Best of the Week
of Sept. 8, 2002

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of Sept. 8, 2002, 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 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.

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Question:

What are the pros and cons of being a lawyer?

POSTED 9/10/2002

Ashley J., Kinston, AL, United States, <platinum_princess53@hotmail.com>, 17, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Student, Less than High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 4242002125549

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Question:

I'm an Italian American who grew up in New York City. My whole life I've heard people use the derogatory term 'guinea' when speaking about Italians. What is the origin of this word?

POSTED 9/12/2002

Ariane M., Ft. Myers, FL, United States, <TropicalToots@aol.com>, 31, Female, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Estetician, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 911200265033

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Question:

I'm a gay teenager who lives in a fairly intolerant area of the South, and I've noticed that many people are disgusted at the thought of two gay guys or lesbians displaying affection in public, be it simple hand holding or kissing. Conversely, I see straight people showing affection all the time, usually much more than anyone cares to see. Why the double standard?

POSTED 9/10/2002

Robert, Panama City, FL, United States, <VeggieBoyCharles@excite.com>, 15, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Gay, Student, Less than High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 49200282216


Responses:
Why the disparity between public displays of affection for straights and gays? That's the way it has always been. Most straight people to whom you point out the inequities will argue in their favor (for various reasons), but some may stop and realize they are bombarded with heterosexual imagery everywhere, in advertising, television, movies, in public, etc. That's one of the reasons so many gay people have flocked to metropolitan areas with a gay population and gay bars, where they can feel free to express themselves emotionally and physically without fear of reprisal. As you learn more about gays and lesbians and the struggle for equality, you will come across many other inequities that don't make logical sense. Some straight people are against listing 'sexual orientation' as a protected employment class like race, gender, age, religion or disability, mistakenly thinking it would only protect gays. Just the opposite: it is currently legal to fire someone for being straight, and a 'sexual orientation' protection clause would protect them, too. Marriage and benefits are another sore issue, with straights seeing marriage as a religious right reserved solely for them. What they fail to realize is that there are many benefits that come along with marriage that, because gays and lesbians are not permitted to wed the partner of their choice, gays are discriminatorially denied homosexuals. The federal government has identified more than 1,400 benefits exclusively available to married heterosexuals, including inheritance, medical decisions, naturalizing a foreign born spouse, adoption, etc.

New ground is being broken every day. Some steps are gained and others lost. I am hopeful that in my lifetime there will be no inequities based on who you love.

POSTED 9/12/2002

Doug, Phoenix, AZ, United States, 39, Male, New Age/Metaphysical, White/Caucasian, Gay, Administrator, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 9112002102245


One word: Heterocentrism. 90 to 95 percent of the population is heterosexual. They are used to seeing only heterosexual-based life around them. That is the 'norm.' Anything out of the 'norm' is immediately noticed and categorized as anything from weird to threatening. And then a response is thought of - anything from a hard stare to a hard punch or kick. The majority generally rules, although they always forget about Supreme Court rulings protecting against the 'tyranny of the majority.' Things are better now than they have been, but that is (of course) very dependent on which part of the country you happen to live in.

POSTED 9/12/2002

Mark B., Dallas, TX, United States, <civic-si@swbell.net>, 41, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Gay, financial analyst, 2 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 911200264500


I think the showing of affection from gays and lesbians is bothersome to some but not all. It would particularly bother someone if they don't understand that gays and lesbians are just the same as straight couples. Or maybe they have just never been witness to the showing of an affectionate gay/lesbian couple. It could probably scare someone who has never seen it before. Could you imagine what a person would think if they'd never witnessed a straight couple show affection?

