Best of the Week
of Dec. 22, 2002

Best of Week ArchivesArchives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of Dec. 22, 2002, 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 database as well). In the Original Archives, as well as in the 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:

Do African Americans actually celebrate Kwanzaa? What do you do?
POSTED 12/22/2002
Jason C., Los Angeles, CA, United States, Male, Christian, Asian, Gay, Student, 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 1212200251805

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Question:
 
Why do Catholics pray to the Virgin Mary when the Bible clearly states that all power is in Jesus? Mary was merely a vessel God used to bring forth His Son. Once Christ was crucified, no more is mentioned about Mary in the Bible. The Bible states that there is one mediator between God and man, and that's Christ Jesus. I rarely hear a Catholic speak of Jesus; it's always Mary.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Redeemed One, Newport News, VA, United States, 54, Female, Black/African American, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1220200250959

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Question:

Why do some Chinese men grow their pinkie fingernail long?
POSTED 12/22/2002
Ashley, Temecula, CA, United States, 21, Female, White/Caucasian, High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 1222200220503

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Question:

Why do white girls not have butts?
POSTED 12/22/2002
Bunnie, Chattanooga, TN, United States, <sweetladie838@aol.com>, 15, Female, Christian, Black/African American, Straight, student, Less than High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 129200224603

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Question:
 
Why do Jews and Catholics usually support Democratic candidates in elections? It would seem that the Democrats' (particularly the extremely liberal segment) stand on Israel and abortion respectively would be totally opposite of what Jews and Catholics believe in.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Kathy, Springfield, IL, United States, 50, Female, White/Caucasian, Medical, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 1221200251826

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Question:
 
Why do white people let their children use profanity toward them? When I say children, I mean between the ages of 5 to adulthood. I can't for the life of me understand why you let them do this to you. Do you not think it's disrespectful? Or do you think it's just a way of expression?
POSTED 12/22/2002
Bambie, Raleigh, NA, United States, 34, Female, Baptist, Native American/African American, Straight, Pharmeceuticals, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1221200253417

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Question:

Are all grandmothers as caring as the book market with its sweetish thank-you booklets makes them out to be? I opened one the other day and was horrified to find that not even a quarter of the contents applied to my mother's relation to her grandchild. She certainly doesn't bake or cook or send letters or parcels, has no interest in her grandchild's friends or games, is impatient with her stories when visiting, never pampers her but makes her feel unwanted, criticized and a burden, yet eloquently demands respect and authority and is very sulky if this meets with rebellion on behalf of my daughter. I've just been reading the rebukes posted at Y? Forum to the grandchild for not listening to his granny's ramblings. If my mother ever reaches that blessed age of wanting to communicate to my daughter, I would not be surprised should she meet with open disregard and even hostility.
POSTED 12/8/2002
T., Munich, NA, Germany, 33, Female, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 1282002121309


Responses:
I was born in Europe, and my grandma was as far removed from the 'sweet granny' ideal as possible. She was grumpy, bad tempered, miserable and took absolutely no interest in my life as a child other than to ask if I'd washed the dishes or tell me about how well she could wash clothes, iron, etc at my age. She also offered me no insight into life or shared any of her childhood memories with me. She was equally mean to all her other grandkids (except my brother, who she made known was her favorite) and now, at 70-plus years old, she wonders why none of her grandkids visit. It's sad, but I just don't feel the urge to visit this person who was around a lot but that I never really knew
POSTED 12/22/2002
Jay, New York, NY, United States, Female, White/Caucasian, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 129200250402

I'm the one who posted the message about my great grandmother talking too much. You described her exactly.
POSTED 12/22/2002
D., St. Louis, MO, United States, 28, Female, Mesg ID 1210200275623

I'm curious: did she treat you like that, too, as your mother? Does she have other grandchildren she treats this way? In any case, everyone doesn't like to bake cookies, etc. I suspect there are lots of mothers out there who didn't really enjoy diapers, crying, potty training, endless questions and all the other stuff that goes along with rearing children. They're glad when that phase of their life is over, and they don't want to repeat it, even a little bit. Some women find it difficult to accept that they're old enough to be grandmothers. (I'm 46 and became a grandmother last April. I love my grandson, but hesitate to tell everyone I'm a grandma.) If my child's grandmother treated her badly, I wouldn't subject my child to that. I bet you can find some other 'grandmotherly' person who would love for you and your daughter to spend time with her.
POSTED 12/22/2002
E.D., Kansas City, MO, United States, 46, Female, Black/African American, Mesg ID 1211200295849

