Best of the Week
of Aug. 26, 2001

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of Aug. 26, 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.

First-time users should first make a quick stop at Y?'s guidelines pages for asking and answering questions.

The book on Y? is here!
"Why Do White People Smell Like Wet Dogs
When They Come Out Of The Rain?"

Order it securely via credit card
Delivery in 2-3 days via Priority Mail
Read the Associated Press story on "Wet Dogs"

Order the book on Y? today!

 


Question:

I have a new friend of Asian descent and have found he has very little body hair. Not being very educated on different nationalities, I am wondering why that is.

POSTED 8/27/2001

D.C.S., Indianapolis, IN, United States, 40, Female, Just plain spiritual, White/Caucasian, Straight, Loss and Prevention Specialist, High School Diploma, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 8262001123818

To respond
BACK TO TOP


Question:

What are people's views about when a women is at her sexiest in life? Is a young women in her 20s sexier than a woman in her mid-30s or early 40s? I don't mean just her physical appearance, but also her personality and mind.

POSTED 8/27/2001

Lauren, VC, NA, Australia, Female, Mesg ID 826200133323

To respond
BACK TO TOP


Question:

Something is happening to me and I was wondering if others have had the same experience. I am middle aged and have tried my whole life to not be prejudiced. It has been hard with the background and location from which I come. But as I have now lived in major metropolitan areas in this country (Los Angeles, New York), I am finding that I am becoming more and more prejudiced toward certain minorities. I thought the experience of living around other groups was a way to soften these feelings. If anything, exposure to other ethnic groups has made me develop harsher feelings. What have others found?

POSTED 8/28/2001

Matthew, New York City, NY, United States, 43, Male, White/Caucasian, actor, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 8282001102820


Responses:
I have found that if you dwell on the negative aspect of anything, you are bound to develop a prejudice toward that specific thing. Say, for instance, that I dwelled on the fact that most child molesters and serial killers are white males. I might develop a prejudice against white males. However, because I take each individual as they come and don't judge a whole group of people by the actions of a few, I am able to have an open-minded view of each race as a whole.

POSTED 8/30/2001

Sophia, Chicago, IL, United States, 27, Female, Black/African American, Administrative Assistant, 2 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 8292001110432

To respond
BACK TO TOP


Question:

I hope I'm not being obtuse, but I don't completely understand the question, 'Why do white people smell like wet dogs when they come out of the rain?' Does it mean that white people smell like wet dogs all of the time? Or that white people, when they come out of the rain, smell like wet dogs? I'm not kidding around; this is a genuine question.

POSTED 8/23/2001

Geoff R., Leamington Spa, NA, United Kingdom, 60, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, professor, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 72200132230


Responses:
The idea is that some white people smell like wet dogs when they come in out of the rain. It has to do with body and hair odor. My husband is black, and he swears he's never heard of this idea. The whole idea of Y? Forum is to have a place where you can ask or answer any question, no matter how silly or embarrassing it may seem. This is just one of those questions. Some of us have never heard of this 'wet dog,' idea and others swear by it. If you buy the book, you'll be amazed at some of the ideas people have. This is a one-of-a-kind site!

POSTED 8/27/2001

Beth, Jacksonville, FL, United States, <b041889@hotmail.com>, 34, Female, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Freelance writer, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 825200173454


I think it means that after being in the rain, white people smell like wet dogs. Otherwise, the title would say, 'Why do they still smell like wet dogs?' - questioning why the rain didn't wash off the smell.

POSTED 8/30/2001

Shari, Canton, MI, United States, 30, Female, White/Caucasian, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 8292001113922

To respond
BACK TO TOP


Question:

Why is it that whenever a tragedy befalls a black person, such as a death or a murder of a family member, the victim's family members are immediately on the evening news, sometimes a half hour later, talking about it? I would be so grief-stricken I would not want to talk to anyone.

POSTED 8/20/2001

Ted, Wayne, MI, United States, Male, Mesg ID 819200151357


Responses:
I've often thought, 'How do they do it?' Right after a family member has died, they're speaking to the media or going back to work the next day (i.e. JFK Jr. after his mother's death). I'd be so grief-stricken I wouldn't want to talk to anyone. While there are differences among all cultures regarding death, I've always thought white Americans tend to grieve differently than black Americans. When my high school friend (who was white) committed suicide, his parents shed not one tear and sat there so composed. Not to say his parents weren't grieving or didn't care, but he was their only child. I didn't get it then, but I've come to understand that everyone has their own way of grieving. My step-grandfather passed away nearly a year ago, and I didn't attend the viewing or funeral. I just couldn't bring myself to go to another funeral, but I grieved his passing. It all depends on the family's history, spiritual beliefs and inner strength. But I still don't understand why some families bury the deceased on Tuesday when they died on Sunday.

POSTED 8/23/2001

Lisa, Gaithersburg, MD, United States, Female, Christian, Black/African American, Straight, Mesg ID 8202001114524


This is not a question of skin color but of socioeconomic status (or lack thereof). If you notice, most of the people you see talking on the news immediately after a horrible event live in poorer neighborhoods and are less well-educated (white folks included). Tragedies happen everywhere, but the news media knows better than to try to exploit the misfortunes of the middle and upper classes in this manner.