POSTED 9/12/2002

Sara C., Davison, MI, United States, 22, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Student, 2 Years of College, Lower class, Mesg ID 911200283548


I have had this discussion with my father many a time. He feels that by showing affection in public, gays and lesbians are flaunting their sexuality. I counter by saying it is a natural part of any relationship. Unfortunately, many straight people seem to feel that while they don't mind people being gay, they don't want to have to acknowledge it, which seems to me to be just as prejudiced. I live in the middle of London, but even so, very rarely do I see any public displays of affection between gay people, and gay-friendly as I am, it still causes me to do a slight double-take when I do see it, simply because it is so rare. Unfortunately, until more gay people feel able to express affection in public (which is unlikely, due to the volume of prejudice), it will not be regarded as commonplace, which in turn will discourage gay people from doing so. It's a vicious circle. Be aware though, that plenty of straights really aren't bothered by gay PDAs.

POSTED 9/12/2002

Anne, London, NA, United Kingdom, 19, Female, White/Caucasian, Straight, student, Middle class, Mesg ID 912200280140


It is seen as an unnatural thing to see two men or two women being affectionate, whereas it is more natural to see men and women kissing and holding hands.

POSTED 9/12/2002

Cinque, Palo Alto, CA, United States, 31, Male, Baptist, Black/African American, Straight, Customer Service Rep, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 912200295053


Heterosexuals are allowed to show affection but not homosexuals because heterosexuality is the norm and the way the Creator made it. God made men and women for a reason. If homosexuality was condoned, He would have made two Eves or two Adams. Society is still offeneded to see homosexual attraction because of our moral beliefs, and seeing two men or two women holding hands or kissing is backward and isn't meant to be. Consider the difference in the sex organs: God didn't intend two penises or a penis and anus to come together, nor two vaginas. Furthermore, I don't believe people are born gay; you turn gay. Regardless of what people say, homosexuality is a choice. The Creator didn't make anyone gay; why would God wire someone to live in a way He said very clearly was an abomination and a lifestyle He so greatly despises?

POSTED 9/12/2002

Monique M., Ft. Myers, FL, United States, Female, Mesg ID 912200212121

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Question:

My fiance is Puerto Rican, and I've noticed how much importance their culture's music and dancing is to him and his family. Is it just his family, or is it the whole Puerto Rican culture?

POSTED 9/12/2002

Sara C., Davison, MI, United States, 22, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Student, 2 Years of College, Lower class, Mesg ID 911200282130

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Question:

I'm black and my best friend is white. We're alike in many ways, except that she doesn't use a washcloth when she showers or bathes. She says they're useless. I, on the other hand, could never feel clean without one (or at least a scrunchy). Is this a race thing or what?

POSTED 9/9/2002

Corinne, Dallas, TX, United States, 41, Female, Methodist, Black/African American, Straight, Executive Assistant, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 972002102558


Responses:
I am white. I and all my family have always used a wash cloth. Actually, I never heard of anyone not using one.

POSTED 9/12/2002

Tony, Chicago, IL, United States, 55, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, Executive, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 99200240532


I saw a similar question posted here a few weeks ago. I didn't respond then, but I'll respond now. Until very recently, I washed with just my hands and a bar of soap. The main reason was that I could never get the hang of the washcloth. It would always slide around and was difficult to keep hold of, and like your friend, I didn't see much point. A few weeks ago, though, I bought a pair of showering gloves. They are made of a loofah-like plastic weave that's rougher than a wash cloth, and they work great. I wash just like I used to, but now there's something on my hands that makes it more effective.

POSTED 9/12/2002

Karl, Tulsa, OK, United States, 30, Male, Lutheran, White/Caucasian, Straight, Librarian, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 910200295102


As far as I know, this is not a racial issue. I'm white, and not only do I use a washcloth, I have separate ones for my body and face.

POSTED 9/12/2002

C, Austin, TX, United States, 30s, Female, Jewish, White/Caucasian, Straight, lawyer, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 910200233152


I am white and always use a scrunchy - it's easier to distribute the shower gel. I must say, though, that while many things can be attributed to race, many more come down to the individual preference, nothing more than that. You do seem slightly over-keen to look to race as the reason for our differences!

