Best of the Week
of Nov. 26, 2000

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of Nov. 26, 2000, 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 new 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:
Why do men seem to find it difficult to relate to a woman emotionally (in a friendship or potential romantic situation) if they do not have a strong physical attaction to the woman? Is it just the way they are wired, or is it a willful decision on their part? Is there anything a woman can do to make this a less frustrating and hurtful experience?
POSTED 11/27/00
Mimi, Brick, NJ, United States, 45, Female, Born-again Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, County Government worker, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 10100043753

Responses:
I have noticed (and been hurt by) this phenomenon all my life. However, I have made a few observations that I hope will make you feel better. Men who are like this are usually young and insecure. The few older men who do it have very few friends and are emotionally immature. So essentially you wouldn't want these people as your friends anyway. I know women do behave in the same way - at least when I went to school they did (even more so than the boys). I think the fact that I haven't noticed them as an adult is because I only talk to and surround myself with people who are friendly from the start.
POSTED 11/28/00
B.B., Edinburgh, NA, United Kingdom, 26, Female, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, PhD, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 112700115618

Just tell us what you want!
POSTED 11/28/00
Murray C., Halifax, Nova Scotia, NA, Canada, 32, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Draftsman, Technical School , Upper middle class, Mesg ID 11270074943
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Question:
To women: Have we really come a long way, baby? Are we making the right choices for ourselves and our children in our relationships? Or are we just whining our lives away? I am not a feminist; I just think women have wimped out and can't make a decision for themselves. We don't believe our intuition and feel someone else has to validate us. Ladies, it's time to get out of the bathtub, blow out the aromatherapy candles, put down the journals and get out the flippin' door!
POSTED 11/28/00
Linda S., Kelowna, British Columbia, NA, Canada, 49, Female, Entrepreneur, Lower class, Mesg ID 11270055352
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Question:
Last spring I met a cute guy at school, and we dated a few times. Nothing sexual and nothing serious. At summer break, he said he'd call me in the fall, then left the state for a summer job. While he was gone (we both agreed to date others), I dated a guy in the same dorm we all share. Guy #2 and I were very sexual all summer, but he was not my type for a long-term relationship. We parted amicably. Now Guy #1 is back, and we are a couple. He's terrific, and this could get serious. The problem: I learned that Guy #1 knew Guy #2, and they've become good friends and are fast becoming best friends. My guy knows nothing about my fling, and my "fling" and I have agreed not to say anything, but I'm getting nervous. Should I tell my guy what happened and say it was 'nothing,' or keep my mouth shut and hope he never finds out? Please help.
POSTED 11/28/00
Darby, St. Augustine, FL, United States, 23, Female, White/Caucasian, Straight, Student, 2 Years of College , Upper middle class, Mesg ID 11270074523
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Question:
Are there female jockeys in horse racing? If not, why?
POSTED 12/26/99
John L., San Diego, CA, United States, 25, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Scientist, Over 4 Years of College, Upper class, Mesg ID 1224199911507

Responses:
John, you must visit a horse track. For peace and tranquility, go early in the morning when the horses are working out. To answer your question, here are some female jockeys (some trainers appreciate the weight allowance with them): Rachey LaVoy, at Aqueduct; Rosemary Homeister Jr., at Calder; Lisa Hammett, at Woodbine (purses are better in Canada); Cindy S. Noll, at Laurel; Kristi Chapman and Jennifer Bramblett (apprentice), at Calder & Churchill. One sees far fewer female jockeys with mounts at California tracks. Hope this helps.
POSTED 11/27/00
Pari-mutuel clerk, Bradenton, FL, United States, pari-mutuel clerk, Mesg ID 11270065452

Riding any horse takes a good deal of strength if the horse is not docile. Riding a horse that has been bred to run takes a surprising amount of strength. Get that horse on a racetrack where it is focused on only one thing, and they can be darned near impossible to control. If you ever see a male jockey with only a light shirt on his upper body, you can see they are incredibly fit athletes. Most women of such small size aren't physically able to build their upper body strength enough.
POSTED 11/28/00
Nancy, Lethbridge, NA, Canada, 30, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Program Director, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 130200021822

There are several women jockeys competing at the highest level of the game today. Julie Krone won the Belmont and took home several meet titles on the New York circuit. It has nothing to do with strength, because women are naturally smaller than men and don't have to undergo the extreme dieting and other bodily abuses that male jockeys do, making them stronger by default. Women jockeys, like women athletes everywhere, made great strides in the '90s. It is now getting to the point that women jockeys on all the large racing circuits in America are competitive and well-received.
POSTED 11/28/00
June, Los Angeles, CA, United States, Female, White/Caucasian, gambler, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 24200061715
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Question:
Why do women so strongly prefer tall men? Practically every personal ad specifies that they want someone tall, even women who aren't even 5 feet tall! I realize women like to feel protected, but tallness is no indication of fitness.
POSTED 11/13/00
Rick, Springfield, OH, United States, 39, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, teacher, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1113200043250

Responses:
I am a tall girl and would never date anyone more than two inches shorter than me. I feel very protected and comfortable with a tall man, and I am always afraid people would laugh at me if I were to be seen hanging around with a short guy.
POSTED 11/27/00
Ify, Miami, FL, United States, 23, Female, Mesg ID 11240083522
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Question:
Why can a black person say 'nigga' to another black person, but a white person can't say it to a black person? What is the history behind the word, and why in our society is it so widely used among black people? If it is such a nasty word, shouldn't everyone of every race stop using the word ... even black people? Would the use of 'nigga' eliminate racial inequality?
POSTED 11/24/00
Jesse, Arvada, CO, United States, 19, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 1121200090707

Responses:
I am black and can use the word 'nigga' because I own my blackness. Whites are not allowed to use the word because of its oppressive connotation. The word 'nigga' is derived from 'nigger' - it is sort of a term of endearment and is used in various contexts.
POSTED 11/27/00
Ify, Miami, FL, United States, 23, Female, Black/African American, Mesg ID 11240084922

First, there are some white people who use the word 'nigga' with blacks and get away with it. They are usually close friends of the black people they use it with, or part of the subculture where that word is used casually, and therefore, there isn't much complaint. Second, 'nigga' is different from 'nigger.' 'Nigger' is an ethnic slur used to degrade and dehumanize, especially from the mouth of a white person. I don't care if it's 'just the way they were raised' and they believe they don't mean anything by it. Somewhere along the way, they likely learned that it was a contemptuous word used to refer to black people. Its history in this usage goes back hundreds of years. To most black people, it is a buzzword of oppression, an indication that no matter who a black person may be on an individual basis, they are reduced to the connotations of that word in the eyes of the person wielding it. This conception of black people was and is brought home to most of us in some way practically every day. To rail against the use of this word by a white person is to rail against that white person's right to perpetrate that kind of mental terrorism. Finally, some black people have appropriated the word 'nigger' and slightly modified it to 'nigga,' perhaps in an effort to minimize its hold, or to subliminally acknowledge solidarity in history and culture. Many black people dislike either variation equally, don't use them and don't approve of those who do. I am one of those black.
POSTED 11/27/00
Jennifer R., St. Paul, MN, United States, <DKFLWR@aol.com>, 30, Female, Humanist, Black/African American, Straight, Writer/Student, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 1126200063638
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