Best of the Week
of Dec. 3, 2000

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of Dec. 3, 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:

What does a woman in a female prison have to do to earn the L O V E letters on her fingers?

POSTED 12/7/2000

R. Morris, Lake View, AL, United States, 42, Male, Baptist, White/Caucasian, Straight, service technician, 2 Years of College , Lower middle class

Mesg ID 127200052223

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Question:

Do blind people dream? If so, do they dream sounds, or does their mind make up figures according to touch?

POSTED 12/4/2000

Adrianne, Huntsville, AL, United States, 26, Female, Black/African American, Straight, disc jockey, 2 Years of College , Lower middle class

Mesg ID 1232000122323

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Question:

Why is it that when black people are on welfare, they are claimed to be milking the system, but when white people are on welfare, they just need some 'assistance'?

POSTED 12/7/2000

Netta F., Jacksonville, FL, United States, 24, Female, Black/African American, Straight, cosmetologist, Over 4 Years of College

Mesg ID 1240061129

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Question:

I consider myself pretty intelligent, but the first time I saw a bidet was in a hotel room, and like Croccodile Dundee, I hadn't the faintest idea of what they're for. The dictionary says they're 'used for washing one's genitals and posterior parts.' For whom? Women only? I can't imagine a guy using one - or do they, and when? Someone please explain.

POSTED 12/7/2000

Pete, Portland, ME, United States, 50, Male, Humanist, White/Caucasian, Heteroflexible, Writer, 4 Years of College

Mesg ID 1262000115116


Responses:

The first time I saw a bidet was when my ex-husband and I were stationed with the Air Force in Italy. We were told the same thing you were told. Although I never used one, I can see how it could be useful. What I couldn't understand was why it was needed when a bathtub was available. I suppose, though, for example, if a woman had an accident during her monthly cycle, she could effectively clean herself up without having to take a full bath. However, I can see a man using it as well. It's designed for a person to sit on and straddle while facing the faucets.

POSTED 12/7/2000

Redeemed One, Newport News, VA, United States, 52, Female, Black/African American, 4 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 127200031228

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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


Responses:

I think women have come a long way. The point of feminism is for women to have choices in their lives and be able to decide where and what they want to be. For the most part, we have achieved this. Of course, there are women who aren't making the best choices for their lives and then whining about the results, but there are a lot of men out there doing the same thing. Women don't have a monopoly on whining. I think more people in general need to take charge of the direction their lives are taking. Too many people - women and men - let life just sort of wash over them.

POSTED 11/29/2000

Lucy, San Jose, CA, United States, 26, Female, Hispanic/Latino, Engineer, 4 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 1129200013028


On the contrary, women have come a long way in being independent, demanding respect and equality and being successful business people in the United States. The only down side to it is that our children and attention to family may suffer as a result of being that successful business person; if more attention is being paid to one aspect of your life than the other, the latter will surely suffer. As the divorce rate increases, it is becoming more necessary for women of single-parent households to support and provide a good home for themselves and their children. What is a girl to do? Women are having to make all of the decisions inside and outside the household. Don't throw away those aromatherapy candles yet; if no one else will pamper us, we might as well pamper ourselves!

POSTED 12/7/2000

Jr. Super Woman, Houston, TX, United States, <kpa75@aol.com>, 25, Female, Black/African American, Systems Analyst, 4 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 1130200011625


I read your statements about women and how they should make desions for themselves and stop 'wimping out.' You also said that you are not a feminist, but really that's the whole motive behind feminism. Feminism seems to have been given this stigmatism of being a negative. I am a feminist. I don't hate men and want to do away with them, I don't blame men for all the world's problems and I'm not a lesbian. Equality and the freedom to dictate one's own life is what feminism is about. It's OK to say you're a feminist; if someone looks down on that, it's their own ignorance for not knowing what it truly is.

POSTED 12/7/2000

Paula, Louisville, KY, United States, 18, Female, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Paralyzed, student, High School Diploma

Mesg ID 1130200034425

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Question:

Is it right for children under the age of 18 to be sexually active?

POSTED 12/7/2000

Tara, Melbourne, NA, Australia, <tara198@hotmail.com>, 27, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, corparate lawyer, Over 4 Years of College , Upper class

Mesg ID 127200025218


Responses:

I don't think the question should be whether it's right for people to be sexually active at a certain age. The better question is, Should we be doing a better job teaching people to recognize when they are or are not ready to be sexually active? I was ready at 16 - I had all the facts, was emotionally mature enough, had money in the bank in case of emergency, had contraceptives. However, I know many people who are far older than 18 who are still not ready. We can't just say, "Oh, you're allowed to vote now, I guess you're ready to have sex."

POSTED 12/7/2000

Ariann, Cleveland, OH, United States, 20, Female

Mesg ID 127200030517


According to the Bible, it's a sin for any unmarried person to be sexually active, regardless of their age. God designed sexual intercourse for a man and wife to procreate, and it is intended to be pleasurable. If it weren't, there wouldn't be any families. Whenever we step outside of God's will, we get into trouble: unwanted pregnancies, out-of-wedlock births, STDs, etc. Unmarried people under 18 should have other, more serious goals in mind. A person's first sexual experience should be with his or her spouse on their wedding night. It may sound 'old fashioned,' and a lot of people will disagree and say things like, 'This is the year 2000' or 'This is a new day,' but that doesn't make it right. God's Word never changes, and it's meant for our good.