POSTED 9/12/2002

Anne, London, NA, United Kingdom, 19, Female, White/Caucasian, student, Middle class, Mesg ID 912200274352


Using or not using washclothes while bathing is not a race thing. I think it is an individual thing. I am white and use washclothes when bathing.

POSTED 9/12/2002

Lisa M., St. Clairsville, OH, United States, <lisa_millhouse@hotmail.com>, 32, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, College Student, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 9122002110950

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Question:

Americans talk so much these days about how all targeted killing of any civilians for any reason is terrorism. How do you view nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki in light of that?

POSTED 6/26/2002

Karim, Cairo, NA, Egypt, 21, Male, Muslim, Arab, Student, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 626200224616


Responses:
The use of nuclear weapons on Japan was done in the context of a world war (formally declared) in which Japan instigated U.S. involvement through its surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, in which thousands of Americans were killed. Is it terrorism? On one level yes, as it convinced the Japanese to surrender, which they were not willing to do by any other means. However, in the context of declared war, I would not consider it terrorism. The Japan you know today was not the Imperial Japan of pre-World War II. Read up on the colonialist ambitions the Japanese had for the Pacific islands, Philippines, Southeast Asia and China. What I consider terrorism is the following; Israeli soldiers and civilians indiscriminately killing Palestinians, including children; Islamic fundamentalists blowing themselves up in a crowded Jewish areas indiscriminately killing Jews, including children; U.S. weapons sold to Israel or any country to be used for the purpose of killing innocent civilians; oppressive regimes like the Taliban who rule through terror; militants who steal international aid for themselves, creating epidemic starvation and death; and ethnic, tribal and religious conflicts waged through genocide.

POSTED 9/9/2002

Misho, Las Vegas, NV, United States, 36, Female, White/Caucasian, Analyst, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 626200252726


Many Americans now look upon the atomic bombings as one of the most shameful things the United States ever did. Speaking as a historian, most of my profession now admits (and teaches in their classes) that the bombings were unnecessary, vengeful and done for reasons of racism and an unsuccessful attempt to intimidate the Soviet Union. But there are also still many Americans, particularly those who were brainwashed by World War II propaganda, who think the bombings were justified as revenge for Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor was such a direct attack on American and particularly white American notions of invincibility that it infuriated them to a level of hatred never unleashed before on any other ethnic group. (And that is saying quite a lot, given what's happened to blacks, American Indians, etc, in this country.) They simply felt they HAD to have revenge and get their bloodlust sated by these bombings. Some will bring up the old lie that the bombings were done to 'save a million American lives,' but historians debunked that decades ago. Truman simply made the number up, (the real estimate was between 10,000 to 30,000) and all his generals (even Patton) thought both the bombs and an invasion were not needed to finish off Japan.

POSTED 9/9/2002

A.C.C., Phoenix, AZ, United States, Male, Mexican and American Indian, Historian, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 72200214712


You're not paying close enough attention. The U.S. policy not only specifies the targeting of civilians in its definition of terrorism, but also that it is committed by non-state organizations, in non-war situations. Unlike Israel and the Palestinians, Japan and the United States were two states actively at war. (The Palestininans have been unwilling to adopt the modern values necessary for them to have their own state and military, clinging instead to ineffective and backward ways like suicide bombings.) As the U.S. military began to defeat the Japanese in battle after battle, they found that the Japanese would not surrender (except when booby-trapping themselves with grenades like today's suicide bombers), forcing the Americans to kill them. The best estimates that the United States had at the time showed that a full-scale land assault on Japan would cost more lives than using atomic weapons (not nuclear, as you inaccurately state). The decision was not made lightly. Remember, the Japanese could have avoided this fate by 1) not committing an unprovoked, atrocious attack on the United States, and 2) heeding the United States' warnings about the new super weapon. Unfortunately, they did not choose either path. Instead, they kept fighting. Obviously, the United States would have preferred not to have been forced to kill civilians. The consensus was that it was an ugly, nasty, brutal job, but a job that had to be done, nevertheless. That was the thinking at the time, right or wrong. The result was horrible and should never be repeated. But even if Hiroshima and Nagasaki can be defined as terrorism, that would not excuse terrorism. Here's an example: if a murderer makes the statement that murder is immoral and should never be committed, is he wrong? No. In that case the murderer would be absolutely correct.

