Best of the Week
of Nov. 18, 2001

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of Nov. 18, 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:

OK fellas, fess-up: Why do some men feel the need to lie or tell half-truths? Do you males understand that a lie, once it is identified, can cause severe damage to a relationship? Once a woman no longer trusts you, it's only a matter of time before she's gone.

POSTED 11/21/2001

Julie, Woodbridge, VA, United States, Female, Black/African American, Straight, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1120200142159

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Question:

Just what constitutes defending Islam? It seems to include not just retaliating against, say, an invasion, but also against less physical attacks, such as from writing. Did the sentence upon Salmon Rushdie count as such?

POSTED 11/19/2001

Chuck C., Middlefield, CT, United States, 21, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Middle class, Mesg ID 1119200173311

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Question:

To women: Do you always wear undergarments under your clothes? Also, do you remove all your clothing before having sex?

POSTED 11/19/2001

Rosa C., Middletown, CT, United States, <amoswindward2001@yahoo.com>, 40, Female, Catholic, Puerto Rican, Straight, student/mom, Less than High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 1119200184310

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Question:

What would the sense of acceptance be for someone who converted to Islam after being born in South Africa and moving to Australia, compared to someone in the same circumstances who was born into Islam? Would there really be any differences, or would it depend on the person, the person they are married to and the friends they have made?

POSTED 11/8/2001

Fadiela K., Ballajura, na, Australia, <fkirsten@student.com.edu.au>, 44, Female, Muslim, Straight, Psychology student, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 114200132438

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Question:

Why must Americans take important roles in conflicts throughout the world?

POSTED 11/8/2001

Dil N., Bombay, NA, India, Male, Mesg ID 114200134738


Responses:
American values of individual human rights and free enterprise benefit from global stability, so the United States generally tries to use its considerable influence to promote such stability around the world. Also, it is part of being a good ally.

POSTED 11/14/2001

Rick, Springfield, OH, United States, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 119200174127


I don't think it is imperative that the United States takes an important role.For some time in the early 20th century, it was rather isolationist. However, U.S. commercial interests now dictate that there is some intervention - in the Middle East the main factor has always been oil. The strength of the oil and car lobby in the United States and the active destruction of alternate choices of transport now mean you have few other options. (In the 20s the United States had a fantastic interurban electric rail system, the envy of the world. It was slowly bought up by oil companies, etc. and ripped up.) Protection of 'freedom' is sometimes a reason, but mostly only when it tallies with commercial interests - note the example of Kuwait, in which calls for Western support for Kuwait's democracy movement after the 1991 conflict were ignored as soon as the oil was flowing again. It's not a uniquely American thing. In my country, Australia, the government spent years supporting the odious Soeharto regime in Indonesia for precisely the same reason: access to Timor Gap oil and gas.

POSTED 11/19/2001

Ben S., London, NA, Australia, <bscaro@yahoo.com>, 33, Male, Rosicrucian, White/Caucasian, Gay, traveller, 4 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 1118200171537


Ben, I found your explanation insightful, but I don't agree with your implication that U.S. self interest is a bad thing. I quote here from the Sunday Times (of London): 'Let us ponder exactly what the Americans did in that most awful of all centuries, the 20th. They saved Europe from barbarism in two world wars. After the second world war they rebuilt the continent from the ashes. They confronted and peacefully defeated Soviet communism, the most murderous system ever devised by man, and thereby enforced the slow dismantling--we hope--of Chinese communism, the second-most murderous. America, primarily, ejected Iraq from Kuwait and helped us to eject Argentina from the Falklands. Americans stopped the slaughter in the Balkans while the Europeans dithered.' The article goes on to state that without such U.S. involvement, the Earth would closely resemble hell. No other world power in history has ever been as benevolent. A pretty good argument for U.S. involvement in world affairs. Even if the United States acted out of commercial interest in Kuwait, the result was positive and has helped stabilize the region. However, as you suggest, there is always room for improvement.

POSTED 11/21/2001

Rick, Springfield, OH, United States, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 11192001104443

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Question:

As Earth can support and take care of only so many people, what should we do about certain people who cannot contribute to society? For example, if I were informed that my son would be born with severe brain damage, I would not approve of life support to spare the life of someone who will never contribute to society. I'm sure there are many people who have retarded children who will say their child is a loving person and that you are glad they are alive today. This is absurd. A dog is a loving animal with a distinct personality. But if a dog consumed resources like a retarded child does, I'm convinced they would be illegal. My conclusion: anyone who cannot contribute to society should not be allowed to consume resources that should be left for our posterity. Instead, they should be humanely removed from society, either euthanised or left to fend on their own. If you really want a stupid, loving animal (because we are all animals), get yourself a dog, because a dog won't consume nearly as much of the earth's irreplacable resources. What do others think?

