Asking a Question
To help you get started, you'll find extensive articles here at Yforum.com on diversity,
racism, sexism, sexuality,
ageism, religion and disability.
We encourage you to browse these articles before beginning your dialogues.
Thank you for deciding to take part in
Y? The National Forum On People's Differences.
To submit your question, first read the guidelines below,
and then go to Y?'s Posting
In order for your question to be used, you must
read and understand the following. Questions not meeting these
guidelines will not be posted.
Keep your questions to 40 words or less. Except in unusual
circumstances, longer questions will be trimmed or will not be
You must include an identifier and where you live
with your question (bonus points if you include your age and
demographic background). Y? prefers your full name; however, the
forum understands that some people might be uncomfortable having
their names attached to an "embarrassing" or sensitive question. To
accommodate that concern, Y? will, upon your request, list only your
first initial and last name (or first name and last initial) with
your question. Just let Y? know in your submission. As a last resort,
Y? will accept your initials only, or a nickname, as long as you
include your city as well. This is needed so that others can refer to
you as they answer your question or add to your comments.
Be specific. For example, rather than "Are older people
afraid of younger people?" you might ask "Why does it seem like more
older people are moving into their own separate communities these
days? Are they nervous about being mugged?"
Avoid putting an "assumed truth" into your question. For
example, better to ask "Is it true that white men can't jump as high
as black men?" than "Why can't white men jump?" The latter makes an
assumption; the former seeks to clarify or gather information.
When asking a question, always frame it in such a way that
it is being asked not of "the powers that be," but of a person from a
background different from yours. A good way to think of this is, "How
would I ask this question if a person of this background were sitting
across from me, and I felt comfortable enough to ask it of them?" The
reason for this is simple: Y? is trying to foster a direct exchange
of information between real people, as opposed to information that is
filtered through traditional sources such as the media, spokespeople
for causes and academicians. This does not mean, however, that Y?
will not consider comments from these sources, as appropriate.
Please don't try to make a political or moral statement
with your question. Just ask what you would like to know. If you have
come to this site, Y?'s assumption is that you are interested in an
exchange of information that is as free of bias and preconceived
notions as possible. That is, quite frankly, the entire point of this
Don't bait or ask mean-spirited questions. A good rule of
thumb: If you're curious, ask. If you already feel you know the
answer to your own question or are trying to "make a point," don't.
The purpose here is to exchange ideas and promote dialogue.
Take your time and be thoughtful in the wording you choose
for your question. Always err on the side of being as inoffensive as
possible in how you phrase a posting. Y? wants your questions;
however, there are ways to seek answers that are less incendiary than
Direct your questions to people from a demographic group
that is different from your own. That is, if you're gay, avoid
asking a question about gays (answer one instead!). Or if you're
male, avoid asking a question about males. Again, the purpose is to
get people who are different from one another asking and answering
IMPORTANT: Y? reserves the right to edit
questions and answers for space and readability, and to paraphase
questions or answers to render them suitable for general viewing.
Before deciding to take part, be advised that if you post a question
or answer that contains hostile language, assumed truths or
preconceived notions, it will very likely either not be posted, or it
will be edited to meet the non-confrontational standards set up by
That's it. Now, to ask your question...