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General Discussions => General Discussion => Topic started by: superdave on April 03, 2017, 09:09:18 PM

Title: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: superdave on April 03, 2017, 09:09:18 PM
I've never really felt like I totally groked this idea, but people whose opinions I generally trust seem to think it's a problem, so I am trying.

So I thought to myself, can I think of any time that my culture was appropriated, and how did I feel.

The best things I can come up with are as follows.
1)  That time Madonna studied Kabalah
2)  The yiddish  / klezmer fad in the late 2000s
3)  The entire surf rock movement of the 50s.
4) Kosher style restaurants that are not actually kosher.

and well, the problem is that my initial reaction is anger and disgust, but that feeling subsides quickly.  At the time, the Madonna thing bothered me because it was so blatant that someone was using a part of my culture to just sell celebs pseudoscience, and this bothered me a lot, but after a bit I realized it didn't really harm me any way and I stopped caring.  in the case of 3, well some of the greatest music of all time came out of that era.
In the case of number 2, again, it didn't feel very good that people were so superficially glomming onto a part of my culture but that feeling came and went.  AFter all, they were not really hurting me.

The last one is most annoying in a practical sense because well, kosher style is not really a style at all, they usually mean, traditional eastern european food, but again same deal.

So at the end of the day, I kinda get where some of the anger comes from but personally don't feel like this is a big deal. 
*that is not to say other people's feeling are invalid, I just cant seem to work myself up over this.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 03, 2017, 09:14:50 PM
Some of my favorite experiences/languages/people are the result of a massive mish-mashup of two or more cultures. Hard to find fault, really, unless someone is deliberately mocking your culture.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 03, 2017, 09:46:37 PM
Some of my favorite experiences/languages/people are the result of a massive mish-mashup of two or more cultures. Hard to find fault, really, unless someone is deliberately mocking your culture.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
"Your feelings are invalid because I feel differently!"
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 03, 2017, 09:57:54 PM
I wonder, is this sense (not from the OP but from the first response, which is itself indicative of values shared by an awful lot of people here, judging from previous arguments) actually *worse* because we all think of ourselves as skeptics and so just assume that whatever we think about this subject is therefore correct, or is it just basically the same as our background culture(s) and it's just odious because we ought to know better? I'm torn.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 03, 2017, 10:03:53 PM
To me the issue is not merely being influenced by or even adopting elements of another culture; such syncretism is inevitable in our global society.  The problem specifically is the adoption of culturally-significant practices of a minority culture by members of a dominant in a way that neglects the cultural and historical context: i.e., as fashion.  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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 03, 2017, 10:14:06 PM
Some of my favorite experiences/languages/people are the result of a massive mish-mashup of two or more cultures. Hard to find fault, really, unless someone is deliberately mocking your culture.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
"Your feelings are invalid because I feel differently!"
No idea whose feelings you're talking about...?

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 03, 2017, 11:30:10 PM
Well, I think it's probably great when two cultures combine in a way that gives us something cool. But it's better still if actual members of those cultures had a say in creating it.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 03, 2017, 11:31:17 PM
Good thing the Phoenicians didn't keep the alphabet to themselves.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 04, 2017, 01:59:31 AM
I've never really felt like I totally groked this idea, but people whose opinions I generally trust seem to think it's a problem, so I am trying.

So I thought to myself, can I think of any time that my culture was appropriated, and how did I feel.

The best things I can come up with are as follows.
1)  That time Madonna studied Kabalah
2)  The yiddish  / klezmer fad in the late 2000s
3)  The entire surf rock movement of the 50s.
4)  Kosher style restaurants that are not actually kosher.

Apparently we share a similar ethnic background, but I find none of the things you listed offensive, event transiently.  Using your numbers:

1)  If I ever knew that Madonna had studied Kabbalah, it was so insignificant to me that I forgot it.  Having been reminded of it now, I couldn't care less.  If she has an interest in Kabbalah, why would that bother me?

2) I was not aware that either Yiddish or klezmer music was ever a fad.  I enjoy klezmer music and wish I had known it had become popular.  I do not see why non-Jews should not appreciate, play, or adapt klezmer music.  Who cares?  As to Yiddish, linguists have recently pronounced it a dead language.  When I heard this I was shocked, because Yiddish was spoken in my home when I was a child.  Too bad the fad didn't continue; maybe there would still be Yiddish speakers around if it had.

3)  I don't know what this refers to.

4)  Even most Jewish delicatessens aren't kosher.  They don't serve dairy foods and meat on separate plates with separate silverware, and I guarantee they will serve you a glass of milk with your chopped liver.  Only a small subset of "glott kosher" restaurants follow the kosher dietary "laws."

Quote
kosher style is not really a style at all, they usually mean, traditional eastern european food, but again same deal.

"Kosher style" basically means that the boiled chicken (and everything else) has been run through the deflavorizing machine.  But, as you imply, that's true with much of Eastern European cuisine.  But, that should hardly be a surprise since most Ashkenazi Jews are of Eastern European heritage.  If you want "kosher" food that actually has some taste, go to Israel and order falafel and hummus.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 04, 2017, 02:07:51 AM
To me the issue is not merely being influenced by or even adopting elements of another culture; such syncretism is inevitable in our global society.  The problem specifically is the adoption of culturally-significant practices of a minority culture by members of a dominant in a way that neglects the cultural and historical context: i.e., as fashion.  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.

Next time, I'll be sure to consult the Millennial's handbook before I put on my huarache sandals.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 04, 2017, 02:49:29 AM
I recently read an article that explains how the movie A Nightmare Before Christmas is all about cultural appropriation.

Here it is (https://www.themarysue.com/nightmare-before-christmas-cultural-appropriation/).

And here are just a few relevant excerpts:

Quote
Jack starts the movie uninspired. While everyone else in Halloween Town is ecstatic with that year’s Halloween extravaganza, their Pumpkin King has grown bored of his aesthetic. Of course then Jack wanders off, discovers Christmas Town, and is overjoyed to discover what is surrounding him...

...Jack has bits and pieces of what Christmas looks like, but he has no context for what actually makes Christmas what it is. Because of that, his experiments fail and he’s left frustrated by the whole process....

...The entirety of the “Making Christmas” montage highlights how one culture can cheapen another’s through careless imitation. They’re doing the standard making of the presents, wrapping the gifts, and getting the sleigh ready, but they’re “improving” it all by making it scary and gory. The similarities to fashion companies faking traditional tribal designs (but twisting them to be trendy) are apt. There’s a sense of entitlement here; entitlement and arrogance. The only person in town who questions all of it is Sally. Even though she’s nervous around the man she has feelings for, Sally tries her best to reason with Jack, but he doesn’t listen to her warnings...

...Of course, when this all backfires completely and Jack is left with his project in burning shambles around him, he has the good sense to realize he’s at fault for all of it. And being the hero of the story, he of course makes things right by saving Santa and Sally from Oogie Boogie’s clutches. With Boogie defeated, Jack apologizes earnestly to Santa for messing this all up. And Santa… is still pissed. And it’s great. He is clearly put out and doesn’t cheerily wave off the whole experience. Because like marginalized people when their cultures are appropriated, it’s not Santa’s responsibility to be tactful when dealing with someone who kidnapped him, disrespected his work, and then nearly got him killed. His snippy reaction is absolutely appropriate for the situation.

I recommend you go read the whole thing. And watch the movie. Because it's a great movie.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 04, 2017, 03:33:41 AM
I recently read an article that explains how the movie A Nightmare Before Christmas is all about cultural appropriation.

Here it is (https://www.themarysue.com/nightmare-before-christmas-cultural-appropriation/).

And here are just a few relevant excerpts:

Quote
Jack starts the movie uninspired. While everyone else in Halloween Town is ecstatic with that year’s Halloween extravaganza, their Pumpkin King has grown bored of his aesthetic. Of course then Jack wanders off, discovers Christmas Town, and is overjoyed to discover what is surrounding him...

...Jack has bits and pieces of what Christmas looks like, but he has no context for what actually makes Christmas what it is. Because of that, his experiments fail and he’s left frustrated by the whole process....

...The entirety of the “Making Christmas” montage highlights how one culture can cheapen another’s through careless imitation. They’re doing the standard making of the presents, wrapping the gifts, and getting the sleigh ready, but they’re “improving” it all by making it scary and gory. The similarities to fashion companies faking traditional tribal designs (but twisting them to be trendy) are apt. There’s a sense of entitlement here; entitlement and arrogance. The only person in town who questions all of it is Sally. Even though she’s nervous around the man she has feelings for, Sally tries her best to reason with Jack, but he doesn’t listen to her warnings...

...Of course, when this all backfires completely and Jack is left with his project in burning shambles around him, he has the good sense to realize he’s at fault for all of it. And being the hero of the story, he of course makes things right by saving Santa and Sally from Oogie Boogie’s clutches. With Boogie defeated, Jack apologizes earnestly to Santa for messing this all up. And Santa… is still pissed. And it’s great. He is clearly put out and doesn’t cheerily wave off the whole experience. Because like marginalized people when their cultures are appropriated, it’s not Santa’s responsibility to be tactful when dealing with someone who kidnapped him, disrespected his work, and then nearly got him killed. His snippy reaction is absolutely appropriate for the situation.

I recommend you go read the whole thing. And watch the movie. Because it's a great movie.

Poe's Law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe%27s_law) illustrated.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 04, 2017, 04:43:45 AM
Remember those old terms cultural diffusion and "melting pot?"  Supposedly people learning from each other's cultures, sharing ideas, eating new foods, etc... was supposed to be this great thing that allowed us all to be unique and still American (obviously this applies only to US posters here)?

I mean we took St Patrick's day and made it about Irish "themed" parades.  Halloween is some bastardized pagan holiday.  Arguably so is Christmas.  Hello, on Thanksgiving little kids dress up as the people our ancestors slaughtered to celebrate coming together and stuffing our faces.

That some of the same people who think that race is entirely a social construct buy into the notion of authentic culture...  Somebody should tell the neo-cons that that isn't what traditional conservatives believe, or the afro-centrists that Shafrequa isn't a traditional African name, or the Sunnis that suicide attacks actually hopped over culturally from the Shia branch of the faith.

This coming Christmas, when you're eating Americanized Chinese food, and thinking about if the reason so many Christians dislike the Mormons is because they call themselves Christians while believing in radically different things, thusly misappropriation the label in their eyes... remember that you don't care, and those fried egg rolls are delicious.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: frothy on April 04, 2017, 05:24:12 AM
If the majority culture is stopped from adopting things from minority cultures, but not vice versa, won't that ultimately lead to the extinction of the various aspects of the minority culture?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: superdave on April 04, 2017, 06:49:34 AM
Thought about it some more. I think the issue is that by removing the original culture from the practice,you are denying someone the chance to appreciate and learn about that culture and also denying tthat culture an opportunity to contribute something new. 

Maybe someone out there might tone down harsh feelings for a culture or ethnicitity if they were to learn that something they really enjoy comes from that culture, for example.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 04, 2017, 09:20:46 AM
I recently read an article that explains how the movie A Nightmare Before Christmas is all about cultural appropriation.

Here it is (https://www.themarysue.com/nightmare-before-christmas-cultural-appropriation/).

And here are just a few relevant excerpts:

Quote
Jack starts the movie uninspired. While everyone else in Halloween Town is ecstatic with that year’s Halloween extravaganza, their Pumpkin King has grown bored of his aesthetic. Of course then Jack wanders off, discovers Christmas Town, and is overjoyed to discover what is surrounding him...

...Jack has bits and pieces of what Christmas looks like, but he has no context for what actually makes Christmas what it is. Because of that, his experiments fail and he’s left frustrated by the whole process....

...The entirety of the “Making Christmas” montage highlights how one culture can cheapen another’s through careless imitation. They’re doing the standard making of the presents, wrapping the gifts, and getting the sleigh ready, but they’re “improving” it all by making it scary and gory. The similarities to fashion companies faking traditional tribal designs (but twisting them to be trendy) are apt. There’s a sense of entitlement here; entitlement and arrogance. The only person in town who questions all of it is Sally. Even though she’s nervous around the man she has feelings for, Sally tries her best to reason with Jack, but he doesn’t listen to her warnings...

...Of course, when this all backfires completely and Jack is left with his project in burning shambles around him, he has the good sense to realize he’s at fault for all of it. And being the hero of the story, he of course makes things right by saving Santa and Sally from Oogie Boogie’s clutches. With Boogie defeated, Jack apologizes earnestly to Santa for messing this all up. And Santa… is still pissed. And it’s great. He is clearly put out and doesn’t cheerily wave off the whole experience. Because like marginalized people when their cultures are appropriated, it’s not Santa’s responsibility to be tactful when dealing with someone who kidnapped him, disrespected his work, and then nearly got him killed. His snippy reaction is absolutely appropriate for the situation.

I recommend you go read the whole thing. And watch the movie. Because it's a great movie.

Poe's Law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe%27s_law) illustrated.
Jesus. We are really running the gamut here... we started out with "waaaah your examples of having your Jewish heritage don't bother my Gentile ass so therefore they are invalid" to "waaaaaah you can't interpret my childhood like that!!!!"*, and now we even have some fun little racism! Granted that last bit was introduced by the forum edgelord but still... maybe the whiners should think a bit about why they're butt hurt...

*I do wonder what Tim Burton would have to say about that angle, actually. I know he was inspired by Christmas and Halloween decorations being around at the same time, but works once published exist outside of an artist's conception of what they're "supposed" to be about and who knows, maybe Burton *did* intend to invoke parallels to cultural appropriation (which may be relatively new as a term but sure as hell wasnt New as a concept in 1994).
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: superdave on April 04, 2017, 09:55:10 AM
the cultural appropriation argument for Nightmare sounds pretty strong, even if the phrase was not en vogue at the time.  The plot is literally that.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: seamas on April 04, 2017, 10:12:14 AM
3)  The entire surf rock movement of the 50s.

Laying sole claim to the Phrygian Dominant scale would be a half appropriation from other cultures that have made use of that mode for as long as the Jews.

I was listening to a NPR program yesterday where a cookbook author was interviewed--she had recently written a cookbook of Jewish cooking, from around the world and history. Even before the Diaspora, Jews were fairly widely spread, and picked up and appropriated all manners of cooking and ingredients--much was picked up from India and Babylon--and things picked up there originated in China, etc

Then post-diaspora the large merchant class of Jews emerged throughout Europe, moving goods and cultures--a huge factor in bringing new world crops and foods and recipes to Europe was through Jewish merchants. They essentially saw the value and demand for appropriation.

I think appropriation of these things (clothing,  cuisine, music) is simply a matter of human curiosity and creativity.

I am also thinking of the very vibrant "food truck" industry, where people from, say China or Vietnam or Korea adopt Mexican recipes (and vise versa)or ideas and create something new.

I don't quite get the idea that people can or should put a lid on appropriation-- as if they can preserve culture like some museum specimen, or that simply by being born into some "culture" you are forever beholden not to step beyond the boundary that some authority set.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: superdave on April 04, 2017, 10:14:35 AM
The more I think about this, I think the problem is really one of plagiarism without citation.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 04, 2017, 10:31:10 AM
The more I think about this, I think the problem is really one of plagiarism without citation.

Almost

http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/06/cultural-appropriation-wrong/ (http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/06/cultural-appropriation-wrong/)

From this article:

Quote
In short: Cultural appropriation is when somebody adopts aspects of a culture that’s not their own.

But that’s only the most basic definition.

A deeper understanding of cultural appropriation also refers to a particular power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group.


That’s why cultural appropriation is not the same as cultural exchange, when people share mutually with each other – because cultural exchange lacks that systemic power dynamic.

It’s also not the same as assimilation, when marginalized people adopt elements of the dominant culture in order to survive conditions that make life more of a struggle if they don’t.

Some say, for instance, that non-Western people who wear jeans and Indigenous people who speak English are taking from dominant cultures, too.

But marginalized groups don’t have the power to decide if they’d prefer to stick with their customs or try on the dominant culture’s traditions just for fun.

A classic example is wearing braids or locs in your hair. If a black woman wears braids or locs to work in an office-type job, there's a chance she gets judged for being "too ethnic," or not dressing appropriately. There's an enormous pressure on women of color to force their hair to look (and have the texture of) white woman hair. If a white woman then wears braids, she is doing it for the look, not because she needs to manage the texture of her hair, and probably won't be criticized for it the same way the black woman would. So there she gets to have the fun benefit of another culture with all the benefit of being a member of a dominant class of people. This would feel really crappy to a woman of color because then she is aware of the fact that this white woman more permissibly displays aspects of her own culture than she herself is able to because of the way social oppression works.

This topic is a lot deeper than deciding if something is "offensive," or not.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 04, 2017, 10:35:24 AM
The more I think about this, I think the problem is really one of plagiarism without citation.

Almost

http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/06/cultural-appropriation-wrong/ (http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/06/cultural-appropriation-wrong/)

From this article:

Quote
In short: Cultural appropriation is when somebody adopts aspects of a culture that’s not their own.

But that’s only the most basic definition.

A deeper understanding of cultural appropriation also refers to a particular power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group.


That’s why cultural appropriation is not the same as cultural exchange, when people share mutually with each other – because cultural exchange lacks that systemic power dynamic.

It’s also not the same as assimilation, when marginalized people adopt elements of the dominant culture in order to survive conditions that make life more of a struggle if they don’t.

