts 15:29 (as well as other scriptures), God clearly states thathis worshippers should stay away from taking in blood. This wouldmean in any form: eating and drinking (as some ancient cultures hadthe custom), as well as transfusions. While we don't accept bloodtransfusions,we do use non-blood alternatives such as salinesolutions and other types of blood volume expanders. In fact, medical(and legal) cases regarding Jehovah's Witnesses show we are actuallypioneers in the field of bloodless surgery. Doctors are realizing(admitting?) that there are alternatives that are much safer and havea lower rejection rate than real blood. Blood alternatives may welleliminate the problem of tainted/infected blood or blood-type mixups.For more information on this, try www.watchtower.org orwww.jw-media.org. A note of caution, though: These are the ONLYofficial sites for Witnesses. I personally don't trust anywhere elseon the Web for info on Witnesses because I've come across many, manylies. If you really want to know more, try these sites, or evenbetter, go to the Kingdom Hall in your area and start asking themquestions. Ask for proof of what they belive. Many people shy awayfrom asking Jehovah's Witnesses about their religion. Why? I don'tknow. I think most people would rather guess or assume or stick withtheir own opinions rather than seek the truth from the source. I wishmore people were like you.

POSTED 5/8/2003

Chandra, Detroit, MI,United States, 26, Female, Jehovahs Witness, Black/African American,2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 58200392547

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Question:

Do most women find men in the military attractive, especiallywhen in their fatigues? If so, what might it have to do with?

POSTED 4/20/2003

Airman H., San Angelo, TX, United States,<maxthecat.geo@yahoo.com>, 19, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight,U.S. Air Force, Technical School, Lower middle class, Mesg ID417200340710


Responses:
I do, but then again, my boyfriend is in the military. Anyway, Ithink military men look nice in uniform because it might go back tothe primitive, 'cavewoman-like' thought that they are strong, incontrol and would be good 'protectors.' I can't speak for how otherwomen feel, though.

POSTED 4/24/2003

Kristina, Washington, DC, United States, 22, Female, Christian,Black/African American, Straight, Transciber, 2 Years of College,Middle class, Mesg ID 421200324156


Some women like a man in uniform. Some (mainly found near militarybases) seem to see only the steady job with benefits. After 17 yearsin the Air Force, I have seen both types, and I've seen GIs getmarried to both types. Those who are truly turned on by a uniformreally appreciate you; those who only want a husband with benefitsseem to lose the 'passion' fairly quickly after snagging one.

POSTED 4/24/2003

Gonzo, Denver, CO, United States, 35, Male, Pagan, Hispanic/Latino(may be any race), Straight, U.S. Air Force, 4 Years of College,Middle class, Mesg ID 422200391102


Yes, this 'old' (age 50) woman finds military men very attractive,whether in fatigues or dress uniform. For me, it is not so muchphysical features as it is an overall bearing of dignity. Also, Ican't separate character from physical attractiveness when I look atsomeone, and military personnel simply strike me as mature,dignified, brave and honorable. I'm sure someone will come back witha story about some bad apple in the military, but overall, I thinkthey represent the best of humans. That's why they are attractive tome.

POSTED 4/24/2003

Kathy, Springfield, IL, United States, 50, Female,White/Caucasian, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID423200371252


I don't think men in the military are any more or less attractivethan men outside the military. Generally I like my men with somehair, so those military buzz cuts are sometimes a bit of a turnoff.

POSTED 5/4/2003

Jennifer, San Jose, CA, United States, 28, Female, Engineer, 4Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 424200373750


I don't find men in the military attractive because all I can seeis some dumb hick calling everybody ma'am or sir (even though I knowsome smart guys who are in the military). I also see someone justfalling in line and taking orders - someone who would never considerquestioning authority (which I find extremely sexy). I think thefatigues look stupid on just about anybody.

