Best of the Week
of Aug. 9, 1998


Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of Aug. 9, 1998, as selected by Y? These postings, as well as "Best of the Week" entries from previous weeks, also can be found in their respective archives, which we invite you to browse. There, you will find questions that have received answers, as well as questions still awaiting responses. We encourage you 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 our guidelines pages for asking and answering questions.


THE QUESTION:
GE63: To feminists of the '60 and '70s-era: Are you envious that women of today can be for women's rights but still express their sexuality?
POSTED AUG. 13, 1998
Jamie W., 20s, multicultural female, Jacksonville, FL

ANSWER 1:
We could, and did, "express our sexuality." I'm not sure what you mean by that phrase. In my opinion, our personal freeness (politically and socially) expressed far more sexuality than Wonderbras or lipstick. We certainly weren't androgynous, though! Natural, yes. Unfeminine, no.
POSTED AUG. 14, 1998
Mona, 51, Austin , TX

FURTHER NOTICE:
Since sexual liberation and the sexual revolution began and were brought to full bloom during the '60s, I'm really confused by your question. Do you think there used to be a conflict between expressing your sexuality and supporting women's rights? As a feminist for several decades, I believe they go hand in hand, because women's rights most specifically include their right to express, discover, claim and honor their sexuality. Please elaborate further. I'm curious!
POSTED AUG. 14, 1998
Joan, San Francisco, CA

FURTHER NOTICE 2:
I am puzzled by your assumption that we had to sacrifice sexual self-expression to be feminists in the '70s. In those days, I knew plenty of people - myself included - who thought a liberated woman was the sexiest thing going! The world was not as hostile to our cause as you might have imagined. In my experience, any woman who gave up being loving, having relationships and feeling sexy "for the cause" was giving up a whole lot more than she had to.
POSTED AUG. 14, 1998
Anna, 48, NC

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THE QUESTION:
R186: For non-white people who have had bad experiences with whites: To what degree do you assume the experience was motivated by racism rather than other factors? (i.e. rudeness, someone in a bad mood, somebody who is just a jerk in general, etc.)
POSTED APRIL 15, 1998
Colette, white <
inkwolf@earthlink.net>, Seymour, WI

ANSWER 1:
It depends on what happened. On one occasion I was fired from a job for being rude to a client. I tried very hard to remember what I could have done that was offensive. I came up blank. It came out later from a white supervisor at that job that the manager didn't want any blacks working in my position. So I was fired for being black. I think some things can easily be seen as racial, and we as a people are sensitive to race issues because so often it really is race, no matter what a person may say it is. They may be in a bad mood and slip up and say something racist by accident, but the idea was there all along or it wouldn't have come out. Most negative experiences with whites that are racial are obviously racial to a non-white person. Some are so obvious it would be obvious to a white person. Racially motivated incidents have a different feeling, and often the intent to offend based on race is painfully obvious.
POSTED APRIL 23, 1998
Carmela, 29, black <
pecola@hotmail.com>, Atlanta, Ga

FURTHER NOTICE:
I have been called the n-word by some coward riding by on a bike and shot at with a B.B. gun in a park when I was about seven. Once, someone tried to spit on me. It was racism. I might also add that being racist is indicative of someone who is rude, arrogant and yes, of a foul mood.
POSTED JUNE 17, 1998
Erica, 26, black <
morgera@sprintmail.com>, CA

FURTHER NOTICE 2:
I feel your question is relevant to one of the most stressful aspects of being a minority in America. Unless the insult is blatantly racist, you never really know for sure. The result is a state of constant paranoia. Did the salesman snub me because I'm black? Did I lose the promotion because I'm the wrong color? Etc. Consequently, we blacks live in a continual state of paranoid stress when dealing with the majority population. I know some whites are just jerks (like some blacks), but how do I tell? Believing racism no longer exists could get me hurt or even killed. It's a real dilemma ...or perhaps I'm just being paranoid.
POSTED AUG. 13, 1998
Sanford F., 51, black, <
sfinley@earthlink.net>, Naperville, IL
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THE QUESTION:
R415: Why do some East Indians refer to white Americans as "Satan"?
POSTED AUG. 13, 1998
Molson, 19, white <
molson_c@hotmail.com>, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
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THE QUESTION:
SO66: I would like to know if there is more racism in the gay community than in society in general. I live in San Francisco, and whenever I drive through the Castro, it looks like 99.9 percent of the gay men are white. Gays of color tell me they will not go there based on discriminatory treatment received. There is one black bar, and gay Hispanics have their bars in other parts of town. Does "the gay community" really mean for gay and white men only?
POSTED AUG. 12, 1998
M. White, black <
Sfa2z@aol.com>, San Francisco, CA

