Best of the Week
of May 9, 2004

Best of Week ArchivesArchives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of May 9, 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:

Why do so many people refer to non-sexually related items or actions as 'gay'? The word 'gay' has developed nearly the same importance as the words 'stupid' or 'inane.' Why is it used instead of these supposed synonyms?
POSTED 5/2/2004
Will M., Pine Grove, CA, United States, 17, Male, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Straight, student, High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 4282004104521


Responses:

Ugh, tell me about it. I was chatting with my 14-year-old cousin a couple of weeks back, and when I asked him what he was doing for Earth Day, he replied, 'Earth Day? Ew ... that is so gay.' I challenged his manner of applying a sexual term to something as inanimate as a holiday. He said flatly: 'Because it is a gay holiday. I don't like it.' I told him he could say he didn't like it, but not that it was gay, because that term can only be applied to a person. He replied: 'I DON'T LIKE IT! ... and it is gay.' Talk about an age gap.
POSTED 5/10/2004
Kelly, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 20, Female, Atheist, Hispanic/Latino (may be any race), Straight, Sales Rep/Student, 2 Years of College, Lower class, Mesg ID 54200454957

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Question:

In Exodus 20 it states, 'Thou shalt not kill.' I would assume Christians would say this means that life should be cherished and people should not be harmed. But what else should Christians believe this phrase means?
POSTED 5/10/2004
Natasha, Cheshire, IL, United Kingdom, 15, Female, Christian, Straight, student, Technical School, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 59200470649


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Question:

Do white people's pubic hairs have the same color as their other hair?
POSTED 5/2/2004
Regal, Beijing, NA, China, Mesg ID 429200435941


Responses:

I heard that Asians don't have hair anywhere but on their heads. I thought most people with dark hair have dark pubic hair. Doesn't everyone have the same color hair everywhere on their bodies?
POSTED 5/5/2004
Jorma, Reston, VA, United States, Mesg ID 53200445440



What a funny subject. As far as I know the answer is yes - although blondes' head hair is lighter because of the sun. I have a friend who dated a redhead and said her hair was red all over.
POSTED 5/5/2004
Jay, New York, NY, United States, Mesg ID 54200413320

If they are white brunettes, no. If they are white and naturally blonde, yes.
POSTED 5/5/2004
Kelly, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 20, Female, Atheist, Hispanic/Latino (may be any race), Straight, Sales Rep/ Student, 2 Years of College, Lower class, Mesg ID 54200452132

Usually they are similar in color; I have light brown hair, a slightly reddish beard and almost blond pubic hair. I wish it was up the other way!
POSTED 5/10/2004
Kent, Sydney, NA, Australia, 40, Male, Episcopalian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 57200435802

In my experiences with women, usually the pubes are somewhat darker than the hair on the head when dealing with fairheaded people. For myself, that's how it is. While the hair on my head is dirty blond and my beard is fire red, my pubes are boringly brunette.
POSTED 5/10/2004
Seamus, Charlestown, MA, United States, 23, Male, Construction, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 572004103859

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Question:


As I was growing up I noticed that a lot of my white friends couldn't get their ears pierced until they were around 16. I have noticed that black and Hispanic people usually get their babies' ears pierced before they are even a year old. What is wrong with ear piercing in the white community?
POSTED 5/10/2004
Hana, Vienna, VA, United States, Female, Mesg ID 54200410910

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Question:


I heard that sometime in the 15th or 16th century, a naval battle between Great Britain and Spain resulted in the Spanish Armada being decimated, with surviving Spanish sailors taking refuge in Ireland. After some years of mixing between Spanish men and Irish women, there resulted an ethnic group known as 'Black Irish': Irish people with Mediterranean features. Is this true, or just an urban legend
POSTED 5/10/2004
C., Pontiac, MI, United States, 35, Male, Black/African American, Over 4 Years of College, Upper class, Mesg ID 54200451712

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Question:


I'm only 16 but tend to not let my real self out. Not a single person I know actually knows what I'm really like. I also don't tell anyone when I'm injured, which is bad because I've broken five bones but my friends only know about three of them. Why can't I just tell people what I want to?
POSTED 5/10/2004
Sam R., Melbourne, NA, Australia, <Wildanimalz@hotmail.com>, 16, Female, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Student, High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 572004111920

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Question:
 

It seems whenever a white person is rejected for a job, they will cry and complain of 'Affirmative Action,' even when no proof exists that this is so. If whites want blacks to stop 'playing the race card,' shouldn't they learn to stop playing the 'Affirmative Action' card? Can they not accept that a black person may have been chosen over them fair and square?
POSTED 5/10/2004
Amber, Greenville, NC, United States, 23, Female, Black/African American, student, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 572004125906