Some say, for instance, that non-Western people who wear jeans and Indigenous people who speak English are taking from dominant cultures, too.

But marginalized groups don’t have the power to decide if they’d prefer to stick with their customs or try on the dominant culture’s traditions just for fun.

A classic example is wearing braids or locs in your hair. If a black woman wears braids or locs to work in an office-type job, there's a chance she gets judged for being "too ethnic," or not dressing appropriately. There's an enormous pressure on women of color to force their hair to look (and have the texture of) white woman hair. If a white woman then wears braids, she is doing it for the look, not because she needs to manage the texture of her hair, and probably won't be criticized for it the same way the black woman would. So there she gets to have the fun benefit of another culture with all the benefit of being a member of a dominant class of people. This would feel really crappy to a woman of color because then she is aware of the fact that this white woman more permissibly displays aspects of her own culture than she herself is able to because of the way social oppression works.

This topic is a lot deeper than deciding if something is "offensive," or not.
Nailed it. There is the benign and there is the harmful, and the inability to discern between the harmful and the benign indicates a lack of intellectual honesty and maturity.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 04, 2017, 10:38:10 AM
(click to show/hide)
Nailed it. There is the benign and there is the harmful, and the inability to discern between the harmful and the benign indicates a lack of intellectual honesty and maturity.

I'm not quiiiite ready to ascribe motivations, but it does require a certain amount of self-awareness to talk about this stuff.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: superdave on April 04, 2017, 10:39:51 AM
in the hair example...wouldn't the ideal outcome be to encourage a culture where both women can feel comfortable with whatever hair they want?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 04, 2017, 10:48:40 AM
in the hair example...wouldn't the ideal outcome be to encourage a culture where both women can feel comfortable with whatever hair they want?
A promising solution, but then we'd have to put aside identity politics and give up the righteous glow that comes with fighting for marginal cultures against shameless borrowers of ancient ideas.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Ah.hell on April 04, 2017, 10:50:05 AM
Having thought about the notion some, I generally come down to, cultural appropriation is a concept that covers a lot of things.  Some bad, some good, some indifferent.  We ought to address the bad, celebrate the good and ignore the indifferent.   It can go a long way towards having the minority groups in question accepted by the majority culture which is generally for the good.  It can also result in the majority culture taking the bits of the minority culture they like while continuing to marginalize the minorities.  Its complicated man.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 04, 2017, 10:50:40 AM
in the hair example...wouldn't the ideal outcome be to encourage a culture where both women can feel comfortable with whatever hair they want?

This question is an important one to address.

On some level, ideally yes. But... and I cannot overstate how big of a but this is... it's impossible in these kinds of conversations to talk about what ideally ought to be when things are as bad as they are. Right now we are in a triage phase where we need to stop implicit bias and all of the other things that make people of marginalized cultures feel stress, depression, defeat, anger, frustration etc. as part of their daily lives. We are so far from ideal right now that it isn't even funny. To try to proceed as though that is the goal without acknowledging how hard it is to be just to exist as a member of a marginalized culture/class is basically tone-deaf until these major issues are completely resolved.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 04, 2017, 10:52:39 AM
in the hair example...wouldn't the ideal outcome be to encourage a culture where both women can feel comfortable with whatever hair they want?
A promising solution, but then we'd have to put aside identity politics and give up the righteous glow that comes with fighting for marginal cultures against shameless borrowers of ancient ideas.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

It must be so nice to be so removed from issues of sexism/classism/racism to have the luxury of derision of those trying to make things more fair for everyone.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 04, 2017, 10:57:16 AM
Before anyone goes on, I highly recommend watching this to understand what cultural appropriation really is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXejDhRGOuI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXejDhRGOuI)
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: superdave on April 04, 2017, 11:01:30 AM
in the hair example...wouldn't the ideal outcome be to encourage a culture where both women can feel comfortable with whatever hair they want?

This question is an important one to address.

On some level, ideally yes. But... and I cannot overstate how big of a but this is... it's impossible in these kinds of conversations to talk about what ideally ought to be when things are as bad as they are. Right now we are in a triage phase where we need to stop implicit bias and all of the other things that make people of marginalized cultures feel stress, depression, defeat, anger, frustration etc. as part of their daily lives. We are so far from ideal right now that it isn't even funny. To try to proceed as though that is the goal without acknowledging how hard it is to be just to exist as a member of a marginalized culture/class is basically tone-deaf until these major issues are completely resolved.

fair enough.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 04, 2017, 11:04:09 AM
in the hair example...wouldn't the ideal outcome be to encourage a culture where both women can feel comfortable with whatever hair they want?
A promising solution, but then we'd have to put aside identity politics and give up the righteous glow that comes with fighting for marginal cultures against shameless borrowers of ancient ideas.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

It must be so nice to be so removed from issues of sexism/classism/racism to have the luxury of derision of those trying to make things more fair for everyone.
You can call it fairness if you like. Looks like shaming to me.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: superdave on April 04, 2017, 11:13:17 AM
I think a simple question that would clear up a lot for me is basically, is cultural appropriation always bad, albeit occasionally leads to something we generally consider positive despite it's origins (e. g. rock and roll)? 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 04, 2017, 11:25:02 AM
I would say that cultural appropriation always, by definition, has negative consequences.  Cultural exchange does not.  And both may be present at the same time.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 04, 2017, 11:30:44 AM
I think a simple question that would clear up a lot for me is basically, is cultural appropriation always bad, albeit occasionally leads to something we generally consider positive despite it's origins (e. g. rock and roll)?

watch the video I posted! it's super clarifying.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 04, 2017, 11:32:49 AM
in the hair example...wouldn't the ideal outcome be to encourage a culture where both women can feel comfortable with whatever hair they want?
A promising solution, but then we'd have to put aside identity politics and give up the righteous glow that comes with fighting for marginal cultures against shameless borrowers of ancient ideas.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

It must be so nice to be so removed from issues of sexism/classism/racism to have the luxury of derision of those trying to make things more fair for everyone.
You can call it fairness if you like. Looks like shaming to me.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

I absolutely was shaming you for being derisive and dismissive (i.e. shaming) of people who are trying to make things more fair. You started it, don't dish it out if you can't take it.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 04, 2017, 11:33:44 AM
Waaaah... I'm an unsufferable troll who somehow thinks mocking people by putting words in their mouth makes for a good argument.

I agree.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 04, 2017, 11:45:36 AM
Waaaah... I'm an unsufferable troll who somehow thinks mocking people by putting words in their mouth makes for a good argument.

I agree.
It does describe you very, very well... I wish I'd come up with those words.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 04, 2017, 11:55:19 AM
in the hair example...wouldn't the ideal outcome be to encourage a culture where both women can feel comfortable with whatever hair they want?
A promising solution, but then we'd have to put aside identity politics and give up the righteous glow that comes with fighting for marginal cultures against shameless borrowers of ancient ideas.

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It must be so nice to be so removed from issues of sexism/classism/racism to have the luxury of derision of those trying to make things more fair for everyone.
You can call it fairness if you like. Looks like shaming to me.

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I absolutely was shaming you for being derisive and dismissive (i.e. shaming) of people who are trying to make things more fair. You started it, don't dish it out if you can't take it.
You've yet to show how the world would be more fair (or better in any way) if we choose to shame people for adopting good ideas from other cultures.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 04, 2017, 12:19:54 PM
in the hair example...wouldn't the ideal outcome be to encourage a culture where both women can feel comfortable with whatever hair they want?
A promising solution, but then we'd have to put aside identity politics and give up the righteous glow that comes with fighting for marginal cultures against shameless borrowers of ancient ideas.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

It must be so nice to be so removed from issues of sexism/classism/racism to have the luxury of derision of those trying to make things more fair for everyone.
You can call it fairness if you like. Looks like shaming to me.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

I absolutely was shaming you for being derisive and dismissive (i.e. shaming) of people who are trying to make things more fair. You started it, don't dish it out if you can't take it.
You've yet to show how the world would be more fair (or better in any way) if we choose to shame people for adopting good ideas from other cultures.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

You clearly didn't click on the link I posted, nor did you watch the video, nor did you carefully read anything I wrote. I can't account for you not paying very good attention.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 04, 2017, 12:22:08 PM
in the hair example...wouldn't the ideal outcome be to encourage a culture where both women can feel comfortable with whatever hair they want?
A promising solution, but then we'd have to put aside identity politics and give up the righteous glow that comes with fighting for marginal cultures against shameless borrowers of ancient ideas.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

It must be so nice to be so removed from issues of sexism/classism/racism to have the luxury of derision of those trying to make things more fair for everyone.
You can call it fairness if you like. Looks like shaming to me.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

I absolutely was shaming you for being derisive and dismissive (i.e. shaming) of people who are trying to make things more fair. You started it, don't dish it out if you can't take it.
You've yet to show how the world would be more fair (or better in any way) if we choose to shame people for adopting good ideas from other cultures.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

You clearly didn't click on the link I posted, nor did you watch the video, nor did you carefully read anything I wrote. I can't account for you not paying very good attention.
What is your single best example of unfair cultural appropriation? Dreadlocks on insufficiently colored people?

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 04, 2017, 12:25:12 PM
in the hair example...wouldn't the ideal outcome be to encourage a culture where both women can feel comfortable with whatever hair they want?
A promising solution, but then we'd have to put aside identity politics and give up the righteous glow that comes with fighting for marginal cultures against shameless borrowers of ancient ideas.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

It must be so nice to be so removed from issues of sexism/classism/racism to have the luxury of derision of those trying to make things more fair for everyone.
You can call it fairness if you like. Looks like shaming to me.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

I absolutely was shaming you for being derisive and dismissive (i.e. shaming) of people who are trying to make things more fair. You started it, don't dish it out if you can't take it.
You've yet to show how the world would be more fair (or better in any way) if we choose to shame people for adopting good ideas from other cultures.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

You clearly didn't click on the link I posted, nor did you watch the video, nor did you carefully read anything I wrote. I can't account for you not paying very good attention.
What is your single best example of unfair cultural appropriation? Dreadlocks on insufficiently colored people?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
Howabout you watch the video and share your thoughts?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 04, 2017, 12:28:48 PM
Howabout you watch the video and share your thoughts?

Middle-class urban-dwelling bandwidth privilege, rearing its ugly head.

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 04, 2017, 12:30:13 PM
in the hair example...wouldn't the ideal outcome be to encourage a culture where both women can feel comfortable with whatever hair they want?
A promising solution, but then we'd have to put aside identity politics and give up the righteous glow that comes with fighting for marginal cultures against shameless borrowers of ancient ideas.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

It must be so nice to be so removed from issues of sexism/classism/racism to have the luxury of derision of those trying to make things more fair for everyone.
You can call it fairness if you like. Looks like shaming to me.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

I absolutely was shaming you for being derisive and dismissive (i.e. shaming) of people who are trying to make things more fair. You started it, don't dish it out if you can't take it.
You've yet to show how the world would be more fair (or better in any way) if we choose to shame people for adopting good ideas from other cultures.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

You clearly didn't click on the link I posted, nor did you watch the video, nor did you carefully read anything I wrote. I can't account for you not paying very good attention.
What is your single best example of unfair cultural appropriation? Dreadlocks on insufficiently colored people?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
The shit that Lula gets into in the middle of Act 2 is obviously not "real" in that this is all made up but it's based on truth:

http://faculty.atu.edu/cbrucker/Engl2013/texts/Dutchman.pdf
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 04, 2017, 12:32:38 PM


Howabout you watch the video and share your thoughts?

Middle-class urban-dwelling bandwidth privilege, rearing its ugly head.

If you turn off your Google alert for "cultural appropriation" it might free up some bandwidth.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 04, 2017, 12:56:28 PM
Good thing the Phoenicians didn't keep the alphabet to themselves.

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Exactly.

"Cultural appropriation" is a brainchild of the American far left that the rest of the world can safely ignore. The very concept presumes an extremely unhistorical view of what cultures are and how the evolve over time.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 04, 2017, 01:02:24 PM
in the hair example...wouldn't the ideal outcome be to encourage a culture where both women can feel comfortable with whatever hair they want?
A promising solution, but then we'd have to put aside identity politics and give up the righteous glow that comes with fighting for marginal cultures against shameless borrowers of ancient ideas.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

It must be so nice to be so removed from issues of sexism/classism/racism to have the luxury of derision of those trying to make things more fair for everyone.
You can call it fairness if you like. Looks like shaming to me.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

I absolutely was shaming you for being derisive and dismissive (i.e. shaming) of people who are trying to make things more fair. You started it, don't dish it out if you can't take it.
You've yet to show how the world would be more fair (or better in any way) if we choose to shame people for adopting good ideas from other cultures.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

You clearly didn't click on the link I posted, nor did you watch the video, nor did you carefully read anything I wrote. I can't account for you not paying very good attention.
What is your single best example of unfair cultural appropriation? Dreadlocks on insufficiently colored people?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
The shit that Lula gets into in the middle of Act 2 is obviously not "real" in that this is all made up but it's based on truth:

http://faculty.atu.edu/cbrucker/Engl2013/texts/Dutchman.pdf

The part where she improvises the blues, dances about the train car, and calls Clay an Uncle Tom?

p.s. Thanks for the link, enjoyable if disturbing reading.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 2397 on April 04, 2017, 01:15:16 PM
It seems to me that what makes cultural appropriation a problem isn't the cultural appropriation, but an underlying power imbalance that is a problem independently of it.

If you can raise everyone up to an equal level, you'll be solving a lot of problems, without necessarily targeting them specifically.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 04, 2017, 01:25:06 PM
But the power balance exists and, while it does, cultural appropriation has negative consequences for members of marginalized groups.  I don't think we're responsible for the results of our actions only under the assumption of a perfect world; we are responsible for their real-world consequences right now.  If a member of a marginalized group tells me that an action hurts her, what do I or she gain from my telling her that in an ideal world it wouldn't matter?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 04, 2017, 02:02:39 PM


But the power balance exists and, while it does, cultural appropriation has negative consequences for members of marginalized groups.  I don't think we're responsible for the results of our actions only under the assumption of a perfect world; we are responsible for their real-world consequences right now.  If a member of a marginalized group tells me that an action hurts her, what do I or she gain from my telling her that in an ideal world it wouldn't matter?

Delicious home-cooked plaintains and frozen piña coladas.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 04, 2017, 02:17:10 PM
But the power balance exists and, while it does, cultural appropriation has negative consequences for members of marginalized groups.  I don't think we're responsible for the results of our actions only under the assumption of a perfect world; we are responsible for their real-world consequences right now.  If a member of a marginalized group tells me that an action hurts her, what do I or she gain from my telling her that in an ideal world it wouldn't matter?

this this this
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 04, 2017, 02:17:22 PM
But the power balance exists and, while it does, cultural appropriation has negative consequences for members of marginalized groups.  I don't think we're responsible for the results of our actions only under the assumption of a perfect world; we are responsible for their real-world consequences right now.  If a member of a marginalized group tells me that an action hurts her, what do I or she gain from my telling her that in an ideal world it wouldn't matter?

So give us a specific example we can discuss because "hurt feelings in a vacuum" isn't going to convince anyone who doesn't already agree.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Jeremy's Sea on April 04, 2017, 02:24:23 PM
Waaaah... I'm an unsufferable troll who somehow thinks mocking people by putting words in their mouth makes for a good argument.

I agree.
Considering the last time I called you out for strawmanning an entire argument on this forum and you didn't walk it back, despite your claims you're the most self evaluating member of this forum, completely erases any credibility you have for whinging about other people doing it.

Still, it's amusing to watch you make angry baby noises again and again at Slick.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Jeremy's Sea on April 04, 2017, 02:25:54 PM
Good thing the Phoenicians didn't keep the alphabet to themselves.

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Exactly.

"Cultural appropriation" is a brainchild of the American far left that the rest of the world can safely ignore. The very concept presumes an extremely unhistorical view of what cultures are and how the evolve over time.
I realize this is an evergreen complaint for you, but unless you bother to acknowledge the distinction between cultural exchange and cultural appropriation, you're going to have to continually bash the "left" for imagined crimes against history.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 04, 2017, 02:33:03 PM
Waaaah... I'm an unsufferable troll who somehow thinks mocking people by putting words in their mouth makes for a good argument.

I agree.
Considering the last time I called you out for strawmanning an entire argument on this forum and you didn't walk it back, despite your claims you're the most self evaluating member of this forum, completely erases any credibility you have for whinging about other people doing it.

Still, it's amusing to watch you make angry baby noises again and again at Slick.

Can't help that I'm smarter than you.  Dance monkey dance!
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 04, 2017, 02:33:50 PM
But the power balance exists and, while it does, cultural appropriation has negative consequences for members of marginalized groups.  I don't think we're responsible for the results of our actions only under the assumption of a perfect world; we are responsible for their real-world consequences right now.  If a member of a marginalized group tells me that an action hurts her, what do I or she gain from my telling her that in an ideal world it wouldn't matter?

So give us a specific example we can discuss because "hurt feelings in a vacuum" isn't going to convince anyone who doesn't already agree.
Apparently all the specific examples are only available on video.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 04, 2017, 02:39:30 PM
But the power balance exists and, while it does, cultural appropriation has negative consequences for members of marginalized groups.  I don't think we're responsible for the results of our actions only under the assumption of a perfect world; we are responsible for their real-world consequences right now.  If a member of a marginalized group tells me that an action hurts her, what do I or she gain from my telling her that in an ideal world it wouldn't matter?