POSTED 9/9/2002

Rick, Springfield, OH, United States, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 72200214931


I am a history major and have taken particular interest in Japanese military history. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not necessary in order for the Allies to win the war, but they were necessary to minimize casualties on both sides. In Okinawa, when U.S. soldiers hit the ground, massive numbers of Japanese civilians, including women hanging onto little children, heaved themselves over cliffs to avoid surrender. This stems from the Bushido culture, which revolves around the Shinto religion, which advocates ancestor worship - meaning that everything you do in this life affects the afterlife of all of your ancestors. So by committing an act of surrender, you not only doom yourself, you doom all of your ancestors for eternity. The United States dropped the atom bombs in order to prove as swiftly as possible that there was no way at that point that Japan could win. Germany and Italy had long since surrendered, so in effect it was Japan vs. the world. The sooner Japanese civilians recognized this, the more lives could be saved. Because these tragedies occurred to save lives, I don't consider them terrorism. No one yet has given me sufficient argument to prove that the bombing of the World Trade Center was done to preserve life, so that constitutes terrorism (until someone explains to me otherwise, which I remain open to).

POSTED 9/9/2002

Jessica K., Huntsville, TX, United States, 22, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Bisexual, epileptic, student, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 72200230306


In all definitions of terrorism, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki fall well within the criteria. As were similiar raids in Dresden and other areas of Germany during the same war, as well as various bombing campaigns in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, as well as much of the wars the United States has participated in throughout its history. Historically, the United States (as well as virtually every other country in the world) has no moral leg to stand on when battling 'terrorism,' as most countries won their freedom by actions that can be construed as terrorism, and often fought off countries or groups dedicated to ending their security and prosperity with terrorist tactics. However, war isn't a question of morality, it's about survival for your people. Just as Al Qaeda firmly believes it is fighting a totalitarian Western threat to its own interests, Americans believed that fighting facism, communism and now Al Qaeda is basically the right thing to do, knowing that some acts are basically terrorism and civilians will be killed. To quote the cliche so often invoked recently, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Feelings of religious, ethnic or political tribalism often elicit such feelings at opposite ends of the cultural spectrum.

POSTED 9/9/2002

Seamus, Charlestown, MA, United States, 22, Male, White/Caucasian, Construction, Mesg ID 72200235617


I spent two years in the Hiroshima area. I've talked to several people who were there and experienced the horror of it firsthand. I don't mean to condone the actions that were taken there, but it was war. It was an open conflict in which both sides committed unspeakable atrocities. While I don't know whether the United States was right in using the atomic bomb, the mentality of the Japanese people (from my limited experience) was that they would die before surrenduring. There are mixed feelings in Japan, too. There is a strong feeling that even they viewed it as the only feasible end to the war. Had the United States conducted a full invasion of the islands, there would have many times the casualties, both military and civilian, as in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Regarding the targeting of civilians, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were both chosen for the concentration of military installations. Had the United States intentionaly targeted civilians, it would have bombed Osaka or Tokyo, both of which had much higher concentrations of civilian populations.

POSTED 9/9/2002

Norm J., Farmington, NM, United States, <me1yoyo@hotmail.com>, 23, Male, White/Caucasian, Student, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 72200295503


The atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were horrible events in history. However, there was a good reason behind them. By August 1945, Japan had lost the war (the war they started with a treaty-breaking sneak attack). Their resources and manpower were depleted, and their ally Germany had surrendered months before. However, they were unwilling to stop fighting, and U.S. lives were still being lost. It took those atomic bombings, a show of terrible force, to convince Japan to surrender,and bring an end to the war. Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended a war that had brought suffering to many. Acts of terrorism are the opposite: they perpetuate and increase suffering.