ANSWER 1:
Here in Dallas it appears to me, a white gay male, that there is more of a separation between Hispanic and white gay males than between black and white gay males. My husband and I don't go out on any kind of regular basis, but when we do we go to a bar that has a 90 percent white crowd, with the other 10 percent being of other nationalities. I'm pretty sure the bar does little to ask for a particular nationality since it's one of many bars owned by the same corporation that makes big bucks on anyone who walks in the front door. I think San Francisco might be different.
POSTED AUG. 13, 1998
Steve, 46, Dallas, TX

FURTHER NOTICE:
I am African American and live in the Castro. I have not experienced racism from my neighbors or from the neighborhood shopkeepers, but I have experienced it from some men in some of the bars. The neighborhood in general is friendly, quiet and relaxing. It's a joy to live here. It's empowering to share a home with my my partner and be able to enjoy the restaurants and cafes and other gay-oriented outlets here. The Castro is about being gay, whatever color you are. Because the Castro is considered "ground zero" for gay people all around the world, hundreds of tourists flock to the Castro every day and night. I believe most of the men in the bars here don't actually live in the neighborhood, or in San Francisco, for that matter. There are bars with a better mix of people (all in other neighborhoods) and there are predominantly gay black male bars in Oakland. I would conclude that most bars in this neighborhood simply don't appeal to black men. Like me, most of my black friends prefer dance clubs rather than bars, and all of the dance clubs are in SoMa.
POSTED AUG. 14, 1998
Tony W., 36 gay black male <
tonyway@yahoo.com>, San Francisco, CA

FURTHER NOTICE 2:
Recent census data show the Castro to be about 80 to 85 percent white, whereas San Francisco as a whole is barely 50 percent white. Gay publications seem to have primarily white models in their cover and article illustrations and in advertisements. Many gay events - the Castro Street Fair, Pride parade, etc. - seem to attract primarily white participants and spectators. As a white person who dates only Asian men, I am especially sensitive to this. In my gay sport activities I have never seen it as an issue - and I seem to see more non-whites in those settings than in social life. But there may also be another factor at work: That some non-white cultures are more homophobic. But racism can be so subtle it is a constant fight to keep it weeded out of one's psyche - if a person even really wants to. Just because a person is gay doesn't mean he or she isn't racist.
POSTED AUG. 14, 1998
Chuck, 35, gay white male, San Francisco, CA

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THE QUESTION:
GE62: How do women honestly feel when they look at a guy they like and he doesn't care the least about them?
POSTED AUG. 9, 1998
Sat <
hwueish@hotmail.com>, San Jose, CA

ANSWER 1:
It depends on how I'm feeling, what the situation is and a thousand other things. My feelings could be anything from warm admiration if it's someone who doesn't have any reason to care about me (say someone I know distantly and admire) to hurt, annoyed or p----d off.
POSTED AUG. 12, 1998
Catherine, 25 <
tylik@eskimo.com>, Woodinville, WA
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THE QUESTION:
R405: Why do black people have high blood pressure problems more than white people? (Director's note: Y? would prefer a person with medical qualifications answer this question.)
POSTED AUG. 9, 1998
J. Lindsey <
lindsey@vnet.net>, Lincolnton, NC

ANSWER 1:
Although I'm not a doctor, I believe I'm more than qualified to expound on your question. As we all know, black people were bruoght to this country, against their will, in the bottom of slave ships. While on this journey, they were given just enough food to sustain life for the incredibly long journey. This food was the worst kind imaginible. Most people wouldn't feed the food the slaves received to pigs. Their digestive system regurgitated most of it, but some of them managed to hold down just enough to survive. Upon thier arrival to America, this tradition of being given food that wasn't suited for animals continued. Although the menu increased a little, the food was very high in fat and had a high salt content. After 300-plus years of that kind of abuse to the body, black people are inundated with all kinds of heath problems.With education and time, hopefully we can begin to reverse the process.
POSTED AUG. 12, 1998
H.K. <
yafeu@aol.com>, Fresno, CA

