Best of the Week
of May 5, 2002

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of May 5, 2002, as selected by Y? Thesepostings, 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 answers 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.
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When They Come Out Of The Rain?"

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Question:

To non-Christians: What is your reaction when well-intentioned strangers or acquaintances wish you a 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Easter'? Do you explain that you're Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, agnostic, etc., or do you just let it go?
POSTED 4/29/2002
Sue B., Detroit, MI, United States, 40s, Female, Jewish, White/Caucasian, Straight, Writer, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 4292002113436


Responses:
I usually accept and return all greetings in the spirit in which they are given. Just because I am not a member of a certain faith doesn't mean I am uncomfortable in the celebration of that holiday (holy day). I also try to remember and/or observe as many religious holidays as I am aware of to further my own education of the various world religions. If someone asks, I tell them that.
POSTED 5/6/2002
A. Adams, Los Angeles, CA, United States, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 54200280138


I'm agnostic and am not offended at all. The intentions behind holiday greetings are generally very good, so I consider it a nice gesture. I work in retail, though, so I don't use religously based greetings during those times of the year; I worked this Christmas Eve, and just to cover myself, I said, 'Have a nice holiday.'
POSTED 5/6/2002
Sarah C., San Francisco area, CA, United States, 24, Female, Agnostic, Asian, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 562002105336

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Question:

Why is following the Ten Commandments considered so vital to be a good Jew or Christian, while at the same time there are other rules in the Book of Exodus that were given by God that if followed today would be considered offensive and sacreligious to even the most conservative follower of the Christian or Jewish faiths? For example, in the book of Exodus there is a passage in which the Lord gives a law that says that if somebody is caught doing work on the Sabbath day, he should be put to death. The issue I have with many devout followers of the Judeo - Christian way is that they claim one cannot selectively obey some of God's laws and consider himself or herself a 'moral' person. Are not these right-wing religious individuals as guilty of obeying God's rules selectively as are, for example, people who have sex before marriage but who other than that 'more or less' follow the guidelines of the Old and the New Testaments?
POSTED 5/6/2002
Mark, Courtenay, NA, Canada, Male, Mesg ID 51200225850

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Question:

Why do some African Americans feel they are always the victims?
POSTED 5/6/2002
Cookie, Chicago, IL, United States, Mesg ID 51200254753


Responses:
I think people view themselves as victims because they don't want to own up to some of their responsibilities. Black people do it, just like teenagers do it. When something is not going right in your life, for some people it is natural to blame everyone else but themselves. I am African American and choose to view myself as the opposite of a victim, because when you are a victim, you are giving someone else power over you and your life. If more people would take control of their lives (all types of people) I think there would be less of this victimization.

POSTED 5/9/2002

Christine, Houston, TX, United States, 19, Female, Baptist, Black/African American, Straight, Student, 2 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 58200290843


I would hope that we don't consider ourselves victims. I think that when others hear black people address injustices that we face DAILY, they misconstrue this as 'playing the victim.' That comes from not understanding what it is like to be a black person in America today. I will not allow these injustices to hold me back or deter me from reaching my goals, and I hope that others will do the same. Do the same despite how frustrating it may be. I don't pay much attention to those who have no idea what it is like to be black, judging my experience as a black woman. No, we are not being 'victims,' we are simply identifying our DAILY struggles.

POSTED 5/9/2002

Star, Kansas City, MO, United States, 24, Female, Baptist, Black/African American, Straight, RN, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 58200293446


Several groups of humans use victimization as a political tool to gain power. One need only look to white reverse discrimination claims, gay discrimination claims and the Middle East conflict for examples. Groups attempting to gain power have always used victimization arguments to gain the moral high ground in their quest to forward their political agendas. And each group comes armed with various degrees of amunition. For African Americans, that amunition includes slavery, the death of more than 100 million of our ancesters in the slave trade, the rape of our women and the complete stripping of our history, sense of cultural identity, mother tongues and religion. I would submit to you that the African-American victimization argument is still effective because African Americans can never forget our past in this country, nor can we allow others to - or history will continue to repeat itself. And if reminding folks of the past and pointing out modern-day incarnations of past practices makes some folks uncomfortable, so be it, because that is the desired effect.