I think you are not alone. My mother is one who would always remind us how difficult it was for her to raise us, how she had sacrificed, as if it wasn't her responsibility, and hence now we have to pay her back by literally abandoning our own children and spending all our time with her, pay her the utmost respect and care for her like she couldn't get out of bed (while she still can). She uses all kinds of tactics to get money out of us, like complaining that the appliances she has are getting too old, but once we gave her money to get a new one, she changed her mind. She also asked my sister (who is divorced with kids) to give her kids away because it's no use looking after any kids. She refused to help keep an eye on my kid (a 2-year-old at the time) while my wife cooked for her. She gets very annoyed when her grandchildren are around. I guess when we get old, we change. What changes us? I don't know. I think we just have to be patient with them. One day, we may become like them. What do I tell my kids? I'm still looking for that answer.
POSTED 12/22/2002
P, Singapore, NA, Singapore, 36, Male, Asian, Engineer, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 12122002111257

Plenty of grandmothers are unpleasant. It's a fantasy, like Cinderella. I would really suggest to keep your daughter away from her grandmother. She doesn't need to feel like she's unwanted when seeing a family member.
POSTED 12/22/2002
M., Agawam, MA, United States, Female, White/Caucasian, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 12132002100703

Grandmothers differ just as parents and siblings do. I have one grandmother who baked cookies, remembers birthdays and kept an extra Raggedy Ann doll at her house for me when I visited. The other grandmother I barely knew and have no warm memories of. She was not a nurturing mother (fortunately, her husband was nurturing, because he reared a fantastic son, who is my dad.) It's not clear how old your child is, but you might want to start explaining that all people can't be good at all things. Some people just lack patience with children. Try to accept her on her terms, and if that's at arm's length, so be it.
POSTED 12/22/2002
C., Austin, TX, United States, 30ish, Female, Jewish, White/Caucasian, Straight, attorney, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1216200250845

My maternal grandma, the one I remember best, was depressed later in life. She had lost two sons and a husband and was forced to leave her home and move in with my aunt. She was languishing. She didn't have a lot of energy to be actively involved in our lives, and for her circumstances I don't blame her. Everyone has baggage that prevents them from being the perfect grandmother, mother, daughter, sister, whatever. Maybe the problem is comparing one's family to a Hallmark ideal that doesn't exist in the real world.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Hallie, Columbus, OH, United States, 19, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, student, High School Diploma, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 1222200215919

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Question:

1) Do the Scottish tend to be stubborn? I'm of Scottish descent, and whenever I'm being stubborn, my mom says it's the 'Scottish stubbornness' in me.
2) What percentage of Scotsmen wear kilts? I don't think they all do, but I was wondering.
3) How do Scots feel about becoming a separate country again? How do they feel about the English? Do they identify themselves with the clans you see tartans for in all the tourist traps?
POSTED 12/8/2002
Christina, Long Beach, CA, United States, 21, Female, Baptist, White/Caucasian, Straight, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 125200283843


Responses:
I was born and raised in England around many Scottish people, and never found them any more stubborn than any other groups.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Brian, London, NA, United Kingdom, Male, White/Caucasian, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 129200250659

1) I've heard of the 'stubborn Scot' stereotype (along with the violent/drunk/cheap Scot stereotypes), but outside of anecdotal evidence there's no reason to believe Scots are predisposed to be stubborn. That's like saying 'Jews are predisposed to be stingy'.
2) Very few Scotsmen wear kilts on a regular basis. The kilt was invented in the 1700s by an Englishman. It is a modern-invented tradition associated with Highland Scots. Not all Scots are Highlanders.
3) Scotland is already a separate country. It belongs to the United Kingdom.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Hallie, Columbus, OH, United States, 19, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, student, High School Diploma, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 1222200221114

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Question:

I work in a call center in the customer relations department. We receive hundreds of calls a day. I am not lying when I say that 98 percent of the complaint calls come from white people. They seem to have nothing better to do than complain about minor things. They like to carry on as if someone has been murdered. And if they can't have their way, watch out. Why do white people, the majority being privileged, complain so much?
POSTED 12/8/2002
MarronBella, Anniston, AL, United States, 24, Female, Black/African American, Customer Service, 4 Years of College, Lower class, Mesg ID 125200293240


