Author Topic: some thoughts on cultural appropriation  (Read 93639 times)

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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #600 on: April 17, 2017, 03:40:15 AM »
Which examples matter the most to you, personally?

I'm a white heterosexual male aged 27-60. My culture is not being appropriated. My culture is the one that has been doing all the appropriating. This is why when someone else says that their culture is being appropriated, I tend to take their word for it. Because if I ask for proof, I look like a dick.

I sincerely appreciate you wanting to be considerate to others (I hope everybody in this thread feels the same way)--but you didn't answer the question, either.

Which examples of CA matter the most to you? Things you try to personally avoid doing for reasons of CA? Things you think others shouldn't do in general? Anything?
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Online arthwollipot

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #601 on: April 17, 2017, 03:43:46 AM »
Oh, so now you're offended?  ::)

You can't live your whole fucking life that way. It's disrespectful to yourself, and condescending to everyone else.
Bullshit. I can and do live my life that way. It's not disrespectful to myself, and if anyone feels condescended to by avoidance of offending them, they haven't mentioned it. Surprisingly (to you), people tend like it when you don't offend them.

This is one characteristic between those that people tend to like, and those that people tend to think are dicks. Nice people tend to take steps to avoid offending people. Offending people is a fantastic way to make those people think that you are a dick. I try not to do it.

And why the fuck is it a "selfish position" for me, but then you come round to D4M10N, and suddenly it's "forget the hoops, that one's stupid."
Because the hoops are a stupid example.

It is characteristic of this kind of argument that people will trot out the most ridiculous extreme cases as though they are representative of the situation as a whole. It's the reason I always try to avoid arguing by example. No single example will be truly representative of the situation. Trotting out the extreme ends of the spectrum is the exact opposite of helpful. I've seen it many times - in atheism vs religion, in guns vs gun control, in don't-be-a-dick vs... well...

Why the hell couldn't you have said that a page ago if it's so easy for you, now? It's such bullshit.  You lead me on thinking you're one step away from joining the Solidarity Front Against Hoops long until you feel like you have enough material to say I'm a cunt (with barely plausible deniability), and then you try to gaslight me with this bait and switch.
For a start, I would never use that word. I consider it to be offensive. Second, there is no "Solidarity Front Against Hoops" - you made that up by yourself. And the fact that you made that up means that you were automatically inclined to pigeonhole me into that category, rather than actually reading and understanding what it is that I'm saying. Finally, you use terms like "gaslight" and "bait and switch" in order to try and undermine me by using charged terms that usually refer to domestic abuse and scam marketing, respectively.

Believe me - I do not gaslight. I have not said one single thing here with dishonest intent. If you think I was saying something different, then that's the fault of your own interpretation. Specifically, I would suggest, your creation of the fictional "Solidarity Front Against Hoops", as though that describes any part of the discussion. Surprisingly enough (to you) not everybody agrees on what is reasonable and what is not. Just because someone doesn't agree with you in one sense doesn't mean that we can't agree that a stupid fringe-case hypothetical is stupid. But because you have mentally categorised me as your "enemy", I must therefore be "gaslighting" when it comes to what I actually think.

Oddly enough (to you) I don't necessarily think what you think I think.

Meanwhile, I'm "seriously degrading the integrity of the conversation" with a hypothetical, if you ask some people.
Like I said, when people from either side throw up hypotheticals from the extreme ends of the spectrum it serves only to misrepresent and mischaracterise the entire debate.

Though I have never previously used those words, you degrade the integrity of the conversation by making it about hoops.

This is a madhouse.
So what are you going to do about it? Just go off on vituperative rants until you get your way?
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Online arthwollipot

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #602 on: April 17, 2017, 03:46:58 AM »
Which examples matter the most to you, personally?

I'm a white heterosexual male aged 27-60. My culture is not being appropriated. My culture is the one that has been doing all the appropriating. This is why when someone else says that their culture is being appropriated, I tend to take their word for it. Because if I ask for proof, I look like a dick.

I sincerely appreciate you wanting to be considerate to others (I hope everybody in this thread feels the same way)--but you didn't answer the question, either.

Which examples of CA matter the most to you? Things you try to personally avoid doing for reasons of CA? Things you think others shouldn't do in general? Anything?

I deny the premise of the question. It's not about what specific examples matter to me. Making it about what specific examples matter to me only serves to derail the discussion into irrelevancies. I'm not relevant. I'm not the one whose culture is being appropriated. How about you ask the question of those people whose culture is being appropriated instead?
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Offline D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #603 on: April 17, 2017, 07:59:25 AM »
Would you wear a Purple Heart? If not, why not?

I already told you why not.

Because that would be deceptive.

Once again, you have yet to show an element of deliberate deception in *any* of the examples of CA given in the thread. That seems like a fairly crucial point of disanalogy to me.