POSTED 5/4/2003

Sierra, Austin, TX, United States, 17, Female, Bisexual, student,Mesg ID 4262003111756


I was in the Air Force ROTC for two years, and I have mixedfeelings on the subject. I do find men in their blues or servicedress to be attractive (probably because the uniform looks so neatand crisp), but the combat uniform doesn't have the same effect. Ithink it has more to do with the camaraderie that we felt. In theBDUs, we were all running and sweating together, and they were morelike brothers than guys I would be checking out. I would love to hearwhat people who don't have any experience in a military atmospherehave to say on the subject.

POSTED 5/4/2003

Trudy, San Jose, CA, United States, 21, Female, Mormon, Straight,Student, 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 430200312018

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Question:

Why do some white people enjoy engaging in potentiallylife-threatening activities? For example, bungy-jumping, whitewaterrafting, climbing Mount Everest, etc. Do non-white people engage insuch activities in large numbers?

POSTED 5/4/2003

Natasha, Queens, NY, United States, Female, Christian, 4 Yearsof College, Middle class, Mesg ID 4252003111828


Responses:
I can't say that I speakfor all white people, but damn, life would be really boring if youdidn't shake it up a little now and then. Maybe because we livemostly in the 'burbs and life is pretty dull there. Without theoccasionally life-threatening activity we just might go insane. Ialso think that these kind of activities, especially for men, arekind of a bragging right. A reason to stick out your chest. It givesyou the feeling that you have conquered something, have overcome anobstacle, and of pride in oneself.

POSTED 5/8/2003

Jason, Kansas City, KS,United States, 27, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, 2 Years ofCollege, Middle class, Mesg ID 57200330218


For one thing, exceptfor climbing Mount Everest (which isn't done by that many people),none of those activities are really life-threatening. If they were,so many people wouldn't do them. Many folks do those things for theroller coaster effect. It gives them a simulation of being on-edge,without actually putting their life in real danger. For example,riding a bungee cord gives a person a chance to experience fallingwhat would normally be a lethal distance without having that suddenstop at the end. Whitewater rafting gives people the ability to enjoythe slings and arrows of wild rivers without actually having to learnhow to paddle. Now, people who paddle canoes rather than rafts mayhave a different motive: a canoe is far more efficient and graceful,but of course is much easier to sink if you don't know what you'redoing. The application of time into skill means that perhaps they arethere for reasons other than the roller coaster factor, as acquiringskills often bores the roller coaster fan. As for the bluff climbers,there seems to be a mixture of interests. Some, like many canoeists,are there to experience nature more closely to the way it is, movingbackward in time in an attempt to discover where we come from. Toothers, it's a social event, or even an ego trip (some do it so theycan talk about doing it, but they don't go very far). And still somedo it for the thrill. Rock climbers often intrigue me because,ironically, at times the thrill-seeking firebugs actually have a fewyears of experience under their belts.

POSTED 5/8/2003

Matt, Somewhere, TN,United States, 23, Male, White/Caucasian, Programmer/Musician, Over 4Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 57200392240

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Question:

I'm a deaf manwearing a a cochlear implant, but I can speak well enough to makepeople think I'm a hearing person. My question is: Why don't peoplewho can see, hear and talk use sign language, since they are able to?Deaf people cannot talk or hear, and they can't fit into hearingsociety unless they use hearing aids. So why is it so hard forhearing and sighted people to use sign language?

POSTED4/24/2003

Adrean, Rochester,NY, United States, <babymangiardi@yahoo.com>, 22, Male,Catholic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Deaf, 4 Years of College, Uppermiddle class, Mesg ID 4242003120055


Responses:
I think it's probably forthe same reason that most Americans speak only English - almosteveryone they run into speaks English, so there is no motivation tolearn another language. Some Americans learn other languages, eitherout of necessity or desire. Sometimes hearing people choose to learnsign language. It would be easier for deaf people if more hearingpeople learned sign language, but I think there just aren't enoughdeaf people to motivate many people to learn.