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Question:


Why is it that I always see so many black guys who pimp up an old 'granny car'? I mean big, old, worn-out cars with spinner rims, etc. Is that just in Oklahoma, or does anyone else know what I'm talking about?
POSTED 5/10/2004
K., Tulsa, OK, United States, 20, Female, White/Caucasian, Straight, student, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 57200495248

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Question:

Do atheists always dislike seeing or hearing references to God, or only in certain situations, such as during the Pledge of Allegiance? Does the word 'God' on money anger atheists? If so, why?
POSTED 5/2/2004
Sam B., Sacramento, CA, United States, Female, Christian, Mesg ID 422200482837


Responses:

Coincidentally, I happened across a bulletin board this week where the core of the discussion was about removing the word GOD from paper bills and writing Us or Me above it. The dialogue went on to talk about the hundreds and thousands of bills they could effectively change as a group and referred to them as “Corrected Bills”. One or two seemed angry, but mostly the dialogue was reinforcing separation of Church and State, and that they are just doing what they feel the government ought to be doing. They went on to talk about efforts being made in Belgium and Finland to do the same to the Euro. But this is just one site, and they seemed quite serious about their money having GOD on it, or as they will only type: “IGWT”.
POSTED 5/5/2004
Dave, Long Island, NY, United States, 36, Male, White/Caucasian, Pre Outsourced Techie, Technical School, Middle class, Mesg ID 55200424136



I am not an atheist, but I can understand how they feel. I was raised Catholic, but am no longer 'Christian' in the way Christians define themselves. I mind all the references to God - in the pledge, on the money, in opening prayers at sporting events, graduations, etc. It is not right that the majority disrespects the minority - no matter who the minority is. I have a lot of respect for Jesus, Buddah, Gandhi, Mother Teresa and other people who have taught us to live selflessly. However, I don't think the Christian majority will like it when they become the minority and we start our prayers to Allah, or Yahweh, or some other name for the same diety. Jesus Christ did not condone what Christians are doing. 'Render unto Ceaser that which is Ceasar's, render unto God that which is God's. Even Jesus knew that some things are earthly and some are spiritual. He knew they were separate. He never condemned anyone but the Pharasees. Christians need to be mindful not to condemn others. And they need to, like Jesus, respect a separation of church and state.
POSTED 5/10/2004
Colleen, Brunswick, ME, United States, 43, Female, Teacher's Aide, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 532004111126

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Question:

A lot of Americans own firearms for personal protection (by this I mean against criminals, not wild animals). I don't own one, but I've tried using pistols at a firing range and can imagine the sense of power and security one must feel by having one. But I'm curious: do they really provide that power and security in an actual dangerous scenario, or do they make it even worse? I would love to hear from someone who has used or brandished a firearm against someone, and what effect it had.
POSTED 5/2/2004
Tor, Naestved, NA, Denmark, 25, Male, White/Caucasian, Gay, anxiety attacks, unemployed, 2 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 4272004112027


Responses:

I have never had to use a firearm or weapon to defend myself, so I know I am not the person you are looking for, but I do have som knowledge. If the attacker is aware you have a gun, he or she will be more likely to shoot first - or not come at all. There are, however, many cases of a person pulling a gun on an intruder and having that gun turned on them. There are also just as many cases, maybe more, of that not happening. If you are thinking about getting a gun for personal defense, make sure to enroll in a gun safety class and some sort of weapon familiarization course. You local police department should hold safety courses. Your local gun shop should have information on weapons training courses
POSTED 5/10/2004
Chris, Athens, GA, United States, 21, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Student, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 54200462939

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Question:

I am Chinese and have noticed that, in most cases, whites' faces are more beautiful than ours. But this is only my feeling; I want to know whether others, such as blacks, whites or Indians, have the same feeling. Also, do you think Chinese and Japanese faces are too plain or ugly?
POSTED 5/2/2004
Gu Li, Changchun, NA, China, <ligu95@126.com>, Asian, Mesg ID 4272004114257


Responses:

It's so funny you should say that because I am white and think that overall Chinese (and Asian in general) women are the most beautiful women of all races. I don't think Chinese or Japanese women have plain faces at all - have you ever seen Chinese-American actress Lucy Lui? She's stunning! You will find that black women will not feel the same as you; they do not like white women at all.
POSTED 5/5/2004
Jay, New York, NY, United States, Mesg ID 54200412641