That's because deception isn't the key concept. Cultural appropriation isn't bad because it is deceptive. It's bad because it is appropriation. It's bad because when you do it, you are saying "this is mine", even though you haven't worked for it, fought for it, or suffered for it.

Communicating "I earned this" when you did not actually earn it is being deceptive, of course. That is bad, at least relative to my own values. You seem to believe appropriation is bad for reasons apart from deception, but "saying 'this is mine,' even though you haven't worked for it, fought for it, or suffered for it" is consummately deceptive. This is why the headdress example is at least potentially analogous to stolen valor, in morally salient terms.

As I mentioned above, however, no one seriously believes that young Christina Fallin earned her feathers in battle as a Sioux warrior. No one thought she fought for her headdress in the traditional way, what with this being the 21st century and her being a white woman. The element of "I earned this" deception simply isn't present in her case.

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« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 08:45:08 AM by D4M10N »

Offline Caffiene

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #604 on: April 17, 2017, 08:01:47 AM »
I'm not the one whose culture is being appropriated. How about you ask the question of those people whose culture is being appropriated instead?

I said this exact thing earlier in the thread, based on Damion's post, that the affected culture's opinions are something that can be measured. I was told very explicitly that its irrelevant.

You also said in reply to DrunkenIdaho that the hoop earrings example is stupid and to ignore it. But we can easily find examples of people who say it is their culture and that they are bothered by it being appropriated.

So what examples should be discussed? Cultural opinion at a statistical level is irrelevant, opinion by individuals within a culture dont matter if the example "is stupid"... it sounds like a No True Scotsman. Youre only willing to discuss the ones that "actually matter" but refuse to provide criteria or examples for what matters, while dismissing any time someone tries to engage.
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Offline D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #605 on: April 17, 2017, 09:04:42 AM »
I'm a white heterosexual male aged 27-60. My culture is not being appropriated. My culture is the one that has been doing all the appropriating. This is why when someone else says that their culture is being appropriated, I tend to take their word for it. Because if I ask for proof, I look like a dick.

(Emphasis mine.)

If I ask homoeopaths, mediums, preachers, or faith-healers for proof, I look like a dick to them or at least to their devotees. I would think that this is a common experience among skeptics, seeing someone leverage moral outrage to shut down debate or inquiry.


« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 11:53:09 AM by D4M10N »

Offline D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #606 on: April 17, 2017, 11:51:13 AM »
...and as we've seen with the hoops example, we cannot simply rely on anti-appropriation advocates to have done their homework on how some particular cultural artifact originated and spread.

For another example, consider the profoundly multicultural history of dreadlocks.

Once we admit that historical evidence matters, it is not enough to simply listen and believe.

Offline Nosmas

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #607 on: April 17, 2017, 11:56:14 AM »
I'm not the one whose culture is being appropriated. How about you ask the question of those people whose culture is being appropriated instead?

I said this exact thing earlier in the thread, based on Damion's post, that the affected culture's opinions are something that can be measured. I was told very explicitly that its irrelevant.

You also said in reply to DrunkenIdaho that the hoop earrings example is stupid and to ignore it. But we can easily find examples of people who say it is their culture and that they are bothered by it being appropriated.

So what examples should be discussed? Cultural opinion at a statistical level is irrelevant, opinion by individuals within a culture dont matter if the example "is stupid"... it sounds like a No True Scotsman. Youre only willing to discuss the ones that "actually matter" but refuse to provide criteria or examples for what matters, while dismissing any time someone tries to engage.

I've been following this discussion since page 1 and this is kind of where I am with it. I'm getting an impression that it's all about being polite and that you should take the offended at their word except for when the thing they're offended by is ridiculous. I'm just not seeing a clear line which demonstrates when it's ridiculous nor any attempt to explain it. When people try to clarify by trying define that line using hypotheticals, or any other approach, it gets rejected as being insincere and the discussion halts.

I've got examples within my own family which could be considered CA. Based on the discussions here I have no idea which ones would be legit and which ones would be stupid.

1) I've got a white aunt who married an Indian man. Their daughter, my cousin, turned out looking pretty white. It's very easy to miss the physical indications that she has an Indian background. Both my aunt and my cousin occasionally wear Indian clothing and jewelry. Should they be forced to explain how they have a right to wear it to anyone in public who may be offended. Do they have any right to wear it at all?