POSTED 11/19/2001

Patrick, Los Altos, CA, United States, 35, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Engineer, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 1118200185943


Responses:
Adolf Hitler felt the same about Nazi Germany in the '30s and '40s. Where is your compassion?

POSTED 11/19/2001

Bill, Burlington, VT, United States, 43, Male, White/Caucasian, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1119200162700


I think you've failed to establish that getting rid of such people would significantly impact the planet's resources. Would not strong family planning incentives be more effective and humane? Also, you fail to define 'contributing to society' and other practical matters such as who decides, etc.

POSTED 11/19/2001

Rick, Springfield, OH, United States, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1119200184159


Does your solution include euthanising your aged grandmother when she becomes too old to contribute to society?

POSTED 11/19/2001

Lucy, San Jose, CA, United States, 27, Female, Hispanic/Latino, Engineer, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1119200193015


The problem with your argument is that it places material contributions above all others. I believe the value of each human life can never compare to any material thing. A dog may give affection and companionship, but I do not think the relationship between an animal and a person can compare to that of two human beings (whether that be a relative, friend or life partner). My mother had a sister who was mentally retarded, yet the love she brought to the family was immeasurable. In addition, who is to say who contributes more and who contributes less? Who gets to judge? What if there were 'contribution police' and they said you used up much more than you contribute? If you use more resources than you consume, does that mean you should be 'humanely removed'? After all, as a nation, the United States uses up about 80 percent of the world's resources, yet we are only about 5 percent of the population (I heard these statistics recently - they may not be exact but they are close). With your logic, shouldn't our entire country be destroyed? I believe our value is not measured only by our contributions. We have value just because we exist. And it is an immeasurable value.

POSTED 11/19/2001

Marianne, Cleveland, OH, United States, 40, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, educator, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 11192001111006


I find the premise behind your post - that people are worth only as much as they can contribute - very troubling. How would this contribution be measured? Who makes this type of decision? Is an artist worth more or less than, say, an engineer? Who contributes more, and how do we quantify that? How do we decide when someone is too old/feeble/poor/short/tall/black/white/etc. to do what 'we' think they should? Where does it begin, and how will we know if we've gone too far? This is a very tricky (not to mention cold) calculus, and I don't think there's anything 'humane' about it. I believe there is more to life than trying to climb over your neighbor to soak up 'your share' of the resources. I also believe that we are more than animals.

POSTED 11/19/2001

L., Chicago, IL, United States, 22, Female, African Methodist Episcopalian, Black/African American, Straight, writer, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 11192001111533


Who is to decide what constitutes a valid contribution to society? And what exactly would such a contribution be measured in? Economic value by income? Then a housewife should be put out of her misery a.s.a.p. Emotional support? Then a bitchy, 30-year-old single loner would have less worth than society is ready to pay for. Social involvement? Then an organized, froth-at-the-mouth do-gooder using up barrels of fuel per year for driving about pestering his victims should be encouraged. What's yours, for instance? Some people might argue you use up way too many resources, only abuse the economy for your own benefit and in old age are reasonably to be considered a pest to humanity - plus not likely to contribute anything worthwhile any more. And from what age onwards would we then (all of us) expect to be put out of our misery for not contributing to society? Actually, come to think of it, what do you suggest doing with those who have accidents that leave them permanently damaged even at a young age? I reckon your line of thought is like a stone thrown into the water: the circle of potential victims increases in diametre the more time you think about it. Maybe think about it again.

POSTED 11/19/2001

T., Munich, NA, Germany, 32, Atheist, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 11192001112413


One who can't contribute to society should be removed? Who defines such a one? Would Helen Keller or Beethoven be classified as non-contributors because they were blind or deaf? If such a mindset were to come into place (it sounds like Hitler already had one similiar to that in Germany - the elderly non-contributors were killed, as were various non-productive groups), everyone would live in fear that they would be killed. Such a society would be very efficient, but without heart. They would kill their own builders when an age of infirmity would come upon them. Also, what would constitute a contribution? Then how much must the minimum contribution be? Like a salesman who doesn't make his quota, his life rather than his employment would be terminated. From a Christian point of view, our value comes from who we are, rather than what we produce. We are to produce as we are able. God gives life, which is the most valuable, and to prematurely terminate life would be to devalue this gift. It is in times of reflection and non-productive activity that the miracle and gift of life becomes apparent. Those who are obsessed with more production are too busy to see what a wonderful creation our Creator gave us.

