Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

What truisms are so ingrained it seems like the natural order of things?

Asked by wundayatta (58599points) March 5th, 2010

In the US and maybe other Western nations, we “know” that pink is for girls and blue is for boys, yet only a few centuries ago it was the other way around. But now, if we see pink on a boy, it makes a lot of people very uncomfortable.

In some Middle Eastern and Arabic or African cultures, if you eat using your left hand, it is considered very, very disgusting. A great faux pas. For that’s the hand you wipe yourself with, and there is precious little water.

I’m looking for examples of things (other than religious beliefs) that a large number of people accept as “truth;” where belief in it is so strong, it can not be imagined any other way. If it were another way, it would be unnatural. I’m looking for things that arise from a culture, yet feel like a law of nature; customs that hardly anyone ever questions.

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40 Answers

BoBo1946's avatar

In Indonesia it is considered extremely rude to point with the forefinger. It is especially rude if the pointing is towards a person. When pointing the Indonesian uses his thumb.

Blackberry's avatar

Men aren’t supposed to cry.
Men pay on the first date.
Both people should reach at least one orgasm during sexual intercourse.
Women need compliments.
Children should have an unnecessary amount of toys.
Teenagers will rebel.
No one likes Jesus freaks.

marinelife's avatar

Nowadays people wear black to funerals. Whereas, in pre-Victorian times, white was the color of mourning.

pearls's avatar

@BoBo1946 Here in the United States if you point with a mddle finger it is especially rude. I have been on the giving and receiving end, but mostly receiving.

BoBo1946's avatar

@pearls LMAO… it! that was really really good MsP!

Your_Majesty's avatar

@BoBo1946 That’s so right. I live in Indonesia. And handshake with left hand would be considered as extremely rude.

The one we universally know is the law of jungle. “Where only the strongest will survive or something like you deserve a bite if you bite someone”.

UScitizen's avatar

The government will take from the fruits of your labor, and give to those that the government believes should benefit from what you have produced.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Doctor_D wow…did not know that. DrD, went on several cruises and the nicest people I’ve ever met, were the people from your country. Dang, first class!

CMaz's avatar

“Both people should reach at least one orgasm during sexual intercourse.”
That is a must or the deal is off.

And, women don’t wear ties.

pearls's avatar

@ChazMaz Like your thinking…

snowberry's avatar

In Japan, tradition says that anyone who cries is mentally ill.

Cruiser's avatar

The more you give the more that will be expected from you.

snowberry's avatar

I think that’s true of China as well.

UScitizen's avatar

If it has an Adams apple, it’s probably a man.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Once a liar,always a liar.

Fyrius's avatar

I suppose most answers one could give to this question are still not so deeply ingrained that they’re very difficult to tell apart from things that are actually the natural order of things, necessary and inevitable parts of how the world works.
I can think of just a few things that are.

Men can love only women and women can love only men. (This is actually more unnatural than the alternative. People are starting to come around to this though.)

Everyone dies eventually. (I’ve lately come across the transhumanist point of view that old age may one day become a treatable condition.)

Everyone has sex. (There are asexual people out there who honestly don’t give a fuck, literally.)

Everyone needs friends to be happy.

Wealth is good, and everyone always wants as much of it as possible.

SundayKittens's avatar

A man should never hit a woman. How is that fair? I SAID IT.

jfos's avatar

“Money can’t buy happiness.” But eh, I don’t care too much for money—money can’t buy me love.

Ivy's avatar

The U.S. was founded as a Christian nation by Christians.
Animals don’t feel pain like humans do.
Protestors are trouble makers.
If someone is falsely arrested they’ll be vindicated in court.

BoBo1946's avatar

@ChazMaz, watch her (Pearls)....lot of talk going around!

Trillian's avatar

Justice will prevail.
Real men don’t eat quiche.~

Ivy's avatar

One more .. conspiracy theorists are all nut jobs.

davidbetterman's avatar

Men are from Mars
Women are from Venus

CMaz's avatar

There IS a left sock and a right sock.

jfos's avatar

“Terrorists are brown.”

Fyrius's avatar

Rain is unpleasant.

CMaz's avatar

Yea @Fyrius , I could never understand that. We can’t wait to jump into a shower, but people fear the rain. I like the rain.

Sarcasm's avatar

@Fyrius I thought dogs loved rain. Well, I guess that suit would get all mussed up.

janbb's avatar

Rich people are all Republicans and people get more conservative as they age.

trumi's avatar

The world was man for man, and we are the paragon of animals.

mammal's avatar

that in the olden days, life was nasty brutish and short,
that dinosaurs spent an inordinate amount of time engaged in spectacularly epic battles.

jfos's avatar

@mammal You’ve crushed my historical foundations.

snowberry's avatar

Women are controlling.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Love means never having to say you’re sorry.

ninjacolin's avatar

this isn’t the use of the word “truism” that i’m used to. this is more like cultural norms…

CMaz's avatar

That all men are created equal.

wundayatta's avatar

@ninjacolin Yeah, you’re right. The old thinker don’t work so well no more. I wonder who will sue me? ;-)

Grisson's avatar

This probably doesn’t count as being quite on topic, but I thought it was interesing anyway…

A friend of mine from Colombia says that in that culture if you are indicating how tall a person is you hold your hand palm to the side and indicate the height.

If you are indicating how tall an animal is, you hold your hand palm down and indicate the height.

mammal's avatar

that you will inevitably be sodomised in a men’s prison

that you won’t be sodomised in a men’s prison
sorry to all you tough guys who think otherwise

phillis's avatar

A man’s home is his castle (unless a queen resides there)
You are innocent until proven guilty (but yer ass is going to sit in jail anyway)
It doesn’t matter if you’re poor. You will get a fair trial (Bahahaha!!)
It pays to earn an honest living (if you don’t claim all of it on your taxes)
Everyone is equal (proportionate to the level of melanin you possess)
The government works for the people (coz it takes a lot of work, covering for each other)

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