So give us a specific example we can discuss because "hurt feelings in a vacuum" isn't going to convince anyone who doesn't already agree.
Apparently all the specific examples are only available on video.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

Stop appropriating Korean culture!

Oh, but wait, if it's just a video we need...
www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcnhM3adCeM (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcnhM3adCeM)
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 04, 2017, 02:48:38 PM
But the power balance exists and, while it does, cultural appropriation has negative consequences for members of marginalized groups.  I don't think we're responsible for the results of our actions only under the assumption of a perfect world; we are responsible for their real-world consequences right now.  If a member of a marginalized group tells me that an action hurts her, what do I or she gain from my telling her that in an ideal world it wouldn't matter?

So give us a specific example we can discuss because "hurt feelings in a vacuum" isn't going to convince anyone who doesn't already agree.
Nah, because if we don't agree that appropriation can have a negative impact without all cultural sharing being bad by association, then it just devolves into the same people making bad-faith arguments to try to debunk specific examples instead of engaging on the concept itself.

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 04, 2017, 02:57:27 PM
But the power balance exists and, while it does, cultural appropriation has negative consequences for members of marginalized groups.  I don't think we're responsible for the results of our actions only under the assumption of a perfect world; we are responsible for their real-world consequences right now.  If a member of a marginalized group tells me that an action hurts her, what do I or she gain from my telling her that in an ideal world it wouldn't matter?

So give us a specific example we can discuss because "hurt feelings in a vacuum" isn't going to convince anyone who doesn't already agree.
Nah, because if we don't agree that appropriation can have a negative impact without all cultural sharing being bad by association, then it just devolves into the same people making bad-faith arguments to try to debunk specific examples instead of engaging on the concept itself.

Well, no point then, eh?  I mean if anecdotal evidence is too much to ask, and we're supposed to just take people's word for it about other people's feelings being well founded a priori, then I guess it's the fault of those of us who just cannot read your minds.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 04, 2017, 03:05:19 PM


But the power balance exists and, while it does, cultural appropriation has negative consequences for members of marginalized groups.  I don't think we're responsible for the results of our actions only under the assumption of a perfect world; we are responsible for their real-world consequences right now.  If a member of a marginalized group tells me that an action hurts her, what do I or she gain from my telling her that in an ideal world it wouldn't matter?

So give us a specific example we can discuss because "hurt feelings in a vacuum" isn't going to convince anyone who doesn't already agree.
Nah, because if we don't agree that appropriation can have a negative impact without all cultural sharing being bad by association, then it just devolves into the same people making bad-faith arguments to try to debunk specific examples instead of engaging on the concept itself.

Well, no point then, eh?  I mean if anecdotal evidence is too much to ask, and we're supposed to just take people's word for it about other people's feelings being well founded a priori, then I guess it's the fault of those of us who just cannot read your minds.

That's the sort of motivared reasoning I'm talking about, thank you!
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 04, 2017, 03:09:48 PM
Yep.  The Lat makes a meta argument.  I ask for a hypothetical.  You say there's no point because I'm incapable of changing my mind.  I agree that if that's the approach taken I won't change my mind.  My reasoning is that of a downright motivational speaker right now!  Gasp in awe at my insane refusal to submit to your superior logical argument!
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 04, 2017, 03:17:09 PM


But the power balance exists and, while it does, cultural appropriation has negative consequences for members of marginalized groups.  I don't think we're responsible for the results of our actions only under the assumption of a perfect world; we are responsible for their real-world consequences right now.  If a member of a marginalized group tells me that an action hurts her, what do I or she gain from my telling her that in an ideal world it wouldn't matter?

So give us a specific example we can discuss because "hurt feelings in a vacuum" isn't going to convince anyone who doesn't already agree.
Nah, because if we don't agree that appropriation can have a negative impact without all cultural sharing being bad by association, then it just devolves into the same people making bad-faith arguments to try to debunk specific examples instead of engaging on the concept itself.

If we had a couple dozen hypothetical examples, what are the odds that people who promote the appropriation/sharing dichotomy would be able to reliably bin them in the same way?



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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 04, 2017, 03:20:59 PM


But the power balance exists and, while it does, cultural appropriation has negative consequences for members of marginalized groups.  I don't think we're responsible for the results of our actions only under the assumption of a perfect world; we are responsible for their real-world consequences right now.  If a member of a marginalized group tells me that an action hurts her, what do I or she gain from my telling her that in an ideal world it wouldn't matter?

So give us a specific example we can discuss because "hurt feelings in a vacuum" isn't going to convince anyone who doesn't already agree.
Nah, because if we don't agree that appropriation can have a negative impact without all cultural sharing being bad by association, then it just devolves into the same people making bad-faith arguments to try to debunk specific examples instead of engaging on the concept itself.

If we had a couple dozen hypothetical examples, what are the odds that people who promote the appropriation/sharing dichotomy would be able to reliably bin them in the same way?



Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
People who are motivated to dismiss the things they disagree with have a 100% success rate.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 04, 2017, 03:23:09 PM
So...not very high then.

Not the best sales pitch.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 04, 2017, 03:27:30 PM
Yep.  The Lat makes a meta argument.  I ask for a hypothetical.  You say there's no point because I'm incapable of changing my mind.  I agree that if that's the approach taken I won't change my mind.  My reasoning is that of a downright motivational speaker right now!  Gasp in awe at my insane refusal to submit to your superior logical argument!
Not incable, just entirely unwilling.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 04, 2017, 03:28:57 PM
Thought about it some more. I think the issue is that by removing the original culture from the practice,you are denying someone the chance to appreciate and learn about that culture and also denying tthat culture an opportunity to contribute something new. 


Remind me of how opening a "kosher-style" restaurant removes the culture from the cuisine.  I won't even bother to ask you about the rest of your post.

Maybe the reason you have to think about it so hard to understand it is that it's bullshit in the first place.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 04, 2017, 03:32:26 PM
The more I think about this, I think the problem is really one of plagiarism without citation.

Keep thinking Dave.  Eventually you will hit upon some idea that will allow you to accept this insane bit of political correctness.  Then you, too, can be one of the cool kids. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 04, 2017, 03:35:49 PM
Black artists insist that painting of lynching victim by White artist be destroyed: link (https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/insane-political-correctness-snowflakes-urge-destruction-of-emmett-till-painting/).
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 04, 2017, 03:39:21 PM
The more I think about this, I think the problem is really one of plagiarism without citation.

Keep thinking Dave.  Eventually you will hit upon some idea that will allow you to accept this insane bit of political correctness.  Then you, too, can be one of the cool kids.

This is actually such an amazingly clear case of motivated reasoning that I know he must be genuine in his discomfort in his present cognitive dissonance.  He says that people he respects keep saying this is an idea with value, so he's trying to find some means by which he can justify agreeing with them.  He's openly purposefully engaging in motivated reasoning.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 04, 2017, 03:43:38 PM
Black artists insist that painting of lynching victim by White artist be destroyed: link (https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/insane-political-correctness-snowflakes-urge-destruction-of-emmett-till-painting/).
And we all know that extreme examples discredit an entire idea, right?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 04, 2017, 03:49:40 PM
Black artists insist that painting of lynching victim by White artist be destroyed: link (https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/insane-political-correctness-snowflakes-urge-destruction-of-emmett-till-painting/).
And we all know that extreme examples discredit an entire idea, right?

The idea itself is extreme. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Jeremy's Sea on April 04, 2017, 03:50:41 PM
Waaaah... I'm an unsufferable troll who somehow thinks mocking people by putting words in their mouth makes for a good argument.

I agree.
Considering the last time I called you out for strawmanning an entire argument on this forum and you didn't walk it back, despite your claims you're the most self evaluating member of this forum, completely erases any credibility you have for whinging about other people doing it.

Still, it's amusing to watch you make angry baby noises again and again at Slick.

Can't help that I'm smarter than you.  Dance monkey dance!
Oh so you're dishonest and an awful person? Got it. And to think I may have been trying with you.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 04, 2017, 03:58:20 PM
Black artists insist that painting of lynching victim by White artist be destroyed: link (https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/insane-political-correctness-snowflakes-urge-destruction-of-emmett-till-painting/).
And we all know that extreme examples discredit an entire idea, right?

The idea itself is extreme.
Ipse dixit.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 04, 2017, 04:01:43 PM
Black artists insist that painting of lynching victim by White artist be destroyed: link (https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/insane-political-correctness-snowflakes-urge-destruction-of-emmett-till-painting/).
And we all know that extreme examples discredit an entire idea, right?

The idea itself is extreme.
Ipse dixit.

You can disprove my assertion with a counterexample.  Got one?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 04, 2017, 04:07:49 PM
If people are actually looking for examples and not just being like "lolol u lib cucks can't think of anything lolol", Spike Lee's movie Bamboozled also delves pretty deeply into the idea of cultural appropriation by creating an extreme example of it (among other things). Here's an essay that discusses the subject matter:

http://blackfilm.tumblr.com/post/72490202471/a-black-centered-analysis-of-bamboozled-by
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 04, 2017, 04:20:16 PM
Creative works from Spike Lee and Amiri Baraka are fascinating, to be sure, but somewhat less instructive and persuasive than real world examples of cultural appropriation gone awry.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170404/6f3f472092a8b9196e0b1e52b9186dbd.jpg)
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 04, 2017, 04:26:18 PM
If people are actually looking for examples and not just being like "lolol u lib cucks can't think of anything lolol", Spike Lee's movie Bamboozled also delves pretty deeply into the idea of cultural appropriation by creating an extreme example of it (among other things). Here's an essay that discusses the subject matter:

http://blackfilm.tumblr.com/post/72490202471/a-black-centered-analysis-of-bamboozled-by

So I read the analysis of this film that touches on racial identity in part by being about making a show based on racial stereotypes, but honestly, without having seen the film, I doubt it can really be discussed.  It's an analysis of a commentary film that makes its commentary through the creation of a show within it.  Can we get something less meta please?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 04, 2017, 04:26:50 PM
Has anyone here ever wondered why hardly anyone outside of the USA ever think or worry about "cultural appropriation"?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 04, 2017, 04:44:16 PM
Black artists insist that painting of lynching victim by White artist be destroyed: link (https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/insane-political-correctness-snowflakes-urge-destruction-of-emmett-till-painting/).
And we all know that extreme examples discredit an entire idea, right?

The idea itself is extreme.
Ipse dixit.

You can disprove my assertion with a counterexample.  Got one?
Several have already been linked in this thread.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 04, 2017, 04:59:14 PM
Yeah, I find narrative fiction to be a whole *hell* of a lot more powerful than real world examples because fiction can contextualize itself whereas we can make up reasons for why real-life stuff happen. Do you really not see this happening IRL though? A couple of examples right off the top of my head:

- The music industry whitewashing black music in the 50s, particularly in the form of Elvis Presley but it was a thing that happened fairly regularly (and even the black musicians who gained popularity were generally "safe" acts like Chuck Berry and Little Richard - and no offense to those guys, they were pioneers too - who sang music originally written by/for more "dangerous" acts like Bessie Smith and Big Mama Thornton). There is a very solid argument that can be made that rock and roll, particularly early, pre-British Invasion rock and roll, is black rhythm and blues sung by white people and/or for white audiences.

- The relatively recent trend of people from outside of the region of the Middle East / North Africa taking up belly dancing because they thought it was cool (not the bad part) and in doing so ignoring and not really even caring about the history and culture of it.

- College frat boys glomming onto the Dave Chappelle Show in the early 2000s and transforming what was actually a very intelligent and well thought out program (seriously... the blind black Klansman sketch is as good as anything SNL or Key and Peele ever made, as is the sketch about different music styles with John Mayer) into "WHAT DID THE FIVE FINGERS SAY TO THE FACE I'M RICK JAMES BEEEEEEEEEEEYOTCH" (which, even at that, the Charlie Murphy stories were hilarious but they were about a whole hell of a lot more than Rick James fitting into a modern Mantan role - as the Prince one elucidated as well, it's how black folks with sometimes widely disparate backgrounds and varying degrees of success were still able to find common ground and have a good time with each other based on, yes, their shared black culture).

- Selena Gomez going around wearing a bindi because it looked cool and sexy and, like, hinduism lol. I think there's a general movement towards syncretizing a lot of Indian culture into American but, well, needless to say there are casualties along the way.

- That whole shitshow around Miley Cyrus and twerking. White people can twerk, don't get me wrong, but once again, there's this whole history and culture that kind of sits around that dance style (not on the level of belly dancing, but still) and that whole "lol let's get a person with a very black butt to go out and do this while Cyrus eggs her on" was distasteful as fuuuuuuuuck.

I imagine that you'll find excuses that make all of this not really cultural appropriation or not, like, all that bad. As a white male, I know that *I* am not particularly heavily impacted by any of these things myself. However, if you'd care to listen to the minorities whose cultures are being syncretized and now and then trampled all over (for instance, here (https://gawker.com/hindu-in-chief-bullies-selena-gomez-out-of-copping-fore-498754893) and here (http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/08/miley_cyrus_vma_performance_white_appropriation_of_black_bodies.html) and here* (http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/movies/a1122/esq0506chappelle-92/)) you would see that, whether *you* are offended by some of this stuff or not, *other people* are. And no, these folks are not saying that they have some sort of right to not be offended. They are saying, generally, that they would appreciate it if their own culture was accorded with the same level of respect that white American culture is afforded.

I want to point out here too that I am a *huge* fan of syncretism and cultural exchange in the manner that The Latinist pointed out. Frankly, the cultural exchange is what makes American culture so amazing: we're kind of good at it, and whatever other issues we have with race and class, I actually think that we do an overall OK job of acknowledging, tolerating, and enjoying other cultures. A huge part of why we are so good at this relative to the rest of the world, though, is that we *do* ask these questions of ourselves, and the moment we stop doing so we turn into... something more like what we were in the 50s or what Japan sometimes is today (and don't get me wrong *there* too: sometimes they do some really interesting syncretistic shit, too, like Neon Genesis Evangelion or Cowboy Bebop, but... Cowboy Bebop gets *really* racist at a couple points in ways that an Americanized version of those combined tropes wouldn't because Japan, I think, lacks that cultural awareness). We have a strong and admiral legacy of anti-racism in this country precisely because we've had to deal with race and bigotry to a much greater extent than most other First World countries have had to. The same applies to culture: we're not just naturally better at this because we're American, we're better at this because we *consider* this shit.

* That's a longer article about a lot of things, but Chappelle has said on several occasions that the Rick James sketch was a huge part of why he stopped doing the show at the height of its popularity.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 04, 2017, 05:00:49 PM
Has anyone here ever wondered why hardly anyone outside of the USA ever think or worry about "cultural appropriation"?
You mean, like, India? Or did you just mean monoculture Scandinavian countries?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 04, 2017, 05:07:22 PM
Controversial real world example, Rachel Dolezal.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 04, 2017, 05:15:11 PM
Has anyone here ever wondered why hardly anyone outside of the USA ever think or worry about "cultural appropriation"?
You mean, like, India? Or did you just mean monoculture Scandinavian countries?

Scandinavian countries are not monocultural like you imagine. I know it's a common American narrative, but it simply isn't true (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Sweden#Migration):

Quote
As of 2016, Statistics Sweden reported that around 2,320,000 or 23.2% of the inhabitants of Sweden were from a foreign background: that is, each such person either had been born abroad or had been born in Sweden to two parents who themselves had both been born abroad.

Quote
According to Eurostat, in 2010, there were 1.33 million foreign-born residents in Sweden, corresponding to 14.3% of the total population. Of these, 859,000 (64.3%) were born outside the EU and 477,000 (35.7%) were born in another EU Member State.

(click to show/hide)

There are also various historical native minorities (native to particular areas), like Samis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people) and Tornedalians (http://Tornedalians), though these are rather small.

Also, as we established in an earlier thread, Stockholm is a more global city (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_city) than many American and Canadian cities.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 04, 2017, 05:28:16 PM
Has anyone here ever wondered why hardly anyone outside of the USA ever think or worry about "cultural appropriation"?
You mean, like, India? Or did you just mean monoculture Scandinavian countries?
People in Ireland sure as hell dont give a fuck about cultural appropriation, because PC culture is for american nerds and we arent nerds!
I do hear alot of whining about how America created a bastardised and patronising version of our culture though and how an American beer company deciding that our national holiday (on which drinking was prohibited) would be the day when everyone gets pissed,thus cementing the idea of my people as fucking alcoholics in the minds eye of the world.
But fuck PC concepts, because we are all manly men and women and when they do it about us its ignorant but black people need to lighten up because music belongs to the world and shit.
See also- The harm done by mcdojos and the appropriation of asian martial culture to the people who attended them and to the cultural legacy of places like China whose opera stars were forced to ape the western idea of what their culture was in order to stay in business, thus almost losing an amazing piece of culture because people in the west didnt buy tickets unless they thought they were looking at 'monks'.
Can you find plus points in the above? Probably. Does that mean people from those cultures should stop being unhappy about it? No.

