Best of the Week
of Nov. 21, 1999

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of Nov. 21, 1999, as selected by Y? These postings, as well as "Best of the Week" entries from previous weeks, also can be found by accessing our new database using our search form, or, in the case of answers posted before April 24, 1999, in our 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. We encourage you 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 our guidelines pages for asking and answering questions.


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Question:
My friends and I know of at least three women who have been noticed having a significant length of toilet paper hanging out of their clothing, coming from their seat, following a restroom visit. What is the cause of this embarrassing phenomenon following using the toilet, and why doesn't this happen to men?
POSTED 11/22/1999
Gary, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 40, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 11211999123333

Responses:
Many women place strips of toilet paper along the seat of a public restroom toilet so they won't be sitting on a bare seat. It just has to do with not wanting to put your bare arse where so many other bare arses have been. Sometimes, when the woman pulls her pants up, a piece of the toilet paper will somehow get caught in her pants. Or it will fall on the floor and stick to the heel of her shoe.
POSTED 11/23/1999
S.R., Austin, TX, United States, 21, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, student, Mesg ID 1122199972137
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Question:
To men and women: How important is virginity to you, and who and what made you think this way?
POSTED 11/23/1999
Whitney L., Sydney, NA, Australia, Mesg ID 11191999114949
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Question:
I've noticed that white people tend to go barefoot into businesses such as supermarkets, 7-11's, etc. Why is that? Is it a cultural thing? Does it not hurt their feet? Is the skin texture different from everybody else's?
POSTED 3/3/1999
E. Ford, Virginia Beach, VA, United States, 37, Black/African American, Mesg ID 339943027

Responses:
I go barefoot a lot, and I have had blacks and whites tell me they like to go barefoot, too, but are afriad they'll be kicked out of places if they do. Some people erroneously believe that 'health codes' prevent bare feet in stores, etc., but this is not true. Going barefoot is healthy and natural and definitely not 'lower class' (talk about your stereotypes). Try walking around barefoot on grass to see how good it can feel!
POSTED 11/23/1999
Darren, Berkeley, CA, United States, <cdarrenrich@www.com>, 35, Male, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Straight, reflexologist, writer, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 11221999111822
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Question:
We recently bought a house, and the seller left many things behind that we keep discovering and mailing to him. Recently, we discovered what I believe is called a 'mezzuzah' attached to the front door frame, a small one. Is there a proper way to return this? Is it best to just remove it or leave it where it is? Should I just stick it in an envelope and mail it off, or would this be inappropriate? The seller happens to be a really nice guy, and I don't want to unknowingly do something offensive.
POSTED 11/22/1999
Dave, San Diego, CA, United States, 34, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Gay, Engineer, 4 Years of College , Upper middle class, Mesg ID 1121199983344

Responses:
I always take my mezzuzah with me when I go. I know of no reason someone is supposed to leave it behind. They probably just forgot it. Mailing it would be a nice gesture. Just take the whole thing down. It has (should have) a scroll inside that's considered sacred because it has the name of God on it, so treat it with respect, which, in this case, means don't put it on the ground. Wrap it up, send it off and chalk up your mitzvah (good deed) for the day.
POSTED 11/23/1999
Marcia, New York, NY, United States, Jewish, Mesg ID 1122199962213

Thanks for showing the sensitivity to ask the question in the first place! There's basically two things you can do. One option is to do nothing; just leave it where it is on the door frame. Even if it means nothing spiritually to you, it won't hurt or cause a problem. The other thing to do is dispose of it. You have to remove the case from the wall, and then remove the scroll of parchment from the inside of the case. The case is unimportant; you can keep it or dispose of it in any manner you like. The scroll inside is considered sacred; if you do not wish to keep it I suggest that you take it to a local synagogue or Rabbi and ask that they dispose of it properly for you.
POSTED 11/23/1999
Jesse N., Herzliya, NA, Israel, 40, Male, Jewish, engineer, Mesg ID 1123199924921

I am not Jewish but do have a Mezuza at my door and have done some study on them. For the truly orthodox there are multiple rules involved in creating and mounting a Mezuza, but I haven't found anything dealing with dismounting and returning it. You may be able to tell how the previous owner regarded it. If you open it up and find a Xerox or machine-printed copy of Hebrew text, then the person does not stand on the strictest traditions and will likely accept it back unceremoniously. If the scroll inside is handwritten then A) note how the scroll is rolled and return it rolled the same way and B) you may be dealing with someone who takes tradition very seriously and you may wish to inquire of them how they wish the item returned. The Mezuza itself is just a reminder of one's faith and placed in fulfillment of an instruction to place God's word on your doorposts (as well as hand and heart) as a reminder. The scroll has passages from Deut 6:4-9 and 11:13-21 as well as one of the 'names' of God.
POSTED 11/23/1999
Craig, Somewhere in Missouri, MO, United States, 40+, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 1122199950655
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Question:
To people born with a disability: Do you feel you were treated badly by your parents because of your disability? And do you ever hate yourself, your parents or G-d for your situation?
POSTED 11/22/1999
Y. Levin, Baltimore, MD, United States, Mesg ID 11211999112306
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Question:
Am I the only one who thinks that in its attempt to educate young viewers about the perils of unprotected sex, certain musical cable networks have crossed the line from educating and warning to advertising and promoting?
POSTED 11/19/1999
Kristan, Wharton, NJ, United States, 24, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, 4 Years of College , Upper middle classm Mesg ID 11181999125040

Responses:
Where did you get the idea that music cable channels are trying to teach young people about sex other than to glorify it and try to say there are no consequences? For that matter, are there more than just a few people in the whole entertainment industry who speak up for abstinence before marriage, fidelity during marriage or keeping families as the main unit of society? Just look at the vast majority of TV, movie or popular musical offerings and see just where the standards of morality are.
POSTED 11/22/1999
Eric, Las Cruces, NM, United States, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 1120199981924

I would have to agree with you. I do believe that 500 condoms are better than 500 abortions any day, but I also believe MTV and others overstep the line. They basically use advertising techniques in these spots I've seen. They fail to make known that condoms aren't as reliable as everyone has been made to think. And they don't even mention the word 'abstinence.' The ads seem to have a seductive nature to them, that those who go ahead and have sex via condoms use are cool, and those who do it without condoms aren't quite as cool. Modern sex ed, from personal experience, is little more than an anatomy lesson and how-to instructions. They need to delve much deeper into it, and explore every facet instead of going over superficial details.
POSTED 11/22/1999
Dan, Los Angeles. County, CA, United States, 21, Male, Pentecostal Christian, Hispanic/Latino, student/dishwasher, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 11191999124639

I think the stations don't promote it but the videos do. So, I guess by playing the videos, the stations definitely undermine whatever positive messages they attempt at getting across.
POSTED 11/22/1999
Danielle, Lakehurst, NJ, United States, Female, Mesg ID 11191999124330

I have seen a lot of promotion of sex on TV, but rarely anything to do with education about the perils of unprotected sex. It is true that MTV occationally runs commercials for condoms, but these are few and far between. I don't think the networks ever had the intention of educating young people about sex. That's not their job, anyway. It is the parents' job to educate their children about sex and the risks that come with it, not the networks.
POSTED 11/22/1999
Lucy H., San Jose, CA, United States, 25, Female, Hispanic/Latino, Engineer, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 11191999114505
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