best
Best of theWeek
of Nov. 17, 2002
 

Best of WeekArchives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchangeseither begun or advanced during the week of Nov. 17, 2002, 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 caseof answers posted before April 24, 1999, inthe Original Archives (allquestions from the Original Archives have been entered intothe database as well). In the Original Archives, as well as in thedatabase, you will find questions that have received answers, as wellas questions still awaiting responses. You are encouraged to answerany questions relevant to your demographic background, as well as toask any provocative question you desire. Answers posted are notnecessarily meant to represent the views of an entire demographicgroup, but canprovide a window into the insights of an individualfrom that group. 
 First-time users should first make a quick stopatY?'s guidelines pages for asking ananswering questions.

 The book on Y? ishere!

"Why Do White People SmellLike Wet Dogs
When They Come Out Of The Rain?"


Order it here!

 


Question:

Why is it that when I'm driving down the freeway I always seewhite people with their feet on the dashboard? It doesn't matter whatstate, what city - you always see it. Why?
POSTED 11/17/2002
Tracey, Tallahassee, FL, United States, Female, Mesg ID1115200212603

Torespond
BACK TOTOP


Question:

Why do the parents of obese children refuse to help the kidsaddress the emotional and social issues that contribute to theirobesity? Every time I see a heavy child, I see a spoiled rottenbehavior to go with it. The parents blame the schools, the doctors,the resturants, the other kids, you name it. Why do parents refuse tohelp kids take responsibility for their own health by establishingrules for healthy eating (and sticking to them)?
POSTED 11/17/2002
Alma, Kempner, TX, United States, 49, Female, Methodist,White/Caucasian, Lesbian, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID1113200210001

Torespond
BACK TOTOP


Question:

In other countries, is it OK not to accept gifts? Or is itconsidered rude if they are not accepted?
POSTED 12/3/2001
Kelly, Chicago, IL, United States, 20, Female, White/Caucasian,student, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1212001103604


Responses:

I think it's always a little rude, but not terrible. It depends onwho gives you the gift.
POSTED 11/17/2002
Carol, São Paulo, NA, Brazil, 22, Female, White/Caucasian, 2Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 410200235740


In certain cultures or countries, people don't usually acceptgifts. Being Asian, I know that is the culture for people in Taiwan.Usually, if you are the recipient, you are supposed to refuse thegift three times. If the giver continues to insist on giving it toyou, you may accept. The number of times you refuse is up to you, butusually three would be best: if you refuse too few times, you lookgreedy; if you refuse too many times, you look like you are refusingtheir good intentions.
POSTED 11/17/2002
Marian, Westchester, NY, United States, 20, Female, Asian, Straight,student, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 11172002100550


The short answer is that in some cultures people will be offendedif you refuse a gift. A friend of mine in college who was Venezuelanwith a Syrian father would always take a stick of gum whenever onewas offered, thank the giver and promptly put the gum in his pocket.He didn't actually like gum. He was shocked when I said, 'No, thanks'to an offer of gum. He insisted that I always accept giftsgraciously, and I always have. Exception: if the gift is extravagant,you should politely refuse, unless the giver insists too much, inwhich case it would be rude to refuse that new car.
POSTED 11/17/2002
David, Washington, DC, United States, 30, Male, Atheist,White/Caucasian, 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 325200263400

Torespond
BACK TOTOP


Question:

Why do Americans feel it's their duty to 'right whatever iswrong' in the world? I know they claim it's for world peace andprotection, but I think in achieving this so-called world peace theyare actually engaging in war after war and creating problems out ofnothing. I'd like to hear opinions from Americans and those of othercountries.
POSTED 11/17/2002
Noha, Cairo, NA, Egypt, <veela_yo@yahoo.com>, Female, Mesg ID1117200215313

Torespond
BACK TOTOP


Question:

Living in New York all my life, I've dated all races of women.Why is it that some black women, especially dark ones, smell so badduring sex? I am not saying this to be racist, but in my experience,it's true. In one instance, the black woman I was with smelled sohorribly that I had to stop sex and make up an excuse so I wouldn'thurt her feelings. Is there any scientific or biological proof tothis? And please be honest. No politically correct answers. I'm justseeking the truth.
POSTED 11/17/2002
Chris, NewYork, NY, United States, 30, Male, Atheist, Hispanic/Latino(may be any race), Straight, personal trainer, 2 Years of College,Middle class, Mesg ID 1117200224837

Torespond
BACK TOTOP


Question:

Do all Wicca followers dabble in witchcraft? What do followerswho don't dabble in witchcraft do as far as practical doctrines? DoWiccas acknowledge that where there's witchcraft, there's thespiritual world? And that in the spiritual world there is bothextreme good and extreme evil? Aren't Wiccas who practice witchcraftafraid of making themselves vulnerable to possible attacks by evilspirits, which may be inadvertently summoned through aiming toperform white witchcraft? How do they know they are 100 percent safewhen performing witchcraft?
POSTED 1/6/2002
Robert S., Poole, NA, United Kingdom,<rms6859@postmaster.co.uk>, 25, Male, Christian,White/Caucasian, Straight, Mesg ID 13200233341


