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Topic: Cultural appropriation (Read 1016 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • el jefe
  • asleep till 2020 or 2024
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #25
it certainly bothers me less than people misusing "literally"

Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #26
Yeah, well, I know that. But it bothers me a little bit because so many people seem to take it so seriously and I can't figure out exactly why. Usually when someone has a deeply held value oriented belief, I can understand the justification at least well enough to make an informed decision about the value. Like, I totally get why people are republicans. They are either rich and spoiled or tribal and stupid. But this doesn't make sense to me.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • nesb
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #27
From what I understand, mostly 2nd generation immigrants are sometimes bullied and otherwise pushed to conform to cultural standards as kids or young adults. Because kids are mean. So it upsets them when they see white people getting away with adopting the trappings of a culture they're more closely aligned to, without suffering the same repercussions.

  • Monad
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #28

She is exactly who I don't see as doing something wrong.  People identify with symbols and icons and to a large extent define their own beliefs regarding those icons. If cultural icons/symbols aren't meant to be shared then WTF are they meant for? Rastas wear dreads for their own reasons. White blonde kids do for their own reasons too and some of those reasons may be that they identify with the (capitalist) distribution of icons of rastas. That's kind of the point. People started wearing hair like the Beatles too. Denigrating a person's spiritual or intentity relationship with an icon because it isn't authentic enough seems awfully paternalistic to me. 

Dreads/braids etc go back to multiple cultures anyway, not Rastas, they go back thousands of years. Colonialism is the problem here, not people identifying with people who are colonised. We need more people who do that.

Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #29
I should perhaps hedge a bit on what I mean by wrong in that context. But yeah. That's kind of what I was thinking.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • meepmeep
  • Administrator
  • zombiecat queen
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #30
shook that testy and guapo don't get it, i mean, wow

  • ToThePoint
  • search & destroy
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #31
I see nothing but a bunch of amateurs here.

Link and bow down to the queen of extreme cultural appropriation
"This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time."

Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #32
Hey meep,  help me understand then since you seem to.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • RAFH
  • Have a life, already.
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #33
I see nothing but a bunch of amateurs here.

Link and bow down to the queen of extreme cultural appropriation
I remember that, it was a big deal around here. Lot's of dander gotten up.
Are we there yet?

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #34
Hey meep,  help me understand then since you seem to.

This is a case where the wiki article is worth reading, imo:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_appropriation

Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #35
Only nominally helps. I've read that before. Basically it still doesn't work for me.  I get the derogatory misuse of icons part as being a dominance thing but a whole lot more than that seems wrapped into the context.

Meh. Maybe this is one of those things where I can't get past my privileges. It just seems wrongheaded.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • ToThePoint
  • search & destroy
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #36
Hey meep,  help me understand then since you seem to.

From the Cultural_appropriation wiki link:

Quote
the concept is often misunderstood by the general public, and that charges of "cultural appropriation" are at times misapplied to situations that don't accurately fit,
[.....]
something which is usually done out of admiration of the cultures being imitated, with no intent to harm them

You are allowing for this seepage factor, whereas meepmeep is hardlining & digging her heels in.


"This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time."

  • meepmeep
  • Administrator
  • zombiecat queen
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #37
Hey meep,  help me understand then since you seem to.

ok

tbh I'm exhausted and sick and stressed the fuck out and my brain is melting so idk how much energy I have to spend on writing some boring ass WoT or how much sense it'll make but here goes nothing.

First, idgaf about the girl with the dress. People were being needlessly mean and hostile. What I found obnoxious about it was the pose with them all bowing with their hands folded.

Second, cultural appropriation is a real thing and it's not quite the same as cultural exchange. And there are degrees of appropriation. Some of the clearest examples of appropriation are found in old timey shit like minstrelsy, blackface, and then the appropriation of black American art into the mainstream while keeping the original artists from having a voice. In film, music, and dance, plenty of black artists were prevented from having real careers while white artists basically ripped them off and made a mint doing it. And the repercussions are still with us, in part because a lot of those artists never got their due or never got to produce their art for a wider audience.

