Best of the Week
of Aug. 12, 2001

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of Aug. 12, 2001, 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 answers posted before April 24, 1999, in the Original Archives (all questions from the Original Archives have been entered into the new database as well). In the Original Archives and the new 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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Question:

I'm a 17-year-old girl who has never had a boyfriend and has never even kissed a guy, whereas many girls my age have had numerous boyfriends (and you can bet they do a lot more then kissing). I don't think I'm ugly, because when I'm out guys will come up to me all the time and tell me I'm beautiful. But that's where it stops. Strangers compliment me all the time, but nobody has ever tried to get to know me and ask me out. People tell me I have a model's figure, too. Somebody once told me that perhaps it's because guys view me as unapproachable. For the guys out there (or girls if you think you could provide an answer): what makes a girl unapproachable?

POSTED 8/13/2001

Madeline, New York, NY, United States, 17, Female, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Bisexual, theater, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 812200190556

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Question:

Why don't most lesbians wear make-up?

POSTED 8/10/2001

Miisa, Helsinki, NA, Finland, <>, 22, Female, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Bisexual, Mesg ID 8102001101644

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Question:

I've heard so many high school-age kids complain about being harassed and brutalized by jocks. I saw it a bit at my old high school, though gang members and racist peckerwood types were more of a problem than football players. I myself never had too much trouble with them because I've always been a big, scary dude. However, I was wondering if anyone could share their experiences with jocks. And does the word 'jock' exclusively refer to those who play high school athletics, or is it more of a mentality or a clique?

POSTED 5/3/2001

Dan, Los Angeles area, CA, United States, 22, Male, Pentecostal, Hispanic/Latino, student, 2 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 53200184829


Responses:
I was a 'jock' at high school (in that I played sports/athletics and mainly hung around with guys who did the same). There was definitely a clique mentality, and I guess we had little to do with other groups. However, there was very little bullying - most violence tended to be directed at other jocks in a 'friendly' way. To counter another stereotype, the guys I hung out with were a diverse group (rich and poor, smart and dumb, etc). Not all were great at sports, though we all played. To a large extent it seemed to be a teen mentality that we grew out of when we realized there were more important things in the world than high school sport. Some of my best friends remain the guys I played rugby, basketball or volleyball with at school, but the clique has definitely faded. The situation may be different in the United States; I don't know. I just thought you might be interested in the views of a kiwi jock.

POSTED 8/13/2001

Dave, Upper Hutt, NA, New Zealand, 31, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Government adviser, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 8122001125053

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Question:

Why does it seem that most men prefer long-haired women to short-haired women?

POSTED 8/7/2001

Ulla, Helsinki, NA, Finland, 17, Female, Lutheran, White/Caucasian, Straight, Student, 2 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 86200142059


Responses:
Long hair (on the head) is considered a secondary sex characteristic. It makes a woman seem more feminine. I don't think most men have a strong preference, however.

POSTED 8/10/2001

Rick, Springfield, OH, United States, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 810200160703


Women with long hair tend to signify greater femininity, while short-haired women tend to signify masculinity. Most women with short hair tend to be aggressive, in leadership, unsympathetic, etc. Women with longer hair tend to be gentler, helpers, good listeners. At least, most of my experience points in this direction.

POSTED 8/10/2001

Ronald V., Edmonton, Alberta, NA, Canada, Male, Mesg ID 8102001114910


I'm guessing because women with short hair might threaten the egos of men with more Neanderthal world views? I go for long hair myself, but I also have very long hair, and for whatever reason I've always been more attracted to straight-haired women than curly. Couldn't explain it, though.

POSTED 8/10/2001

Carter, Chicago, IL, United States, 29, Male, Mesg ID 8102001115001

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Question:

Why do people stereotype Asian women as sexually active, exotic, overly feminine and eager to please?

POSTED 8/7/2001

Sue, Dallas, TX, United States, <lily_sus@yahoo.com>, Female, Mesg ID 86200151327


Responses:
I suspect it's because they know very little about Asian women, and what they see and hear through the popular media (and probably wish were true) is that Asian women are submissive to men and sexually overactive. The image of the Thai bar girl is often erroneously applied to all Asian women. Having said that, a common stereotype in my country is that Asian women are quiet, shy, demure and cliquey. There are quite large numbers of Chinese and Indians living here, though many have been here for generations. There are also a lot of Japanese and Korean students and tourists. In New Zealand, I think the stereotype I described would apply more often, mainly to Asian women new to the country. I've known a few Asian women and none fitted the stereotype you describe. I know, however, that a lot of men think this way and wish it were true!

POSTED 8/13/2001

Dave, Upper Hutt, NA, New Zealand, 31, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Government adviser, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 812200110207


The exotic part would apply if the man (or woman) wasn't Asian or living in a area with a large Asian population. If the person perpetuating the stereotype was living in Japan, I very much doubt they would find Japanese women exotic. The stereotype is composed of many ideas: One part is the historically submissive role Asian women have been forced into by societies. Some would see that as feminine and eager to please. Because women did not wield power, they were expected to learn arts such as flower arranging, which most societies would categorize as feminine. The sexually active part would relate to American men's sexual experiences overseas after World War II. Also, the style with which many Asian prostitutes would appeal to men over the past few centuries. I'm still not sure what exactly you mean by 'sexually active.' Aren't women of all races sexually active? I once heard a joke that Asians are very sexually active or else they wouldn't have so many people. This joke is factually false, however.

POSTED 8/13/2001

Ethan, Berkeley, CA, United States, 20, Male, Middle class, Mesg ID 8122001100339

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