Edited last sentence after posting.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 04, 2017, 05:58:45 PM
Many American and Canadian cities are also *extremely* monocultural. Like, the entire Midwest is a lot like that (I mean, to a point): there is not a great deal of non-American culture that happens in Indianapolis (source: I lived in this place so I know it) and while even a place like Seattle is becoming quite a bit more multicultural, the Pacific Northwest also has a long, long legacy of being a very white, monocultural place. I would go so far as to argue that the places where you see actual cultural exchange taking place aren't these places that you believe that your Swedish cities compare favorably to, it's in places like New York City (the birthplace of *so much* American culture, from beat poetry to modern folk music to... I mean, at some point if you're not sure where some American cultural phenomenon took place, you just assume it took place in NYC) or New Orleans (the birthplace of jazz in the form of Dixieland), or places with a very strong and solid black subculture like Chicago or Atlanta, or, hell, even places with a strong non-dominant mid-American culture, like Nashville or San Francisco.

Which, speaking of... your 14.3% or 23% numbers are also *extremely* misleading to compare. First up, the US is *massive* compared to Sweden. No offense to Sweden - I actually like Scandinavia - but your entire country is roughly the size of California, our 3rd largest state, and it has as many people in it as North Carolina, its 10th most populous. Ignoring Alaska because nobody lives there, we're talking about a land mass almost 10 times as big as yours with roughly 30 times as many people living here. Our cities are *way* spread out - I feel like this is a thing that Americans don't fully get until they go to Europe and vice versa - and as such the sheer amount of space has helped to create a Southern culture that differs greatly from Northeastern that itself differs from Midwestern, Southwestern, and the Pacific Coast. But even *that* doesn't begin to tell the whole story. Whether or not there are still people moving in *now*, this is a nation of immigrants, some of them here by choice, some of them not. There are vast parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin and the Dakotas, for instance, that still maintain a relatively strong German community. To take things to an extreme there are pockets of Western Pennsylvania and Ohio where people actually speak a separate language that's kind of a pidgin of German and English (and yes, I know that Europe has some crazy dialects and there are likely pockets of Sweden that do something similar, but consider that this is a phenomenon that occurred in the last 250-300 years and is just plain caused by people from entirely different parts of the world living near each other). A big part of what makes NYC and Chicago what they are are the large Italian/Jewish/Irish and Irish/Polish sub-populations that have, even a hundred years plus on, only kind of "melted" into the rest of the nation (this whole "American melting pot" thing is a massive misnomer anyway; even when the term first came out in the early part of the 20th century, people thought it was kind of garbage; a comparison to a symphony orchestra was one of many that was considered more apt). There are *literally* more people of Irish descent who live in the US than there are people who live in Ireland. Then of course there are Native Americans, who aren't particularly numerous but do represent a decent-sized minority in some parts of the country (the Pacific Northwest for instance). The fact that many of these folks are now 4th and 5th generation Americans (or in the case of NAs, "we've been here a lot longer than you" generation) doesn't really even begin to tell the story of American diversity.

And then of course there is the black subculture (which itself is overly reductive - Atlanta's black community shares a lot of common ground with Chicago's but there are also a *lot* of differences, for example). There are close to 5 times as many African Americans living in the US as there are Swedish people in Sweden. I would go so far as to say that black culture is so far removed from white culture that culturally speaking it may as well be coming from another country. It makes up more than 12% of our population, so if you're really interested in comparing cultural diversity, before you even *start* to look at Sweden's 14% or 23% foreign-born people compared to the US, you need to take that 12% into account. *Plus* all the people who aren't literally just off the boat but who are still members of very, very different cultures, some of which have integrated, some of which haven't. *Plus* the ingrained cultural differences you get when take these disparate cultures, add in population centers and distance, and marinate for a hundred or 200 years. I'm sorry, but there's a reason why "we" (by which I mean a whole bunch of people completely unrelated to me except that we live in the same country) created jazz and rock and R&B and the blues and Tex-Mex and Cajun and so on and so forth: we have *massive* cultural exchange on a level that "you" (by which I mean, people probably only tangentially related to you) haven't experienced since the 900s AD.

(note: if you wanted to compare us to, say, Canada instead of Scandinavia there might be a better point to make. Even the United Kingdom has its own deal with the Commonwealth that makes it fairly unique amongst Europe. But no, those statistics? They don't begin to tell the story here.)
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 04, 2017, 06:01:54 PM
Has anyone here ever wondered why hardly anyone outside of the USA ever think or worry about "cultural appropriation"?
You mean, like, India? Or did you just mean monoculture Scandinavian countries?
People in Ireland sure as hell dont give a fuck about cultural appropriation, because PC culture is for american nerds and we arent nerds!
I do hear alot of whining about how America created a bastardised and patronising version of our culture though and how an American beer company deciding that our national holiday (on which drinking was prohibited) would be the day when everyone gets pissed,thus cementing the idea of my people as fucking alcoholics in the minds eye of the world.
But fuck PC concepts, because we are all manly men and women and when they do it about us its ignorant but black people need to lighten up because music belongs to the world and shit.
See also- The harm done by mcdojos and the appropriation of asian martial culture to the people who attended them and to the cultural legacy of places like China whose opera stars were forced to ape the western idea of what their culture was in order to stay in business, thus almost losing an amazing piece of culture because people in the west didnt buy tickets unless they thought they were looking at 'monks'.
Can you find plus points in the above? Probably. Does that mean people from those cultures should stop being unhappy about it? No.

Edited last sentence after posting.
Yeah, and as alluded to in my previous novel-length post, Ireland is particularly problematic because or the presence of the "nation" of Irish-Americans who started with Irish pride but morphed it into something that's their own a long, long time ago. I mean, that don't excuse St. Paddy's Day (and really, nothing will *ever* to me excuse the city of Chicago coloring the river green for a week) but we're not even really culturally appropriating *Ireland* so much as we are our own Irish-American subculture. Well, we're doing the latter as well I guess, unless leprechauns really are as numerous as I have been led to believe...
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 04, 2017, 06:38:05 PM
The reason you are appropriating Irish American culture is because Irish culture itself had no one looking out for it when it migrated to the US. It was get in the door and stop sticking out.
Thats why I think its a great case study because other cultures can avoid the pitfalls of culturaly orphaned generations disowned by their parent because they dont match up any more.
More so, you in the US may be celebrating Irish Americanness but your media portrayal DOES leak out and does affect the way we are viewed (as having a particular problem with spousal abuse for example, which is not actually borne out) world wide.
I have also found some Americans I have spoken to, to have somewhat appropriated the troubles into their identity which pretty much disgusts me.
I dont point it out because I think its a particularly bad case but it is a clear case that had effects I wish it did not.
Its also the case I use most often because those Im arguing with irl have an actual connection to it and usually stop to think.
The chinese example is far worse and even more clear cut in my opinion though. The number of mighty whitey movies for example point to a desire for the trappings of those cultures but with a handsome white protagonist instead of those unhandsome asianses that you cant have as a romantic lead apparently. Its not like inviting someone to a party and putting their food on the table to be enjoyed, its like taking the food and slamming the door in their face.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 04, 2017, 06:54:23 PM
The reason you are appropriating Irish American culture is because Irish culture itself had no one looking out for it when it migrated to the US. It was get in the door and stop sticking out.
Thats why I think its a great case study because other cultures can avoid the pitfalls of culturaly orphaned generations disowned by their parent because they dont match up any more.
More so, you in the US may be celebrating Irish Americanness but your media portrayal DOES leak out and does affect the way we are viewed (as having a particular problem with spousal abuse for example, which is not actually borne out) world wide.
I have also found some Americans I have spoken to, to have somewhat appropriated the troubles into their identity which pretty much disgusts me.
I dont point it out because I think its a particularly bad case but it is a clear case that had effects I wish it did not.
Its also the case I use most often because those Im arguing with irl have an actual connection to it and usually stop to think.
The chinese example is far worse and even more clear cut in my opinion though. The number of mighty whitey movies for example point to a desire for the trappings of those cultures but with a handsome white protagonist instead of those unhandsome asianses that you cant have as a romantic lead apparently. Its not like inviting someone to a party and putting their food on the table to be enjoyed, its like taking the food and slamming the door in their face.
Yeah, great points!
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 04, 2017, 07:07:44 PM
Yes, American cinema can be a lot like stealing Asian food.

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 04, 2017, 07:27:59 PM
Yeah, and as alluded to in my previous novel-length post, Ireland is particularly problematic because or the presence of the "nation" of Irish-Americans who started with Irish pride but morphed it into something that's their own a long, long time ago. I mean, that don't excuse St. Paddy's Day (and really, nothing will *ever* to me excuse the city of Chicago coloring the river green for a week) but we're not even really culturally appropriating *Ireland* so much as we are our own Irish-American subculture. Well, we're doing the latter as well I guess, unless leprechauns really are as numerous as I have been led to believe...

A decade ago we would have said "celebrating" the culture.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 04, 2017, 07:37:29 PM
Yeah, and as alluded to in my previous novel-length post, Ireland is particularly problematic because or the presence of the "nation" of Irish-Americans who started with Irish pride but morphed it into something that's their own a long, long time ago. I mean, that don't excuse St. Paddy's Day (and really, nothing will *ever* to me excuse the city of Chicago coloring the river green for a week) but we're not even really culturally appropriating *Ireland* so much as we are our own Irish-American subculture. Well, we're doing the latter as well I guess, unless leprechauns really are as numerous as I have been led to believe...

A decade ago we would have said "celebrating" the culture.
Good thing we as skeptics know better than to argue that the way we did things a decade ago is correct because it's the way we did things a decade ago, because that would be a facile argument.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 04, 2017, 07:44:33 PM
Yeah, and as alluded to in my previous novel-length post, Ireland is particularly problematic because or the presence of the "nation" of Irish-Americans who started with Irish pride but morphed it into something that's their own a long, long time ago. I mean, that don't excuse St. Paddy's Day (and really, nothing will *ever* to me excuse the city of Chicago coloring the river green for a week) but we're not even really culturally appropriating *Ireland* so much as we are our own Irish-American subculture. Well, we're doing the latter as well I guess, unless leprechauns really are as numerous as I have been led to believe...

A decade ago we would have said "celebrating" the culture.
Good thing we as skeptics know better than to argue that the way we did things a decade ago is correct because it's the way we did things a decade ago, because that would be a facile argument.

Good thing skeptics don't just jump glom onto every bit of PC nonsense that comes along.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 04, 2017, 08:03:26 PM
Yeah, and as alluded to in my previous novel-length post, Ireland is particularly problematic because or the presence of the "nation" of Irish-Americans who started with Irish pride but morphed it into something that's their own a long, long time ago. I mean, that don't excuse St. Paddy's Day (and really, nothing will *ever* to me excuse the city of Chicago coloring the river green for a week) but we're not even really culturally appropriating *Ireland* so much as we are our own Irish-American subculture. Well, we're doing the latter as well I guess, unless leprechauns really are as numerous as I have been led to believe...

A decade ago we would have said "celebrating" the culture.
Good thing we as skeptics know better than to argue that the way we did things a decade ago is correct because it's the way we did things a decade ago, because that would be a facile argument.

Good thing skeptics don't just jump glom onto every bit of PC nonsense that comes along.
Setting aside the well-poisoning of "PC nonsense" you're still not arguing against he idea on any merit. You've declared it wrong, fished out an extreme example to damn the entire idea (guilt by association), made an argument from (I dunno, is ten years ago antiquity or status quo?), and attempted well-poisoning. What you haven't done is to actually engage at all beyond declaring it wrong and making facile, illogical arguments. Meanwhile, the people you're dismissing as bandwagon idiots have given real and representative examples, argued the harm, and yet you're still sticking to your ideology instead.

Instead of acting like an angry creationist, why not blow our collective minds through skeptical examination? Wow us all with reasoned arguments against the idea. You know, like a skeptic. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 04, 2017, 09:04:11 PM
Yeah, and as alluded to in my previous novel-length post, Ireland is particularly problematic because or the presence of the "nation" of Irish-Americans who started with Irish pride but morphed it into something that's their own a long, long time ago. I mean, that don't excuse St. Paddy's Day (and really, nothing will *ever* to me excuse the city of Chicago coloring the river green for a week) but we're not even really culturally appropriating *Ireland* so much as we are our own Irish-American subculture. Well, we're doing the latter as well I guess, unless leprechauns really are as numerous as I have been led to believe...

A decade ago we would have said "celebrating" the culture.
Good thing we as skeptics know better than to argue that the way we did things a decade ago is correct because it's the way we did things a decade ago, because that would be a facile argument.

Good thing skeptics don't just jump glom onto every bit of PC nonsense that comes along.
Setting aside the well-poisoning of "PC nonsense" you're still not arguing against he idea on any merit. You've declared it wrong, fished out an extreme example to damn the entire idea (guilt by association), made an argument from (I dunno, is ten years ago antiquity or status quo?), and attempted well-poisoning. What you haven't done is to actually engage at all beyond declaring it wrong and making facile, illogical arguments. Meanwhile, the people you're dismissing as bandwagon idiots have given real and representative examples, argued the harm, and yet you're still sticking to your ideology instead.

Instead of acting like an angry creationist, why not blow our collective minds through skeptical examination? Wow us all with reasoned arguments against the idea. You know, like a skeptic.

Since you're such a good skeptic, let me know how to prove a negative, and I'll get right back to you.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 04, 2017, 09:07:59 PM
Yeah, and as alluded to in my previous novel-length post, Ireland is particularly problematic because or the presence of the "nation" of Irish-Americans who started with Irish pride but morphed it into something that's their own a long, long time ago. I mean, that don't excuse St. Paddy's Day (and really, nothing will *ever* to me excuse the city of Chicago coloring the river green for a week) but we're not even really culturally appropriating *Ireland* so much as we are our own Irish-American subculture. Well, we're doing the latter as well I guess, unless leprechauns really are as numerous as I have been led to believe...

A decade ago we would have said "celebrating" the culture.
Good thing we as skeptics know better than to argue that the way we did things a decade ago is correct because it's the way we did things a decade ago, because that would be a facile argument.

Good thing skeptics don't just jump glom onto every bit of PC nonsense that comes along.
Setting aside the well-poisoning of "PC nonsense" you're still not arguing against he idea on any merit. You've declared it wrong, fished out an extreme example to damn the entire idea (guilt by association), made an argument from (I dunno, is ten years ago antiquity or status quo?), and attempted well-poisoning. What you haven't done is to actually engage at all beyond declaring it wrong and making facile, illogical arguments. Meanwhile, the people you're dismissing as bandwagon idiots have given real and representative examples, argued the harm, and yet you're still sticking to your ideology instead.

Instead of acting like an angry creationist, why not blow our collective minds through skeptical examination? Wow us all with reasoned arguments against the idea. You know, like a skeptic.

Since you're such a good skeptic, let me know how to prove a negative, and I'll get right back to you.
You won't have to, but you could make your case by disproving what has been laid out in favor, and the proceed to making your case for "PC nonsense" being an actual thing and not just a symptom of cranky old caterwampuss syndrome.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 04, 2017, 09:19:38 PM
I think there is legitimacy to the notion of Cultural Appropriation, and genuine harm in some examples.

But I also think there is genuine harm done to society by stoking the culture war, which we do when we make CA a high priority issue.

I think we need to pick our battles.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 04, 2017, 09:30:41 PM


I think there is legitimacy to the notion of Cultural Appropriation, and genuine harm in some examples.

Are there any examples of CA which aren't already covered by DBAD?


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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 04, 2017, 09:39:51 PM


I think there is legitimacy to the notion of Cultural Appropriation, and genuine harm in some examples.

Are there any examples of CA which aren't already covered by DBAD?


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
Not remotely, just as you can't cover all skepticism with "Use your head." Vague statements that rely on subjective personal values are utterly worthless as general metrics, and are best used to chastise people who are being a fuckknuckle.

For example: you're acting like a diploid.

Or put another way, no, because the dicks in question don't think they're being dicks.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 04, 2017, 09:41:36 PM


I think there is legitimacy to the notion of Cultural Appropriation, and genuine harm in some examples.

Are there any examples of CA which aren't already covered by DBAD?


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To be fair, don't be a dick isn't an objective guideline with clear interpretations.  If there were a situation where cultural appreciation alone made one a dick, that'd be something.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 04, 2017, 09:44:44 PM
I'm still not quite seeing how St Patrick's day celebrations hurt the Irish.  I mean besides alcohol poisoning.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 04, 2017, 10:29:31 PM
I'm still not quite seeing how St Patrick's day celebrations hurt the Irish.  I mean besides alcohol poisoning.
You honestly can't see how stereotyping Irish people as violent drunks is harmful?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 04, 2017, 10:31:47 PM
Oh come now. Just ordinary drunks.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 04, 2017, 10:32:31 PM
If you want a violent Irish stereotype, look to the University of Notre Dame.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 04, 2017, 10:42:42 PM
I'm still not quite seeing how St Patrick's day celebrations hurt the Irish.  I mean besides alcohol poisoning.
You honestly can't see how stereotyping Irish people as violent drunks is harmful?

St. Patrick's Day stereotypes Irish people as violent drunks?  That's news to me.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 04, 2017, 10:47:55 PM
I'm still not quite seeing how St Patrick's day celebrations hurt the Irish.  I mean besides alcohol poisoning.
You honestly can't see how stereotyping Irish people as violent drunks is harmful?

St. Patrick's Day stereotypes Irish people as violent drunks?  That's news to me.
News to me too.  Australia must celebrate much differently. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 04, 2017, 10:53:59 PM
Pretty much everything I see about St Patrick's Day in America is about people getting drunk and getting into fights. That's what Irish people do, isn't it? Get drunk and get into fights?