Responses:

Wiccans don't have Satan. The basic idea is that to name somethingis to give it power. Also, two of the main Satanist symbols are theinverted Cross and the inverted Pentacle - Satanists defile BOTH theChristian symbol and the Pagan symbol. No one seems to think that theupside down Cross means Christians worship Satan, so why do peoplethink that the upside down Pentacle means Witches worship Satan?
POSTED 11/17/2002
Hope, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, <Hopita@aol.com>, 31,Female, Jewish, Jewish, Bisexual, film worker, 4 Years of College,Lower middle class, Mesg ID 71200251245


Not all dabble in magick. Some use it strictly as a religiousframework for how they see the world structured. Regarding practicaldoctrines, if you ask 100 witches, you'll get at least that manyanswers. Most have in common a belief in following the wheel of theyear, with 8 holidays, Ostara (Easter), Samhain (Hallowe'en), Yule,etc. Most have a procedure for casting a ritual circle forprotection, involving the four directions and four elements. Nobodyis 100 percent safe, as has been stated, but we try to make sure ourintent is as pure as possible. Most of us don't see the world as'evil' and 'good' but as two sides of the same coin. Male and female,yes, but not one at the expense of the other. Dark and light, yes,but one must have the other to exist and have any meaning. And thereare things I would like to attract into my life, and things I do not.That's about as close as I can come to defining 'evil.'
POSTED 11/17/2002
Kerry, Ventura, CA, United States, 32, Female, Pagan,White/Caucasian, Bisexual, Stage Worker, Over 4 Years of College,Upper middle class, Mesg ID 7262002105333


As a practicing Wiccan, I can tell you that I perform very littlecermonial magick, or 'witchcraft,' as it is called. My belief is muchlike the Bahai woman; magick should not be performed without the mostpure of intentions and clarity of spirit. Much of my magick is aimedat maintaining health and getting me through various hurdles in lifeto provide for my family. I can agree with other posters that ourritual magick is no different from that performed by any other kindof religious person. We all perform rituals of one kind or anotherwhen we 'pray.' Does it work for me? Yes. Do I abuse it? No. Is itdangerous? Part of being a Pagan is knowing that magick can be usedfor good or evil, and the responsibility is upon the wielder of themagick. If you cause harm to another through magick, you may bevulnerable to influence from negativity. However, wouldn't you agreethat the person had negative intentions to begin with?
POSTED 11/17/2002
Zodiak, Columbus, OH, United States, 31, Male, Pagan,White/Caucasian, Straight, Biologist: PhD student, Over 4 Years ofCollege, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 11172002101248


The easiest way to explain a spell is that it is like a prayer. Ifyou do a protection spell, you are essentially praying forprotection; and the same goes for spells for love, success andanything else. It is generally accepted that there is very little orno danger involved.
POSTED 11/17/2002
Lindsay, Baltimore, MD, United States,<delirium424@hotmail.com>, 17, Female, Dianic Pagan,White/Caucasian, Bisexual, High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID221200250326

Torespond
BACK TOTOP


Question:

I have manic-depression. While I sought treatment, I know thatmanypeople do not. Does American culture and society in general frownon mentalillness so much that many people suffer alone insilence?
POSTED 11/10/2002
Jean, White Lake, MI, United States, 30, Female, Christian,White/Caucasian,Straight, pharmacy tech, Technical School, Lowermiddle class, Mesg ID 95200221247


Responses:

I don't know if it is so much that people are ashamed as they justdon't know the signs. Some of us have become so caught up in anegative cycle that we just assume 'that is the way we feel.'
POSTED 11/12/2002
Matthew, New York, NY, United States, 43, Male, Mesg ID 1112200245331


I think hiding our weaknesses and illnesses is human nature. Whatwe can't hide, such as blindness, deafness, etc., has becomeacceptable. However, Patty Duke and other stars who have sufferedwith mental illness have done much to destigmatize mental illness.Some people are unable to pay for their medication and hence live ina deep hole as a result. Some people are just plain uneducated andbelieve that being with a person who is mentally ill will affecttheir own mental health. In the Bible, Matthew 25:36 speaks volumes:'I was sick and you looked after me.' This was written in a day whenleprosy was a social stigma. Whether it is physical, emotional ormental illness, we need to take care of one another, even if it isnot a common thing to do. Mother Theresa pointed out that one of theworst diseases in the Western World is loneliness, which is veryeasily remedied by a listening ear.
POSTED 11/17/2002
Ronald V., Edmonton, Alberta, NA, Canada, 49, Male, Christian, MesgID 11122002114652

Torespond
BACK TOTOP


Question:

