Author Topic: some thoughts on cultural appropriation  (Read 90266 times)

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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #330 on: April 10, 2017, 11:23:11 PM »
What do people think about the recent incident at Pitzer College in which female students of color said that white women should not wear hoop earrings because it is cultural appropriation?

My opinion is that this request was absurd.  Especially since hoop earrings originated in Ancient Greece. 

Article here:  http://claremontindependent.com/pitzer-college-ra-white-people-cant-wear-hoop-earrings/
It's a statement about the appropriating of trends from minority vultures that are repressed when minority women do it and then fashionable when (in the US) white women suddenly do it. See also, head coverings, cornrows, etc. It's then misunderstood or misrepresented by threatened white people as a claim to hoop earrings by women of color, because nuance is apparently impossible when it comes to social issues.

TL:DR minorities try to protest about an issue, straight white men swoop in to tell them why they're doing it wrong.
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Offline D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #331 on: April 10, 2017, 11:25:09 PM »
White girls should take off those earrings and apologize.



Just terrible.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 11:34:12 PM by D4M10N »

Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #332 on: April 10, 2017, 11:38:28 PM »
TL:DR minorities try to protest about an issue, straight white men swoop in to tell them why they're doing it wrong.

I'm a straight white man. In your opinion can I form a reasonable opinion about such issues? Should I feel free to share such opinions in contexts such as this current forum?
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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #333 on: April 10, 2017, 11:39:09 PM »
Yeah, let's get some #NotAllMen going here while we're at it.
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #334 on: April 10, 2017, 11:42:23 PM »
Yeah, let's get some #NotAllMen going here while we're at it.

Can you please explain what you mean? I'm not sure what your post implies in this current conversation's context.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 11:51:54 PM by Drunken Idaho »
Strange women lying in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government.

Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #335 on: April 10, 2017, 11:52:19 PM »
Yeah, let's get some #NotAllMen going here while we're at it.

Can you please explain what you mean? I'm not sure if what your post implies in this current conversation's context.
I don't think you can weigh in meaningfully, but that's more related to how you respond to the discussion than your demographics.
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #336 on: April 10, 2017, 11:54:01 PM »
Yeah, let's get some #NotAllMen going here while we're at it.

Can you please explain what you mean? I'm not sure if what your post implies in this current conversation's context.
I don't think you can weigh in meaningfully, but that's more related to how you respond to the discussion than your demographics.

Great! Thanks. What an extremely politely-worded but mean thing to say.

Try responding to the content of my posts sometime, and I'll hope to change your opinion.
Strange women lying in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government.

Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #337 on: April 11, 2017, 12:34:47 AM »
Yeah, let's get some #NotAllMen going here while we're at it.

Can you please explain what you mean? I'm not sure if what your post implies in this current conversation's context.
I don't think you can weigh in meaningfully, but that's more related to how you respond to the discussion than your demographics.

Great! Thanks. What an extremely politely-worded but mean thing to say.

Try responding to the content of my posts sometime, and I'll hope to change your opinion.
I did. I didn't try to start a discussion on the choice of a word based on a fairly niche educational use, or take such offense to pointing out that straight white men are the dominant force in silencing minorities to instead request that people hold my hand and reassure me that not all men are like that. I in fact responded directly and precisely to your question, explaining that the reason I don't think you have anything to add is not because of your demographics but because of how you responded to the post regarding the Pitzer college incident.

Don't mistake an answer you don't like for a refusal to answer. I might also suggest that if you ask for an opinion, you may well get an answer you don't like. Particularly if a thread is already infested with an annoying sealion.
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #338 on: April 11, 2017, 12:36:49 AM »
If you'd like to talk about my character or posting habits, please PM me.
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #339 on: April 11, 2017, 12:43:13 AM »
Anyway, about the hoop earrings:

It's important to understand where the complainants are coming from and not dismiss their feelings: assimilating expressions of specific cultural groups into a broader heterogenous culture does rob that originating culture of much of the original expression.

At the same time, cultures can't help but mingle and appropriate from each other, and I see no reason why this particular expression should be reserved for use only by its originators. The complainants are not wrong to feel as they do, but that doesn't mean members of other cultures are wrong for using it, either.
Strange women lying in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government.

Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #340 on: April 11, 2017, 12:43:50 AM »


Yeah, let's get some #NotAllMen going here while we're at it.

Can you please explain what you mean? I'm not sure if what your post implies in this current conversation's context.
I don't think you can weigh in meaningfully, but that's more related to how you respond to the discussion than your demographics.