POSTED 9/9/2002

D.J., Charlotte, NC, United States, 30, Male, Black/African American, Mesg ID 74200224009


This should be a lesson to those who attack the United States, like at Pearl Harbor or the World Trade Center: we didn't start these wars, but indeed we finished them. The United States is slow to anger, but we can be brutal in waging total war. Do you think Hitler would have hesitated to use the bomb if he had it? Or Tojo? We had it, we used it and saved the lives of millions of Japanese civilians and U.S. soldiers by not having to invade Japan (which we would have done). The losses at Okinawa and Saipan and Iwo Jima fortold fanatical resistance, but we were out for unconditional surrender, and got it. By the way, more people died in the conventional firebombing of Tokyo than perished in the atomic attacks. Bin Laden and the Arabs, like the Japanese, made a fatal mistake by underestimating the resolve of the United States.

POSTED 9/9/2002

Chris, Kokomo, IN, United States, 44, Male, Catholic, White/Caucasian, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 710200215021


It was a war crime, similar to the Japanese massacres in China, but it convinced the Japanese to end the war. But what do old crimes have to do with modern ones? Is it justified to take any historic atrocity as an excuse for a modern crime? If yes, then how long are you allowed to go back to find an appropriate human catastrophy to justify the actual?

POSTED 9/9/2002

Alexander, Berlin, NA, Germany, 35, Male, Mesg ID 715200294357


I'm no American, but this calls for an answer. When the United States nuked Japan, it was an attack on a country officially at war with the United States, in alliance with other countries at war with the United States. There was no declaration of war by the United States against Saudi Arabia (bin Laden's home country), nor against all Muslim countries. Or, more generally still, against the Umma. Many Muslims live in the West, where they enjoy freedom to practice their religion. The supposed 'war' between the West, especially the United States, and the Umma (i.e. the community of Muslim believers) is a figment of Islamist imagination. Furthermore, when the United States bombed Japan, there was an assumption of civilian support to the actions of the Japanese government, especially at Pearl Harbor. Carrying war into the populace to undermine support of militarist regimes was considered a legitimate means of warfare (see Dresden). Thus, from a historical perspective the United States' actions are coherent. From a modern perspective they are ethically wrong. Also, the United States is not a totalitarian society but a democratic one. Much support to the U.S. government has been created by the Sept. 11 attacks. Finally, what is the strategic goal behind the World Trade Center attack? Converting the infidels to Islam? We all know that isn't the case. Besides, the Koran prohibits proselytizing. Wasn't it instead killing as many as possible? In what way would that benefit the Umma? Has it? I don't think so. The Sept. 11 attack has only reinforced the polarization of 'Others vs. Umma,' which is sad. Islam should embrace all aspects of its tradition, a diverse tradition open to life, learning and community. That calls for some self-criticism on behalf of modern Islamic societies, which fall short of their predecessors' achievements. Instead, there is much pointing of fingers at the West. The easier way is to blame others instead of shouldering responsibility. The history of Hiroshima does not 'rehabilitate' the World Trade Center attack.

POSTED 9/9/2002

T., Munich, NA, Germany, 33, Female, Atheist, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 718200295156

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Question:

I have noticed that many Arab and/or Muslim groups are resentful toward Westerners for associating them with terrorism (understandably so, considering the rash of terrorist activities throughout the world at the hands of Muslims/Middle Easterners) or even referring to terrorists as Middle Eastern, etc. But why is their anger not directed at the rabble-rousers committing the terrorism and soiling their image? Their misguided anger would be like Catholic priests blaming the media for their poor image, when it is child-molesting priests who create such an impression.