2) I'm originally from the province of Newfoundland where there's an old tradition called mummering during Christmas. Basically people dress in ridiculous costumes and visit neighbors and friends houses where they play a game where their friends must guess who is under the disguise. The tradition has made its way into other provinces (although not very wide spread) and some have started doing this during Christmas despite not being from Newfoundland (and some parts of Ireland as I understand it). Now I personally think that's awesome and would love for the tradition to spread elsewhere. I also know some people from my home province that think they're stealing a Newfoundland tradition. Should other cultures be doing this? I would be sad to see people feel as if they're not allowed, yet others think exactly that.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 01:11:50 PM by Nosmas »
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #608 on: April 17, 2017, 12:27:20 PM »
I deny the premise of the question. It's not about what specific examples matter to me. Making it about what specific examples matter to me only serves to derail the discussion into irrelevancies. I'm not relevant. I'm not the one whose culture is being appropriated. How about you ask the question of those people whose culture is being appropriated instead?

Are you saying that people who aren't members of the culture involved in a given example of CA can't (or shouldn't) try to think or talk about it?
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Offline 6EQUJ5

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #609 on: April 17, 2017, 12:29:52 PM »
It's not a thing that's easy to define, but it really boils down to this: treat other cultures with respect. If you are interested in participating in a certain culture, you should pay attention to how you are participating and make an effort to know whether your participation is respectful or not. That burden is on you. Also, don't take ownership of it.
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Offline 6EQUJ5

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #610 on: April 17, 2017, 12:31:15 PM »
I deny the premise of the question. It's not about what specific examples matter to me. Making it about what specific examples matter to me only serves to derail the discussion into irrelevancies. I'm not relevant. I'm not the one whose culture is being appropriated. How about you ask the question of those people whose culture is being appropriated instead?

Are you saying that people who aren't members of the culture involved in a given example of CA can't (or shouldn't) try to think or talk about it?

How about, people who aren't members of the culture involved should pay attention to how the members of the culture are affected by CA and limit their participation in that culture to that which they can do respectfully.
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #611 on: April 17, 2017, 12:32:16 PM »
It's not a thing that's easy to define, but it really boils down to this: treat other cultures with respect. If you are interested in participating in a certain culture, you should pay attention to how you are participating and make an effort to know whether your participation is respectful or not. That burden is on you. Also, don't take ownership of it.

Absolutely agreed!

I deny the premise of the question. It's not about what specific examples matter to me. Making it about what specific examples matter to me only serves to derail the discussion into irrelevancies. I'm not relevant. I'm not the one whose culture is being appropriated. How about you ask the question of those people whose culture is being appropriated instead?

Are you saying that people who aren't members of the culture involved in a given example of CA can't (or shouldn't) try to think or talk about it?

How about, people who aren't members of the culture involved should pay attention to how the members of the culture are affected by CA and limit their participation in that culture to that which they can do respectfully.

Absolutely agreed! But I think the extent to which one can respectfully participate in other cultures will vary by user, and I think there's great utility in discussing these differences of opinion.
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Offline 6EQUJ5

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #612 on: April 17, 2017, 12:32:59 PM »
I wanted to restate the last sentence.

It's not a thing that's easy to define, but it really boils down to this: treat other cultures with respect. If you are interested in participating in a certain culture, you should pay attention to how you are participating and make an effort to know whether your participation is respectful or not. That burden is on you. Also, don't take ownership of it, or expect that you are automatically invited and/or entitled to be warmly welcomed and educated.
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #613 on: April 17, 2017, 12:50:38 PM »
I wanted to restate the last sentence.

It's not a thing that's easy to define, but it really boils down to this: treat other cultures with respect. If you are interested in participating in a certain culture, you should pay attention to how you are participating and make an effort to know whether your participation is respectful or not. That burden is on you. Also, don't take ownership of it, or expect that you are automatically invited and/or entitled to be warmly welcomed and educated.

And I don't agree that we need an invite to participate in expressions which originate from other cultures, but that's why this is such a good topic for discussion.

I agree with you that it really does boil down to trying not to be a jerk--it's just that what consists of acting like a jerk varies widely by individual ethics and philosophy.
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Offline 6EQUJ5

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #614 on: April 17, 2017, 12:59:48 PM »
I wanted to restate the last sentence.

It's not a thing that's easy to define, but it really boils down to this: treat other cultures with respect. If you are interested in participating in a certain culture, you should pay attention to how you are participating and make an effort to know whether your participation is respectful or not. That burden is on you. Also, don't take ownership of it, or expect that you are automatically invited and/or entitled to be warmly welcomed and educated.

And I don't agree that we need an invite to participate in expressions which originate from other cultures, but that's why this is such a good topic for discussion.

I agree with you that it really does boil down to trying not to be a jerk--it's just that what consists of acting like a jerk varies widely by individual ethics and philosophy.

Maybe not in all cases. But, for example, wearing traditional clothing. If you get invited to an Indian wedding, it's okay to wear a sari and henna or other traditional clothing. If you aren't Indian, it's not okay to walk around wearing a sari and henna or a bindi just because you think it's pretty.
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