But okay, skip the "violent" part then.

You can't see how stereotyping Irish people as drunks is harmful?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 04, 2017, 10:57:59 PM


I think there is legitimacy to the notion of Cultural Appropriation, and genuine harm in some examples.

Are there any examples of CA which aren't already covered by DBAD?


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

To be fair, don't be a dick isn't an objective guideline with clear interpretations. If there were a situation where cultural appreciation alone made one a dick, that'd be something.

DBAD is indeed subjective, but at least it has an implicit intent element. CA is whatever cultural borrowings happen to offend.



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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 04, 2017, 10:59:52 PM
Pretty much everything I see about St Patrick's Day in America is about people getting drunk and getting into fights. That's what Irish people do, isn't it? Get drunk and get into fights?

But okay, skip the "violent" part then.

You can't see how stereotyping Irish people as drunks is harmful?

As a native Chicagoan, I have to confess that our version of St. Paddy’s is essentially a drinking holiday. For us, though. We don't serious expect the Irish to keep up.


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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 04, 2017, 11:10:07 PM
Howabout you watch the video and share your thoughts?

Middle-class urban-dwelling bandwidth privilege, rearing its ugly head.

If you don't want to watch the video (fair enough, I have been on limited bandwidth too at times), try reading the article I posted on the first page and give us your reactions to that instead.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 04, 2017, 11:58:24 PM


I think there is legitimacy to the notion of Cultural Appropriation, and genuine harm in some examples.

Are there any examples of CA which aren't already covered by DBAD?


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"Cultural Appropriation" has a place as a concept, because it's definition can be coherently stated and it can even be observed in reality. That is frankly way more than what's necessary to have a place as a concept.

That being said...

My instinctive feeling, which you may take for whatever you find it to be worth, is that discussing things in terms of this concept, though it can be somewhat illuminating, doesn't justify the distance it places between us and the solution to the largest and most desperate struggles within American culture at this time.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Pusher Robot on April 05, 2017, 01:44:20 AM
If the Irish didn't want to be renowned for drinking, then they shouldn't have invented whiskey.

Cultural appropriating may be a useful academic concept but it's real world use had often been to get attention by using it to object to things that really aren't objectionable,  or implying bad faith when it isn't necessary.

P.S. Much enjoyed my recent trip to Dublin etc.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Caffiene on April 05, 2017, 02:58:01 AM
I do hear alot of whining about how America created a bastardised and patronising version of our culture though and how an American beer company deciding that our national holiday (on which drinking was prohibited) would be the day when everyone gets pissed,thus cementing the idea of my people as fucking alcoholics in the minds eye of the world.

How prevalent is that negative opinion of St Patricks as a drinking event?

I wont say they "are" Irish, but I know the Irish Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne happily has St Patrick's Day events that involve starting on the Guinness at about 7am, including many who if not still Irish were at least recently enough that they had strong Irish accents.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 05, 2017, 03:59:38 AM
Again, I mention the Irish example because its highly visible, but what it lacks is the factor of the people involved being cut out of the picture and the good ideas they bring being taken.
This is mostly because Irish people are mostly white christians.
Non white people have to deal with the same process but then dont get to be seen as equals by those 'celebrating' them.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 05, 2017, 04:10:24 AM
Again, I mention the Irish example because its highly visible, but what it lacks is the factor of the people involved being cut out of the picture and the good ideas they bring being taken.
This is mostly because Irish people are mostly white christians.
Non white people have to deal with the same process but then dont get to be seen as equals by those 'celebrating' them.

Huh?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 05, 2017, 06:37:19 AM
Again, I mention the Irish example because its highly visible, but what it lacks is the factor of the people involved being cut out of the picture and the good ideas they bring being taken.
This is mostly because Irish people are mostly white christians.
Non white people have to deal with the same process but then dont get to be seen as equals by those 'celebrating' them.

Huh?
As I alluded to earlier when I talked about (for example) asian people being deleted from stories involving asian culture, most notably martial arts movies.
The mighty whitey trope.

Edit- Goddamn it. Somehow 'asian culture' corrected to '80's culture' and I missed it at first post.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 05, 2017, 08:46:11 AM




I think there is legitimacy to the notion of Cultural Appropriation, and genuine harm in some examples.

Are there any examples of CA which aren't already covered by DBAD?


"Cultural Appropriation" has a place as a concept, because it's definition can be coherently stated and it can even be observed in reality.

Which is why we've been discussing fictional examples of cultural appropriation from Tim Burton, Spike Lee, and Amiri Baraka. Come now. Rather few attempts have been made to provide observations from the real world. One might suppose this is because they are going to turn out to be fairly pedestrian.

Except maybe Dolezal. She's a doozy.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: superdave on April 05, 2017, 08:57:01 AM




I think there is legitimacy to the notion of Cultural Appropriation, and genuine harm in some examples.

Are there any examples of CA which aren't already covered by DBAD?


"Cultural Appropriation" has a place as a concept, because it's definition can be coherently stated and it can even be observed in reality.

Which is why we've been discussing fictional examples of cultural appropriation from Tim Burton, Spike Lee, and Amiri Baraka. Come now. Rather few attempts have been made to provide observations from the real world. One might suppose this is because they are going to turn out to be fairly pedestrian.

Except maybe Dolezal. She's a doozy.

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I find that like microagressions and privilege, this concept works better to describe an aggregate of behaviors rather than individual acts.  It's more like climate than it is weather. 

But that said, I started off the thread, in the very first post, with some examples.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 05, 2017, 09:29:19 AM
But that said, I started off the thread, in the very first post, with some examples.

Fair cop, Superdave. Your real world examples have been underdiscussed, presumably because they do not lend themselves to the sort of sustained moral outrage which makes the idea of cultural appropriation popular.

The musical examples, in particular, seem to support my view that people from one culture freely borrowing ideas from another one tends to produce more good than harm.

Here are a few more musical examples, from my personal stash:

https://www.amazon.com/Light-Zion-Haor-Mitzion/dp/B004HKIQQY

https://www.amazon.com/Live-At-Stubbs-Matisyahu/dp/B000AA3SAE/ref=ntt_mus_ep_dpi_8

https://www.amazon.com/So-Called-Seder-Hip-Haggadah/dp/B0009VI5MA

I may be in the minority here, but I'm happy to hear music which combines elements from disparate cultures.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 05, 2017, 09:41:47 AM
Pretty much everything I see about St Patrick's Day in America is about people getting drunk and getting into fights. That's what Irish people do, isn't it? Get drunk and get into fights?

But okay, skip the "violent" part then.

You can't see how stereotyping Irish people as drunks is harmful?

During a holiday where everybody drinks, in societies that love their alcohol?  I imagine it's "harmful" in the sense that you'd be a fool to short sell whoever makes Killian's.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 05, 2017, 09:47:56 AM
Again, I mention the Irish example because its highly visible, but what it lacks is the factor of the people involved being cut out of the picture and the good ideas they bring being taken.
This is mostly because Irish people are mostly white christians.
Non white people have to deal with the same process but then dont get to be seen as equals by those 'celebrating' them.

Huh?
As I alluded to earlier when I talked about (for example) asian people being deleted from stories involving 80s culture, most notably martial arts movies.
The mighty whitey trope.

Hey, here's a tangible example worth discussing!  Whitewashing as a form of cultural appropriation.  Of course, every culture does this: Indian Idol anyone?  Is the Magnificent Seven problematic or harmful to Japanese culture because it's a blatant rip off of Seven Samurai?  Or perhaps the legal battle that ensured as a result of Nadia: Secret of Blue Water and Atlantis: The Lost Empire?  Well, actually that's more IP laws, and so somewhat separate because it's an issue for reasons other than cultural appropriation.  I think the Seven Samurai example is probably a better one for discussion.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 05, 2017, 09:51:21 AM
The recurring theme of the attempted rebuttal being "this doesn't effect me, so I don't see why it's a problem."
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 05, 2017, 09:57:04 AM
The recurring theme of the attempted rebuttal being "this doesn't effect me, so I don't see why it's a problem."

THIS. The prevailing attitude on here for conversations about intersectionality.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 05, 2017, 10:01:19 AM
The recurring theme of the attempted rebuttal being "this doesn't effect me, so I don't see why it's a problem."
It does effect me, though. It gives me more variety in both music and cuisine.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 05, 2017, 10:10:16 AM
The recurring theme of the attempted rebuttal being "this doesn't effect me, so I don't see why it's a problem."
Yeah, it's a little bit gross how obvious it is, isn't it?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 05, 2017, 10:47:39 AM
The recurring theme of the attempted rebuttal being "this doesn't effect me, so I don't see why it's a problem."
Yeah, it's a little bit gross how obvious it is, isn't it?
So it goes, poo-tee-weet.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 05, 2017, 11:28:43 AM
If you all are done patting yourselves on the back, there's a real example that's been brought forward for discussion about whitewashing stories form other cultures in film...
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 05, 2017, 11:30:07 AM
All the other examples at invalid because you said so?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 05, 2017, 11:40:03 AM
All the other examples at invalid because you said so?

Who cares!  We've been trying to find a good example we could meaningfully discuss, we have one.  It's a path to move forward and have the conversation.  STOP BEING YOU FOR A MOMENT!
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 05, 2017, 11:41:04 AM
All the other examples at invalid because you said so?

Who cares!  We've been trying to find a good example we could meaningfully discuss, we have one.  It's a path to move forward and have the conversation.  STOP BEING YOU FOR A MOMENT!
The people who gave those examples only to have them dismissed probably care. Who decided that you get to decide which examples are valid?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 05, 2017, 11:55:46 AM
If you all are done patting yourselves on the back, there's a real example that's been brought forward for discussion about whitewashing stories form other cultures in film...

Pick a film and go for it.

How about the new Ghost In The Shell?


Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 05, 2017, 12:03:24 PM
If you all are done patting yourselves on the back, there's a real example that's been brought forward for discussion about whitewashing stories form other cultures in film...

Pick a film and go for it.

How about the new Ghost In The Shell?

I want one of the people who thinks cultural appropriation is a real issue and problem to pick one.  It's only fair.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 05, 2017, 12:07:05 PM
But only if they pick a specific issue that you've decided on.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 05, 2017, 12:19:43 PM


If you all are done patting yourselves on the back, there's a real example that's been brought forward for discussion about whitewashing stories form other cultures in film...

Pick a film and go for it.

How about the new Ghost In The Shell?

I want one of the people who thinks cultural appropriation is a real issue and problem to pick one.  It's only fair.

Here you go: http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/04/ghost-in-the-shell-box-office-whitewashing-bad-for-business



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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 05, 2017, 12:26:32 PM
hay gusy all teh ecksamples maek me sad so hear is ecksample i can strwa man insted lolz
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 05, 2017, 12:35:38 PM
You don't think the VF article on point, Slick?

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Shibboleth on April 05, 2017, 01:01:38 PM
I am against cultural insensitivity but I feel that cultural appropriation in all but the most extreme cases is a stupid concept. I love The 7 Samurai but I have no problem with the Magnificent Seven or white Hip Hop groups such as Grand Buffet.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 05, 2017, 01:01:54 PM


If you all are done patting yourselves on the back, there's a real example that's been brought forward for discussion about whitewashing stories form other cultures in film...

Pick a film and go for it.

How about the new Ghost In The Shell?

I want one of the people who thinks cultural appropriation is a real issue and problem to pick one.  It's only fair.

Here you go: http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/04/ghost-in-the-shell-box-office-whitewashing-bad-for-business



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No, you have not been one of the people arguing for this being a problem, so you shouldn't be the one to pick.  Apparently my very reasons for suggesting that a review of a movie about making a show that dealt with racial stereotypes, that almost nobody here has seen, are just miss dismissing the super valid arguments.  And I see superdave has now liked a post claiming that I'm not hearing the totally valid arguments being presented.  Well fine.  I actually tried to have a real conversation about this issue with you all, but apparently there's no desire for that, so I guess there's no point to this topic.  So now I'm going to post about cat videos.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HVWitAW-Qg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HVWitAW-Qg)
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 05, 2017, 01:10:14 PM
You don't think the VF article on point, Slick?
Knowing that Ghost In The Shell was created by a Japanese person working for a Japanese company and originally envisioned the main character as "white" (well, a robot but one with Caucasian features, if my memory of the original anime is correct), no, it's probably not the best example of whitewashing. I mean, there are several other roles that, in the manga, were clearly Japanese people, and I could make a case for it if I wanted to, but no, I think there are far, far better examples of whitewashing than that. Did you want better examples, or were you hoping that someone would fall into some kind of sticky libtrap? Because I can give you a few better ones:

Doctor Strange (yes, the one that just came out this fall)
The Last Samurai
47 Ronin
Little Big Man (kind of a classic by now but also like the epitome of what a whitewashed film is all about - "hey, this movie about Native Americans isn't accessible enough! I know, let's cast a white person in the main role! He can pretend to be an Indian so that we all know what it feels like!")
Argo (much as I love Ben Affleck, I read Tony Mendez's autobiography and he is a bit, um, darker)
Batman Begins (I mean, fuck, even in the *comics* Ras Al'Gul was Arabic)
Like pretty much every Biblical movie ever made - that Exodus: Gods and Kings one that came out a couple years ago if you want an especially shitty specific
Lawrence of Arabia (a classic example but no, weirdly enough, the real life Prince Faisal didn't look all that much like Obi Wan)
Like the entire cast of Scarface (soooo many Italian Cubans... weeeeeeeeeeeeeeird)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (the Tina Fey movie that came out last year about Afghanistan in which, like, all the Afghanis were not, um, actually Afghani)

Was that enough? Or do we pretend that these plus all of the other examples that me and the other people in this thread came up with also don't exist?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 05, 2017, 01:16:24 PM
Nice list. Which film do you think causes the most harm?

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 05, 2017, 01:19:54 PM
Um... you've read the thread, right? Nobody is saying that any one instance causes a lot of "harm". It's a whole bunch of smaller instances (microaggressions if you will) that lead up to it. If you want a particularly egregious and recent example, either 47 Ronin or Doctor Strange works for me.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 05, 2017, 01:35:21 PM
It isn't difficult to think of hypothetical examples where adoption of ideas from other cultures would indeed cause harm, e.g. adopting FGM in places where it is currently out of fashion. But microaggressions on film are also worth thinking about.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 05, 2017, 01:55:24 PM
I think the whitewashing of film is a bit in a class by itself, in that it has harms different from those of other cultural appropriation: namely that it deprives children and even adults of the opportunity to see strong and heroic characters on the screen that look like them.  That has a broad cultural impact that's hard to quantify.  Take the example of the new Netflix Iron Fist series, which I understand is bad for many reasons, but which I also know takes an Asian superhero who was one of the few young Asian-Americans had to point to, into a white man.  That hit a lot of people hard; I have a friend who tells me that the Iron Fist was a huge role model for him growing up precisely because of his ethnicity and who was really devastated by what they'd done to the character.  It's not something that I can fully understand, but if my friend tells me that having such a character was important to him and that whitewashing the character hurt him, I accept that. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 05, 2017, 02:06:25 PM
TV tropes seems to believe that Daniel Rand (of Iron Fist) was a textbook example of the Mighty Whitey trope. Rich white dude outdoes the masters of K'un-Lun, becomes relatable superhero. Written by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane to cash in on the popularity of Asian kung fu films, the entire franchise is arguably rooted in cultural appropriation.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 05, 2017, 02:08:49 PM
Iron Fist has always been white in the comics.
He has always been pretty much the epitome of cultural appropriation in the comics universe.

The problem of whitewashing is (to me)  more a symptom of how non white people are viewed in 'mainstream' culture.
The desire of financiers to remove the 'undesireable' bit from whatever they want to sell and the willingness of an audience to respond to that.
Its very much like pointing out that tall gooodlooking people get lighter sentences. The people who dont fit that category are completely correct to point out the bullshit double standard and to try to make people think about their complicity in it.
Likewise, I would imagine that was an objection many kabbalah followers had to Madonnas representing their beliefs in public.
Not only was she likely fucking it up, but she did not go through the same historical shit their people did to claim that identity. Whether you as an individual think that makes sense, it can be a slap in the face to people who suffered as part of an identity that they barely got a choice in (hell, Ive seen it viciously defended by people who DO get a choice as part of the 'stolen valour' idea in the military)
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 05, 2017, 04:27:46 PM
TV tropes seems to believe that Daniel Rand (of Iron Fist) was a textbook example of the Mighty Whitey trope. Rich white dude outdoes the masters of K'un-Lun, becomes relatable superhero. Written by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane to cash in on the popularity of Asian kung fu films, the entire franchise is arguably rooted in cultural appropriation.

Indeed, I had misremembered my friend's point.  I've reread his very moving Facebook post, and his point was that having a real Asian superhero who looked like him would have been very important to him, and that he felt that the character should have been rewritten to give his children what he never had but instead the new series just perpetuated the cultural appropriation.

I will confess that I have never been into comic books at all, so my knowledge of the subject is virtually non-existant.  I can put myself in his shoes, though, and imagine what it would be like to have almost all of the heroes he looked up to--even the ones who practiced elements of his culture--look nothing like him.  And ultimately I think to understand the effects of cultural appropriation one must practice some empathy.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 05, 2017, 04:42:35 PM
TV tropes seems to believe that Daniel Rand (of Iron Fist) was a textbook example of the Mighty Whitey trope. Rich white dude outdoes the masters of K'un-Lun, becomes relatable superhero. Written by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane to cash in on the popularity of Asian kung fu films, the entire franchise is arguably rooted in cultural appropriation.