Responses:
You didn't mention what type of help line you work on, so it's tough to say why it's mainly white people calling in. But my guess is that you answered your own question: they're privileged and are not used to being inconvenienced. I think it's also important to note that you should never underestimate the number of knuckle-dragging morons out there clogging the streets, since idiocy is color blind.
POSTED 12/22/2002
K.T., Omaha, NE, United States, Male, White/Caucasian, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 129200232205

I work on a military installation with a broad scope of diverse cultures. I can tell you from experience that whining is not limited to whites. From what I have seen, it is an American pastime. What's so ridiculous is that so many Americans; black or white, think they should NEVER have to hear the word 'no,' should never be inconvenienced and should always be accommodated. It's hilarious if you visit other countries where people survive on so little and are grateful for what they have. It's a primary reason other countries call us, 'arrogant Americans.' And it makes it very difficult when Americans work hard and contribute much, yet get stuck with this label by so many others.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Alma J., Kempner, TX, United States, 49, Female, Methodist, White/Caucasian, Lesbian, government employee, 4 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 129200233026

I used to wait tables, and no one complained like African Americans - even my black friends who waited tables said the same thing. Also, in college and in all my jobs, African Americans have complained about more stuff than anyone else. Maybe your help desk provides a service that predominantly white people use, rather than them being disproportionately complain-prone.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Ruth, Newark, NY, United States, Female, White/Caucasian, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 129200251301

First, why do you say that most white people are privileged? That's a generalization or perhaps a stereotype. I'm white and am no more more privileged than my black peers, white peers, Latino peers, etc.
POSTED 12/22/2002
littlesister, Long Beach, CA, United States, 30, Female, White/Caucasian, retail, Mesg ID 129200284618

I wouldn't consider most white people very privileged, especially in Alabama, but then again, I don't know exactly who you are dealing with on your job. One thing I have noticed about people of privilege is that they do tend to complain about smaller things. I imagine it's because they are used to a life without as much hassle and are unaccustomed to small problems. They are also used to people being available to clean up after them and bear very little responsibility for the messes they often make. In terms of race, however, I worked customer service a few years ago and noticed that black people were actually the most vocal and irritable about mistakes made in their service on the average. But I did work in an area that was probably 75 percent black on a job that served mostly black people, so it's likely that the percentages were affected by this a bit.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Seamus, Charlestown, MA, United States, 23, Male, Construction, Lower class, Mesg ID 12102002104230

I noticed the same thing when I went to a predominantly white college. It seemed like some students couldn't understand that the world did not revolve around their own wants and needs. I've also heard people from other countries say similar things about Americans in general, and I think it comes down to the privilege you mention. With privilege comes a sense of entitlement. If you are used to having things your way, you expect any and everything to be the way you want it to be. You expect people to accommodate you, even if it causes a problem for them. If things aren't the way you want them, you feel you have the right to complain, even if it is something minor. It also doesn't help that Americans have a 'customer is always right' mentality. That attitude makes people think that if they complain and yell enough, they'll get their way.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Johnna, Montgomery, AL, United States, 27, Female, Black/African American, Mesg ID 12102002110941

I'm a white woman and have worked with the public in a variety of capacities for most of my working life. My last job was as a cashier at a major department store in Potomac Mills, Woodbridge, VA. You say you work in a call center, so respectfully, how can you be so sure of the race of so many of the callers? Potomac Mills, being so close to D.C., is a major tourist attraction in northern Virginia. As a result, I've waited on and worked with people from all over the world - white, black, Asian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, etc. - and every conceivable variation. I've learned through experience that people generally are pretty much the same toward people waiting on them: some are courteous, some are just having a hard day themselves and some are just plain mean. Some deliberately pick fights with the cashier, etc. just to make trouble for someone who's not in a position to talk back. Others find things to complain about in hopes of getting discounts or other special privileges - and I'm sorry to say this, but it often works. In my experience, store brass rarely protect their employees from such abuse. They won't give you credit for the 99 people out of 100 you've pleased. They only chew you out for the one you couldn't. Having said all that, there are only a couple of racial or ethnic or age differences I've noticed among the literally thousands of people I've waited on: 1) Older people are less likely to shoplift. 2) Customers, whether male or female, tend to treat male employees with more respect than female employees. 3) The worst (narrowly defined) customer there is is a white woman who's never had to work outside the home. And as I said, I'm white myself. The bottom line is that some people are kind, no matter their background, and some are jerks. And there's plenty of both kinds in all ethnic groups. I am now a substitute teacher. I love it, and handling kids of all ages has been a snap compared to some of the horrors I have had to wait on.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Roberta, Jackson, TN, United States, 41, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Substitute teacher, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1211200231058