FURTHER NOTICE:
Answer 1 is inconsistent with the mechanics of evolution. First, 300 years isn't nearly long enough to produce such a widespread change. Second, people can not pass on acquired characteristics, so slaves eating high fat/high salt diets would not cause their descendents to have high blood pressure. In fact, just the opposite would happen - slaves who were better able to survive the bad diets and conditions would be more likely to reproduce, and their descendents would be more likely to be immune to high blood pressure from high fat/high salt diets. Finally, if this theory were true, then African blacks would not have similar rates of high blood pressure. As strange as it sounds, it is more likely that the tendency to high blood pressure confers some unknown benefit that helped African blacks survive and reproduce - like sickle-cell anemia. While inheriting this terrible genetic disease from both parents results in suffering and early death, people who inherit the gene from only one parent are less likely to die if they become infected with malaria. This resulted in such a strong evolutionary advantage for people in malaria-infested parts of Africa that it outweighed the disadvantages. The disease still persists in American blacks 300 years later.
POSTED AUG. 14, 1998
Molly, 47, Costa Mesa, CA

FURTHER NOTICE 2:
Although I am not a doctor, I do believe I can shed some light on this issue as I am an African American who was born and raised in the South and have taken many African-American history courses in college. I think the answer to your question can be summed up in one word: Diet. To expound on H.K.'s answer: The food given to slaves was the food that would have been thrown away (pigs' feets, tails and intestines, for example). The slaves were very creative in their desire to make the food more palatable. Various spices brought to America during the slave trade, as well as newly discovered spices, were combined in an attempt to make this otherwise horrible food more edible. This was the beginning of soul food. Most soul food consists of fried meats (chicken, fish, pork chops and beef), highly seasoned vegetables and rich desserts. Obviously this food is very high in fat and colesterol.
POSTED AUG. 14, 1998
Tony W., 36, African American <
tonyway@yahoo.com>, San Francisco, CA

FURTHER NOTICE 3:
In my opinion, there is nothing medically sound about H.K.'s answer. If the moderator of this forum is going to request a medical practitioner answer this question, why was this answer posted? All I can see in that response is another version of the blaming and finger-pointing that seems to be pervasive in this forum. There may be a genetic reason for the higher incidence in blood pressure, or that observation may be incorrect. Why not let a doctor or nurse answer the question correctly?
POSTED AUG. 14, 1998
John K., 25, straight Irish-American male <
the-macs@geocities.com>, Cranford, NJ

FURTHER NOTICE 4:
You could also add as a contributing factor the fact that it is extraordinarily stressful for an African American to live in white American culture.
POSTED AUG. 14, 1998
Al, 59, white <
alarose@ncwc.edu>, Rocky Mount, NC
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THE QUESTION:
G25: After living in Japan for two years, I've found that "gaijin," or foreigners, are treated differently than Japanese people. We're looked at, talked to and watched differently than Japanese people. I would like to know if people of other races who live in North America feel this same pressure or sense of "difference."
POSTED AUG. 10, 1998
Trevor C., 17, white male <
trevorc@gol.com>, Kobe, Japan
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THE QUESTION:
GE61: How do women feel about the fact that men in general are physically stronger than women? Do you like being weaker, do you wish you were stronger, or is it something you never think about?
POSTED AUG. 9, 1998
Mark N., 40 <
marknew742@aol.colm>, London, UK

ANSWER 1:
The only time I ever think about it is when I can't get the pickle jar open by myself. Then it's handy to have a tough guy around!
POSTED AUG. 10, 1998
Colette <
inkwolf@earthlink.net>, Seymour , WI

FURTHER NOTICE:
Your question implies that you think of physical strength in only one way, i.e. physical force. I wonder if you would consider women less physically strong if you had ever experienced child birth. Statistics also support that women live longer and to date have suffered less health problems such as heart attacks. There are other measures of strength as well that would challenge your assumption. However, I also disagree with your assumption that men are stronger in regard to their physical force than women. It really depends on the individuals in question. I am only 5 feet, and I really never think about myself as being weaker than men. I am weaker than a lot of women, too. With the exception of being physically attacked or climbing Mount Everest, what difference does it make? I have so many other strengths that empower me in life that I don't much care how much weight I can lift.
POSTED AUG. 10, 1998
Linda G., 48, female <
lindguer@scvwd.us.dst.ca>, San Jose, CA