Indeed, I had misremembered my friend's point.  I've reread his very moving Facebook post, and his point was that having a real Asian superhero who looked like him would have been very important to him, and that he felt that the character should have been rewritten to give his children what he never had but instead the new series just perpetuated the cultural appropriation.

I will confess that I have never been into comic books at all, so my knowledge of the subject is virtually non-existant.  I can put myself in his shoes, though, and imagine what it would be like to have almost all of the heroes he looked up to--even the ones who practiced elements of his culture--look nothing like him.  And ultimately I think to understand the effects of cultural appropriation one must practice some empathy.
Well said.
I think there is somewhat of a second layer too,which is that until very recently, it was almost unheard of to have an asian character worth looking up to who wasnt a martial arts expert.
Ive heard asian men comment that if they cant do asian martial arts and arent good at math then they fail to have any potential relevance or worth in the perception of wider society.
Their food, their art and their tech is everywhere, but they themselves are invisible.
This is then often countered by pointing out how things are percieved in Japan or China (like the cherry picked quotes from Japanese people saying Ghost in the Shell looked fine, despite numerous op eds from asian americans who disagree being ignored) when thats actually irrelevant because the japanese are the cultural majority in Japan and thus will have a different perspective.
Actors like John Cho and shows like the walking dead are starting to bring characters that are more rounded and deep to us, but there is still a ways to go.

Its also interesting to see the overlap between appropriation and quackery in terms of quacks going on vacation and finding a niche they can exploit and sell back home.
Even 'bullet proof coffee' is sold as an executives great discovery from the working schlubs who guided him up Everest.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 05, 2017, 07:54:31 PM
I find this debate over the legitimacy of CA to be uninteresting. It definitely has some non-zero quantity of legitimacy.

What i want to hear is why some people think there is some net utility in making this a political talking point.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 05, 2017, 08:02:27 PM
You can find this concept used for something other than a (socio)political talking point...?

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 06, 2017, 04:26:31 AM
Again, I mention the Irish example because its highly visible, but what it lacks is the factor of the people involved being cut out of the picture and the good ideas they bring being taken.
This is mostly because Irish people are mostly white christians.
Non white people have to deal with the same process but then dont get to be seen as equals by those 'celebrating' them.

Huh?
As I alluded to earlier when I talked about (for example) asian people being deleted from stories involving 80s culture, most notably martial arts movies.
The mighty whitey trope.

Hey, here's a tangible example worth discussing!  Whitewashing as a form of cultural appropriation.  Of course, every culture does this: [...]Is the Magnificent Seven problematic or harmful to Japanese culture because it's a blatant rip off of Seven Samurai?

Does anybody here actually consider The Magnificent Seven (1960) to be a "ripoff" of Seven Samurai?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Rai on April 06, 2017, 04:44:25 AM
I think the whitewashing of film is a bit in a class by itself, in that it has harms different from those of other cultural appropriation: namely that it deprives children and even adults of the opportunity to see strong and heroic characters on the screen that look like them.  That has a broad cultural impact that's hard to quantify.  Take the example of the new Netflix Iron Fist series, which I understand is bad for many reasons, but which I also know takes an Asian superhero who was one of the few young Asian-Americans had to point to, into a white man.  That hit a lot of people hard; I have a friend who tells me that the Iron Fist was a huge role model for him growing up precisely because of his ethnicity and who was really devastated by what they'd done to the character.  It's not something that I can fully understand, but if my friend tells me that having such a character was important to him and that whitewashing the character hurt him, I accept that.

It also matters how non-white actors have such hard time getting roles other than "Terrorist 2" or "Grocery Store Clerk", the major characters are generally whitewashed.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: superdave on April 06, 2017, 06:43:42 AM
pretty much the number one rule of social justice discussion is you need to take people at face value when they say something hurts them.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 06, 2017, 07:39:21 AM
This is also the number one rule of alt med quackery, as it happens. No need to provide evidence when you have earnest people telling you about their subjective experiences. Just listen and believe.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 2397 on April 06, 2017, 08:31:36 AM
This is also the number one rule of alt med quackery, as it happens. No need to provide evidence when you have earnest people telling you about their subjective experiences. Just listen and believe.

That's a fair enough approach when it's about you and that specific person, and you're trying to do things in a way or set up things in a way that makes them more comfortable.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: superdave on April 06, 2017, 09:38:26 AM
This is also the number one rule of alt med quackery, as it happens. No need to provide evidence when you have earnest people telling you about their subjective experiences. Just listen and believe.

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The difference here is that we are talking specifically about feelings, so denying a person's feelings effectively discounts the phenomenon entirely.  If a person thinks that the wires above their house is causing them an illness, it's not their feelings that are wrong, it's the source of the feelings.  You wouldn't tell that person that they really aren't feeling unwell.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 06, 2017, 09:48:47 AM
If that person demanded the wires be rerouted around their house, we'd expect some evidence of a broader social benefit. Or at least I would.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 06, 2017, 09:53:03 AM
So go back to the beginning of the thread and read what's been written, and you'll understand the social benefit.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 06, 2017, 10:00:26 AM
Will do, thanks.

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: random poet on April 06, 2017, 01:16:13 PM
This is also the number one rule of alt med quackery, as it happens. No need to provide evidence when you have earnest people telling you about their subjective experiences. Just listen and believe.

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This is absolute bullshit. You're the one sitting here not listening to the piles of sociological evidence, from actual research. This isn't like alt-med anecdotes, this is you being a global warming denier.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 06, 2017, 01:21:28 PM
Piles of sociological evidence measuring the harms of cultural appropriation, such as surf rock and faddish klezmer?


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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 06, 2017, 02:11:53 PM
Piles of sociological evidence measuring the harms of cultural appropriation, such as surf rock and faddish klezmer?

And culturally appropriated chicken soup.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: random poet on April 06, 2017, 04:22:51 PM
Piles of meteological evidence measuring the harms of global warming, such as the last winter being so, so cold and that one snowstorm in Kaboul?


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This is what you sound like right now.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 06, 2017, 04:31:08 PM
That's a wonderful analogy. Where can we find the global cultural appropriation analog to this chart?

https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Global_Temperature_Anomaly.svg

Seems like you'd have to have something like that if you really want to say that the effects of CA are on the same sort of evidential footing as AGW.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 06, 2017, 06:53:09 PM
Why is it so important to you, D4M10N, to "disprove" CA entirely?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 06, 2017, 07:13:53 PM
Disprove or prove, entirely or partially. Any combination is fine.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 06, 2017, 07:38:19 PM
I've only skimmed this thread, so pardon me if I characterize something incorrectly.

What troubles me is that people tend to be treating this issue as if it is binary.  Perhaps there are some bad aspects of CA, but at the same time there are good aspects.  By way of example, take one of the biggest offenders of CA out there - Eminem.  If we assume that rap music in the 90's was a largely rooted in the African-American community, one can argue that Eminem cost at least one African American person an opportunity to be a successful performer.  But isn't it possible that the good eclipsed the bad?  Eminem brought rap music to the masses, which undoubtedly led to the rise of many African-American artists who may never have had the same opportunities but for Eminem's success.  It also created a cultural bridge between the white and African-American communities.  Countless whites were led to an appreciation of at least this aspect of African-American culture.

Second, there is something in the back of my head that feels as if those steadfastly opposed to cultural appropriation are really just advocating for a "separate but equal" doctrine.  If we believe that social inequities are reduced when walls are broken, why advocate for the erection of walls?  Maybe there is some short term pain, but wouldn't there be long term gain with fewer walls?


 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 06, 2017, 07:54:10 PM
The existence of cultural exchange does not make appropriation a good thing.
Appropriation is bad by definition (at this point, people are going to have to go google the definition for themselves), but the two things are close.
Its important to stress that cultural exchange is not what is being objected to.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 06, 2017, 08:02:06 PM
I've only skimmed this thread, so pardon me if I characterize something incorrectly.

What troubles me is that people tend to be treating this issue as if it is binary.  Perhaps there are some bad aspects of CA, but at the same time there are good aspects.

You're only seeing that from those seeking to deny it entirely. The Latinist even specifically stopped to separate appropriation (the negative) from cultural sharing and mixing (the good elements). Simply put there is no way you have come to this conclusion based on what you've read in this thread from those claiming cultural appropriation has negative sides. The tendency is to confuse the issue with a lack of specificity because it makes it easier to play the "I like pizza therefore cultural appropriation is good, checkmate libs" card.

By way of example, take one of the biggest offenders of CA out there - Eminem.  If we assume that rap music in the 90's was a largely rooted in the African-American community, one can argue that Eminem cost at least one African American person an opportunity to be a successful performer.  But isn't it possible that the good eclipsed the bad?  Eminem brought rap music to the masses, which undoubtedly led to the rise of many African-American artists who may never have had the same opportunities but for Eminem's success.  It also created a cultural bridge between the white and African-American communities.  Countless whites were led to an appreciation of at least this aspect of African-American culture.

Eminem did not bring rap music to the masses. That is utterly ridiculous. Further, Eminem ensured that the most virulent aspects of misogigny, homophobia, and violence were perpetuated, so while people may have appreciated a lot of his work and he's vocally and lyrically clever, he wasn't the rap white Jesus you're portraying him as. I mean come on, his debut album was 1996 and he didn't really get big until he signed with Dre in '99. Beastie Boys dropped a top 50 of all time album in '86, KoRn and Limp Bizkit were using rap elements in their music before Em ever published. MC Hammer, NWA, Tupac, Biggie, Easy E, all of them were making national news before anyone knew who the real Slim Shady was.

Shitty example aside, the food angle is typically brought up to try to confuse things. Sharing food and music is not a negative if it's treated in a respectful way. Stripping everything of the culture away from that food and trying to rebrand it as your own or playing off the "the noble savages of Chile produce this quinoa, an ancient grain" and the resulting massive disruptions to local food markets in Chile are a bad thing.

Second, there is something in the back of my head that feels as if those steadfastly opposed to cultural appropriation are really just advocating for a "separate but equal" doctrine.  If we believe that social inequities are reduced when walls are broken, why advocate for the erection of walls?  Maybe there is some short term pain, but wouldn't there be long term gain with fewer walls?

You cannot have read this thread if you think the prevailing opinion is that we need 'walls' between cultures. This arguyment does closely mirror the race discussions because a similar argument is made by people who would prefer to pretend racism doesn't exist or sexism doesn't exist. Nobody in this thread is arguing for strict cultural segregation, rather the ideal is to be sensitive to protrayal and treatment of other cultures, to acknowledge them in a respectful way, and try to mititgate harm when it happens.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 06, 2017, 08:08:58 PM
The existence of cultural exchange does not make appropriation a good thing.

That's quite the blanket statement.  Can't it make it a good thing?  If we assume that harm is on a spectrum, can't the benefits of cultural exchange outweigh the harm on occasion?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 06, 2017, 08:26:20 PM
The existence of cultural exchange does not make appropriation a good thing.
Appropriation is bad by definition (at this point, people are going to have to go google the definition for themselves), but the two things are close.
Its important to stress that cultural exchange is not what is being objected to.
As I asked earlier, how confident are we that experts would reliably sort specific examples into one bin or the other in the same way?

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 06, 2017, 10:38:06 PM
The existence of cultural exchange does not make appropriation a good thing.

That's quite the blanket statement.  Can't it make it a good thing?  If we assume that harm is on a spectrum, can't the benefits of cultural exchange outweigh the harm on occasion?
Seriously, dude, SkeptiQueer explained the "spectrum" in literally the post right before yours. There's simple ignorance and then there's just being willfully dense so you don't have to think too hard.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 07, 2017, 12:21:15 AM
The existence of cultural exchange does not make appropriation a good thing.

That's quite the blanket statement.  Can't it make it a good thing?  If we assume that harm is on a spectrum, can't the benefits of cultural exchange outweigh the harm on occasion?
Seriously, dude, SkeptiQueer explained the "spectrum" in literally the post right before yours. There's simple ignorance and then there's just being willfully dense so you don't have to think too hard.

Non-sassy answer: hypothetically, yes, a given instance of appropriation may result in more good than bad.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 07, 2017, 12:25:33 AM
No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 07, 2017, 03:19:18 AM
No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.

The words "cultural" and "appropriation" mean specific things. When "appropriation" modifies "cultural," it means another thing--a thing which may or not be harmful.

I don't agree with using "cultural appropriation" to only mean harmful appropriation, because it makes the meaning ambiguous. If you'd like to refer to "harmful cultural appropriation," I think you should refer to it as such, or invent a new term to refer to it if it so pleases you--but we can't assume that the literal definitions of the words do or should change at the whim of a (well-intentioned) cultural movement.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 07, 2017, 03:31:48 AM
No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.

The words "cultural" and "appropriation" mean specific things. When "appropriation" modifies "cultural," it means another thing--a thing which may or not be harmful.

I don't agree with using "cultural appropriation" to only mean harmful appropriation, because it makes the meaning ambiguous. If you'd like to refer to "harmful cultural appropriation," I think you should refer to it as such, or invent a new term to refer to it if it so pleases you--but we can't assume that the literal definitions of the words do or should change at the whim of a (well-intentioned) cultural movement.

To "appropriate" means to "steal."  So "cultural appropriation" literally means to steal another's culture.  When you steal something, you deprive its owners' of it.  Thus the notion of "cultural appropriation" is problematic for two reasons: (1) People with a particular cultural background don't own the aspects of their culture, and (2) adopting, with or without modification, any aspects of their culture does not deprive them of those aspects.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 07, 2017, 03:42:15 AM
No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.

The words "cultural" and "appropriation" mean specific things. When "appropriation" modifies "cultural," it means another thing--a thing which may or not be harmful.

I don't agree with using "cultural appropriation" to only mean harmful appropriation, because it makes the meaning ambiguous. If you'd like to refer to "harmful cultural appropriation," I think you should refer to it as such, or invent a new term to refer to it if it so pleases you--but we can't assume that the literal definitions of the words do or should change at the whim of a (well-intentioned) cultural movement.

To "appropriate" means to "steal."

Citation, please?

Dictionary.com:

Quote
verb (used with object), appropriated, appropriating.
3.
to set apart, authorize, or legislate for some specific purpose or use:
The legislature appropriated funds for the university.
4.
to take to or for oneself; take possession of.
5.
to take without permission or consent; seize; expropriate:
He appropriated the trust funds for himself.
6.
to steal, especially to commit petty theft.

Merriam-webster:

Quote
transitive verb
1
:  to take exclusive possession of :  annex No one should appropriate a common benefit.
2
:  to set apart for or assign to a particular purpose or use appropriate money for a research program
3
:  to take or make use of without authority or right natural habitats that have been appropriated for human use

Oxoford:

VERB

Quote
[WITH OBJECT]
Pronunciation /əˈprəʊprɪeɪt/
1Take (something) for one's own use, typically without the owner's permission.
‘the accused had appropriated the property’
More example sentencesSynonyms
2Devote (money or assets) to a special purpose.

So, by any reasonable definition, it's more like "uses without permission."

Can we agree there?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 07, 2017, 06:24:30 AM

Non-sassy answer: hypothetically, yes, a given instance of appropriation may result in more good than bad.

Thank you for your respectful response. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 07, 2017, 07:27:16 AM
When you steal something, you deprive its owners' of it. 

Culture is now a finite resource?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 07, 2017, 10:06:51 AM
No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.

The words "cultural" and "appropriation" mean specific things. When "appropriation" modifies "cultural," it means another thing--a thing which may or not be harmful.

I don't agree with using "cultural appropriation" to only mean harmful appropriation, because it makes the meaning ambiguous. If you'd like to refer to "harmful cultural appropriation," I think you should refer to it as such, or invent a new term to refer to it if it so pleases you--but we can't assume that the literal definitions of the words do or should change at the whim of a (well-intentioned) cultural movement.

Do you also object to defining murder as unlawful killing?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 07, 2017, 10:08:39 AM
No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.

The words "cultural" and "appropriation" mean specific things. When "appropriation" modifies "cultural," it means another thing--a thing which may or not be harmful.

I don't agree with using "cultural appropriation" to only mean harmful appropriation, because it makes the meaning ambiguous. If you'd like to refer to "harmful cultural appropriation," I think you should refer to it as such, or invent a new term to refer to it if it so pleases you--but we can't assume that the literal definitions of the words do or should change at the whim of a (well-intentioned) cultural movement.

To "appropriate" means to "steal."  So "cultural appropriation" literally means to steal another's culture.  When you steal something, you deprive its owners' of it.  Thus the notion of "cultural appropriation" is problematic for two reasons: (1) People with a particular cultural background don't own the aspects of their culture, and (2) adopting, with or without modification, any aspects of their culture does not deprive them of those aspects.
This definition means there's no pr9blems with software piracy or plagiarism.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 07, 2017, 11:46:06 AM


No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.

The words "cultural" and "appropriation" mean specific things. When "appropriation" modifies "cultural," it means another thing--a thing which may or not be harmful.

I don't agree with using "cultural appropriation" to only mean harmful appropriation, because it makes the meaning ambiguous. If you'd like to refer to "harmful cultural appropriation," I think you should refer to it as such, or invent a new term to refer to it if it so pleases you--but we can't assume that the literal definitions of the words do or should change at the whim of a (well-intentioned) cultural movement.