White people have grown up with the best of everything. We're told that we deserve the best - that if something is not 'right,' it should be fixed. So, we complain. On the other hand, (and this is just a guess) the black community spends so much time and energy just to trying to get something, anything, that there's no reason to complain, for they wouldn't get what they wanted anyway. Also, I think this has a lot to do with self-confidence. Self-confident whites are who are complaining, whereas so many blacks lack the self-confidence (thanks to whites) to try to make changes in a dominant white society.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Colleen, Jacksonville, FL, United States, 20, Female, White/Caucasian, college student, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 12122002123614

You're cutting against the stereotype here. When I was working as a cashier, my fellow workers and I wondered why black people complained so much. And I've heard the same thing in other places. Maybe people notice it more when people from another group complain. Maybe almost everybody who buys your company's products is white. Maybe the place I worked attracted a bad crowd. I don't know. I never call complaint lines. I think most white people would be surprised to hear you get so many calls from white people.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Matt, Sacramento, CA, United States, 25, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Software Engineer, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 12132002125537

Because we think we are the only race that can now be legally discriminated against. Yes, I know that is the stupidest statement you have probably heard, but it is true. Many white people seem to have no idea about what black people go throgh on a daily basis. For example, in Britain, black men are more likely to be stopped and searched by the police. Most white people don't even believe that white privilege exists. I have heard comments along the lines of 'lets hope there are no Aztecs, because they practice human sacrfice.' The implication being is that if there were, then because of multiculturalism, human sacrifice would become legal. As someone who has educated myself about black people's issues, I find that abhorrent.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Gary, London, NA, United Kingdom, 21, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Web Page designer, Middle class, Mesg ID 12142002125619


I know exactly what you are talking about. After 'their' nine-to-five jobs, their life is boring and they need to find something to do with the majority of their boring lives. The next time they call with nonsense, tell them to 'fix it your damn self'! I bet they will not call any more!
POSTED 12/22/2002
A True Relator, Atlanta, GA, United States, Straight, 2 Years of College, Upper class, Mesg ID 1215200270615

They complain in order to get results. Whites do not just accept whatever is given/done/handed to them the way blacks do. (Yes, these are sweeping generalizations, but you get the point). A white person can get a parking ticket and never give up the fight against it. On the other hand, it just seems as if black people have been conditioned to accept the okey-doke and just complain among ourselves. Granted, there are a great many who will fight and get what they are due. More of us need to do the same.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Latonia, Buffalo, NY, United States, 28, Female, Baptist, Black/African American, Straight, Student, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 12172002112259

I can speak from some experience on this, as I was a customer service representative for a large financial institution for almost four years. In that time, I answered approximately 140,000 calls. My take on the white/ black / red / yellow question of 'who complains most' is this; The people with the most time on their hands did the complaining. In as much as it is difficult to determine race by voice, there are occasions that offer some indication with a fair amount of accuracy. For example, if you heard someone with Locust Valley lockjaw say 'Lovey, Ask the driver to pick up the Rolls after my afternoon tea, and have the maid fluff the pillows a little extra tonight' you probably couldn't get past picturing Thurston Howell III with his sailor hat and day coat. So to some degree you can guess who you are speaking with. And based on that, my experience is that the complaints came from every color, flavor and nationality. In all the time I was on the phone, I never ended a day feeling that a particular group of people were any more or less likely to be or act a particular way. Ignorant and learned minds know not the bounds of race or gender. MarronBella, I am curious to know what type of business you answered calls for. Is it a type of Business/Service where you would be more likely to speak to a particular gender or race? For example, do you work for Clairol's 'Hair Coloring for White Chicks' complaint hotline? I'm making a joke, but I am serious in that the type of business just might have something to do with the type of calls received.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Dave, Long island, NY, United States, <Bikerace@optonline.net>, 34, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, Technical Project Manager, Technical School, Middle class, Mesg ID 1219200254250

Complaining has not been a 'natural' activity here in the UK, to the point where recently TV consumer programs have been trying to encourage people to complain when they receive poor service and/or shoddy goods. Most of the time we just grumble about it among ourselves, but don't actually do anything about it because it could be perceived as time-wasting or rude. I would advocate complaining if it were a genuine issue, as sometimes it's the only way a business finds out if something is going wrong. Perhaps white America has taken this on with a little too much enthusiasm, or perhaps there's some reason why black customers feel they can't or shouldn't make complaints?
POSTED 12/22/2002
Paul, Gloucester, NA, United Kingdom, Male, White/Caucasian, Mesg ID 1220200295526

