Best of theWeek
of July 20, 2003

Best of WeekArchivesArchives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchangeseither begun or advanced during the week of July 20, 2003, asselected by Y? These postings, as well as "Best of the Week" entriesfrom previous weeks, also can be found by accessing Y?'s databaseusing the search form , or, in the case ofposted before 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?"


Order it here!  
Read the Associated Press storyon "Wet Dogs" 

 Order the book on Y? today!

 


Question:

From my real-life experiences, and also from browsing through Y? Forum andother sites on the Internet, sometimes it seems that the most racist commentscome from people who should be more understanding: fellow minorities. SometimesI think open-minded whites are much more understanding of a particular race'splight than someone from another minority background, who usually has alsobeen a victim of white racism. Why is this? Why would Asians, Hispanics,Asian Indians, Native Americans, etc. view blacks through stereotypical lenses,when they themselves have also been victimized by white racism? By the sametoken, why do some African Americans lack compassion for other minorities'plights, or are quick to believe the media? I have seen some of this evidentamong perceptions of Arab Americans after 9/11. At least with an open-mindedwhite person, they're more apt to see a need for a change in their thinking.Sometimes I think minorities are less apt to see they need to change theirperception about another race, especially when it comes to African Americans.Why is this issue so ignored by the media and minority communities?
POSTED 7/20/2003
Kristina, Washington, DC, United States, 22, Female, Black/African American,Straight, Student, 2 Years of College, Upper class, Mesg ID 719200350126

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Question:

Is it true that a larger percentage of people with mental disabilitieshave oversized and crooked teeth? I have noticed this a lot and am curious.
POSTED 1/13/1999
D. M. V., N/A, NA, 35, Mesg ID 1139913232


Responses:
I remember hearing that people who have some form of mental illness alsohave crooked teeth. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I heardthat crooked teeth themselves can make one more subject to mental illness.I've spent quite a while searching on the internet for some expert to addressthis issue. The question posed above came close to my question. I grew upwith crooked teeth - quite maloccluded. I have almost always had poor self-esteem.Not being able to smile freely or even talk without being aware of my teethwas - I can't find the right word... I could say that my teeth caused meto be quite inhibited, and it was hard to speak freely, something most donaturally, without accompanying embarrassment. Imagine being constantly awareof how one forms one's words to be most concealing of the teeth? I neversmiled normally. My life has been troubled to a pretty large extent by obsessive-compulsivedisorder (severe), neurosis bordering on psychosis, anxiety and panic attacks,and depression (over 10 years of depression). Since you don't know me, Ican say that I am quite intelligent - far beyond average. I got my teethstraightened six years ago (as an adult) and have lost my inhibition to speakor smile. However, I am still living my life in a state of constant depression.I've tried so many different meds over the past 20 years. Is there anyoneout there who has researched a link between crooked teeth and mental illness?Maybe it's a myth, but I suspect it is not.
POSTED 7/19/2003
Melissa S., La Mirada, CA, United States, <Kurbenguitar@msn.com>, 38,Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, depression, English Teacher,Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 719200375907

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Question:

Has the institution of "Machismo" hindered the speedy development of Chicanas' feminist rights?
POSTED 7/20/2003
J.J., Sacramento, CA, United States, <sgtespi@aol.com>, 33, Male, Catholic,Hispanic/Latino (may be any race), Straight, Law, Over 4 Years of College,Middle class, Mesg ID 319200314215

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Question:

I am a middle-class teacher in a low-to-middle class area and wouldlike to hear your thoughts on why some parents seem to put little value ontheir childrens' education. Don't they want their children to have everyadvantage possible in life, and aren't basic reading and math skills advantagesfor everyone? Or do some people have such issues with the public schoolsthat they 'sabotage' teachers' and schools' efforts just out of spite? Iam not talking about responses to bad teachers and hateful administrators;I am talking about general disdain for anything academic. I sincerely wantto understand, because it kills me to see this happening to kids before theyeven know what they could be capable of.
POSTED 7/20/2003
Marita L., Athens, GA, United States, 27, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian,Straight, Teacher, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 715200313511

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Question:

Is the phrase 'Call a spade a spade' racist? If so, what does it mean? Does anyone know the origin of this phrase?
POSTED 7/20/2003
Thomas, South Orange, NJ, United States, 34, Male, Jewish, White/Caucasian,Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 3182003100727

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Question:

I would like to hear from Jewish people about why there is such hostilitytoward them. I have read about biased people who hate Jews, but I also sensethat political correctness masks so much insight that it makes it difficultfor non-Jews to gain an understanding of Jewish people. Please, if you will,offer explanations, and hopefully we can have a better understanding of eachother.
POSTED 7/20/2003
Reez, Toronto, Ontario, NA, Canada, 32, Male, Asian, chemist, 4 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 319200310104

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Question:

To whites: What is the typical black person to you? What dothey look like and how do they act? How do you view the black race asa whole?

