Author Topic: some thoughts on cultural appropriation  (Read 90438 times)

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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #630 on: April 17, 2017, 10:28:13 PM »
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.
Now you're starting to understand why a lot of people think skeptics are assholes.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #631 on: April 17, 2017, 10:30:47 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?
Amongst themselves, with no inclusion of anyone from those cultures? Yes, I am. I'm saying that the best people to discuss cultural appropriation with aren't white heterosexual males. Discuss it with people from the cultures being referenced. Otherwise you're just talking over the top of them.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #632 on: April 17, 2017, 10:34:32 PM »
Through all of this, not one person has answered the questions that out this "problem" on an international setting.
Do those of you who believe that CA is an issue go up to people int heir native countries and tell them not to do things because ot hurts your feelings.
Do you tel a Japanese man not to sing country and wear a cowboy hat
No.

If not, why not?
Because I'm not a dick.
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Offline D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #633 on: April 17, 2017, 10:50:04 PM »


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.
Now you're starting to understand why a lot of people think skeptics are assholes.

Because they don't simply listen and believe when told something outlandish? People can and do get defensive when their beliefs are challenged. Should we stop?

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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #634 on: April 17, 2017, 10:54:57 PM »
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.
Now you're starting to understand why a lot of people think skeptics are assholes.

Because they don't simply listen and believe when told something outlandish? People can and do get defensive when their beliefs are challenged. Should we stop?
This is an entirely different discussion, but yes, we should stop being assholes.
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Offline D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #635 on: April 17, 2017, 10:58:28 PM »
Asking someone to justify their belief that hoops are unique to PoC isn't being an asshole, especially if they are asking you to take off your hoops.

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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #636 on: April 17, 2017, 10:59:50 PM »
Asking someone to justify their belief that hoops are unique to PoC isn't being an asshole, especially if they are asking you to take off your hoops.
Depends how you do it.
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Offline D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #637 on: April 17, 2017, 11:02:08 PM »
"Bro, take off those hoops."

"Why?"

"Only PoC wear those. You are essentially stealing our valor."

"I don't think that's true."

"Asshole."


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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #638 on: April 17, 2017, 11:06:42 PM »
Do you really think that's a case of someone being an asshole?
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Offline D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #639 on: April 17, 2017, 11:12:44 PM »


And I can pick one up for a buck fifty. Maybe two bucks. What does that say about your sacrifice? It says that I value your sacrifice at no more than chump change. You bleeding and suffering in the line of duty is worth no more to me than something I can find beneath the couch cushions.

I don't think that follows at all. You will value the medal less because you didn't earn it yourself. But it would be silly for you to infer that the medal means the same thing when pinned to the chest of someone who did earn it as it does to you.

The medal itself is just a symbol. If lost or sold off at a garage sale, the sense of honor doesn't go away. That would be magical thinking.


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Offline D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #640 on: April 17, 2017, 11:14:50 PM »
Do you really think that's a case of someone being an asshole?
Do you really think it is assholery to question the factual and moral basis of any given attempt to control someone else's self-expression?

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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #641 on: April 17, 2017, 11:33:19 PM »
Do you really think that's a case of someone being an asshole?
Do you really think it is assholery to question the factual and moral basis of any given attempt to control someone else's self-expression?
Already answered:
Depends how you do it.

Let's take a look at your short fictional dialogue (which is what I prefer to call it rather than "fake quote"). It begins with someone being an asshole. "Bro, take off those hoops" is a terrible way to start the discussion. Thus, your dialogue poisons the well by putting the person in a position where they are demanding that a person recognise their cultural right to hoops. Second, the same person makes a terrible analogy by saying that the other person wearing hoops is "essentially stealing our valour". Right off the bat where valour hasn't even been brought up. And finally, that person immediately calls the other an asshole when they were clearly just being polite.

In short, your short fictional dialogue paints one part of the discussion as an asshole from the get-go, and the other as being merely polite. Contrast to this:

"Hey, I notice you're wearing hoops. Are you aware that some of us in the Latino community consider hoops to be a valuable part of our cultural expression?"

"So what?"

"So I'd appreciate it if you could reconsider your fashion choices in the future to be more considerate and respectful of our cultural expression."

"No, fuck off."

"Ah, I see you're an asshole. Have a nice day."

You see, when we're making up fictional dialogues, we have the choice. We can paint either party to the discussion as an asshole, depending on which ideological point of view we want to emphasise, because we are authors and we can control how the characters in our fictional world behave. In yours, one person is being an asshole. In mine, the other.

You see, it's not the mere fact that you're questioning and challenging that makes you an asshole. It's how you do it.

If you overhear a stranger in a pub talking about having taken homeopathy to help with an illness, and you go up to them and start ranting about how it's all fake and they're being an idiot for believing that it works, then you are being an asshole. If, on the other hand, you are already part of a discussion with friends, and you bring up some of the arguments, you are not necessarily being an asshole.

It's possible to have the conversation without being an asshole.

Neither of our two short fictional dialogues are an example of how to do that, because both of us wanted to, and intended to, portray the other side as an asshole. My reason for doing so was rhetorical. Yours was ideological.
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Offline Caffiene

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #642 on: April 17, 2017, 11:34:05 PM »
I'm saying that I'm the wrong person to ask what examples should be discussed. You should discuss examples with those who are affected by it. If that means discussing hoop earrings, then do that. With someone who believes that it is a relevant example. Not with me. It's not my culture. I have no experience with it.