How do you know most of your customers are white? Is that information that is required before your company provides service? As to the comment that the majority of white people are privileged, I would ask what you consider privileged. Is it anyone who has a college education, is it anyone who makes a certain amount of money or is it anyone who lives in a home they are purchasing? Who determines what is an acceptable level of privilege? Personally, I feel very blessed that God has given me the ability to earn everything I have, but I did earn it. As far as the comment about why we complain about presumably defective merchandise - you didn't indicate what type of customer call center you work in so I'm making an assumption - perhaps it is because having earned the money that was used to purchase a product, we expect the product to be satisfactory and expect the service to resolve the problem about which we call.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Kathy, Springfield, IL, United States, 50, Female, White/Caucasian, Medical, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 1221200250657

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Question:

I have been fat essentially all my life, I'm currently size 26. I yo-yodieted for 20 years, realized I can't keep the weight off, and stopped dieting.I have had many unpleasant comments about my weight, for example, kids teasingme at school from age 7 to 12, as an adult, men calling out 'fat bitch' atme in the street and making vomit noises, colleagues at work expressing distasteat what I was eating, and at fat people in general. In my therapy group I'mdiscussing how I feel about my weight and appearance with others. I wouldlike to hear how people genuinely think and feel about fat people and theirappearance. I don't want politically correct and 'nice' replies, I want completelyhonest replies.
POSTED 12/8/2002
Jenny, Wellington, NA, New Zealand, 37, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian,Straight, Librarian, Technical School, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 128200274531


Responses:
As the daughter of an obese mother, I can relate to the tauntings you received - I got them also from classmates for having a 'fat mother.' However, i also know that my mother didn't eat particularly healthy, and never exercised - preferring instead to drive everywhere. I, on the other hand, am not obese, but spend hours every week exercising (even though I really hate it) just to keep in shape. So, I really think obese people either A) don't want to be in shape or B) want to be in shape but don't want to do the work involved. I think it's a choice.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Jay, New York, NY, United States, Female, White/Caucasian, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 129200252930

I think people who make fun of fat people are really just scared of becoming fat themselves. People like to eat, and it's very easy to eat too much. I was pretty heavy for most of my life. I know how hard it is to keep the weight off. Nobody wants to be fat because it's just not 'desirable.' If people comment, I believe it's sort of a defense mechanism because they're afraid of someday being fat. As far as men commenting on the streets: men can be idiots. Sorry guys, but it's the truth. Men can be very obnoxious. And, yes, I know it's not all men, but I get comments all the time from men who, ahem, 'like what they see.' They think it shows their masculinity to comment. Notice it's usually men who are with other men. It can be very embarrassing, even though the comments are positive.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Natalie, New York, NY, United States, 19, Female, Catholic, White/Caucasian, actor, High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 129200270139

I think of a lack of self-discipline, self-respect and self-control. I think of a drug addict, where the drug is food.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Charles L., Chicago, IL, United States, 41, Male, Asian, programmer, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1210200283622

I understand what you are going through, although even at my highest weight I was never considered 'obese.' Still, weight has always been an issue, and unless I'm between a size 3 to 6, I don't feel good about myself at a higher weight. I could not stand the thought of being fat, because I was raised to always be pretty and alluring. Although I had the hour-glass figure, I seemed to always get compliments on it by both whites and blacks. It wasn't until I was severely teased in high school about my big hips and thighs that I started worrying so much about it. And unless I get down to 100 pounds (which may be next to impossible), I may always feel subconscious. As far as my perception of others who are overweight, I do not care. I think it's very rude if someone so blatantly points out another person's downfalls, especially if it's a man making fun of a woman. However, I will admit that I may think a bit negatively about an obese person if they dress inappropriately. Sometimes the way one dresses can cause unwanted attention. And as far as the men, what are the ages of these people who are calling you a 'fat bitch'? They would almost have to be young teens or adults, as I would think older men would be so much more mature than to act in such a primitive fashion. If my hypothesis is correct, you should realize that young people are immature in general. They will make fun of you regardless of what size you are. It is best to ignore these fools and just move on. Believe me, even if you were a size zero, they would still find something to tease you about. By the way, just because men (especially young ones) say or do whatever, it doesn't mean a thing about whether you are sexually attractive to males in general. Sometimes you will find the men with the biggest mouth are the main ones coming home to voluptuous women. But it doesn't matter. I wouldn't want a man who could only love me for what size I am.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Kristina, Washington, DC, United States, 21, Female, Christian, Black/African American, Transcriber, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1211200254651