Do you also object to defining murder as unlawful killing?

A telling comparison. Homicide is generally assumed to be unjustified (and terribly harmful) unless some adequate justification can be shown to exist. If you admit to killing someone, you'd better have a damn good explanation. If you admit to borrowing ideas from another culture...?


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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 07, 2017, 12:03:41 PM


No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.

The words "cultural" and "appropriation" mean specific things. When "appropriation" modifies "cultural," it means another thing--a thing which may or not be harmful.

I don't agree with using "cultural appropriation" to only mean harmful appropriation, because it makes the meaning ambiguous. If you'd like to refer to "harmful cultural appropriation," I think you should refer to it as such, or invent a new term to refer to it if it so pleases you--but we can't assume that the literal definitions of the words do or should change at the whim of a (well-intentioned) cultural movement.

Do you also object to defining murder as unlawful killing?

A telling comparison. Homicide is generally assumed to be unjustified (and terribly harmful) unless some adequate justification can be shown to exist. If you admit to killing someone, you'd better have a damn good explanation. If you admit to borrowing ideas from another culture...?


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But as has been explained, that is not the entirety of what cultural appropriation *is*. Seriously, it's very hard to not be snarky with you because it really, really looks like you're doing this on purpose.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 07, 2017, 12:06:40 PM
No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.

The words "cultural" and "appropriation" mean specific things. When "appropriation" modifies "cultural," it means another thing--a thing which may or not be harmful.

I don't agree with using "cultural appropriation" to only mean harmful appropriation, because it makes the meaning ambiguous. If you'd like to refer to "harmful cultural appropriation," I think you should refer to it as such, or invent a new term to refer to it if it so pleases you--but we can't assume that the literal definitions of the words do or should change at the whim of a (well-intentioned) cultural movement.

To "appropriate" means to "steal."

Citation, please?

Dictionary.com:

Quote
verb (used with object), appropriated, appropriating.
3.
to set apart, authorize, or legislate for some specific purpose or use:
The legislature appropriated funds for the university.
4.
to take to or for oneself; take possession of.
5.
to take without permission or consent; seize; expropriate:
He appropriated the trust funds for himself.
6.
to steal, especially to commit petty theft.

Merriam-webster:

Quote
transitive verb
1
:  to take exclusive possession of :  annex No one should appropriate a common benefit.
2
:  to set apart for or assign to a particular purpose or use appropriate money for a research program
3
:  to take or make use of without authority or right natural habitats that have been appropriated for human use

Oxoford:

VERB

Quote
[WITH OBJECT]
Pronunciation /əˈprəʊprɪeɪt/
1Take (something) for one's own use, typically without the owner's permission.
‘the accused had appropriated the property’
More example sentencesSynonyms
2Devote (money or assets) to a special purpose.

So, by any reasonable definition, it's more like "uses without permission."

Can we agree there?

Nope.  Not until you can read and comprehend your own citations.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 07, 2017, 12:36:09 PM



A telling comparison. Homicide is generally assumed to be unjustified (and terribly harmful) unless some adequate justification can be shown to exist. If you admit to killing someone, you'd better have a damn good explanation. If you admit to borrowing ideas from another culture...?
But as has been explained, that is not the entirety of what cultural appropriation *is*. Seriously, it's very hard to not be snarky with you because it really, really looks like you're doing this on purpose.

If you read a bit more closely, you will see that I was comparing homicide (which breaks down into two separate categories based on moral valence) to borrowing ideas from another culture (which is also broken down into two categories based on moral valence).

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 07, 2017, 02:12:00 PM



A telling comparison. Homicide is generally assumed to be unjustified (and terribly harmful) unless some adequate justification can be shown to exist. If you admit to killing someone, you'd better have a damn good explanation. If you admit to borrowing ideas from another culture...?
But as has been explained, that is not the entirety of what cultural appropriation *is*. Seriously, it's very hard to not be snarky with you because it really, really looks like you're doing this on purpose.

If you read a bit more closely, you will see that I was comparing homicide (which breaks down into two separate categories based on moral valence) to borrowing ideas from another culture (which is also broken down into two categories based on moral valence).

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Well, no, you started with cultural appropriation, which, as has been pointed out several times already, is already the "non-justifiable homicide" aspect and then in that very last post you shifted the goalposts backwards. If you are trying to ask whether or not people think that some acts of appropriation are worse than others, I think most people would agree to that. You're not going to get hard and fast rules on this, though, because this is not a science, these are value judgments.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 07, 2017, 02:29:10 PM
Nope. I'll help you by bolding the categories being compared.

Quote
Homicide is generally assumed to be unjustified (and terribly harmful) unless some adequate justification can be shown to exist. If you admit to killing someone, you'd better have a damn good explanation. If you admit to borrowing ideas from another culture...?

Homicide breaks down into justifiable homicide (murder) and unjustifiable homicide. The vast majority of the time, we tend to see homicide as unjustifiable.

Borrowing ideas from another culture breaks down into justifiable (cultural exchange) and unjustifiable (cultural appropriation) as well. I'm unclear on the ratio here.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 07, 2017, 02:50:02 PM
Some of my favorite experiences/languages/people are the result of a massive mish-mashup of two or more cultures. Hard to find fault, really, unless someone is deliberately mocking your culture.

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So we've gone from "hard to find fault unless directly mocking" to demanding that there be a ratio of good to bad. Progress?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 07, 2017, 03:00:41 PM
No no no. We're getting into definitions territory here. Cultural "appropriation" is defined as harmful. If it isn't harmful, it isn't appropriation.

The words "cultural" and "appropriation" mean specific things. When "appropriation" modifies "cultural," it means another thing--a thing which may or not be harmful.

I don't agree with using "cultural appropriation" to only mean harmful appropriation, because it makes the meaning ambiguous. If you'd like to refer to "harmful cultural appropriation," I think you should refer to it as such, or invent a new term to refer to it if it so pleases you--but we can't assume that the literal definitions of the words do or should change at the whim of a (well-intentioned) cultural movement.

Do you also object to defining murder as unlawful killing?

Sounds about right.

I'd object to somebody suddenly deciding that killing is defined as murder, though, which I think is the corollary to the current discussion.

(click to show/hide)

Nope.  Not until you can read and comprehend your own citations.

I'm attempting to discuss with you honestly and politely; the least you can do is the same.

The multiple definitions listed in every dictionary seem to support my point that "cultural appropriation" can mean any sort of cultural borrowing, regardless of whether or not more good or bad results from it. Where do you take issue?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 07, 2017, 03:08:26 PM
People kill other people all the time, and most killings we don't call murder.  For one reason or other, we accept these killings are at least less bad.  We bomb people.  We shoot them on the battlefield.  We kill them in self-defense or defense of others.  Those are killings, but they are not murder.  And yet we are perfectly capable of distinguishing murder as a specific class of unjustified killing.

Likewise, as human beings, we share culture.  We borrow.  We build upon it.  We make new and better things from it.  We've been doing that from time immemorial.  Nobody in this thread has denied that positive and mutually beneficial cultural exchange exists.  But that fact should not prevent us from recognizing cultural appropriation as a specific class of cultural borrowing that is distinguished from the larger class by the fact that it harms others.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 07, 2017, 03:11:47 PM
People kill other people all the time, and most killings we don't call murder.  For one reason or other, we accept these killings are at least less bad.  We bomb people.  We shoot them on the battlefield.  We kill them in self-defense or defense of others.  Those are killings, but they are not murder.  And yet we are perfectly capable of distinguishing murder as a specific class of unjustified killing.

Likewise, as human beings, we share culture.  We borrow.  We build upon it.  We make new and better things from it.  We've been doing that from time immemorial.  Nobody in this thread has denied that positive and mutually beneficial cultural exchange exists.  But that fact should not prevent us from recognizing cultural appropriation as a specific class of cultural borrowing that is distinguished from the larger class by the fact that it harms others.

Ah, so I think our only disagreement is that I don't think "cultural appropriation" should be used to recognize only those examples which cause harm, since it already has a reasonable and useful definition.

If you'd like a term to refer to only negative examples, I think you should make one up, or just refer to "negative cultural appropriation." I think this would prevent a great deal of misunderstanding in discussions, especially with those not "in the loop" on the social justice front.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 07, 2017, 03:18:15 PM
People kill other people all the time, and most killings we don't call murder.  For one reason or other, we accept these killings are at least less bad.  We bomb people.  We shoot them on the battlefield.  We kill them in self-defense or defense of others.  Those are killings, but they are not murder.  And yet we are perfectly capable of distinguishing murder as a specific class of unjustified killing.

Likewise, as human beings, we share culture.  We borrow.  We build upon it.  We make new and better things from it.  We've been doing that from time immemorial.  Nobody in this thread has denied that positive and mutually beneficial cultural exchange exists.  But that fact should not prevent us from recognizing cultural appropriation as a specific class of cultural borrowing that is distinguished from the larger class by the fact that it harms others.

Ah, so I think our only disagreement is that I don't think "cultural appropriation" should be used to recognize only those examples which cause harm, since it already has a reasonable and useful definition.

If you'd like a term to refer to only negative examples, I think you should make one up, or just refer to "negative cultural appropriation." I think this would prevent a great deal of misunderstanding in discussions, especially with those not "in the loop" on the social justice front.

I have never heard anyone use the term "cultural appropriation" to refer to any cultural borrowing that they did not consider harmful.  It is not a term that has been used for centuries in a positive sense and which we are now trying to redefine; it's a term that was invented for the express purpose of describing harmful exploitation of other people's cultures.  It is only those who reject the notion of cultural appropriation who seek to conflate it with positive cultural exchange.  It is they (and you) who are redefining the term, not us.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 07, 2017, 03:27:48 PM
(click to show/hide)

I have never heard anyone use the term "cultural appropriation" to refer to any cultural borrowing that they did not consider harmful.  It is not a term that has been used for centuries in a positive sense and which we are now trying to redefine; it's a term that was invented for the express purpose of describing harmful exploitation of other people's cultures.  It is only those who reject the notion of cultural appropriation who seek to conflate it with positive cultural exchange.  It is they (and you) who are redefining the term, not us.

It was a common phrase in my many years of music education, and it rarely commented on harm (or lack thereof), it simply used to recognize when a certain expression had been taken/borrowed/whatever from a culture which was separate from the culture employing it.

It's not an uncommon phrase. It's become a hot topic in social justice circles, and of course if one is active in them, then 99.99% of the uses of the phrase will be exactly what you're saying--but the phrase is and has been frequently used to mean the literal definition of the phrase.

"...only in negative context" is a new thing, tacked on by discussions such as this one. Hell, I think it would even be fine to say, "for the purposes of this discussion, please understand that when I say 'cultural appropriation,' I'm only referring to its harmful applications." But if you demand that the phrase is connected to the "only in negative context" addendum, then you're going to cause a lot of unnecessary argument and confusion in those not privy to this idea--even if it's common in the social justice circles.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 07, 2017, 03:31:11 PM
I don't remember it being used in music education in the 1990s.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 07, 2017, 03:34:25 PM
Lat is not deciding to define cultural appropriation that way. It is defined as bad. That's what the term was coined for. The generic term is cultural exchange.

Here's how I look at it:

"Hey cultural exchange is great, huh?"

"Yeah sure! Except when it's not, I guess."

"Huh? What do you mean?"

"Well, sometimes a dominant or privileged culture takes something from a less powerful one and treats it abusively, like white people wearing Native Headdresses. Or they take an idea that was developed at great expense over a long time by one culture, and someone who is already connected to the greater technological infrastructure of a dominant one spins it up into a highly lucrative business before any member of the less powerful one has a chance to market it competitively."

"Oh, sure. Except that's not really an 'exchange,' is it?"

"I guess you're right. More like just presumptuously appropriating culture or something."

"Say, I bet we could make a coherent and consistent political message about this that could raise awareness and reduce some of this exploitation!"

****months later****

"Oh, God, that was a terrible idea."

"I know." <sigh> "Were we that stupid when we were politically woke college students?"
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 07, 2017, 03:38:26 PM
Leaving aside your musical training, why is it so difficult for you to parse via context what people think of the examples they are discussing?
Why is it so hard to accept that many people refer to the positive things you refer to under a different term?
Whether or not rock'n'roll is classed as cultural appropriation has fuck all to do with any of Superdaves initial examples or pretty much any example brought up since.

Redamare, Ive been meaning to take a shot at your earlier question about how much of a priority the issue should be.

I say, as much of a priority as any individual wants to make it.
I rarely hear about it outside of people declaring it bullshit or the odd op ed about a specific instance. It doesnt seem to be blocking anything to be honest but it is helping some groups to vocalise the feelings they have apparently had for quite a while.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 07, 2017, 03:45:23 PM
Lat is not deciding to define cultural appropriation that way. It is defined as bad. That's what the term was coined for. The generic term is cultural exchange.

But it wasn't. Saying it's so doesn't make it so. It's been used to mean *not* that for a very long time, but it has recently become popular in social justice circles to use it as shorthand for the negative kind. That's fine--but I'm saying that the original definition has not changed.

Leaving aside your musical training, why is it so difficult for you to parse via context what people think of the examples they are discussing?
Why is it so hard to accept that many people refer to the positive things you refer to under a different term?
Whether or not rock'n'roll is classed as cultural appropriation has fuck all to do with any of Superdaves initial examples or pretty much any example brought up since.

I think it's important to use language clearly and precisely. I think asserting that "cultural appropriation" only refers to negative instances will lead to unnecessary confusion and argument, especially with folks not in the loop on current social justice discussions.

By the same token--why not just say, "when I say cultural appropriation, I'm only referring to negative instances, because I recognize that not all instances of cultural appropriation are negative." Done. Everybody's happy, and nobody's confused about your language usage.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 07, 2017, 04:02:52 PM


By the same token--why not just say, "when I say cultural appropriation, I'm only referring to negative instances, because I recognize that not all instances of cultural appropriation are negative." Done. Everybody's happy, and nobody's confused about your language usage.
Because nobody confused enough to think that cultural appropriation is about enforcing total cultural isolation will be having these conversations. It's not that the word choice is confusing to anyone, it's that the detractors often resort to referencing cultural exchange as a way of trying to minimize or delegitimize the discussion if cultural appropriation.

Changing the word won't solve the issue because the word is not the source of the issue.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 07, 2017, 04:09:55 PM
Right.
The conversation starts by someone making a complaint specific to how their own culture is being treated.
Lets say chinese spiritualism for example (substitute whatever you like)
People then say "But I love asian fusion and burritos so sit the fuck down."
Its not an honest exchange. The conversation switches from the specific complaint to the question of why we white folks should care about your feelings.
Are your feelings even real?
I dont have those feelings. You should get over it.

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 07, 2017, 04:23:49 PM


"Well, sometimes a dominant or privileged culture takes something from a less powerful one and treats it abusively, like white people wearing Native Headdresses..."

In your view, what sort of cultural or racial background must one have in order to wear a native headdress without being accused of crossing the line from cultural exchange into abusive appropriation of culture?

Are the folks pictured here (http://delawaretribe.org/blog/2014/07/01/photos-from-the-50th-annual-delaware-powwow/) too white for your tastes? Are you in a good position to dictate who is too white to a tribe of people who have deliberately dropped blood quantum requirements for membership?

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 07, 2017, 04:31:42 PM
"If I strawman the concept enpugh, maybe everyone else will just give up"
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 07, 2017, 04:45:03 PM
"If I strawman the concept enpugh, maybe everyone else will just give up"
"If we put our strawmen in quotes, maybe people will find them more persuasive."

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 07, 2017, 04:52:29 PM
"If I strawman the concept enpugh, maybe everyone else will just give up"
"If we put our strawmen in quotes, maybe people will find them more persuasive."

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No no, a strawman is when you misrepresent what the other side is arguing for as a means of arguing against it. Example: pretending that anyone here is setting themselves up as he arbiter of who is two white, or as though that's germane to the topic at all.

What I did was to use quotes to accuse you of strawmanning the concept and of arguing in bad faith. I did so by attributing a motive (making everyone else just get tired of responding to someone who isn't actually engaging with anyone, but with presenting a continually shifting series of denials and misrepresentations) but that does not constitute a strawman because I didn't misrepresent your argument at all.

At least make an effort to understand your fallacies.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 07, 2017, 04:56:18 PM


No no, a strawman is when you misrepresent what the other side is arguing for as a means of arguing against it. Example: pretending that anyone here is setting themselves up as he arbiter of who is two white, or as though that's germane to the topic at all.

"Well, sometimes a dominant or privileged culture takes something from a less powerful one and treats it abusively, like white people wearing Native Headdresses..."


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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 07, 2017, 04:58:18 PM


No no, a strawman is when you misrepresent what the other side is arguing for as a means of arguing against it. Example: pretending that anyone here is setting themselves up as he arbiter of who is two white, or as though that's germane to the topic at all.

"Well, sometimes a dominant or privileged culture takes something from a less powerful one and treats it abusively, like white people wearing Native Headdresses..."


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The strawman is when you took that and decided that Redamare was therefore claiming to be the authority on who was too white. You can tell it's a strawman because that's not in his post anywhere, but was the core of your reply.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 07, 2017, 05:07:16 PM
Seriously, though, what is the point of creating a morally valanced category if you don’t claim to be in a position to say who has run afoul of the moral norm you're trying to propagate?


