Author Topic: some thoughts on cultural appropriation  (Read 92032 times)

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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #420 on: April 12, 2017, 12:27:28 AM »


Beyond the power dynamic there will always be individual action. One person misgendering people doesn't cause the entirety of transphobia and the hot mess that is gender relations in this country, but they can certain add to it. The specific action taken is to stop misgendering people. When people go a step beyond and do it anyway, they take a step further towards active harm.

Does that make sense as a proof of concept?

So the idea is that cultural appropriation is a step further towards active harm based on power dynamic? That it... what? Lends the power dynamic more immediacy and direct relevance that causes a more specific distress in the individuals affected? I can sort of see that as being persuasive reasoning, but Im having trouble putting into words to have a concrete idea of what Im being persuaded of.

It's a symptom that cannot exist without the power imbalance, but can be addressed as individuals without having to fix the entire power imbalance.

Essentially I disagree entirely with Redamare's theory that we should only focus on solving the one major problem that and existed throughout all of human existence instead of working on that and also working in the little things we can each address in our own little bubble. Confronting a coworker about his homophobic rants won't fix racism, but it might fix the workplace a little bit.

It comes down to "Don't be a dick" but since people are really bad at self-identifying as a dick, we have to lay out those parameters.

Secondarily, I would put forward that not addressing the little fires leads to or at least allows larger systemic issues to flourish. This is largely uncontroversial when it comes to stuff like stopping school prayers or going after Ken Ham's religious bigotry park. I never seem to see the great YouTube talking heads of atheism stopping by to explain that suing a school over a ten commandments placard is a waste of resources better spent addressing the social welfare and mental health issues that make religion attractive, but when it comes to issues of race or gender suddenly that's what the people who are part of the majority begin telling the minority. It's not new, either, and now it's even going into historical revisionism, with some elements of the right wing claiming black people didn't want desegregation and that some other outside group forced it on them.

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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #421 on: April 12, 2017, 12:39:42 AM »
It comes down to "Don't be a dick" but since people are really bad at self-identifying as a dick, we have to lay out those parameters.

I totally agree--but we should also evaluate (both as individuals and within our peer groups) whether or not a given instance of outrage is justified. We should listen, but not blindly.

Example: my mom is upset because a woman at her work found a fashion choice of my mother's offensive and hurtful, labeling it cultural appropriation. I'd converse with my mother, and seek to understand what the complaint was, and discuss with my mother whether or not she wants to make any changes because of it. We wouldn't seek to doubt the complainant's feelings, but simply having the feelings doesn't make them justified, either--so an honest evaluation is in order.

Quote
Secondarily, I would put forward that not addressing the little fires leads to or at least allows larger systemic issues to flourish.

This is undoubtedly true in some cases, but I also think that trying to address all the little fires leads to both a "boy who cried wolf" type ignoring of the situation in the minds of those most with the least understanding of the issue, as well as create many instances of trying put out little fires that weren't actually fires at all. A balance needs to be reached... which is why I think discussions like this one are so valuable to the movement as a whole.
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Offline Redamare

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #422 on: April 12, 2017, 12:46:28 AM »
Im not wanting to be an asshole, but I just don't think MTV's Decoded is a reliable or intellectually rigorous resource. In all seriousness, I never recommend it to others.

That's a fantastic excuse for not watching it. Well done.

I did watch it, and as usual they take it for granted that you agree with their representation of the facts. This frees them to define anyone who disagrees as a willful bigot, and also frees them of any obligation to actually support those facts.
What you said before is a fantastic excuse for not watching it. What you just said is a fantastic excuse for dismissing its content without serious consideration.

You're winning! Yay!

And what Decoded does is a fantastic model for creating a slick, persuasive and intellectual-tasting presentation that will succeed in this YouTube world of ours, whilst perpetuating conflict and stimulating the pleasure and anger centers of your brain to the perceptible detriment of society as a whole.

They're winning! Yay!
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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #423 on: April 12, 2017, 12:48:23 AM »
It comes down to "Don't be a dick" but since people are really bad at self-identifying as a dick, we have to lay out those parameters.

I totally agree--but we should also evaluate (both as individuals and within our peer groups) whether or not a given instance of outrage is justified. We should listen, but not blindly.

Example: my mom is upset because a woman at her work found a fashion choice of my mother's offensive and hurtful, labeling it cultural appropriation. I'd converse with my mother, and seek to understand what the complaint was, and discuss with my mother whether or not she wants to make any changes because of it. We wouldn't seek to doubt the complainant's feelings, but simply having the feelings doesn't make them justified, either--so an honest evaluation is in order.

Quote
Secondarily, I would put forward that not addressing the little fires leads to or at least allows larger systemic issues to flourish.

This is undoubtedly true in some cases, but I also think that trying to address all the little fires leads to both a "boy who cried wolf" type ignoring of the situation in the minds of those most with the least understanding of the issue, as well as create many instances of trying put out little fires that weren't actually fires at all. A balance needs to be reached... which is why I think discussions like this one are so valuable to the movement as a whole.
Sure, but the nuance of "sometimes people get mad about the wrong thigns" isn't what's presentwd. Instead it's "anything other than focusing on the working class is a distraction" and the anti-feminist/anti-SJW armies descending to prove that it doesn't exist through a series of strawman arguments, false equivalence, and general dickbaggery.