POSTED 5/4/2003

Jennifer, San Jose, CA,United States, 28, Female, Engineer, 4 Years of College, Middleclass, Mesg ID 424200373253


I did not invest mytime to learn sign language until I met Sue, who is deaf and workshard every day to talk with and listen to me. It seemed only fair forme to attempt to learn her favorite language and try to communicatein her comfort zone part of the time as well. I'm not fluent yet, butI can finger-spell radically already! And I know most of the signsfor my favorite foods... I did not know ASL existed when I was inpublic school and had only a dim awareness of it in college when Isaw someone signing for the first time. So I'd have to say that alack of information was also in there.

POSTED 5/4/2003

Judy S., Norman, OK,United States, 52, Female, Humanist, White/Caucasian, Lesbian,Artist, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID4282003102636


There are more hearingpeople than there are not, and in this country I am sad to say thatsometimes the majority wins, and anyone different from that has tosuffer. That is a very good question, though. I have tried to learnat least some sign language because it is a good tool forcommunication.

POSTED 5/4/2003

Mandy, Sugar Land, TX,United States, Female, Baptist, White/Caucasian, Straight, 2 Years ofCollege, Middle class, Mesg ID 53200313720

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Question:

I recently started to talk to a guy who lives very far from me.We met online and have been speaking on the phone as well. I havenever considered having feelings for someone I dont know. But thisguy makes me feel great. I don't have problems getting dates orhaving relationships, but talking to him is different. I always saidthat having feelings for someone whom I've met online is ridiculous.But I was wondering: is this normal? Has this happened to many peopleout there? And if it has, what did you do or how did you handle thosefeelings?

POSTED 5/4/2003

Sherri, Dallas, TX, United States, 18, Female, White/Caucasian,Straight, High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 428200314408


Responses:
Don't feel bad about yourself, because it happens to a good number ofpeople who go yacking on the Internet. By nature you're seeking amate, whether you want to seek a mate or not, and by meeting thismedium where people are visualized by text floating across thescreen, people are bound to take a liking for one another, as theyhave always done. But you must realize, first, that no matter howmuch you think you know about this person, you do not know them. Evenwith no malice in the picture at all, the person at the console isnot wholly the person in the text. You have an image of this person,reading his words and painting a picture as one tends to do, in adream-like fantasy that can only bring you inward. Despite the fewfairy tales one hears on the news and talk shows, Internetrelationships don't work. They're based on a world that does notexist. As one pursues this relationship with a person who exists onlywithin phone cables, his real life diminishes, and he becomes alone.My suggestion to you is to stay in the real world, and date realpeople. Even if this guy is the most honest fellow in the world andisn't lying about who he is, your relationship will be a pit ofmisery and loneliness, though at times you may believe you are happy.Unless you're rich enough to move to a new city every time you get anew boyfriend, I suggest you keep your real-life relations in yourreal life. The Internet is good for forums and opinion gathering. Itis a foolish place to find dates.

POSTED 5/8/2003

Matt, Somewhere, TN, United States, 23, Male, White/Caucasian,Software Engineer/Musician, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class,Mesg ID 57200321316


We donât decide to have feelings; we just have them. The importantthing is what we do about them. You can continue to enjoy talking andemailing this guy, but that is no substitute for getting to knowsomeone in real life. If you do get together in real life (safely, ofcourse), you have to ensure that your current feelings about himdonât cause you to bypass the normal process of meeting him, gettingto know him and perhaps someday dating him. Remember that on thecomputer, and to a lesser extent the phone, youâre only seeing thepart of him that he wants you to see ö thatâs much harder to do inreal life.

POSTED 5/8/2003

James D., Summit, NJ, United States,<james_witted@hotmail.com>, 46, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian,Gay, 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 582003111009

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Question:

How prevalent is homosexuality in the (Asian) Indiancommunity?

POSTED 5/4/2003

Manny, n/a, NA, United States, Male, Mesg ID 428200394336

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Question:

Why is it OK for girls to be short, but guys get a toughtime?