If I discuss examples that I think are relevant, am I not now forcing my culture onto the discussion? Am I not now appropriating the discussion itself? Why are we white heterosexual males discussing what Latino women should and should not care about? I'm not going to say I think black people should be offended by this, or not be offended by that. It's not my culture and I won't impose my extracultural ideas on what those cultures should think or feel.

Firstly, as per the first part of what I said in the quote, it was already suggested that it could be empirically measured how a particular culture thinks or feels at a statistical level and the reply was that its irrelevant. If we are told that we should not find out what cultures think or feel, how can we be expected to find appropriate examples? At best, we can only ask for anecdotes from individuals which may be grossly misrepresentative of the larger trend of opinion in that culture. (eg, if we can only ask for anecdotes, and statistical level data is irrelevant, the implication is that the old "I have a black friend who says its ok" argument is a very valid conclusion under that method. I take from that that the method is flawed.)

Secondly, I think the statement of "deciding what people should and shouldnt care about" is a strawman. I dont think anybody has tried to make a claim of that sort. There is discussion about when there is a claim of a particular instance offense and appropriation, is that offense suitable to react to and prevent or morally condemn the appropriation, and for what reasons. At no point does it question the existence or correctness of the offense. There is no conflict in having a valid sense of offense at something yet still judging whether a particular response is warranted - discussing how to react when people care does not imply any question of what people should care about.

Thirdly, I dont think appropriation is a good analogy in giving an example. Appropriation involves taking something which does exist within the culture - if there was appropriation in the act of giving an example, the implication would be that you saw people within that culture giving that example. I dont think theres a direct analogy, since the act of giving an example isnt typically something that has a lot of cultural context that could be stripped away - or, to the extent that an example does have a lot of cultural context, it wouldnt be a very good example to give to somebody outside that culture anyway.
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Offline D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #643 on: April 17, 2017, 11:40:06 PM »
Neither of our two short fictional dialogues are an example of how to do that, because both of us wanted to, and intended to, portray the other side as an asshole. My reason for doing so was rhetorical. Yours was ideological.

Only one of us thinks it is okay to demand that people change their mode of self-expression based on their skin color. That is quite clearly ideological.

Edit: Your fictional Latino still sounds like an asshole, and an uninformed one to boot.

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« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 11:42:19 PM by D4M10N »

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #644 on: April 17, 2017, 11:52:19 PM »
Firstly, as per the first part of what I said in the quote, it was already suggested that it could be empirically measured how a particular culture thinks or feels at a statistical level...
See, I disagree with that. I don't think that it is possible to empirically measure something like that.

...and the reply was that its irrelevant.
It's irrelevant because it is asking for something that is impossible - ergo, a complete and quantified list of what a particular culture thinks and believes about a particular subject. Not only does it treat that culture as a monolithic whole when in fact different individuals within that culture can and will have different opinions on the subject, but it also treats a belief system as something that can be directly enumerated. It's just not possible, and therefore asking for it is irrelevant to the discussion.

If we are told that we should not find out what cultures think or feel, how can we be expected to find appropriate examples? At best, we can only ask for anecdotes from individuals which may be grossly misrepresentative of the larger trend of opinion in that culture. (eg, if we can only ask for anecdotes, and statistical level data is irrelevant, the implication is that the old "I have a black friend who says its ok" argument is a very valid conclusion under that method. I take from that that the method is flawed.)
Now you're getting it. All you have are anecdotes. You cannot and should not treat any particular culture as monolithic, with one clear and enumerable view on the subject. And we all know that anecdotes are insufficient to establish any kind of clear scientific conclusion.

So stop looking for clear, specific, enumerable conclusions. You won't find any. All you will find are anecdotes and opinions.

Secondly, I think the statement of "deciding what people should and shouldnt care about" is a strawman. I dont think anybody has tried to make a claim of that sort. There is discussion about when there is a claim of a particular instance offense and appropriation, is that offense suitable to react to and prevent or morally condemn the appropriation, and for what reasons. At no point does it question the existence or correctness of the offense. There is no conflict in having a valid sense of offense at something yet still judging whether a particular response is warranted - discussing how to react when people care does not imply any question of what people should care about.
Oh, I think that some here have been directly implying that taking offense is invalid. That people shouldn't be getting so upset about hoops, for example.

Thirdly, I dont think appropriation is a good analogy in giving an example. Appropriation involves taking something which does exist within the culture - if there was appropriation in the act of giving an example, the implication would be that you saw people within that culture giving that example. I dont think theres a direct analogy, since the act of giving an example isnt typically something that has a lot of cultural context that could be stripped away - or, to the extent that an example does have a lot of cultural context, it wouldnt be a very good example to give to somebody outside that culture anyway.
My statement was that we white heterosexual males are appropriating the discussion, not the example. We should not be having the discussion exclusively amongst ourselves, with no parties to the other point of view present. For example, there is no-one present in this conversation from the Latino community who genuinely feels that white people wearing hoops is offensive to their culture.

It's like a panel of old rich white men discussing womens' reproductive rights. We're talking over the heads of the people who are actually affected by it. What valid conclusions can we reasonably come to?
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