I don't think you'll find anyone in this thread insisting that everyone who proclaims a social slight is correct by default or that every battle is worth fighting.

What puzzles me is why you keep going it of your way to make sure you explain that you don't support or agree with something nobody asked you to support. Like it's super outputting because if comes off pike you think that there's a real question of whether we need to enforce cultural segregation or whether every cultural slight must be a battleground, and given that the only people playing that game are the ones trying to discredit social justice, it comes off like some attempt at false balance. Like I don't go out of my way to make it clear that I don't support genocide in discussions of evolution, because that's not a question that is ever asked except to try to discredit evolution.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #424 on: April 12, 2017, 04:03:54 AM »
Dude, it's freaking MTV.  Lighten up and stop acting like he's being dismissive of a scholarly journal.

It doesn't matter what he's being dismissive of. He's committing the genetic fallacy - something is wrong because of the source.

If the identical video were branded with the logo of Science magazine instead of MTV, would the information it presents be any more or less valid? No. Judge it on its content, not on its source.
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Offline Harry Black

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #425 on: April 12, 2017, 05:33:28 AM »
Dude, it's freaking MTV.  Lighten up and stop acting like he's being dismissive of a scholarly journal.

It doesn't matter what he's being dismissive of. He's committing the genetic fallacy - something is wrong because of the source.

If the identical video were branded with the logo of Science magazine instead of MTV, would the information it presents be any more or less valid? No. Judge it on its content, not on its source.
If it came from a source known for bias in that area then I could see a logic for not wanting to spend time or contribute to clicks.

Offline NEKSkeptic

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #426 on: April 12, 2017, 05:46:34 AM »
Let's not forget that MTV pulled the infamous "Hey White Guy's" video because it was universally abhorred.   

I've only got so much time in a day.  It's perfectly reasonable to triage which videos I watch based on that reality. 

Offline Harry Black

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #427 on: April 12, 2017, 06:54:29 AM »
Let's not forget that MTV pulled the infamous "Hey White Guy's" video because it was universally abhorred.   

I've only got so much time in a day.  It's perfectly reasonable to triage which videos I watch based on that reality.
That would make sense if watching the video was not stated to answer many points that have been repeatedly brought up in the thread.
It looks like it may have actually saved you some time.

Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #428 on: April 12, 2017, 07:00:37 AM »
Half those defending cultural appreciation seem to be saying that the posted MTV video is a good primer.  The other say it's bordering on a straw man.  What am I even arguing against?
I'm just the victim of my cognitive privilege

Offline The Latinist

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #429 on: April 12, 2017, 07:17:16 AM »
Let's not forget that MTV pulled the infamous "Hey White Guy's" video because it was universally abhorred.   

I've only got so much time in a day.  It's perfectly reasonable to triage which videos I watch based on that reality. 

Universally abhorred? When I search I search for info about it I don't find universal outrage. Perhaps if all you read is Breitbart and Reddit...
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #430 on: April 12, 2017, 07:26:10 AM »
Is this that video or is it something else?

I'm just the victim of my cognitive privilege

Offline NEKSkeptic

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #431 on: April 12, 2017, 09:07:29 AM »
Universally abhorred? When I search I search for info about it I don't find universal outrage. Perhaps if all you read is Breitbart and Reddit...

Or Daily Kos:  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/12/31/1613228/-MTV-s-2017-Resolutions-For-White-Guys-examined-in-full-context

Offline D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #432 on: April 12, 2017, 09:23:38 AM »
Suppose my young daughter asks whether she can wear hoop earrings to school. What advice should I give her? How might that conversation go?

Daughter: Can I wear these hoop earrings I got for my tenth birthday?

Father: Better not. As a white girl, you are likely to be perceived as microaggressive against women and girls of color.

Daughter: But my friends are wearing them! All my friends, of every color.

Father: Here, watch this MTV educational video.

**

Daughter: I thought you said that we shouldn’t give into peer pressure to conform, that we should be allowed to express ourselves as individuals!

Father: You should, but within the cultural constraints of your whiteness.

Daughter: Wait, are Latinas allowed to wear these earrings?

Father: Of course. They are from an oppressed culture.

Daughter: My abuelo is from Puerto Rico! We’ve got boricua tchotchkes all over the damn house.

Father: Doesn’t count, you’re still too white. I mean, just look at you.

Daughter: I thought you said race was socially constructed!

Father: It is, but you’ve still never been oppressed. Except on grounds of gender, of course.

Daughter: Hoop earrings are an expression of gender!

Father: You need to be more intersectional.

Daughter: I thought you were a consequentialist. What exactly is the harm here?

Father: Just watch the video again. Listen and believe.

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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #433 on: April 12, 2017, 11:39:05 AM »
REEEEE FAKE QUOTES
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Offline D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #434 on: April 12, 2017, 12:03:48 PM »
What's a REEEEE?

ETA: Quotations usually involves quotation marks, or perhaps blockquote formatting.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 02:27:11 PM by D4M10N »

 

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