POSTED 11/19/2001

Ronald V., Edmonton, Alberta, NA, Canada, 48, Male, Christian, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 11192001115039


I realize you want a gut reaction, Patrick, but unfortunatly for you my gut reaction to your post was boredom, so I ain't biting. I would, however, be thrilled to know what it is that you 'contribute' to society. Please don't use your job/qualifications to respond; that's even more boring. I am not asking this in a rhetorical manner, I would honestly like to know what it is you value as a 'contribution.'

POSTED 11/19/2001

Iteki, Stockholm (via Dublin), NA, Sweden, 25, Female, Recovering Catholic, White/Caucasian, Lesbian, Student, 2 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 1119200134135

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Question:

How do hundreds of young black males afford $60,000, tricked-out Escalades but live in the hood? Why would anyone want to live in a shack if you can afford to have expensive clothing/jewelry/car? I don't understand the logic. It seems like it is a sort of peacock syndrome. I would like to find one of these jobs that could afford me these luxuries. But it seems I see these guys cruisin' around while I am at work, so it must be nightshift work of some kind. I don't get it. Everything is for show, it seems, like walking around in a suit made of $100 bills, - and if someone actually made a suit like that, you would see blacks wearing it. Please explain!

POSTED 7/16/2001

Bill, Detroit, MI, United States, Male, Mesg ID 7132001102739


Responses:
I am a white girl who has lots of black friends - the most loving and caring people, just like my white friends. I know what Bill is talking about, and I have thought about it myself while driving down Joy Road or Livernois and seeing all this stuuf as I go by. You will always see people with the BEST of cars, BEST of clothes and BEST of jewelry, and you always wonder where it comes from. Some do work at the Big Three, but a lot only work on 'drug calls' at night. But I have to say, it's not only blacks; whites do it, too. I have three white friends who make their trips to Detroit to pick up some goods and bring it on back into Howell to sell. So if we say "Damn those blacks," we can also say "Damn those whites." Everyone lives off of everyone else, and if there is nothing interesting in one's life, then they have to find something else to look for to talk about. I get upset because nine times out of 10, the man on the corner selling drugs was just standing in the welfare line waiting for food stamps, and there is a sign for McDonalds hiring for $8-$9 per hour. Now that p***es me off. I don't like lazy people, but what are you going to do? The only good thing about Michigan now is that those who are welfare now have to take random drug tests, and if they are caught, they lose their benefits. Unfortunately I think we will see more homeless people, but it might make them think a little more next time (in three years, when they can reapply) to not mess up.

POSTED 11/18/2001

Arleen, Pinckney, MI, United States, Female, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Government Worker, 2 Years of College, Mesg ID 11172001102433


I also am from the area and have seen the same types of things. Blacks in the area seem to have an affinity for expensive cars, but home ownership and living in decent housing seems secondary. I think the answer lies in the psychological effects of slavery. During slavery and the Jim Crow era, blacks were not allowed (either through law, discrimination or financial constraints) to own homes, thus we set our sights on things that were realistically attainable at the time. Clothing, shoes, jewelery and cars were things that became our status symbols. This is the same reason many blacks dress to the nines to go to church (church was one of the few activities that black families were allowed to manage and participate in during slavery), whereas many traditionally white congregations(Catholic churches, for example) place less value on your dress during the service.

Blacks have suffered psychologically in many ways from slavery, and you are just witnessing one of the ways it has affected and continues to affect many of the values passed from generation to generation in black culture.

POSTED 11/19/2001

Angel, Detroit, MI, United States, <sweetstilz@aol.com>, 23, Female, Baptist, Black/African American, Straight, Research, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 7252001112906

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Question:

What do gays enjoy about anal sex?

POSTED 11/19/2001

Curio, Portland, OR, United States, Mesg ID 1118200141542


Responses:
Maybe they enjoy the same thing about it that straight people do. I'm a straight female, and just about every guy I've dated long-term has asked me for anal sex at some point. (I personally don't enjoy it, though I also know plenty of straight women who do.) I also know some gay men who don't really enjoy anal sex.