FURTHER NOTICE 2:
I try not to think about the generalization of differences. All men are not stronger than all women. Everyone has their peak condition. Physically, an average woman excels over an average man in many areas, but these areas haven't been noticed, studied or valued until recently. If your question only regards brute force, or muscle expression, that's only one piece of many physical "strengths." I think there are many ways to express the physical strengths that are necessary throughout each person's life. You could say that physical longevity is a strength that women generally have over men.
POSTED AUG. 10, 1998
Sarah, 27, Stillwater, MN

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THE QUESTION:
O13: Is it OK for a college professor to date a student who attends the same school but is not directly associated with the professor's academic curriculum?
POSTED JUNE 24, 1998
J.T., Newark, NJ

ANSWER 1:
I would guess it is not OK, because it would be fairly impossible to determine for sure that a student would never be in that professor's curriculum. Many students change programs often, even when only a semester away from finishing the program they are in.
POSTED JULY 24, 1998
Tara, 24 <
tarakennedy@yahoo.com>, Washington, DC

FURTHER NOTICE:
It seems inappropriate for a college professor to date any student, because the power relationships are not equal. Even if the student is in another field, the professor can encounter colleagues who teach the student and influence them in committees, for promotion, research time, etc. So I say no, and I have been a university professor for 25 years.
POSTED AUG. 10, 1998
Adele M., 61, college professor <
mccollum@saturn.montclair.edu>, Upper Montclair, NJ

FURTHER NOTICE 2:
It's OK as long as the student isn't in the professor's class. The "power relationships" referred to by the previous respondent are seldom equal in any personal pairing, and so are not unique to the student/professor issue. More to the point is the issue of the abuse of "power," which is relevant in any personal situation. The idea that "worldly" professors may take advantage of "impressionable" students ignores the fact that the same issue is totally applicable to relationships outside academia, and is seldom addressed.
POSTED AUG. 14, 1998
Sam D., Knoxville, TN

FURTHER NOTICE 3:
I'd like to second Adele's comment. The tremendous differences in access to influence and power between an undergraduate and a professor would make a relationship between the two a bad idea on any campus. Should the relationship sour, the student risks the unfair advantages the professor has on making or influencing decisions that could have lasting affects on the student's grades and/or career. The professor's risks may be even greater, given the student's potential abuse of grievance systems that have been established for his or her own protection. False charges of abuse of power can be as harmful to a faculty member's reputation and career as its actual abuse can be to a student. In the best of circumstances, the professor still risks losing the respect of a majority of colleagues who identify such relationships as irresponsible. It is better to act prudently and avoid disaster - unless a high degree of risk (and a willingness to deal with dire consequences) is an essential part of romance.
POSTED AUG. 14, 1998
John, 39, professor <
john@hoopes.com>, Lawrence, KS
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THE QUESTION:
RE87: As the son of a Jewish mom, I experienced a lot of guilt growing up. From what I've heard and read, making their sons and daughters feel guilty seems to be characteristic of Jewish moms. If this is so, why is it? I would like to understand this better so I could better understand the way I am today, and some of the choices I've made.
POSTED AUG. 9, 1998
A.K., 40, Jewish male, Sitka , Alaska
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THE QUESTION:
R397: What is the difference between the words Hispanic, Latina/o and Chicano? My lover identifies as Hispanic, more political friends as Latino/a, and now I've heard some people who don't like either word and use Chicano. Can someone tell me the different histories/implications of these words?
POSTED AUG. 5, 1998
N.A., 27, queer Arab American <
nadyalec@erols.com>, Washington, DC

ANSWER 1:
"Hispanic" means a person or his ascendants are from any of the former Spanish (Hispania) colonies in America. "Latino" is the same thing - it means they come from Latin America (by the way, the true Latins are the Italians; we simply took over the name). "Chicano" means strictly a person born in the United States of Mexican parents (which makes him also, of course, Latino and Hispanic). Some say the name comes from the mix of Chicago and Mexicano, because many came from that city. All this has nothing to do with skin color. We can be as black as a Nigerian, as white as a Dutchman or as brown as a a pure Aztec descendant, but we are all Hispanic and Latino. It's a culture, not a color.
POSTED AUG. 9, 1998
Nelson A., 29, Latino (white) <
nelsoneas@hotmail.com>, Caracas, Venezuela
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THE QUESTION:
R406: Is there something about the German culture that may have allowed the Holocaust to happen there, and is this something that is talked about in Germany? What are other explanations? I realize this is not the only country in which something like this happened, so culture cannot be the only explanation.
POSTED AUG. 9, 1998
Marcie B. 28, Jewish female, Boston, MA

