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I Can't Believe You Asked That!: The Ultimate Q&A about Race, Sex, Religion, and Other Terrifying Topics (英語) ペーパーバック – 2004/9/30
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Now, Yforum.com's creator offers a compelling book with real answers-from both everyday people and experts-for questions on even the most sensitive topics:
€ What do blind people "see" in their dreams?
€ Why do white people smell like wet dogs when they come out of the rain?
€ Why do so many gay men love The Wizard of Oz?
€ Do Catholics consider oral sex a sin?
Politically correct or not, these questions reflect natural, honest, human curiosity about the lives and experiences of other people. Nationally recognized diversity advocate Phillip Milano uses these and a host of other questions from his hugely popular Yforum.com website to present an unflinching, occasionally bizarre, and sometimes hilarious look at the taboo topics so many people wonder about-but usually don't dare ask.
Phillip Milano is the Director and Editor-in-Chief of Y? The National Forum on People's Differences, and founder of the National Diversity Job Bank, the nation's premier recruiting site for minorities and women. He is the former chairman of the Recruitment and Youth Development Committee of The Newspaper Association of America's Diversity Board, and a featured speaker nationwide at diversity-related professional conferences and seminars. He is a 17-year newspaper veteran, and an editor for the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville.
This is a collection of questions and answers about delicate subjects from Milano's website, "Y? The National Forum on People's Differences." Some of this is a little too delicate for an Amazon review, but let me give it a try.
Do women (pass gas)? Replies range from "Of course..." (dodo brain) to "men tend to pass a higher volume of gas than women--about 120 cc (cubic centimeters) per passage to just 90 cc for women" while "women have a higher concentration of the dreaded hydrogen sulfide in their outbursts, which makes their odor intensity greater." So now you know. (But unmentioned is the inflammatory test beloved by adolescents with cigarette lighters...)
"Why do Christian networks and shows feature people with really big hair and lots of makeup and gaudy, overdecorated sets?" I always wondered that myself. According to one guy ("MIKE, 42, Humanist gay male), the target audience seems to be "trailer park trash" from the Bible Belt "where big hair and tons of makeup seem to never go out of style." Professor Anson Shupe from Indiana University adds that the Trinity Broadcasting Network, etc. have "done their polls and market research, and they know what sells" and "The big hair and ornate sets have a certain appeal to these televangelists' biggest audience segment: lower-middle-class, middle-aged females."
One more: "Is it true that when women are together they talk in much more graphic, detailed and intimate terms about sex and their sexual partners than men do?" Answer: it depend on who you ask, but according to Milano's expert, Aline Zoldbrod, "I think men like to imagine women having all these intimate discussions about their sexual relationships, but women are as private as men." Hmm. Another truism of my youth blown to smithereens.
The book is divided into nine chapters from "COLOR-BLIND: Race and Ethnicity" to "ON THE JOB: Work." Within the chapters are sections headed by a question, followed by some answers from people who responded on the website (e.g., "DEBBIE K., 29, married female"), concluded with what Milano calls a "Y?Check" in which he cites an authority or two on the subject at hand (or in hand, as the case may be). Tacked on to the end of the chapters are some questions they are working on, with no answers yet.
And, yes, SIZE does matter. (But you knew that.)
Bottom line: adult, levelheaded and informative, mostly PC, but not overly so with some chuckles and some surprises.
I was vastly entertained by the subject of sexuality, race and ethnicity. (Although some questions were somewhat silly... ) A reader wonders why "White People" (a generalization in itself), smell like wet dogs when they get wet. Huh? Anyway myths such as this are quickly debunked. Thank God.
Several sections I found less interesting. The section on disabilities, age, and class (a social and not biological construct) seemed common knowledge or to have so many variables that I found it difficult to be interested. Age is also another widely variable category. Sometimes the questions seemed a little off-kilter such as: "How come it seems that Teenagers are afraid to take care of AIDS patients?" Huh? I've never heard or thought of this as being a perception of teenagers. Teens come with variable responsibility levels as do adults.
Overall an excellent book. Sure to educate one on both our perceived and real differences. This could only be improved with a few more 'widely wondered' questions and an omission of a few of the more obvious ones. High entertainment value.
Adding the opinion of experts on each topic provides a great summary, while still allowing the reader to ponder the question and arrive at his own conclusion, or at least arrive at a better understanding about persons different from himself.
We need this book, if for nothing else, than to open our minds to understanding, tolerance and acceptance.
The material in the book speaks about his commitment to diversity and discussion, and knowing that he runs the yforum website shows it even more.