POSTED 11/19/2001

Sanvean, Lansing, MI, United States, 25, Female, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Journalist, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1119200132228

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Question:

Perhaps it is typical of 'Southern' speech patterns in the Unted States, but when another person is being referred to directly, the use of the word 'girl' is sometimes used, in Afro-American conversation, rather than the person's name. It seems that the word is used in a friendly context, but to me it seems more personal to refer to the person's actual name, rather than a word that describes the person's gender. If intimacy is being attempted, why would the person's name not be used? Does it have anything to do with the way people were referred to years ago? Why keep such a pattern of speech if another style can be used that identifies the person by name? And why is the origin of this speech pattern from the South? For all the talk of manners, to me, the use of a person's name is highly respectful.

POSTED 11/16/2001

Phil, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, Male, Mesg ID 11152001123526


Responses:
You said it: a name is very personal. I find it impolite to use someone's name in the presence of strangers who could be listening. You never know the intention of strangers. So, out of respect for the person I'm talking to, I don't call them by name. If I were to holler their name to everybody, that would show that I don't care who knows them. They know I know their name.

POSTED 11/21/2001

Jada, Toronto, Ontario, NA, Canada, 21, Female, Agnostic, mixed race, Straight, Student, Less than High School Diploma, Lower class, Mesg ID 1119200191020


I have never particularly noticed this habit in the South, but I think you are starting off with the presupposition that the use of one's proper name indicates intimacy, and that's not necessarily true. I think it might be the other way around - feeling comfortable enough around someone else to use a generic or specific nickname. I once had a boss who constantly referred to me as 'Bubba' (translated: young Southern male of a certain physical size), and far from being offended, I found it amusing and friendly, and I think that's how he meant it. If it had been meant as a put-down, I would have picked up on it, and it simply wasn't there. At this point I am also reminded of the '70s sitcom 'Rhoda' (Jewish family in New York City) where it seemed like everyone was constantly using everyone else's names in conversation. It's probably a regional and cultural thing.

POSTED 11/21/2001

Augustine, Columbia, SC, United States, 41, Male, White/Caucasian, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1120200171515

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Question:

I am well aware of the sticker culture among gay/lesbian/whomever (i.e.: Rainbow for gay/lesbian, earth tones for bears, and black/blue with a red heart for SM/leather peeps). Here is my question: The one thing that constantly puzzles me is when people affix their badge of pride to their personal mode of transportation either upside-down or backward (i.e.: instead of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet from top to bottom or left to right, some place them in the opposite order). Why is this? On a side note: Although I am proud to be gay, I am not one who would purposefully affix a target to my vehicle for vandalization. And while it is somewhat a game we play when on a road trip to say, hey there is a friend of Dorothy and pass them just to see if they are cute, I am not necessarily keen on advertising to strangers about my personal life, just as I would want the same from others.

POSTED 11/16/2001

Kinsey, San Francisco, CA, United States, 26, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Gay, Business Consultant, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 1132001120419

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Question:

My neighbor from Syria is likely to lose his father very soon. The family are Muslims. Can someone give me some do's or don'ts as far as expressing sympathy and supporting the family in the event of the death of a loved one?

POSTED 9/17/2001

Tom B., High Point, NC, United States, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 916200144739


Responses:
Do: call them and ask what time you can stop by to express sympathy. Muslims usually have 3 to 7 days after the death for people to do that. You should not stay more than 20 minutes.

Do: when you go, do not say, 'I am sorry.' Just say that we are all for God (Allah) and we all will go back to him one day.

Do (if you want): invite or send them lunch or dinner during the first 3 or 7 days (call first), because they will be too busy to cook. Do not send or serve desserts.

Do not: if you have a wife and she should wanted to express sympathy, she should go to were women go; men and women have different places to do that.

Do not: talk of death as a tragedy; talk of it as a test from God and that we will all go to another life after this life.

POSTED 11/16/2001

Mohammad, Alexandria, VA, United States, 32, Male, Muslim, Straight, bank employee, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 924200164609

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Question:

For those people who believe sex is prohibited before marriage, how do you feel about those who don't feel the same way? And do you ever feel like giving into your desires?