POSTED 9/9/2002

Jay, New York, NY, United States, Female, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Middle class, Mesg ID 96200262227


Responses:
The pervasive assumption that terrorists are all from the Mideast and/or are Muslim is a fallacy. Terrorism exists everywhere in the world, but as Americans we have been mostly blissfully ignorant of its direct ramifications until it happened on our own soil. Because the radical (but organized) group that attacked on Sept. 11 was comprised of people from the Mid- and Near-East, that is the face of terrorism in our myopic experience. Start looking at your definiton of terrorism and you'll see it's not limited to one group of easily definable people. It's a twisted ideology shared by radicals. Remember the the Khmer Rouge? The slaughter in Bosnia? The Congo? What about the white supremacists in Jasper, Texas? The podiatrist in Florida with his explosives and maps to mosques? When you lump everyone into the same category as being terrorists, you take the chance of not recognizing the real threat when it comes. Remember Timothy McVeigh?

POSTED 9/10/2002

A. Adams, Los Angeles, CA, United States, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 9102002122743


The point is there are 200 million Arabs (15 percent or more of whom are non-Muslim) and more than a billion Muslims. There is only a handful of extreme Muslim groups, and we are angry at them, but we are also angry at you for stigmatizing us and failing to see that there are moderate Muslims. By the way, most Arabs have no problem with Europe, so it's not the West, it's the United States that most people here hate (if you wonder why, look at Palestine and Iraq). If I use your criteria for judging people, then I should condemn all 20 million Jews in the world for Sharon's massacres, or condemn all Hindus for the massacres of Muslims in Eastern India, or hate Christians for their unmatched crimes during the Crusades. Cliches are tacky however much you try to make them make sense.

POSTED 9/12/2002

Karim, Cairo, NA, Egypt, 22, Male, Muslim, Arab, Straight, Engineer, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 99200245014


Whites tend to lash back when associated with racism because they've famously associated themselves with racism. Columbians lash back when associated with narco-traffic because they've associated themselves with narco-traffic. Blacks lash back when they're associated with street crime because they've associated themselves with street crime. Same for Middle-Easterners.

POSTED 9/12/2002

Justin, Chicago, IL, United States, 28, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, 2 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 910200232552


My friend teaches ESL, and many of the people are Muslim. One day, he came to class, and the students wouldn't talk or make eye contact. He said, 'What's going on?' They said: 'Today, I took the bus here. A woman called me a terrible name and told me to go back to my country, but this IS my country.' Another said:'I was spit on by some people. Everywhere I go, they glare. Now, I just stay at home and am afraid to even go to the corner store for milk, because even the man behind the counter glares at me.' One woman said: 'I'm not even from anywhere near Afghanistan. Why does everyone hate us?' Is it the same as Catholic priests being angry at the media for reporting child molesting priests? No. It is like Protestants walking by someone wearing a Crucifix, spitting on them and calling them a child molester and a pervert, and saying that Catholicism is inherently evil.

POSTED 9/12/2002

Craig, Minneapolis, MN, United States, 39, Male, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 912200292630

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Question:

For middle-class to rich people: Do you feel like you've missed out on the genuine experience of life by being sheltered by your money? And do you think poor people are more 'real' than you are?

POSTED 9/9/2002

Amber, n/a, AK, United States, 30, Female, Lower class, Mesg ID 97200235539


Responses:
My family is part of 'middle class' America, and many of my friends and co-workers come from the middle or upper class. This does not shelter us or make us any less 'real.' No matter what the class, we are victims of crime, of terrorism, and in these economically unstable times, we do worry about money. Our loved ones can get killed, our children can do drugs and our lives can fall to pieces, just like yours. I think some people who would be considered 'poor' have a skewered view of the 'real' world when all they see is poverty and dashed dreams. It's not how much money you have in your pockets, it's how much you are willing to work for what you want.

POSTED 9/10/2002

Mary, Philadelphia, PA, United States, 29, Female, Middle class, Mesg ID 910200260430


I have had more different experiences due to my family's wealth than I had without it. I do not see this as a bad thing; some of these different experiences include being able to travel and knowing I could afford college (which I am paying for independently).