I think it's disgusting. I'm glad I'm not fat. Some people supposedly don't have control over it, but I think that is a lame excuse for lack of will power. Unless you have a massive thyroid problem, which is still treatable by medicine, there is no excuse.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Dennis, Torrance, CA, United States, <dlewis49@hotmail.com>, Male, Mesg ID 12122002122915

I'm not the smallest person in the world but maybe I can help you. People make fun of fat people to make themselves look better. I admit I have done it before and am not justifying it. As long as you dress appropriately and don't stuff your face when you eat, you shouldn't have a problem. I have known many overweight people in my life who have had no problems with discrimination. Maybe it's something about your behaviors that draw attention to yourself . Whatever it is, I'm sure your colleagues will learn to respect you and your differences.
POSTED 12/22/2002
James S., Speedway, IN, United States, <bigjames420@hotmail.com>, 18, Male, Christian, Straight, Target, High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 1218200281152

I don't have any problem with fat people and their appearance. I only have problems with people who don't take care of themselves or their appearance.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Assata, Philadelphia, PA, United States, Female, Black/African American, Lesbian, 2 Years of College, Mesg ID 1218200285713

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Question:

For the men out there: Do you get bumped by other men on the street? I live in New York City and find this to be the case. It's very aggressive. Maybe it's because I am short (5'4'). I used to be a woman (I'm transgender) and don't remember being bumped by men back then. It seems like a guy thing.
POSTED 12/8/2002
Jack G., New York, NY, United States, 31, Male, Catholic, White/Caucasian, social worker, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 125200295744


Responses:
It all depends. I am a bigger guy; sometimes I bump, and sometimes I get bumped, regardless of age, sex and race. It can be an aggressive or self-centered thing. You being smaller are an easy prey. It may also be disrespect. Although guys pretend to be dense, they know who and when they want to give sh*t to someone.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Matthew, New York, NY, United States, 43, Male, Mesg ID 129200290307

I suspect you are putting out over-subservient body language. Men will not be aggressive to a woman, but a man who is servile is a target. Most of them are probably unaware they are doing it. As the song says, 'Walk like a man, talk like a man, my son!'
POSTED 12/22/2002
Ian, B/water, NA, United Kingdom, <yanmcd@hotmail.com>, 34, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1292002104242

Yes. Don't complain of this out loud ever again. Welcome to the undertow of male aggression. I'm assuming as a woman you always saw fights over these things as stupid male behavior that's easily avoided. Twelve months from now you'll see things differently.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Justin, Chicago, IL, United States, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, 2 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 129200261637

No not regularly. I'm 5'4' as well so I don't think that's a factor. If I were in a big hurry on a busy street, I'm sure I'd be more aggressive with men than women, though. So I bet that's the phenomena you're experiencing.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Matt, Sacramento, CA, United States, 25, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Software Engineer, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 1214200242301

I don't think it's intentional, but I would think it's because there are too many people in such a small space. I can't say that the bumps I got were intentional, just that the same space was occupied, and someone had to move.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Leo, Hyattsville, MD, United States, 29, Male, Catholic, bi-racial, Straight, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1219200220901

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Question:

I've noticed that a lot of Asian people, especially Japanese men, have glasses. Is this caused by genetics, or is it an enviromental-related thing?
POSTED 12/8/2002
Lain, Winnipeg, NA, Canada, 23, Male, Middle class, Mesg ID 128200234357



Responses:
There have been studies done in Hong Kong about why children there have a greater tendency to wear glasses than those in mainland China. The answer was simple: school and studies are much more important and emphasized in Hong Kong than in mainland China. Some kids in China don't even get to go to school beyond the elementary level, if at all. Most kids in Hong Kong do go on to finish high school, and likely beyond that. Schoolwork and academic pressure is equally high, if not higher in Japan. Spending too much time with books, especially when you're reading under incorrect lighting, can cause eyesight to deteriorate.
POSTED 12/22/2002
Cynthia, Toronto, Ontario, NA, Canada, 23, Female, Asian, Straight, Contact Lens Wearer, Graduate Student, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 129200221959
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