POSTED 5/9/2002

Kevin, Miami, FL, United States, Male, Black/African American, Mesg ID 582002114507


The reason I feel some African Americans feel they are 'victims' is that they are looking for pity. They want people to give them special treatment because of their ancestors being enslaved some 500 years ago. I feel that any group of people who feel like they are victims doesn't have motivation to advance themselves. They believe everything they were told early on, that they were thieves, heathens, savages, etc. If people continue to believe they were heathens and savages, they will continue to blame society for why they are the way they are. The only people who can change that ideal of thinking is those individuals. That's why when certain people, regardless of color, who apply to work at certain jobs don't get hired, they automatically blame it on their skin color for why they weren't hired. I find using skin color is an excuse for people who don't have faith in themselves.

POSTED 5/9/2002

Mitchell, Queens, NY, United States, Mesg ID 58200251738


Black people have been put down by other races and within their own race. They strive to do better and be better, but it is hard when you are constantly judged because of your color - whether you are walking in a store to get a drink or going on an interview for a job. Blacks have been the victims of countless racial acts and putdowns. This is why we feel we are continually victimized by the media and society.

POSTED 5/9/2002

Kandice G., Rialto, CA, United States, 19, Female, Christian, Black/African American, Straight, student, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 58200271029

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Question:

After Sept. 11, my family members tend to look at Arab people differently and hate even those who have lived here their whole lives. To me, this is the same as hating all gays or blacks or priests. I don't feel you can judge a whole group by a few of its members. I was hoping I could get responses from Americans and Arabs on how they feel about this and what is happening in our world.
POSTED 5/6/2002
Nicole B., Mayville, MI, United States, 19, Female, Mesg ID 52200244001

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Question:

What stops guys at nudist colonies and nude beaches from getting erections all the time?
POSTED 5/6/2002
Rick, Springfield, OH, United States, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 542002123824


Responses:
Most guys are too nervous to get an erection when they first go out to a nudist beach. Also, once we realize that courtesy requires we keep control, it's just a matter of concentrating on remaining calm. And just in case, most people keep a towel with them at all times.

POSTED 5/9/2002

P.J., Baton Rouge, LA, United States, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 57200281021


I thought that way too until I started going to the nude beach. It is not sexual at all, even though I was surrounded by some very attractive women. 'Staring' is very uncool - arousal is not all visual, I think, because I did not get an erection until I was there once with my girlfriend - when I saw her nude that was a different story and I had to go into the water for a while. Give it a try; you'll be surprised at how liberating it is (wear sunscreen everywhere, though).

POSTED 5/9/2002

Jonah S., Vancouver, British Colombia, NA, Canada, Male, Mesg ID 58200291938


Really, really, fat women.

POSTED 5/9/2002

Murray C., Halifax, Nova Scotia, NA, Canada, 33, Male, Mesg ID 582002120710


The reason men do not become sexually aroused at nude beaches, or nudist colonies, is that they are exposed to the nudity on a regular basis. That would be the basic and short answer. However, this is assuming all men are so sexually immature that they would become aroused at the mere sight of a nude woman. Men who do become aroused at the sight of a nude woman are probably under-sexed or over-sexed. In other words, not really mature sexually and not well-balanced enough mentally, physically or emotionally to handle seeing a nude woman. There is a misconception that men are less capable of handling their sexual desires than women. Men want women to believe that, but it is not valid. It gives men an excuse when they've behaved badly. Women of old, and of modern times, buy into this, and validate the excuse.

POSTED 5/9/2002

H., Lake Ozark, MO, United States, 35, Female, Spritual - not 'religious', White/Caucasian, Straight, 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 58200231618

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Question:

What is the difference between a bisexual and a homosexual (who doesn't find women attractive)? And why are some homosexuals or bisexuals cross-dressers, while some are Mr. Universe contestants?
POSTED 5/6/2002
Jack P., New York, NY, United States, Male, Mesg ID 54200260851

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