I'll use Jeni LeGon as one of the lesser known examples. She was a tap dancer who did the hoofer style of tap before women of any race did it. She was an incredible artist and was the first African American woman to sign a contract with a major movie studio, MGM. So, yay, she got a contract, right? Well, she was supposed to appear in a supporting role in a movie headed by Eleanor Powell, who was an excellent dancer in her own right. But when Powell saw LeGon perform the piece she was supposed to do in the movie, she freaked the fuck out, and MGM cut LeGon from the film. And then they ended up buying out her contract because they couldn't find a single movie for her to actually appear in. She was relegated to black-only films and never got the recognition she deserved. She eventually did star in a movie with Fred Astaire .... as an uncredited maid.

So you got to see Fred and Gene and Ginger and Eleanor and so on perform a dance style that originated among African Americans, but only a handful of black artists ever got to do the same in white films. And when dancers like Bill Bojangles or the Nicholas Brothers were given a number in a white film, they were edited out in the versions of those films that were screened in theaters in the South, anyway.

I'm not opposed to cultural exchange and people borrowing from other cultures, but it is possible to be a piece of shit in how you go about it. If you think Mexicans are all illegal alien rapists who should be kicked out of the country and shouldn't be allowed to speak Spanish and if you still put on a goofy sombrero on Cinco de Mayo and chug Coronas and imitate Speedy Gonzalez, then you're an obnoxious piece of shit. If you treat other people's sacred traditions like a Halloween costume, then you're a dick. If you make fun of people's accents but are happy to eat their food, then you're still an asshole. And sometimes, you're not necessarily a piece of shit or an asshole but you're just annoying.

And, yeah, it has a lot to do with colonialism, like British people being proud of their chicken tikka masala as they yell at the Pakis to get the fuck back home. It's the imbalance of power that makes it sting. So my brother got made fun of when he was a kid because he had an accent, but then Spanish stuff becomes cool because of some hit song on the radio, so it's supposed to be all in good fun. The dominant culture gets to overpower everything else until it picks and chooses which bits of other cultures are okay to play with. In theory, a more equitable cultural exchange helps people learn about each other and maybe not be colossal dicks, but it doesn't always work that way. To have someone appreciate your culture but still treat you differently because you're one of those doesn't actually make it feel any better to be treated that way. Congrats, you fucking like empanadas, but you still fucking think it's wrong for me to speak my language, so...?

And a minor note on the whole Chinese vs Chinese American opinions shit - these are two different populations of people with different views. Just because Chinese Americans may have a problem with something that Chinese people are okay with doesn't mean the Americans are wrong or dumb or whatever. In China, being white is still generally viewed as aspirational, so having white people imitate your culture is seen as elevating your status. That Chinese Americans who get called chinks and who get asked if they're good at math may not see it the same way doesn't mean either one is wrong.

  • uncool
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #38
There are three majors ideas I see brought up when talking about appropriation: stealing for insult, failure to credit, and profaning the sacred.

The original twitter thread on this seemed to try to talk about the third, with a long discussion on the history of the qipao/cheongsam, but people seemed to take it as the first.

borealis's examples seemed to focus on the third - FN ceremonial dress and Navy medals would both qualify.

Meep's examples seem to focus on the first two - the bowing would probably count as insult, LeGon as failure to credit, the costumes as insult, etc.
  • Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 02:50:14 PM by uncool

Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #39
Thanks meep. Yeah,  I  get what you wrote. It does help quite a bit actually.  The gray areas are basically just vague or obscure but the clear cases are essentially cultural/racist biases and other expressions of bigotry.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #40
There are three majors ideas I see brought up when talking about appropriation: stealing for insult, failure to credit, and profaning the sacred.

The original twitter thread on this seemed to try to talk about the third, with a long discussion on the history of the qipao/cheongsam, but people seemed to take it as the first.

borealis's examples seemed to focus on the third - FN ceremonial dress and Navy medals would both qualify.

Meep's examples seem to focus on the first two - the bowing would probably count as insult, LeGon as failure to credit, the costumes as insult, etc.
It's almost like a forum full of skeptics are unconcerned about profaning the sacred. Weird.

Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #41
Also, probably owing to my privileges,  I'm not super worried about profaning the sacred so much because sacred is ultimately a personal thing and if someone can affect the sacred, it may not be as sacred as we'd like to think.  Also, if someone borrows some sacred icon and makes it a different kind of sacred, that's cool with me too. I know a few white people who consider their spirituality from the shamanic traditions but that basically just means Earth is a mother afaict and I don't feel the need to worry about their appropriating other cultures even if it offends people who are different kinds of shamans or from more traditional shamanic traditions.  I stopped going to pow wow when I was old enough to decide for myself. I  hated being the blonde kid even if everyone knew my grandpa. I guess America stole my culture from me in some sort of way but I don't have a lot of attachments to culture either so it just seems meh now. Being a white guy is easy so I  just roll with it. It's an accident of fate that is probably lucky from some perspective
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • uncool
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #42
I am using "sacred" here in a very general sense (although the specific sense still applies - see FN dress) - there are plenty of sacred things even among skeptics.

GNU Terry Pratchett.

  • meepmeep
  • Administrator
  • zombiecat queen
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #43
I am using "sacred" here in a very general sense (although the specific sense still applies - see FN dress) - there are plenty of sacred things even among skeptics.

Yeah. Appropriate scientific language to support your conspiracy theory gibberish, and you, too, can have a 200 page thread on TR full of outraged skeptics setting you straight. :v:

Anyway, it's also true that skeptics are frequently obnoxious dicks about some of these things.

  • el jefe
  • asleep till 2020 or 2024
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #44
There are three majors ideas I see brought up when talking about appropriation: stealing for insult, failure to credit, and profaning the sacred.

The original twitter thread on this seemed to try to talk about the third, with a long discussion on the history of the qipao/cheongsam, but people seemed to take it as the first.

borealis's examples seemed to focus on the third - FN ceremonial dress and Navy medals would both qualify.

Meep's examples seem to focus on the first two - the bowing would probably count as insult, LeGon as failure to credit, the costumes as insult, etc.
everyone here has agreed from the beginning that stealing for insult was bad.  I'd add appropriating things in a way that isn't strictly ridiculing, but done with a shallow, "tourist" attitude, is certainly rude.  ...  I'm sure everyone here also agrees that it's wrong that individual artists have had their work copied without getting credit, royalties, etc.  probably not everyone here cares about profaning the sacred - in general - but I can see where people are coming from with that one.

but those are all specific and clear.  I keep getting the sense there's a broader idea here that any time members of the dominant culture use something from another culture, without permission or something, it's wrong by default.  do I have that right? 

  • meepmeep
  • Administrator
  • zombiecat queen
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #45
but those are all specific and clear.  I keep getting the sense there's a broader idea here that any time members of the dominant culture use something from another culture, without permission or something, it's wrong by default.  do I have that right? 

Some people probably view it that way. I don't necessarily think it's bad or wrong by default, but in many circumstances, it can be hurtful or harmful, intentionally or not. In some cases, like with black artists being shut out, some level of harm can't really be undone, but in other cases, it may be something that can dissipate over time as relations between groups change.

Like it's plainly obvious that contact between languages leads to borrowings and influences, naturally. There are dialect continua so people on one side of a border may speak a language that has some things in common with the language immediately on the other side of the border, despite the geopolitical differences or the differences between the official, standard languages.  When the ultimate goal is to communicate effectively, people are going to share and borrow no matter what you try to do to stop it. Even if it's not two technically separate geopolitical groups interacting, there may be minority languages in a society that influence the dominant language in all sorts of ways. None of that is in dispute or bad.

But it also depends on context. There's a difference between the old Scottish heritage affecting the way people in Newfoundland speak or the Scandinavian influence of some upper Midwestern accents and the relationship that Americans have with AAVE/"ebonics." I think things have improved a bit with the latter compared to the moral panic of the 90s, but overall, your average older person still probably considers "ebonics" to be low register and the "broken" speech of uneducated people. Yet chances are the dialect they speak has some AAVE influence in it. So it's okay for people to adopt AAVE words or pronunciation or syntax or morphology as needed for various reasons in various contexts, but it's not okay for the people who normally speak that way to actually speak that way.

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #46
Do you kinda feel you've been pressed to take on the emotional-intellectual labour here, meep?

It's likely no one asking has been particularly affected or even inconvenienced or even have participated knowingly in the topic at hand, but here we are.


Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #47
Well, personally I appreciate meeps help because I really have had trouble understanding the issue and at least I  have a better general understanding now.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #48
Look how many assholes put on fake mustaches and shitty Mexican caricature clothing today and got drunk on bad tequila

Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #49
Also, they voted for Trump.