POSTED 11/8/2001

Rebecca P., Melbourne, NA, Australia, 21, Female, Straight, Nursing Student, Middle class, Mesg ID 114200134817


Responses:
I don't know whether or not I qualify, because I have been sexually active, but because of a spiritual awakening, I became abstinent. My conviction is to remain so until marriage. I guess that implies that I can't very well judge someone who hasn't made the same choice. I do, however, have opinions about people who are "promiscuous." I wonder about their self-esteem. I frown upon the cavalier treatment of something I consider sacred. I think about disease, unplanned pregnancy and the frequent emotional pain I perceive that people can suffer when they share their bodies with someone who doesn't love them. With regard to temptation, certainly. I feel longing sometimes. I have a healthy sexuality. However, it will never go beyond fantasy, because I know I can't ever have a fulfilling sexual experience outside of a covenant made between myself, my husband and God. I should know, because I tried.

POSTED 11/14/2001

Jennifer W., St. Paul, MN, United States, <dkflwr2@aol.com>, 31, Female, Christian, Black/African American, Straight, Non-Profit, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1113200185030

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Question:

I have read that most Muslims in the world deplore the actions of the radical fundamentalists and that they are actually peaceful people. In mainstream Muslim societies and families, are females considered the equal of males in all respects? Does the religion consider women and girls as somehow inferior or less important than boys and men? Is it expected that females would be afforded as much education and opportunities as males?

POSTED 11/2/2001

Fred H., Avon, MA, United States, 72, Male, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Straight, retired, High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 1112001100311


Responses:
The Quran does not teach violence. The actions of the Taliban and El Queda have as much relation to mainstream Muslims as Adolph Hitler had to mainstream Christians. Both justified atrocities with religious-seeming language. But so did the Christian Crusaders of 1,000 years ago; they mercilessly slaughtered Jews and Muslims who lived in Palestine together peacefully. Most of us do not understand our own religions' foundations in a great prophet whose people interpreted his life within a social context. As the social conditions have changed, so the religions must also change. Those religionists who would try to take the world back only impede the visions of their religion's founders.

POSTED 11/6/2001

Kent, Melbourne, NA, Australia, 60, Male, Anglican, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1132001105623


I appreciate your question. Let me, as a literate, American Muslim, inform you that in no way does Islam oppress women. The religion of Islam is based on the revelation we call Quran. According to the Quran, women are not only to receive equal treatment to men, but in some cases it would seem even better treatment. One of the main problems we have in Islam is the interpretation of the Quran by Arab/Middle Eastern 'scholars' who infuse their cultural backwardness into the religion. Most of the people in the so-called Islamic countries are illiterate - male and female. They depend on a sheik, mullah or religious 'scholar' to tell them what the book says, and they live by that. Illiteracy and Islam can't co-exist. The word Quran derives from a word meaning 'that which is to be studied.' There's so much that can be said on this topic. I suggest you ask some of the 'scholars' who claim that mistreatment of women is a part of Islam whether Muhammad (peace be unto him) ever abused or oppresed women. Ask them what condition the women of Arabia were in before the revelation of Quran and how that changed when Muhammad began to teach the religion. There's a well-known story in Islam of a young man who asked Muhammad whom he should show the most regard for - the Prophet answered, 'your mother.' The young man said, 'and then who?', the Prophet said, 'your mother.' After saying this yet a third time, on the fourth time the Prophet said, 'your father.' The Quran also says that a man who educates two women is destined for paradise (paraphrased).

POSTED 11/6/2001

Debra, Brooklyn, NY, United States, Female, Muslim, Black/African American, 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 1152001111239


Well said, Debra. Several years ago I did a little research into Islam and Middle Eastern cultures because, as a young engineer beginning my career, I was working more and more with people of Middle Eastern descent, and I decided I needed to learn more about their cultures and beliefs. Previously, I didn't know much about the Middle East or Islam. I was very interested in the distinction between what the Quran says and what the so-called scholars teach about Islam. It's a case of those in power distorting a religion to fulfill their own agendas (like that has never happened with a religion before!). I also think it is very interesting how in the United States, which is a predominantly Christian country, we tend to think of Islam as backward and archaic, when it is actually a very forward-thinking religion. At the time when Islam was promoting equality between men and women, the Christian world was working very hard at instituting inequality.

POSTED 11/8/2001

Lucy, San Jose, CA, United States, 27, Female, Hispanic/Latino, Engineer, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1162001101850


Most religions, cultures and societies consider women less important than men, including Christianity.