POSTED 7/16/2003

Nydia, Houston, TX, United States, 16, Female, Black/AfricanAmerican, Straight, Less than High School Diploma, Middle class, MesgID 715200382128


Responses:
I'm enlisted in the active army in the 82nd Airborne Division here on Ft.Bragg. I work and deal with many different races every day. I think if Iidentify my own view of the black race as a whole it would be...
In general they are more concerned with style and fashion than some otherraces. They are often proud of their upbringing and heritage. One thing I'venoticed is that sometimes, even my closest black friends seem to have a tingeof distrust toward me. For instance, there's one person I work with and getalong great with. We laugh, joke, we've pulled guard duties together forhours on end, we've drank together, he tells me his problems in his marriage,we are generally good, close friends. I'd trust him to help me in any wayand I'd let him babysit my kids. But I can't help feeling that if I everdone him wrong, stole from him or mistreated him somehow, I'd get some flakabout how I'm just like all the other whites. There's a deep-seated, usuallyforgotten resentment of my race. I don't hold it against anyone. Hell, Iguess blacks have the right to be resentful, after all. I think I have apretty healthy view of all people, though. Blacks are no worse or betterthan whites, Asians, Indian, etc. I know plenty of whites I wouldn't trustwith my spoon. Then again, there are some I'd trust with my life.
POSTED 7/20/2003
Mike S., Ft. Bragg, NC, United States, 29, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight,Paratrooper, 2 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 7172003113820

I feel like there is more energy and vibrancy among blacks than is typicalamong whites, but then again, I wouldn't offer any blanket statement there,just something I feel now and then.
POSTED 7/20/2003
Wendy D., Atlanta, GA, United States, 28, Female, agnostic with spiritualpractices like Reiki, White/Caucasian, Bisexual, Web Developer, 4 Years ofCollege, Middle class, Mesg ID 7172003125756

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Question:

Why do women's versions of sports generally go ignored by the mediaand the population, with the exception of gymnastics, ice skating and tennis,in which women manage to garner a major percentage of the attention?
POSTED 7/20/2003
Andromeda, Washington, DC, United States, 17, Female, Agnostic, Hispanic/Latino(may be any race), Straight, Student, High School Diploma, Middle class,Mesg ID 720200323043

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Question:

Why do Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus was crucified on a wooden pole andnot a cross, if it has been historically proven that Romans used crossesfor their crucifixions and not poles?
POSTED 7/20/2003
Andromeda, Washington, DC, United States, 17, Female, Agnostic, Hispanic/Latino(may be any race), Straight, Student, High School Diploma, Middle class,Mesg ID 720200331019

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Question:

Is it just me, or does it seem like a disproportionate number of people withleg disabilities, like shortened or twisted legs and pronounced limps, areAsian? I've been in the San Francisco Bay Area all my life, where there arelots of Asians, and I never really see whites or blacks with such disabilities- Asians predominate. The handful of such people (like my ex-boss) I've personallyknown have been immigrants, as opposed to second- or later-generation Americans.Is it something about the way such injuries and/or birth defects are handled(or not) in countries like Taiwan and Vietnam (citing two examples from mypersonal experience)?
POSTED 7/20/2003
Kevin, Walnut Creek, CA, United States, 38, Male, Atheist, Straight, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 720200334532

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Question:

Is it true that lesbians don't use protection during sex?

POSTED 7/16/2003

Rachel, Swartz Creek, MI, United States, Female, Mesg ID71520037062

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Question:

Does simply receiving oral sex from another boy for the firsttime mean I've lost my virginity?

POSTED 7/16/2003

Daniel, London, NA, United Kingdom,<quantumterror@hotmail.com>, 16, Male, Agnostic,White/Caucasian, Straight, Mesg ID 715200365324


Responses:
Technically you're still a virgin. But for argument's sake, sex is sex. Ittakes many forms - manual, oral, penetration... Too many kids are engagingin oral sex because they don't consider it sex. There are very real dangersassociated with oral sex. and it's not something to be taken lightly.
POSTED 7/20/2003
Lina, Chicago, IL, United States, 21, Female, White/Caucasian, Straight, 2 Years of College, Mesg ID 717200322510

No, you have not lost your virginity, but you have lost your innocence. I'm sorry.
POSTED 7/20/2003
Sue, Woodland Hills, CA, United States, Female, Mesg ID 717200361319

Virginity is an outdated concept meant to keep religious men in power - andsince you don't appear from your profile to be religious, my hope is youwon't be offended by my opinion. Here's the deal - originally, 'virginity'referred to the intactness of a woman's hymen, the membrane that stretchedacross her vagina and kept many infectious diseases out. The hymen is brokenby penetration. However, because our hygiene has evolved, hymens are unnecessary,and some women are actually born without them now. Others (since women areactually into athletics now) tear their hymen long before they have any sortof sexual contact. Religion altered the definition to refer to sexual purity,but teenagers have further attempted to alter that again to retain its originaldefinition of penetration (hymen breaking). However, with the modern definitionof sexual 'purity,' anybody who has felt anybody else up cannot claim true'virginity.' The altered version is garbage, also, because the hymen is nolonger necessarily an issue. Virginity, therefore, is now simply a brainwashingtool, subject to personal interpretation and generally a tool for makingyou feel guilty about sexual pleasure. Wrapping this up - you've had thefirst of one particular kind of sexual experience. You haven't experiencedothers. You use your own words to define you and you decide whether they'rereally that important.
POSTED 7/20/2003
Jessica, Huntsville, TX, United States, 23, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian,Bisexual, Graduate Student, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID720200311906

Most people don't consider virginity lost until you have had penetrativesexual intercourse, so... you are still a virgin, in my book, anyway.
POSTED 7/20/2003
Bert, London, NA, United Kingdom, 32, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Mesg ID 720200345248

There's no official answer for this. The scene with Holden and Alyssa onthe swingset in the movie "Chasing Amy" describes many people's differentviews. Some people would say you're a virgin until your penis has experiencedfull heterosexual vaginal penetration, while others would say homosexualanal penetration counts (my own opinion, but still just that, an opinion).Because of societal standards, many people consider complete female oralsex to count toward the loss of virginity, but not male oral sex.
POSTED 7/20/2003
Alex, Beloit, WI, United States, 20, Male, Jewish, White/Caucasian, Bisexual,Game Designer, 2 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 720200330920

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