Author Topic: some thoughts on cultural appropriation  (Read 93839 times)

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Offline seamas

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #345 on: April 11, 2017, 10:10:57 AM »
Hoop earrings are cultural appropriation?

 ::)
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Offline NEKSkeptic

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #346 on: April 11, 2017, 10:17:56 AM »
Hoop earrings are cultural appropriation?

 ::)


According to these three Latina women, they are appropriation of African-American culture.  So there you go.   :)

Offline 6EQUJ5

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #347 on: April 11, 2017, 10:21:27 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.

No, this I won't allow- this is definitely thing. Women of color, black and latina, wear hoop earrings all the time and it's either harshly parodied or it's been treated as "unprofessional attire." If you were being serious and not sarcastic, yes, you really really did miss this.
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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #348 on: April 11, 2017, 10:21:40 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.
Like most social issues, abstracting them from societal power dynamics makes them mostly moot, like trying to explain a chemical reaction without discussing what the chemicals involved are or how they interact chemically.
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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #349 on: April 11, 2017, 10:26:54 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.

No, this I won't allow- this is definitely thing. Women of color, black and latina, wear hoop earrings all the time and it's either harshly parodied or it's been treated as "unprofessional attire." If you were being serious and not sarcastic, yes, you really really did miss this.
Excuse me but I have never encountered this, therefore I'm going to dismiss it out of hand despite not being a woman of color.

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Offline 6EQUJ5

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #350 on: April 11, 2017, 10:30:01 AM »
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.

This is a great analogy. Not even just a thing women of color catch derision for- it's a thing women of color can't do in the workplace without being considered dressing too "ethnic," or just "unprofessionally." There is so much hair/clothing/style stress that women of color experience at work because they have to go through so much time and expense to dress "white." How can it not feel like a punch in the gut to see a white woman flounce off in the style of your own culture that you aren't allowed to wear at work but that she can get away with because she's white. That feeling is the harm because that sense of searing injustice hurts and it hurts all the time and it's baked into every single aspect of society. It is an extremely privilege thing to do to tease apart wording and definition and get to decide if it matters to you or not. White women can wear hoops all day long if they want non-apologetically... but that doesn't mean that they aren't being dicks. If people want to appropriate culture, they can continue to do it all day long, and if they don't care about the harm or feel like they weigh it against their own personal benefit or want to go through whatever intellectual exercise they must to justify it to themselves, they can. They are just also going to get judgement from everyone else the way someone's racist old relative says cringeworthy things at the dinner table gets judgement.
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Offline NEKSkeptic

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #351 on: April 11, 2017, 10:59:14 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.

No, this I won't allow- this is definitely thing. Women of color, black and latina, wear hoop earrings all the time and it's either harshly parodied or it's been treated as "unprofessional attire." If you were being serious and not sarcastic, yes, you really really did miss this.


I didn't realize that it happens "all of the time."  Surely you can provide some examples, then.

Offline 6EQUJ5

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #352 on: April 11, 2017, 11:17:46 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.

No, this I won't allow- this is definitely thing. Women of color, black and latina, wear hoop earrings all the time and it's either harshly parodied or it's been treated as "unprofessional attire." If you were being serious and not sarcastic, yes, you really really did miss this.

I didn't realize that it happens "all of the time."  Surely you can provide some examples, then.

Google will help you here, I'm not going to curate racist content.

http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/11/unapologetically-black-at-work/
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/thoughts-of-an-alternative-black-girl

Here are two places it is referenced.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 11:20:26 AM by 6EQUJ5 »
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Offline NEKSkeptic

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #353 on: April 11, 2017, 11:25:06 AM »
I was about to craft a response entitled, "Five Reasons Why You Should Never Cite Everydayfeminism."  But I gave up.

In all serious, we will just have to agree to disagree.  Bigoted behavior is bad.  Telling a woman of color that she cannot wear hoop earrings to work based on bigoted reasons is bad.  (Presumably there are legitimate reasons, such as safety reasons.)   White women wearing hoop earrings is not bad.  But I don't expect you to agree.  And that's fine.  With social issues, there is room for reasonable people to disagree.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 11:30:09 AM by NEKSkeptic »

Offline 6EQUJ5

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #354 on: April 11, 2017, 11:36:44 AM »
I was about to craft a response entitled, "Five Reasons Why You Should Never Cite Everydayfeminism."  But I gave up.

In all serious, we will just have to agree to disagree.  Bigoted behavior is bad.  Telling a woman of color that she cannot wear hoop earrings to work based on bigoted reasons is bad.  (Presumably there are legitimate reasons, such as safety reasons.)   White women wearing hoop earrings is not bad.  But I don't expect you to agree.  And that's fine.  With social issues, there is room for reasonable people to disagree.

The point still stands, the article isn't about hoop earrings, it just references what you asked for in context in a much less harmful way than if I had linked to actual racist content. I don't agree to disagree, it's not really for sheltered privileged people to make decisions about what should and shouldn't be with regard to social issues.
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Offline Redamare

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #355 on: April 11, 2017, 11:42:15 AM »
The problem, it sounds to me, is with society being disrespectful towards minorities, or inconsistent in how it judges people's fashion sense. It doesn't make sense to me to blame a white girl in hoop earrings for that.

Also, it really does matter that hoop earrings date back to Sumer. How can a few bigots ruin something in a couple decades that was previously fine for thousands of years?