Great! Thanks. What an extremely politely-worded but mean thing to say.

Try responding to the content of my posts sometime, and I'll hope to change your opinion.

A public criticism of how I posted.

If you'd like to talk about my character or posting habits, please PM me.


Take a moment, read back over this thread, and introspect for a bit.
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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #341 on: April 11, 2017, 12:52:17 AM »
Anyway, about the hoop earrings:

It's important to understand where the complainants are coming from and not dismiss their feelings: assimilating expressions of specific cultural groups into a broader heterogenous culture does rob that originating culture of much of the original expression.

At the same time, cultures can't help but mingle and appropriate from each other, and I see no reason why this particular expression should be reserved for use only by its originators. The complainants are not wrong to feel as they do, but--that doesn't mean members of other cultures are wrong for using it, either.
If you read the story and the first couple pages of the thread, it's not even about originators in this case (lest the moronic "well actually they originated in Sumer!" bullshit start) but about a style that was so popular as to be iconic with women of color, a thing women of color were mocked for, and then suddenly white girls did it and it became the hip trend.

Again, to paraphrase some stuff said on the first and second page of this thread, it's like turning in a paper, getting an F, and then watching the popular kids plagiarize your paper and get A's on it. It doesn't matter if you based your paper on a paper by Dr. Novella, what matters is that someone else directly copied your work and got credit for it after you were mocked for it.

I eagerly await all the straight white gatekeepers coming along to find a flaw in my analogy and entirely ignore the point in the process.
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Offline NEKSkeptic

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #342 on: April 11, 2017, 05:47:32 AM »
Women of color were mocked for wearing hoop earrings?  I must have missed that.  But I guess that you have to believe that for your position to begin to make sense.  Kind of like how creationists need to believe in a God. 
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 05:57:04 AM by NEKSkeptic »

Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #343 on: April 11, 2017, 05:58:47 AM »
What do people think about the recent incident at Pitzer College in which female students of color said that white women should not wear hoop earrings because it is cultural appropriation?

My opinion is that this request was absurd.  Especially since hoop earrings originated in Ancient Greece. 

Article here:  http://claremontindependent.com/pitzer-college-ra-white-people-cant-wear-hoop-earrings/
It's a statement about the appropriating of trends from minority vultures that are repressed when minority women do it and then fashionable when (in the US) white women suddenly do it. See also, head coverings, cornrows, etc. It's then misunderstood or misrepresented by threatened white people as a claim to hoop earrings by women of color, because nuance is apparently impossible when it comes to social issues.

TL:DR minorities try to protest about an issue, straight white men swoop in to tell them why they're doing it wrong.

I've officially hit Poe territory.  Are you a deep cover Trump supporter?
I'm just the victim of my cognitive privilege

Offline Caffiene

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #344 on: April 11, 2017, 06:28:39 AM »
I feel like neither "side" so far has really made a strong argument as to why appropriation is harmful/bad or is not harmful/bad respectively.

The examples that keep coming up leave me with a question: The examples seem harmful, but is it the appropriation in the example which is the harmful part? Eg, the hoop earrings - the claim is made that women of colour are/were mocked for wearing hoop earrings. Is the harm then coming from the appropriation, or is it coming from the fact that women of colour were mocked prior?

Certainly if there is mockery we can say the scenario as a whole is harmful, but are we seeing harm from appropriation, or are we seeing that appropriation happens in contexts where there is also often racism happening?

As Latinist phrased it on the first page -
Members of the dominant culture are then able to "play" a game of exotic dress-up without experiencing—or even understanding or appreciating—the discrimination and oppression experienced daily by members of the minority culture and which so often are tied to and integral to the development of these unique cultural elements.
It doesnt seem to me to be the problem that some people are experiencing this cultural element without facing discrimination and oppression, the problem is simply that some people are facing discrimination and oppression. I dont necessarily know if there is much value in assigning a "guilt by association" to the appropriation as opposed to simply calling out the oppression of minorities.

Are there some good examples of harmful appropriation that do not rely on harmful racism as a precursor to the appropriation? If so, there would be a very interesting discussion about that harm, and whether cultural dilution and cultural shift could be inherently seen as a harm or just as neutral change. Superdave's original examples probably come closest, but nobody has really addressed those specific examples as far as Ive seen (except JT, who only commented on the level of "Not sure, but here is my personal emotional reaction", similarly to superdave) to comment on actual harm from those examples.
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