POSTED 11/6/2001

I. Cade, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 22, Female, Catholic, Black/African American, graduate, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 115200125040


Women who take part in religion are idiots. Anybody with a brain can see that religion is a man-made construct. All these 'divine' rules were invented by men to satisfy their base needs, to the detriment of women. It's all bulls***.

POSTED 11/19/2001

Carol B., Waldorf, MD, United States, Female, Mesg ID 11182001102442

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Question:

A friend who is married (a woman) is having an affair with a co-worker who is married. She told me it was an instant attraction for both of them, and neither one of them wants to stop seeing the other. They can't get enough of each other, but it's not just physical. To those of you who have had affairs outside of your marriage, why did you start the affair? What kept it going? Why do you think men and women have extramarital affairs? Do men have affairs just to get physical attention, or do some men fall in love with these women? Do most women who have affairs have serious feelings for these men, or are they just out for a piece of a**? I know it's morally wrong; I'm just trying to get inside the head of someone who has been there.

POSTED 11/2/2001

Missy, Somewhere, PA, United States, 34, Female, White/Caucasian, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 111200191127


Responses:
I am ashamed to admit I have had several extramarital affairs. The first one happened after six years of marriage. He was married also, and we both left our spouses for each other and moved in together. It lasted only a few weeks because I realized I loved my husband, and he was gracious enough to allow me to come back home. The second one happened six years later, and I was in love with this one. At first, it was purely physical; the sex was incredible. He was also married, and we planned to leave our spouses for each other. We eventually did, but we never got together. We are still friends to this day, and my attraction to him is as strong as ever. However, I realize that what we did was wrong, and there is no way to make it right. It ruined a marriage and left several children on both sides without their father.

POSTED 11/8/2001

Anonymous, Bridgeport, CT, United States, Female, Mesg ID 115200180816


Read His needs, her needs: building an affair-proof marriage by Willard F. Harley, Jr. It talks extensively about affairs, and is written by a psychologist who has helped many people through them. He talks about the basic ego needs of men and the basic ego needs of women that are not met at home, but are met by those in the office or on the production floor. No, it is not primarily sexual, although as sexual beings, people do get entangled sexually. I highly recommend the book, which could be in your local library.

POSTED 11/8/2001

Ronald V., Edmonton, Alberta, NA, Canada, Male, Mesg ID 1152001113641


Although I don't speak from experience (who needs to be burned to learn that fire burns?), men and women have basic needs that must be met. Man�s five most basic needs:

1. Sexual fulfillment
2. Recreational companion
3. An attractive spouse
4. Domestic support
5. Admiration

Woman�s five most basic needs:
1. Affection
2. Conversation
3. Honesty and openness
4. Financial support
5. Family commitment

http://www.geocities.com/celicastx/relationships.html is where you can get a more detailed description of each of these. Morality can provide an incentive to avoid misbehavior. However, meeting these needs in a home is much better than having these needs met elsewhere, which can lead to affairs and broken homes.

POSTED 11/14/2001

Ronald V., Edmonton, Alberta, NA, Canada, 48, Male, Christian, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 11132001114904

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Question:

When did women started to grow and polish their nails?

POSTED 11/2/2001

A. Lenumérosix, Montréal, Quebec, NA, Canada, 44, Male, Lutheran, White/Caucasian, Straight, teacher, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 1031200164741


Responses:
It started in 3000 BC in China, according to this web site: http://www.flirt.com/style/diva/

POSTED 11/8/2001

Doug, Phoenix, AZ, United States, 38, Male, New Age/Metaphysical, White/Caucasian, Gay, Administrator, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 115200120652


It's hard to tell if you mean women historically or individual women today. If you mean the latter, I started when I was in middle school (about 13 years old).

POSTED 11/14/2001

E.D., Kansas City, MO, United States, 45, Female, Black/African American, Mesg ID 1114200194106

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Question:

I just started seeing a Japanese girl; we both like one another and get along great. We've started fooling around recently, with clothes on (rubbing, massaging, etc). But while she lets me rub her sexually, she does not want me to kiss her, and I had heard from some other friends (with no substantial proof) that to Japanese girls, kissing is taboo and something you save for your definite loved one or husband. Is this true ?

POSTED 10/29/2001

D.R., Vancouver, British Columbia, NA, Canada, 27, Male, White/Caucasian, Mesg ID 1027200151401

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