Also, your analogy about the paper I school is flawed. Who says the white student copied anyone? It's just as likely she was inspired by an ancient fresco of a Roman patrician as it is that she's ripping off her black friend. Maybe she wrote a paper on the same topic, and I am fine with stipulating that it was of the same quality as the other student's, but you are adding unecessary bits in order to blame the white student for what is clearly the teacher's problem.
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Offline Redamare

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #356 on: April 11, 2017, 11:46:00 AM »
I was about to craft a response entitled, "Five Reasons Why You Should Never Cite Everydayfeminism."  But I gave up.

In all serious, we will just have to agree to disagree.  Bigoted behavior is bad.  Telling a woman of color that she cannot wear hoop earrings to work based on bigoted reasons is bad.  (Presumably there are legitimate reasons, such as safety reasons.)   White women wearing hoop earrings is not bad.  But I don't expect you to agree.  And that's fine.  With social issues, there is room for reasonable people to disagree.

The point still stands, the article isn't about hoop earrings, it just references what you asked for in context in a much less harmful way than if I had linked to actual racist content. I don't agree to disagree, it's not really for sheltered privileged people to make decisions about what should and shouldn't be with regard to social issues.

It's for everyone to have opinions and to try and understand their world as best they can.
"redamare has kicked this thread's ass" -champagnej

Certainty is the enemy of wisdom.

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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #357 on: April 11, 2017, 11:47:17 AM »
The problem, it sounds to me, is with society being disrespectful towards minorities, or inconsistent in how it judges people's fashion sense. It doesn't make sense to me to blame a white girl in hoop earrings for that.

Also, it really does matter that hoop earrings date back to Sumer. How can a few bigots ruin something in a couple decades that was previously fine for thousands of years?

Also, your analogy about the paper I school is flawed. Who says the white student copied anyone? It's just as likely she was inspired by an ancient fresco of a Roman patrician as it is that she's ripping off her black friend. Maybe she wrote a paper on the same topic, and I am fine with stipulating that it was of the same quality as the other student's, but you are adding unecessary bits in order to blame the white student for what is clearly the teacher's problem.
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Also, to reiterate, the whole issue was NOT about blaming white girls for wearing hoop earrings, but hey why start listening to women about what the issue is. It's just so much easier to misrepresent the issue and dismiss it instead.
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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #358 on: April 11, 2017, 11:48:27 AM »
I was about to craft a response entitled, "Five Reasons Why You Should Never Cite Everydayfeminism."  But I gave up.

In all serious, we will just have to agree to disagree.  Bigoted behavior is bad.  Telling a woman of color that she cannot wear hoop earrings to work based on bigoted reasons is bad.  (Presumably there are legitimate reasons, such as safety reasons.)   White women wearing hoop earrings is not bad.  But I don't expect you to agree.  And that's fine.  With social issues, there is room for reasonable people to disagree.

The point still stands, the article isn't about hoop earrings, it just references what you asked for in context in a much less harmful way than if I had linked to actual racist content. I don't agree to disagree, it's not really for sheltered privileged people to make decisions about what should and shouldn't be with regard to social issues.

It's for everyone to have opinions and to try and understand their world as best they can.
It would be great if people were trying to understand the world instead of trying to make the inconvenient things they don't like not exist.
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Offline Redamare

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #359 on: April 11, 2017, 11:50:53 AM »
The problem, it sounds to me, is with society being disrespectful towards minorities, or inconsistent in how it judges people's fashion sense. It doesn't make sense to me to blame a white girl in hoop earrings for that.

Also, it really does matter that hoop earrings date back to Sumer. How can a few bigots ruin something in a couple decades that was previously fine for thousands of years?

Also, your analogy about the paper I school is flawed. Who says the white student copied anyone? It's just as likely she was inspired by an ancient fresco of a Roman patrician as it is that she's ripping off her black friend. Maybe she wrote a paper on the same topic, and I am fine with stipulating that it was of the same quality as the other student's, but you are adding unecessary bits in order to blame the white student for what is clearly the teacher's problem.
I N T E R S E C T I O N A L I S M

Also, to reiterate, the whole issue was NOT about blaming white girls for wearing hoop earrings, but hey why start listening to women about what the issue is. It's just so much easier to misrepresent the issue and dismiss it instead.

This post contains no argument, and therefore I can find nothing for me to respond to.

I was about to craft a response entitled, "Five Reasons Why You Should Never Cite Everydayfeminism."  But I gave up.

In all serious, we will just have to agree to disagree.  Bigoted behavior is bad.  Telling a woman of color that she cannot wear hoop earrings to work based on bigoted reasons is bad.  (Presumably there are legitimate reasons, such as safety reasons.)   White women wearing hoop earrings is not bad.  But I don't expect you to agree.  And that's fine.  With social issues, there is room for reasonable people to disagree.

The point still stands, the article isn't about hoop earrings, it just references what you asked for in context in a much less harmful way than if I had linked to actual racist content. I don't agree to disagree, it's not really for sheltered privileged people to make decisions about what should and shouldn't be with regard to social issues.

It's for everyone to have opinions and to try and understand their world as best they can.
It would be great if people were trying to understand the world instead of trying to make the inconvenient things they don't like not exist.

You're mixing me up with someone else.
"redamare has kicked this thread's ass" -champagnej

Certainty is the enemy of wisdom.

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