To all the so-called 'vegetarians' out there: How can you callyourselfvegetarian if you eat fish, poultry or eggs? Is the greatwhite shark thateats tuna considered a vegetarian? Is the tree pythonthat eats a parrotconsidered a vegetarian? Is the mongoose that eatscrocodile eggs considereda vegetarian? These are all carnivores, sowhy is the meaning of carnivoredifferent for humans?
POSTED 11/10/2002
Dwan W., Tallahassee, FL, United States,<dwanjuan@hotmail.com>, 29,Male, Black/African American,Straight, Behavioral Specialist, Over 4 Yearsof College, Lower middleclass, Mesg ID 118200285226


Responses:

Vegetarian in modern vernacular means you don't eat meat products.A vegan is someone who doesn't eat any animal products, and there arevarious degrees in between. I am a vegetarian due to a belief thatfactory farming is evil because of the treatment of the animals, andis rotten for the environment. Depleting the oceans of fish is alsobad for the environment. I do eat animal products such as cheese,eggs and milk, although I do buy organic when possible, (in the caseof eggs, free-range, non-factory farmed chicken eggs). If I were anEskimo hunting in the wild, I would have no issue with eating ananimal I killed, but in the United States, very few people have anyidea how the meat on their table gets there, and I suspect mostpeople would throw up if they knew. I recommend reading UptonSinclair's The Jungle. It's only worse now - not to mention thatoften it is illegal immigrants who are exploited to skin and killanimals, etc.
POSTED 11/17/2002
Carter, Chicago, IL, United States, Mesg ID 11122002103251


I admit to being a hypocritical vegetarian. I haven't eaten beefor chicken since I was about 14, yet when I decided to give up redand white meat, I realized I loved sashimi way too much, and decidedto just go ahead and eat seafood in all forms. But then, this is whywe have terms like pesco-ovo-vegetarian, lacto-vegetarian and vegan.Most people just call me a vegetarian anyway, and I'm not particularabout the term.
POSTED 11/17/2002
Sarah C., San Francisco, CA, United States, 25, Female, Agnostic,Asian, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID11122002112133


It could be that semi-vegetarians consider fish and birds to bemuch lower forms of life. Someone who may feel uncomfortable eating apig (a mammal) might still eat fish or chicken. And some people stopeating red meat for health reasons, not because they are concernedabout animals. I became a semi-vegetarian in March. Hearing about theway animals are treated on big factory farms horrified me. At first,I still ate fish and poultry. I felt like a hypocrite, so I quiteating all meat. By the beginning of April, I was a vegetarian. Itried to be a vegan over the summer. I found myself unable to stickto a strict vegan diet though, so now I am somewhere betweenvegetarian and vegan.
POSTED 11/17/2002
Vince, Preeceville, NA, Canada, <phunky_monkey_17@yahoo.ca>,18, Male, White/Caucasian, student, Less than High School Diploma,Middle class, Mesg ID 11132002113802


I'm what's referred to as a 'vegan,' meaning I eat neither animalflesh nor dairy. However, I do partake of fish. My reasons arestrictly for health purposes. Meat has a high concentration of fatand has absolutely no fiber. For this reason, the human body has adifficult time digesting it and getting rid of the waste. Heavy meateaters are usually constantly constipated because the meat just sitsin the intestines until something forces it out (usually a laxative).Also, cow's milk is for calves. What happens when a newborn baby isgiven cow's milk? Its body initially rejects it (they vomit it out)because the body has a hard time processing it. However, if the babyis continually fed cow's milk, the body will eventually get used toprocessing it.
POSTED 11/17/2002
Redeemed One, Newport News, VA, United States, 54, Other PacificIslander, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID1114200290638


I eat poultry and fish but not pork or beef, so I don't callmyself a vegetarian. I don't know any people who do eat chicken orfish that do call themselves vegetarians. I call myself a 'semi-veg'or just say that I don't eat beef or pork.
POSTED 11/17/2002
Amy, Seattle, WA, United States, 32, Female, Mesg ID1116200250652

Torespond
BACK TOTOP


Question:

Why do women say you should never wear a thong on an airplaneflight?

POSTED 11/8/2002

Ridley S., Chambersburg, PA, United States, 22, Male, Agnostic,White/Caucasian, Mesg ID 1142002112431


Responses:

As a woman who has frequently flown on international flights, Iwould imagine it's just too uncomfortable. On the other hand, Iwouldn't wear a thong at all, unless I knew it was going to come offalmost immediately.
POSTED 11/17/2002
Susan B., Nr. Broby, NA, Denmark, <susanabra@mac.com>, 44,Female, Pagan, White/Caucasian, Straight, Student, Over 4 Years ofCollege, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 1113200250331


I have never heard that before. My only guess is that you could bevery uncomfortable with it on for several hours, and no way to reallyfix it when there's a weird guy sitting next to you.
POSTED 11/17/2002
Marian, Westchester, NY, United States, 20, Female, Asian, Straight,student, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 11172002113121

Torespond
BACK TOTOP


Copyright and disclaimer