POSTED 8/23/2001

E.D., Kansas City, MO, United States, 45, Female, Black/African American, Mesg ID 821200181151


I don't think it is just blacks or poor people. I live a few miles from the woman who drowned her five children in her bathtub. The family was white. The very day it happened, the husband, a NASA engineer, was hawking his grief on every single media outlet to the point that he was viewed with suspicion. We were quite relieved when a judge finally put a gag order on him to shut him up.

POSTED 8/29/2001

Steve, Houston, TX, United States, 45, Male, White/Caucasian, Corporate Cubicle Kind of Guy, Over 4 Years of College, Upper class, Mesg ID 827200125910

To respond
BACK TO TOP


Question:

Why are many women attracted to men who act effeminate or stereotypically gay, such as Ricky Martin, David Bowie or Robert Downey Jr.? Please note that it is not relevant (and I couldn't care less) about whether these men are actually gay or not.

POSTED 8/28/2001

Puzzled straight guy, Austin, TX, United States, 28, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Middle class, Mesg ID 8282001114650


Responses:
In general, these types of men are good dancers, take better care in their grooming and personal appearance than 'butch' men, are creative or artistic, have good taste in music, are much more caring, and are interesting to talk to. Not to mention sexy. If a guy can dance, you know he's going to be good in bed.

POSTED 8/30/2001

Stephanie, Toronto, Ontario, NA, Canada, 19, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, student, 2 Years of College, Mesg ID 8302001100741

To respond
BACK TO TOP


Question:

Can a Catholic get a dispensation from the Church to marry a Jew?

POSTED 8/27/2001

Don E., Potomac, MD, United States, 49, Male, Mesg ID 825200192721

To respond
BACK TO TOP


Question:

Is it true that Indian women practice "eating down" (reducing their food intake) during pregnancy? What are the reasons for this, and why do Indian women eat only after the males have finished? Can someone help me with more information so I can understand this?

POSTED 8/27/2001

Bold, Melbourne, NA, Australia, 20, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Nurse, 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 8262001111200

To respond
BACK TO TOP


Question:

What is the reason behind the Muslim custom of washing a person's body three times after death? Can anyone explain the significance of this?

POSTED 8/27/2001

Bold, Melbourne, NA, Australia, <mistresskit@homail.com>, 20, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Nurse, 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 8262001111352

To respond
BACK TO TOP


Question:

I was recently sitting in a crowded subway car. At the next station, a young woman entered the car, stood in front of me and started to talk to another young woman standing next to me in a voice loud enough to be easily heard (and I assume directed at me). She talked about chivalry being dead, how she rarely encounters men giving up their seat for her on a subway car and how women's lib has spoiled everything. This has happened twice in the past two weeks. I'm happy to give my seat up for an elderly man or woman, a disabled person or an obviously pregnant woman. I don't understand why women still expect men to accommodate them simply because of their gender. How do others feel about this?

POSTED 8/23/2001

Roger D., New York, NY, United Kingdom, <rdapiran@erols.com>, 48, Male, White/Caucasian, Gay, Self-employed, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 8212001114344


Responses:
Chivalry is alive and well. It just depends on how boys are brought up. Children of immigrants tend to be more old-fashioned, and they would gladly open doors for girls, allow them to go ahead of them, etc. We women tend to like this, as it shows that we are still being catered to and that women's lib hasn't 'ruined' anything. Maybe we're living in a dream world, but deep inside, many of us would love it if we didn't have to work and could just marry a rich guy and have him take care of us, and live happily ever after.

POSTED 8/24/2001

C.C., Somewhere, NA, Canada, 22, Female, Asian, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 824200171849


Women's attitudes about chivalry and equality can be funny things. On the one hand, women in general want to be treated as equals. We want the same career opportunities as men and to be paid the same for the same job. We also want to be able to make our own choices and be in control of our own lives. On the other hand, many women also don't want to give up the deferential treatment that chivalry requires - the opening of doors, giving up of seats, etc. In my opinion, if we are all going to be equal, why should men still be required to fall all over themselves to be chivalrous? I mean, if a man and woman are walking together, the man shouldn't open the door, go through and let it close in the woman's face, but the woman shouldn't just stand there in front of the closed door and automatically expect the man to open it for her, unless she's carrying a bunch of stuff. People should be polite and courteous to each other.

POSTED 8/27/2001

Lucy, San Jose, CA, United States, 26, Female, Hispanic/Latino, Engineer, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 8262001102510


I think I'm in a small minority on this, but I agree with you. I don't like it when men make polite gestures like holding open car doors or removing coats - as though I'm some sort of delicate flower or incompetent idiot. I don't enjoy any kind of 'politeness' that's gender-based or merely proper social form. When men do stuff like that, I say thank you, but I'm really not comfortable with it. I think it may be an age thing. We're about the same age and were probably influenced by the strong gender egalitarian mores of the '60s and '70s. unfortunately for us, those standards have died, and younger people seem to have moved back to empty forms and rituals.

POSTED 8/27/2001

Amber T., New York, NY, United States, Female, Mesg ID 827200184025

To respond
BACK TO TOP


    Copyright and disclaimer