POSTED 4/20/2003

David, Auckland, NA, New Zealand, Male, Mesg ID4152003102539


Responses:
I think it may go back to some basic instinct that humans possess,that men should be protectors, big and burly. In general, height isassociated with age, power and manliness. On the other hand, beingshort is generally associated with youth, innocence and femininity.I'm 5'8". I've always been seen as older. My mother is 5'1", andpeople try to say they honestly think I'm the mother.

POSTED 4/23/2003

Sandie, Memphis, TN, United States, 23, Female, Black/AfricanAmerican, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 422200330610


Why is it OK for guys to be tall, but only women who are slendersupermodels are acceptable as tall?

POSTED 4/23/2003

Jessica, Huntsville, TX, United States, 23, Female, Agnostic,White/Caucasian, Bisexual, Graduate Student, Over 4 Years of College,Middle class, Mesg ID 4222003105955


Because for a long, long time, society considered a man's primaryworth to be what he could accomplish physically (chopping wood,hauling hay, etc.), and short men were seen as physically inferior.Tall men were also seen as better protectors of the family due totheir size. Thank goodness that's not always true. Unfortunately,even today the attitude of 'tall = masculine' prevails. Notice Ididn't say 'masculine = tall' - tall women are also seen as 'manlier'than their petite counterparts, but in our case it's not necessarilya good thing. As a woman who is 5'11", I have often dated shorterguys (5'2"- 5'7") who told me that if we ever ended up in a situationwhere our personal safety was threatened, he would be depending on meto protect him. So obviously this whole concept translates to bothgenders.

POSTED 4/23/2003

Tracy, Edmond, OK, United States, 30, Female, Mesg ID 423200314236


Women are 'supposed' to be shorter than men - in most Westerncultures, at least. This assumption dates back to the time when the'authorities' assumed that because women are, in general, shorterthan men, they must also be weaker, have smaller brains, be lessintelligent and so forth. People still have a prejudice against menwho are short because they threaten those assumptions of whatmasculinity is supposed to be. Short men are almost perceived as'feminine,' or at least weaker specimens of manhood, even though thatis not the case. Short women, however, fit neatly into what genderstereotypes expect women to be: petite, demure, cute and so forth.Short men are called 'wimps' or 'shrimps' for having this same trait.See what I mean? It used to go for tall women, too - tall women wereseen as amazons, as pseudo-men. Nowadays, though, most tall womendon't have to deal with that stigma (the fear of looking masculinebecause of their height) as long as they're appropriately feminine -probably because all the supermodels are super-tall, and they'resupposed to be the standard of beauty.

POSTED 5/4/2003

Stephanie, Norman, OK, United States, <steph@asteph.com>,23, Female, White/Caucasian, Lesbian, Student, Over 4 Years ofCollege, Middle class, Mesg ID 54200331107

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Question:

Is it just me or does it seem like each race tends to have avery distinct odor? I've been in all-white environments and havenoticed that white people tend to smell like spoiled milk or hazelnutcoffee. Asians tend to have a noodle-like smell, and Indians smelllike musk and curry. Of course, I've heard that black people tend tosmell like cocoa butter, which is apparently revolting to someonewith different olfactory sensitivites.

POSTED 4/20/2003

RealityCheck, Philadelphia, PA, United States, 25, Male,Black/African American, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID4172003124352


Responses:
I've worked around several races and nationalities, and I'm sorry,but I haven't come across the scents you have. Most of the women Icome in contact with usually smell very nice, because they're wearinga nice scent of perfume or cologne. As for myself, I love the scentof cocoa butter, as well as coconut and mango. In fact, The BodyShop, one of the most popular 'scent' stores around, sells a productcalled 'Body Butter,' a rich moisturizing body cream that comes inmany scents, including mango, coconut, sesame, olive, grape, honeyand cocoa butter. Incidentally, the cocoa butter and mango are theirbiggest sellers. So apparently a lot of women - black, white,whatever - like the scent of cocoa butter. This 'different racessmell different' nonsense is just another way to promote prejudiceand bigotry.