What a coincidence. Just yesterday I was marveling at how naturally beautiful most Chinese and Japanese girls are. I have noticed that in general, these women wear very little if any makeup, and just exhibit what nature endowed them. Americans, especially Caucasian and African-American women, sometimes look like clowns with all that makeup we pile on. I used to wear a lot of makeup, but I am refraining from doing so because I have realized I fancy the natural look much more.
POSTED 5/5/2004
Kelly, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 20, Female, Atheist, Hispanic/Latino (may be any race), Straight, Sales Rep/ Student, 2 Years of College, Lower class, Mesg ID 54200454134

I was stunned by your question. I had always considered Asian faces much more attractive, in general, than whites' faces. It seems to me like a pure matter of personal opinion.
POSTED 5/5/2004
D. Slobodyanik, Woodbine, MD, United States, 16, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Student, Less than High School Diploma, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 54200472509

What a sad posting. It is horrible that you feel this way. I am white and find some Chinese and Japanese faces very beautiful, just as I find some white faces very beautiful. I think maybe this is a good example of how the Western world has brainwashed the rest of the world through pop culture - I read that many Asians are even having eyelid surgery to make their eyes more 'Caucasian'.
POSTED 5/5/2004
Patty, Antalya, NA, Turkey, 31, Female, White/Caucasian, Mesg ID 55200450039

It's unhealthy to consider your own or an entire race's face ugly. There are beautiful Asian men and women here and everywhere, and it's the same for people who don't fall into what's considered 'beautiful'. Some Thai and Korean people I know mention that they wish they had a 'stronger' bridge to their noses, that their' is flat. White people wish, sometimes (OK, me!) that they had 'stronger' cheekbones, or that they didn't have to shave every morning. I can only hope you are still young and will learn in time that, despite what Hollywood shows in the movies, every person and race is beautiful - or, sometimes, not so pretty.
POSTED 5/10/2004
Jason, San Francisco, CA, United States, 35, Male, White/Caucasian, Gay, Case Manager, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 522004111345

I don't know what to say in response to this, except to suggest that you seek a therapist. Your self-esteem level is at minus zero. But as another person mentioned, it is partly due to the brainwashing in this country, that white is the only standard by which to measure beauty. Having said that, there is an abundance of ugly in every ethnic group. No group is immune to the 'ugly' factor. I've seen some gorgeous people - white, Asian, black - and an equal number of people who should be required by law to wear bags over their heads.
POSTED 5/10/2004
Rhonda P. Outlaw, Laurelton, NY, United States, 42, Female, Lutheran, Black/African American, Straight, Account Rep, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 562004104028

Your statement sounds as if you are buying into the 'European' view of beauty rather than seeing beauty for what it is: different and special for every person and group. All racial/ethnic groups have people who are breathtakingly beautiful, as well as those who are definitely 'trolls.' Depending on an individual's point of view, the same person you view as beautiful can be viewed as ugly by others, and vice versa. The unfortunate aspect of the European point of view is that it is incredibly narrow and limited - if one doesn't have blond hair, blue eyes, etc., then that person is not beautiful - which is bunk. Personally, I think black people are the most beautiful people on earth (being black myself, you can say I'm a little biased), but I have also seen amazingly beautiful people of all races and ethnicities, as well as trolls of all types. Actually, I find that white faces often are 'lacking' - often because the whites I encounter follow beauty trends slavishly, with the dedication and intensity of a lemming, rather than do what better suits them as an individual. As far as your last statement, I find that the characteristics unique to Asian people are what make your faces beautiful - from the Chinese and Japanese people I've encountered, who wouldn't find beauty in round faces, amazing skin, dark eyes, the contrast between the smooth, pale skin and dark hair, etc.? Don't get me wrong - I'm totally straight - but Joan Chen has to be one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen, as merely one example out of many. You didn't mention your age - if you are young, hopefully with time you will come to appreciate your unique beauty; if you are older, wake up before it's too late.
POSTED 5/10/2004
Gail, Chicago, IL, United States, 42, Female, Catholic, Black/African American, Straight, IT Management, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 56200422806

Why people of any ethnicity would think whites are universally more attractive is confounding. In the past, before the civil rights/black pride era, many blacks in the United States felt aesthetically inferior to whites. Thank goodness those days are behind us. Since more blacks like what they see when they look in the mirror, other ethnicities now see blacks as more beautiful. Maybe it's time for an East Asian pride cultural revolution.
POSTED 5/10/2004
G-Man, San Francisco Bay area, CA, United States, 48, Male, Black/African American, Bisexual, 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 56200444007

It might be the effect of marketing that often uses Caucasian models, but I wonder if your perception might have something to do with 'exoticness'. If you live in an area with very few Caucasians, you might find their looks more striking as a result.
POSTED 5/10/2004
L., Montreal, Quebec, NA, Canada, 24, Male, Unitarian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Graduate Student, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 58200490918

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