POSTED 9/12/2002

Alex, Beloit, WI, United States, 19, Male, Jewish, White/Caucasian, Student, High School Diploma, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 911200273157

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Question:

I've always showered at night, and so has my family. I was taught that it's better to shower at night because you don't bring the grime of the day to bed with you. Recently I've realized how many of my white friends shower in the morning. A friend told me Westerners in general shower in the morning; Easterners at night. Is this a racial thing? Cultural thing? Familial preference?

POSTED 9/5/2002

Sarah C., San Francisco area, CA, United States, 24, Female, Agnostic, Asian, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 942002123458


Responses:
Unless I have a special reason for showering in the morning or afternoon (for example, I get back from an early-morning aerobics class or have been working in the garden all morning and quit at 1:30 p.m.), I shower at night. It is more convenient for me, and I don't have to get up so early in the morning to take a shower, wash my hair, dry it, etc.

POSTED 9/9/2002

Tracy, Edmond, OK, United States, Female, White/Caucasian, Mesg ID 952002122934


I feel better if I shower before I go to bed. It relaxes me, and I sleep better, I think. But sometimes I do shower in the morning.

POSTED 9/9/2002

Senetra, Anderson, IN, United States, 28, Female, Baptist, Black/African American, 2 Years of College, Mesg ID 95200231852


I shower during the morning for two reasons: the first is that it's a pleasant way to start the daya that really wakes me up and makes combing my hair easier. The second, and main reason, is that I sweat a great deal at night and due to my dreams often wake in a cold sweat.

POSTED 9/9/2002

Alex, Beloit, WI, United States, 19, Male, Jewish, White/Caucasian, Student, High School Diploma, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 952002104848


Sarah, don't laugh, but for most of my adult life I've been taking two showers a day just to reconcile the two halves of myself! I'm half Asian and half Caucasian and was raised in two countries, one in the East and one in the West. It seems that many Westerners regard the morning shower as a kind of wake-up call and a psychological message that a new day has started. And then again, many Asians (at least those of my family) regard it as a necessary and vital thing to be able to wash the grime and dirt of the daily grind away in the evening. I would love to know the real reasons behind this behavior. Until then, I guess I'll just continue with my two long showers a day.

POSTED 9/9/2002

Eurasian, Osaka, NA, Japan, Mesg ID 96200244530


I've always showered in the morning, and so has my family. I have to shower in the morning because: 1) There's nothing else that wakes me up like a hot shower, and 2) I have curly hair and can't brush it dry, so it needs to be washed in the morning.

Perhaps, since Asians generally have straight hair, it's easier for them to shower at night, as they can just brush it in the morning.

POSTED 9/9/2002

Danielle, Southern, NJ, United States, 27, Female, White/Caucasian, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 96200282915


I think it's a matter of preference. When I was a child, I always took baths at night, but as I got older, I discovered I preferred having just-washed hair when I went to school. I've stuck to the morning showers, for the most part, unless I'm really filthy, sweaty or whatever. However, my sister is strictly a nightly bath or shower person. Because I wash my hair every day, I would rather wash it in the morning.

POSTED 9/9/2002

Annie, Lawrenceville, GA, United States, 51, Female, Lutheran, White/Caucasian, Straight, copy editor, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 96200292706


I shower in the morning and at night before going to bed as well. Sometimes in the summer I shower in the middle of the day, too. I guess it's personal preference but I love water.

POSTED 9/9/2002

Rick, Oakland, CA, United States, 40, Male, Management, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 982002105651


I have showered in the morning ever since junior high school. This way I'm 100 percent clean when I go to school, and now a decade or so later, to work. If you shower at night and then go straight to work the next morning, you have the 'night sweats' and grime you accumulate over that eight hours. Also, I like to comb my hair for the day while it is wet and clean. The only real argument I can see for night showering is that you can move to work a lot faster in the morning. Also, it probably keeps your bed cleaner. But in the end, count me a morning shower guy.

POSTED 9/9/2002

Brian, Kokomo, IN, United States, 27, Male, Straight, management, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 98200285129

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