POSTED 4/24/2003

Rhonda O., Laurelton, NY, United States,<Rhonda_Outlaw@ars.aon.com>, 41, Female, Lutheran,Black/African American, Straight, Account Representative, 2 Years ofCollege, Middle class, Mesg ID 4212003103034


If we could talk to dogs, they would really have a story to tell.Yes, different races smell. But even people who shower every day havea distinct odor, much like our beloved dogs carry an odor.

POSTED 4/24/2003

Ronald V., Edmonton, Alberta, NA, Canada, Male, Mesg ID4222003123536


Blacks tend to use a lot of lotion on their skin because of itsappearance when dry, so that explains the 'cocoa butter' smell. Thedistinct, unpleasant odor I most often detect from blacks oftensmells like stale corn chips. I imagine the reasons are foodpreferences, as we all know whites love our coffee, the Chinese arenoodle maniacs and Indians can't live without their curry. But that'sjust a slight generalization with a hint of truth.

POSTED 5/4/2003

Seamus, Charlestown, MA, United States, 23, Male, White/Caucasian,Construction, High School Diploma, Lower class, Mesg ID422200373822


I don't know, but it is quite likely you are noticing an effectdue to different diets. It is true that your diet can affect yournatural body odor. While others may not be able to notice it, maybeyou have an unusually sensitive nose, like some people (professionaltasters) have an unusually sensitive sense of taste.

POSTED 5/4/2003

Wayne C., Orange, NJ, United States, 42, Male, Baptist,Black/African American, Straight, marketing, Over 4 Years of College,Middle class, Mesg ID 427200373620


Many people tend to smell like the foods they eat. I have a fewfriends from India who smell like curry because they eat curries twoor three times a day. Likewise, many people who eat a lot of meatseem, to me, to give off a meat amino acid smell. I know that when Ieat more mea, my body's odor seems to change. Also, a person's bodyodor could also come from the lotion(s) or perfumes they use.

POSTED 5/4/2003

David, Tokyo, NA, Japan, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4Years of College, Mesg ID 4282003122422


Although I don't have a sensitive nose to detect differences inodors of different races, I would not find it surprising that youfind such a distinction. I can smell cat, dog, cow, chicken, horse,etc. Each animal does have a specific odor, just as each person has aunique fingerprint, DNA, it stands to reason that each person has aunique odor. Dogs with their supersmelling ability can attest tothat. Therefore, if individuals have unique scents, and species haveunique scents, it stands to reason that races have specific odorcharacteristics.

POSTED 5/4/2003

Ronald V., Edmonton, Alberta, NA, Canada, Male, Mesg ID52200322654

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Question:

I'm amazed at how hypocritical white culture can be when itcomes to animal rights and human rights, especially for minorities.Why will whites go through extraordinary lengths to ensure adomesticated animal is not abused, but don't even bat an eye at thethought of innocent Iraqi children getting bombed in the war? Ofcourse not all are pro-war, but many still seem to have apatheticattitudes toward the plight of violence against other races,especially committed by the police against African Americans. Itseems so easy for a large portion of white Americans to assume thatthe often barbaric beatings, killings and torture by the police aredone in self-defense.

POSTED 5/4/2003

Kristina, Washington, DC, United States, 22, Female, Christian,Black/African American, Straight, Transcriber, 2 Years of College,Middle class, Mesg ID 427200343445

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Question:

Women: Does size matter?

POSTED 4/20/2003

George L., Omaha, NE, United States, Male, Mesg ID417200341421


Responses:
You'll read and hear a lot of controversy about this one. The bottomline is that everyone has different preferences. Some women will saythat size does not matter and some will say it does. For me, sizedefinitely does matter. I like a man who's well-endowed and knows howto use it.

POSTED 4/23/2003

Been There, Newport News, VA, United States, 54, Female,Black/African American, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, MesgID 423200324850


Yes and no. I think when you are really in love with the person(like I've been with my past and present sexual partners), you canovercome almost any physical trait. There are even different sexualpositions you can try - some for small guys who want to give thesensation of being larger, and some for big guys who want to minimizeany pain that their partners may have. My last partner was a guy withwhat I think was a fairly small penis (in width and girth), and whileI prefer a larger phallus (larger in girth and in length) we hadplenty of good times. For me, girth is more important than length - apenis that's too long can actually poke our cervix and cause a lot ofpain. But every woman is different.