ANSWER 1:
In the wake of the Holocaust, many people have tried to find a pattern of anti-Semitism in German history. And certainly, there has long been anti-Semitism in Germany, just as there has been in most of Europe. But there is nothing unique about Germany that explains why the Holocaust should have happened there, and not in another country. At the turn of the century, most observers would have said that France (witness the Dreyfuss affair) was much more a hotbed of anti-Semitism, as was Russia (with its mass pogroms) and Spain (given the long history of the Inquisition). Jews were, on the whole, quite well-integrated in German society, and Jews throughout the world tended to view Germans very sympathetically. In fact, during World War I, the U.S. government censored numerous Jewish publications, because Jews tended to be so pro-German! So, until the rise of Hitler, there was little to suggest Germans had any desire to exterminate the Jews.
POSTED AUG. 10, 1998
Astorian, 37, Catholic <
Astorian@aol.com>, Austin , TX

FURTHER NOTICE:
See what I believe is the definitive book on this question, Daniel Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners - Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust. Through German history, anti-Semitism was well-established - every political party, even the most liberal, assumed there was "a Jewish problem." Jews were parasitic, subhuman, unable to be integrated into the new nation. Most proposed exiling Jews from Germany. Life for Jews was made impossible so that they'd leave, and during World War II, much effort was put into killing Jews in German territory - even at military expense. Goldhagen examines a Police Unit assigned to kill Jews. He finds the men to be ordinary, not brainwashed. Many were cruel - but some were not. They saw their job as necessary, if distasteful. Given the opportunity to opt out of the killing (without recrimination), almost none did. They just didn't think Jews were human. It seems to me that only the Germans could have conducted genocide against the Jews.
POSTED AUG. 10, 1998
Ben S., 30, white <
bscaro@hotmail.com>, Hobart , Tasmania, Australia

FURTHER NOTICE 2:
Genocide has occurred in many places - Rwanda, Uganda, Bosnia, Russia and many other countries. Even Americans killed thousands of Indians and Africans. The methods are different; the malevolence is not. No country should feel safe from such an occurrence. The same sense of superiority that gave rise to racial and religious hatred in WWII Germany has caused and still may cause Nazi-type horror almost anywhere in the world. As some Jews say, "never forget." And we shouldn't, unless we want the Holocaust to happen again.
POSTED AUG. 11, 1998
Diane, 44, black, Durham, NC

FURTHER NOTICE 3:
To Ben S.: To state only the Germans were capable of the Holocaust is flat-out wrong. The Russian Pogroms and Spanish Inquisition are examples I am pulling off the top of my head, so who knows how many others are hidden in history. I feel the Germans have received an overly large stigma due to the Holocaust. I believe no ethnic group can say they have never persecuted a people during their history. What separates the Holocaust from other genocides, both of the Jewish peoples and all others across the globe, is that the instrument of its destruction was a modern industrial war machine. WWII reset all of the records for numbers, size and devastation. War atrocities should not be excempt from that list. Do not think, though, that I am trying to rationalize or play down the brutality of the Holocaust, and I am not denying that 6 million Jews died at the hands of the German army and people. I am just trying to add a few arguments not taken into account by other people, and also I am trying to dispel the misconception that the Germans are Satan's gift to man.
POSTED AUG. 11, 1998
Brian S., Albany, NY

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THE QUESTION:
R340: What is the origin to the stereotype that Hispanics are lazy?
POSTED JUNE 16, 1998
Alex S., 23, Richmond, VA

ANSWER 1:
It's funny, because I have heard the reverse: That white people are lazy. I guess it depends on the person. I am Mexican, and all the Hispanic people I know are very hard-working. All of them have at least one job. I have a neighbor who is white, and in the year he's lived next door, he has changed jobs at least five times, and every time he does, he tries to get workers' comp. So maybe it depends on the person and the financial need they have to keep a job.
POSTED JUNE 24, 1998
Aztlan, 21, Mexican female <
aestra@chmc.org>, Bothell, WA

FURTHER NOTICE:
Perhaps, if it exists, it stems from the siesta, which is more predominant in Hispanic culture vs. others. Even though business hours are extended later into the evening to accommodate this time of rest, the knowledge of these extended hours may not be as well known as the siesta itself by other cultures.
POSTED AUG. 9, 1998
Phil C. , 45, white male, Walnut Creek , CA
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THE QUESTION:
R231: What does the average black person think of Louis Farrahkan?
POSTED MAY 2, 1998
Woody, 40, white male, Long Island, NY
(Director's Note: Y? is posting this question in the spirit it was asked - to gain information from black people about what they think of Louis Farrahkan - and not as a means to begin a lengthy debate between the races on the merits or value of Farrahkan and his teachings. As we have stated in our overview page, the forum has not been designed as a place to debate major political issues.)