POSTED 12/7/2000

Redeemed One, Newport News, VA, United States, 52, Female, Baptist, Black/African American, 4 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 127200032936

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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


Responses:

From a male standpoint, there's probably no right or wrong answer. Most guys really do NOT want to know which other stallions have been in the stall. However, I believe the context of a relationship is set very early on. We are all different people to different people. How people relate in the early days of dating sets the pattern for the full life of the relationship, and it is difficult to change later on. It is surprising how early this happens. If you do not reveal the affair with the friend, this pattern of not discussing 'undiscussables' will set the 'rules' for how you relate on most other things. If you do bring it up, a pattern of being honest will be set at the start. However, honesty can be overrated at times, especially in sexual history. If I were your new boyfriend, I would want to know. Oh, and by the way, the old 'fling' WILL tell the current 'fling' at some point, anyway. Count on it.

POSTED 11/29/2000

Steve, Houston, TX, United States, 44, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, Corporate Cubicle Neanderthal, Over 4 Years of College , Upper middle class

Mesg ID 112800115452


I had a similar situation - only my Guy #1 was the anonymous summer fling and my Guy #2 was someone I wanted to date. Since Guy #1 and I agreed we'd never say anything about our summer tryst, I didn't tell Guy #2. Turns out Guy #2 and Guy #1 were friends and Guy #1 told Guy #2 all about me (in vivid detail) before I even met Guy #2. In the end, Guy #2 was uncomfortable getting too serious with me because 1) I'd been his friend's plaything - and he knew more about it than a woman would ever want someone else to know; and 2) I wasn't forthcoming about it when it became clear the three of us were connected. What did I learn from all this? First, my summer fling with Guy #1 wasn't worth it. I lost out on an opportunity to date a great guy for a meaningless sexual liaison with a blabbermouth. Next, honesty really is the best policy - had I been more open, maybe Guy #2 could have gotten over the mental picture he had of me coupled with his friend.

POSTED 11/29/2000

Alicia, Seattle, WA, United States, 32, Female, Black/African American, Attorney, Over 4 Years of College , Upper middle class

Mesg ID 1128200032030


Unless you are dead-sure this will never come out - and I wouldn't be under the circumstances - you'd be best off telling your boyfriend at an opportune time. It will be worst if he hears it from his buddy, and pretty bad if he hears it from you at an intimate moment. The longer you wait, the worse it will be.

POSTED 11/29/2000

Jerry S., New Britain, CT, United States, Male

Mesg ID 1128200034434


Get ready, baby. The walls are getting ready to crash down. You reap what you sow.

POSTED 11/29/2000

Mark, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 25, Male, White/Caucasian, Law Student, Over 4 Years of College

Mesg ID 1128200094603


 

Say nothing, and hope he doesn't find out. Chances are if he and Guy #2 are becoming friends, then Guy #2 wouldn't want to hurt him any more than you do. Besides, if originally it was 'nothing serious' between you and #1, he couldn't expect you to remain exclusive (he may have been seeing others as well). Let sleeping dogs lie.

POSTED 11/29/2000

S.B., New York, NY, United States, 28, Female, 4 Years of College

Mesg ID 11292000123327


Tell him. If he's a reasonable person, he'll probably be angry with you initially, but he'll get over it and realize it really isn't all that important. But if he finds out on his own, he will likely be highly pissed off that a) you did it, and b) you tried to hide it. But you don't need to give all the details when/if you tell him; to say that during the summer you dated the other guy should suffice. If he wants to know more, tell him it was nothing serious and that it is, and has been, over.

POSTED 11/29/2000

Gregory H., New York, NY, United States, 22, Male, Christian, Black/African American, Straight, law student, Over 4 Years of College

Mesg ID 1129200015227


Do not say anything. Some things are better left unsaid. It is not necessary to tell him because it will only hurt him. If he were presently your man, then it would be wise to tell him. However, he is not. Leave well enough alone. Plus, you may mess up their friendship.

POSTED 11/30/2000

Chelsea, Kansas City, MO, United States, Female

Mesg ID 1130200054945


This is a sensitive issue and has to be handled correctly, which means honestly. If you and guy #1 agreed to see other people while he was away, then you really haven't done anything wrong. Leaving this unsaid will become a big problem in the future because somehow it WILL come out and then guy #1 will not be able to forgive you because you've kept it from him for so long. He may already feel that way if you tell him now, but better late than never. Talk to guy #2 and tell him you want to tell guy #1 about what happened, and both of you tell him. Be prepared for him to react negatively, though, because now all he's going to picture is his best friend and his girl in bed together, and that's going to be hard for him to deal with. But if he's as serious as you are about your relationship, he will get over it eventually.

POSTED 12/7/2000

Trisha, Toronto, Ontario, NA, Canada, 26, Female, Black/African American, Straight, entrepreneur, 2 Years of College , Middle class

Mesg ID 11302000122712


If you want to keep this guy, you better keep this secret - deep, deep down - as though it never happened.

POSTED 12/7/2000

Ramon, Garland, TX, United States, <RAYMOND.WIMBLEY@BANCTEC.COM>, 24, Male, Baptist, Black/African American, Straight, computer technician, Over 4 Years of College , Upper middle class

Mesg ID 1130200053326


Face the music and own up. Otherwise, your boyfriend will find out eventually, and he'll wonder what other information you might not be willing to divulge.

POSTED 12/7/2000

Ronald V., Edmonton, Alberta, NA, Canada, Male

Mesg ID 121200030146

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