POSTED 5/4/2003

Stephanie, Norman, OK, United States, <steph@asteph.com>,23, Female, White/Caucasian, Lesbian, Student, Over 4 Years ofCollege, Middle class, Mesg ID 54200332719


Yes and no. When I consider your question, I'd say that thequality of the relationship and technique are much more importantthan size. I think most women would prefer a man with slow hands, whotakes his time to be gentle, is willing to experiment and isconsiderate of her needs. Oh, and if you're willing to 'go downtownand visit the cat awhile,' that's a huge plus! I'd say to a man whodoesn't consider himself well-endowed: concentrate on the quality ofyour relationships. A woman who has deep feelings for a man is notgoing to sit around wishing he was 8 inches instead of 6. Instead,she's going to remember the time he stopped by with soup and orangejuice when she was home sick with a cold. Or how he surprised herwith tickets to her favorite play. Those are the things that reallymatter.

POSTED 5/5/2003

Maria, Topeka, KS, United States, 37, Female, Christian,Black/African American, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Middleclass, Mesg ID 542003114533

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Question:

Why do Americans have this stereotype that people who are Asianare of oriental origin (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, etc.)? This is a hugemisconception, especially if you consider that people from Russia andIndia are also on the continent of Asia, and therefore are Asiansalso. The Middle East is also part of the Asian continent. Chinesearen't the only ones who can be labeled Asian. I identify myself as'Asian,' considering I'm Indian in ethnic origin.

POSTED 4/20/2003

Chris H., New York, NY, United States, 22, Male, Asian,psychologist, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID418200312400


Responses:
I understand where you're coming from, but Americans put an emphasison classifying everyone by race, not region or culture. The Asianswho immigrated here first in large, more apparent numbers were theChinese, so they became associated with what is 'Asian.' From thenon, Americans have associated 'Asian' with people of Mongoloidorigin. Hopefully, with increasing numbers of Asian Indians and AsianArab immigrants, this perception will start to change.

POSTED 4/24/2003

Kristina, Washington, DC, United States, 22, Female, Christian,Black/African American, Straight, Transciber, 2 Years of College,Middle class, Mesg ID 421200322641


Like so many things discussed at Y? Forum, the misuse you mentioncan be attributed to ignorance. And, as usual, that ignorance istenacious and not easily corrected. I'm an American from Chicago, butI live in England, where they have a much better grasp of worldgeography. People who are Indian by birth or descent are indeedcalled Asians here. They comprise a large part of the Britishpopulation, which may explain why it has been easier for them toavoid the problem you're having. To my shame, I was too ignorant tounderstand why they are called Asian until my work colleagues herekindly explained it to me. Educating people in the United Statesisn't really likely to correct their terminology, however. There is atendency to disregard the wishes of the people affected, and theywill likely to continue labeling people as they (selfishly) see fit.You may have to continue correcting misconceptions as you encounterthem. (Or, if you find yourself contributing to more forums like thisone, and perhaps some publications, you can enlighten them in largernumbers.) I know it isn't your job to sensitize the U.S. population,but it seems we will wallow in stupidity until somebody teaches usotherwise.

POSTED 4/24/2003

Kim, London, NA, United Kingdom, 45, Female, Jehovahs Witness,Native American/African American, Straight, Researcher, 2 Years ofCollege, Middle class, Mesg ID 422200365654


There is no misconception. People are usually identified by theirrace, and Asians are a distinct race. You cannot classify yourself asan Asian because people from the Indian subcontinent are not Asiansby race. They are usually considered Caucasians (dark-skinned). Thesame thing applies to all the people from Russia and the Middle East(they are all Caucasians).

POSTED 4/24/2003

Orin, Toronto, Ontario, NA, Canada, 34, Male, White/Caucasian,Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 424200333308

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