ANSWER 1:
I think Minister Farrakhan is a great leader. Although I don't agree with everything he says, I feel he has some great ideas and also teaches self-empowerment and dependency to his Muslim followers, blacks and specifically black men (who have it the hardest in this country). He is often misunderstood and shown negatively by the media, but I think if people listened to him, they would see what he truly is and has to offer, and learn from the truth and knowledge he speaks. That's what this "average" black person thinks.
POSTED MAY 4, 1998
T.S., 26, African-American female <
auset2be@aol.com>, Largo, MD

FURTHER NOTICE:
I think Minister Farrakhan has a blunt and direct way of telling the truth. He tells the truth without regard to the feelings of white America. Sometimes I wonder whether the "traditional" black leaders represent me or white folks. I think the man is a genius, and he has more guts than most "traditional" black leadership. I also believe he is not any more confrontational than Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan. I wish more black men had the courage and the conviction of a Louis Farrakhan.
POSTED MAY 4, 1998
Wanda, 27, black female, Detroit, MI

FURTHER NOTICE 2:
While I do not agree with everything Minister Farrahkan has had to say in the past on different issues, I believe he can speak intelligently to many issues. I also think his knowledge makes most white people nervous.
POSTED MAY 4, 1998
Janet B., 32, Capitol Heights, MD

FURTHER NOTICE 3:
I believe he is a very sincere individual who believes he is doing the right thing in advancing the black culture of America. Unfortunately, I think he is also misleading a lot of individuals through emotional appeal and "feel good" messages that don't lend themselves to intellectual independence. I listen to him, and he is very entertaining (probably learned that from his early days as a singer). But I believe he philosophically presents himself in the same fashion as our federal government: "Trust me, I know what is best for you." A preacher for sure, but I would have questions about calling him a trustworthy leader of the black race in America.
POSTED JUNE 13, 1998
Dave O., 32, daveo1@aol.com, Washington, D.C.

FURTHER NOTICE 4:
Louis Farrakhan does not represent me. He is abrasive and off-putting to me, an African American. As a matter of fact, I am disillusioned with the majority of the media-anointed "black leaders." Our real leaders are the men and women in our many individual communities who work tirelessly to cure what ails us. They do not often get the credit, though one notable exception was the cover story a national magazine did recently about ministers helping with crime problems. These people are in the trenches and have done more collectively than Farrakhan or any of the other media darlings can ever hope to do.
POSTED AUG. 9, 1998
Diane, 44, African American, Durham, NC
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THE QUESTION:
SO60: How do straight men feel about other men flirting with them?
POSTED JULY 18, 1998
David, 35, Houston, TX

ANSWER 1:
I think it depends on intent and familiarity. If a gay man knows I'm straight and is seriously trying to pick me up, I'd have a problem with that. But if it's a friend joking with me, that's different. And if it's someone who doesn't know my sexual orientation, I couldn't fault him unless the flirting continued after I told him I was straight.
POSTED JULY 23, 1998
Andrew, 34, straight <
ziptron@hotmail.com>, Huntington, NY

FURTHER NOTICE:
How they react will depend on their attitude about gay people in general. Several of my friends are homophobic and feel anger and often fear when approached by gay men. Personally, I find it similar to having a girl who I find remarkably unattractive make a pass at me. Take it as a compliment, but no thanks.
POSTED AUG. 4, 1998
Agrivaine, straight male <
agrivaine@yahoo.com>, Dublin, Ireland

FURTHER NOTICE 2:
That's a great question! Out of the five male waiters at my job, I am the only straight one, and I get hit on a lot. At first I was repulsed, but then I realized that 1) Gay men as a rule are outstanding tippers, and 2) It's still a compliment to your looks whether the beholder is male or female. Now, depending on the comment, I'll simply laugh and say, "I'm flattered, but no thanks." Or, I'll say, "In your dreams Romeo," and then pick up my 20 percent tip with a smile.
POSTED AUG. 9, 1998
Icarus, 26, straight male <
Icarus@gate.net>, Miami, FL
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