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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 07, 2017, 05:15:24 PM


Seriously, though, what is the point of creating a morally valanced category if you don’t claim to be in a position to say who has run afoul of the moral norm you're trying to propagate?


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How are you arriving at this as a conclusion as what has been discussed in the thread?

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 07, 2017, 05:20:36 PM
Notice the question mark.


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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 07, 2017, 05:25:43 PM


[quote name="D4M10N" post=9490140 timestamp=1491599236]
 creating a morally valanced category  [and] claim[ing] to be in a position to say who has run afoul of the moral norm
[/quote]

To ask the question you asked, you are presuming the above statement to be representative of the goals of the people in this thread. I am asking you how you came to the conclusion that he above statement is representative of the goals of he people in this thread.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 07, 2017, 05:28:03 PM
Look, I'm not the one saying “white people” should be condemned for wearing native dress. That was someone else. Possibly he is a member of a tribe with a strong opinion about who should wear his tribe’s traditional dress. I don't know. At any rate, the moral condemnation makes no sense if he cannot clearly delineate who is at fault for being both white and appropriative.


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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 07, 2017, 05:32:12 PM


At any rate, the moral condemnation makes no sense if he cannot clearly delineate who is at fault for being both white and appropriative.

[Citation needed]

In the future, please refrain from inserting your own conclusions in as though they are someone else's conclusions and expecting other people to justify your conclusions.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 07, 2017, 05:40:41 PM
Given your penchant for fake quotations, this advice is simply hilarious.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 07, 2017, 06:29:50 PM
To the semantic point:

If I am having a conversation with somebody on these forums, I can pretty safely assume that they have spent a good deal of time reading/conversing/listening on social justice topics--so I can also safely assume that if they are wanting to talk about cultural appropriation, it's about the negative examples. I have no problem with folks using the term as shorthand in such context.

What I am arguing against is the idea that this is now the proper definition, because if you're talking to somebody no so well versed in social justice topics, and you talk as if "cultural appropriation" only refers to negative examples, then you're going to end up having to trudge through a conversation about how not all examples of cultural appropriation are bad.

TLDR: use the words however you want, but don't assume everybody else knows your modified definition, because it will be confusing to many.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 07, 2017, 06:34:58 PM
Im not being sarcastic when I say that I can only see that being a problem if the person has similar musical training to yourself.
The term is either alien to everyone Ive ever met or immediately recognisable as the issue we are discussing here.
Ymmv of course but I just have not found it to be a problem.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 07, 2017, 07:00:55 PM
Im not being sarcastic when I say that I can only see that being a problem if the person has similar musical training to yourself.
The term is either alien to everyone Ive ever met or immediately recognisable as the issue we are discussing here.
Ymmv of course but I just have not found it to be a problem.

It's definitely a problem with folks who are not in-the-know regarding social issues. Anecdotally, I have a lot of conservative friends and family, and they take "cultural appropriation" at its broader dictionary definition.

I'm not just being pedantic here--I'm making an argument in favor of clearer communication, to the benefit of folks who don't already have a grasp of the current social issue of cultural appropriation.

Like I said, it's fine if you're just using it as shorthand when talking to other folks who probably already agree with you--but to those arguing that the effect of CA is by definition negative, I think you're harming your ability to communicate with folks who are outside social justice circles.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 07, 2017, 07:03:58 PM
I notice that this is an important thing to you in many of these conversations, you seem to enjoy focusing on how a particular thing should be communicated over the thing itself.
Thats cool. Its just not for me.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 07, 2017, 07:08:51 PM
I notice that this is an important thing to you in many of these conversations, you seem to enjoy focusing on how a particular thing should be communicated ...

Yes, I value communication, and do think differences and disagreements in communication are worthy of conversation.

Quote
... over the thing itself.

What do you mean?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 07, 2017, 07:15:56 PM
I notice that this is an important thing to you in many of these conversations, you seem to enjoy focusing on how a particular thing should be communicated ...

Yes, I value communication, and do think differences and disagreements in communication are worthy of conversation.

Quote
... over the thing itself.

What do you mean?
What I mean is just that you have mainly focused on the definition rather than engaging with the topics raised.

Im not criticising you, Im just saying that I personally dont want to have that conversation, Im sure others will gladly take you up on it.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 07, 2017, 07:29:50 PM
What I mean is just that you have mainly focused on the definition rather than engaging with the topics raised.

Im not criticising you, Im just saying that I personally dont want to have that conversation, Im sure others will gladly take you up on it.

So... you just wanted to let me know that you don't want to talk about the things I'm talking about? I'm confused.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 07, 2017, 07:33:00 PM
What I mean is just that you have mainly focused on the definition rather than engaging with the topics raised.

Im not criticising you, Im just saying that I personally dont want to have that conversation, Im sure others will gladly take you up on it.

So... you just wanted to let me know that you don't want to talk about the things I'm talking about? I'm confused.
Im trying to be polite.

You clarified what it is specifically you want to discuss. Thats not a thing Im interested in discussing.

Sorry for the confusion.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 07, 2017, 07:35:38 PM
Are you asking me to not engage you?

Or letting me know you'll not respond if I try to?

Or just commenting that in general the topic does not interest you?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 07, 2017, 07:37:45 PM
Sorry to blackknight for you here Harry (or whatever it's called when one white guy sticks up for another white guy) but dude is just trying to be polite and you're sealioning him. I'm pretty sure that what he would say if he were not so nice is, "you're arguing semantics and I'm not interested in arguing semantics. Do you want to argue the meat of the topic or do you want to play word games some more?".
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 07, 2017, 07:41:24 PM
Sorry to blackknight for you here Harry (or whatever it's called when one white guy sticks up for another white guy) but dude is just trying to be polite and you're sealioning him. I'm pretty sure that what he would say if he were not so nice is, "you're arguing semantics and I'm not interested in arguing semantics. Do you want to argue the meat of the topic or do you want to play word games some more?".

That's funny, because like two posts up I explained how and why I wasn't making a point based on semantics so much as communication with folks outside the social justice circles. Dismissing my ideas as pure semantics is not fair to me. If you end up swayed by my argument, cool... no biggie... just tell me that while you understand the point I'm making you simply don't agree with it and we'll move on. But to act like I'm speaking nonsense and hand-wave away my thoughts is a pretty dick move.

And I'm very happy to discuss any topic you or he would like--please feel free at any time to engage me in your preferred topics.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 07, 2017, 07:45:42 PM
DI,
There no hidden meaning. Engage away. I will of course respond to you!
I just dont want to have THIS conversation. I wanted to give you the courtesy of saying so instead of just dropping off from it.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 07, 2017, 07:54:38 PM
The appropriation vs. exchange discussion is inherently a question of semantics and morality, since the dichotomy is intended to sort specific borrowings into immoral or moral categories. At least, AFAIK.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 07, 2017, 07:55:11 PM
DI,
There no hidden meaning. Engage away. I will of course respond to you!
I just dont want to have THIS conversation. I wanted to give you the courtesy of saying so instead of just dropping off from it.

No worries! And sorry if you feel like I was distracting from a more important topic. Fire away on that one, I'll happily read along or (god forbid) join in.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: nameofthewave on April 08, 2017, 03:54:00 AM
I do get where the concept of cultural appropriation is coming from. What troubles me are two aspects of it:

a) that a group of people can 'own' some aspect of culture - which, when you boil it down, is just something that people do, or the way they behave, or dress, or some other custom.
b) that merely imitating, copying or borrowing a behaviour of a 'minority' culture even *without* the intention to offend, is still offensive especially if no due consideration is given to history or backstory behind that behaviour.

To illustrate what is bugging me about this, I could give the example of the Chinese classical pianist Lang Lang.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss2GFGMu198

There are people who say that Lang Lang can never really be considered a 'great' classical pianist. Why? Primarily because of his Chinese background. Now I *know* that people will say, well, the Western tradition of classical music is part of the dominant culture, and that part of the definition of cultural appropriation is that it must be a subservient culture that is borrowed from, and the dominant culture is fair game. For the sake of argument I'll reluctantly accept this, ignoring the problems of establishing exactly what is a 'dominant' culture and how complicated trying to work this out when you move your focus outside North America. It kind of addresses b).

But the problem still lies with a). And I've heard the following arguments about Lang Lang:

- Classical music primarily a Western tradition. Lang Lang was born and raised in China, a country which does not have the same classical music traditions as Western countries. Therefore Lang Lang can be considered a very good imitator, and a technically very good pianist, but cannot be considered one of the greats because of his background, and there is nothing he can do to change this.

- Lang Lang is a traitor to his own culture. He should have put his considerable musical talents into learning Chinese classical music and bringing this music to the world stage.

I find both these arguments highly offensive, but the idea of a group of people 'owning' a culture seems to me to add some kind of weight to them, and bothers me a lot.



 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 08, 2017, 05:34:43 AM
Agreed.  The idea that cultural can be owned makes me very uneasy as well.  Someone earlier said that when you steal you deprive someone of ownership.  Sorry, but IMHO culture is not a finite resource.   I also disagree that cultures are coherent entities with solid boundaries.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 08, 2017, 09:21:12 AM
You say that you get where its coming from but that this one bizarre example invalidates all examples?
I....dont think you get where its coming from.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 08, 2017, 10:08:12 AM
b) that merely imitating, copying or borrowing a behaviour of a 'minority' culture even *without* the intention to offend, is still offensive especially if no due consideration is given to history or backstory behind that behaviour.

I believe that I am responsible not only for the intent behind my words and actions, but for their effects.  So I make an effort to consider how my words and actions might affect others before I take them and, if I cause unintentional harm, I apologize and change my behavior.  That's pretty much all I think people are asking for: if you are made aware that your cultural borrowing hurts others, stop it and apologize.  Why is that such an objectionable idea to some people?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 2397 on April 08, 2017, 11:48:36 AM
I believe that I am responsible not only for the intent behind my words and actions, but for their effects.  So I make an effort to consider how my words and actions might affect others before I take them and, if I cause unintentional harm, I apologize and change my behavior.  That's pretty much all I think people are asking for: if you are made aware that your cultural borrowing hurts others, stop it and apologize.  Why is that such an objectionable idea to some people?

There are people who tell same-sex couples that their actions hurt them, when all they're doing are the same things that different-sex couples do.

You can cause unintentional harm and not in any way be in the wrong. Maybe sometimes you are, but it's not enough to go by what other people tell you they don't want you to do.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 08, 2017, 11:52:07 AM
There are people who experience genuine emotional pain when someone else dares to blaspheme or merely criticize their prophet or god. All they require is that blasphemers and critics stop and apologize. Why is that so much to ask?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 08, 2017, 11:56:02 AM
And if not appropriating a culture for fun and profit was as harmful as the continued existence of a religion, you would have an excellent point. Since that's not the case, you don't have a point at all.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 08, 2017, 11:59:54 AM
Either way, you're giving other people control over your actions, based solely on their subjective experiences and perceptions. Have fun with that, but I'm going to watch Ghost in the Shell.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 08, 2017, 12:40:16 PM


"Your feelings are invalid because I feel differently!"

A perfect circle.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 08, 2017, 01:41:31 PM
Again with the fake quotes.

If you want to give other people the power to tell you which art you're allowed to enjoy, that's not my problem. If you want to tell other people which art they are allowed to enjoy, you're going to need a more persuasive argument.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 08, 2017, 03:28:43 PM
So you think SkeptiQueer falsely quoted himself?

Also, the snarky rephrasing that SQ is doing is kind of a staple of Internet culture. You're not... objecting to a thing that SQ thinks is OK to do because it makes *you* feel bad, are you?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 08, 2017, 03:31:39 PM
Rephrasing implies that the original idea remains intact, does it not?

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 08, 2017, 03:32:49 PM
Rephrasing implies that the original idea remains intact, does it not?

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I thought that the original deliberate misquote by SQ did, in fact, keep your original idea perfectly intact. Do you *feel* differently?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: nameofthewave on April 08, 2017, 03:37:37 PM
You say that you get where its coming from but that this one bizarre example invalidates all examples?

Nowhere did I say that this example invalidates all examples, and I thought I was pretty clear on that. It was a example of why I'm a bit uneasy with concept of cultural 'ownership'.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 08, 2017, 03:39:54 PM
Rephrasing implies that the original idea remains intact, does it not?

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I thought that the original deliberate misquote by SQ did, in fact, keep your original idea perfectly intact. Do you *feel* differently?
It isn't really about feelings at all, it is about a failure to communicate. At no point did I say anything which resembled that quote.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 08, 2017, 03:59:39 PM
You say that you get where its coming from but that this one bizarre example invalidates all examples?

Nowhere did I say that this example invalidates all examples, and I thought I was pretty clear on that. It was a example of why I'm a bit uneasy with concept of cultural 'ownership'.
Thats not really what its about though.
Its about helping people from less powerful cultures to have the option of preserving said cultures, assuming they arent hurting anyone with it.
The example you posted (taking it at face value) is not really incompatible with that. You and I may agree on that example.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 08, 2017, 03:59:55 PM


Rephrasing implies that the original idea remains intact, does it not?

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I thought that the original deliberate misquote by SQ did, in fact, keep your original idea perfectly intact. Do you *feel* differently?
It isn't really about feelings at all, it is about a failure to communicate. At no point did I say anything which resembled that quote.

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Yeah you did, actually, unless you're asserting that I was pretending you had said those exact words, rather than summarizing them as the selfish bullshit they were. Your first post in this thread was invalidating superdave's feeling because in your words, you enjoyed the mishmashing of cultures, and it's hard to find fault unless someone is mocking. That is 100% using your feelings to invalidate superdave's feelings. There is no other interpretation other than that.

Your last post referencing GITS (OH HOW EDGY, YOU'RE GOING TO WATCH A FILM NOTED FOR SONE CULTURAL APPROPRIATION CONTROVERSY, YOU SURE GOT US GOOD!) did the same thing. You can describe any call for social change as "giving other people control of your actions" if you want to abstract it enough. Not doing a racism is literally changing your actions based on how it makes other people feel. Every part of a functioning society is changing your actions because of how they effect others, but instead you've decided that on this issue your feelings invalidate other people's feelings.

As I said, a perfect circle.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 08, 2017, 04:08:26 PM
Where exactly did I even imply superdave was wrong to feel as he does?

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 08, 2017, 04:09:14 PM
The specific part where you said "hard to find fault unless they're deliberately mocking"
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 08, 2017, 04:14:37 PM
And you've somehow convinced yourself that I actually meant to say that my feelings are at odds with those expressed in the OP (not so much) and moreover that my feelings invalidate his feelings.

Fascinating.

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 08, 2017, 04:40:30 PM
There are people who experience genuine emotional pain when someone else dares to blaspheme or merely criticize their prophet or god. All they require is that blasphemers and critics stop and apologize. Why is that so much to ask?

It's not.  They're perfectly within their rights to ask that.  And others are perfectly within their rights to ignore them and continue to cause them offense, especially if they feel they have good reason.  But they won't be doing it unintentionally any more.  And others might be justified in criticizing them, especially if their blasphemy was merely fashionable and not done with a specific purpose—say, to promote positive social change.  I am not denying that sometimes there may be reasons to cause others offense in pursuit of a larger goal, and I don't think anyone else is doing that either.  What we're saying is that such actions do cause harm that one should be aware of and that one must consider when deciding whether to take such an action.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: nameofthewave on April 08, 2017, 04:56:51 PM
There are people who experience genuine emotional pain when someone else dares to blaspheme or merely criticize their prophet or god. All they require is that blasphemers and critics stop and apologize. Why is that so much to ask?

It's not.  They're perfectly within their rights to ask that.  And others are perfectly within their rights to ignore them and continue to cause them offense, especially if they feel they have good reason.  But they won't be doing it unintentionally any more.  And others might be justified in criticizing them, especially if their blasphemy was merely fashionable and not done with a specific purpose—say, to promote positive social change.  I am not denying that sometimes there may be reasons to cause others offense in pursuit of a larger goal, and I don't think anyone else is doing that either.  What we're saying is that such actions do cause harm that one should be aware of and that one must consider when deciding whether to take such an action.

Does being able to take the piss out of religion, in the form of satire, fall into the category of promoting positive social change? What about "difficult-to-measure benefits to society that result from being able to criticise/send up/satirise anything that is in the public domain"? I guess its the "not ok if its not done with a specific purpose" bit I'd take exception to.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 08, 2017, 04:58:53 PM
Purposeful antagonism is a different conversation than cultural appropriation, but in general one should have a good reason for attacking a different thing. Mocking someone else's religion just because it makes you feel better isn't a good reason to do so on it's own.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: nameofthewave on April 08, 2017, 08:28:35 PM
Purposeful antagonism is a different conversation than cultural appropriation, but in general one should have a good reason for attacking a different thing. Mocking someone else's religion just because it makes you feel better isn't a good reason to do so on it's own.

Sorry, off topic I know, but I'd have to disagree. There are religious people who find the mere existence of religious satire offensive. Such satire does not need any reason to exist or justify its existence, unless that reason is the fact that some folks are demanding it should remain taboo for no good reason other than it causes them offence. Is that a circular argument?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 08, 2017, 08:32:47 PM
Purposeful antagonism is a different conversation than cultural appropriation, but in general one should have a good reason for attacking a different thing. Mocking someone else's religion just because it makes you feel better isn't a good reason to do so on it's own.

Sorry, off topic I know, but I'd have to disagree. There are religious people who find the mere existence of religious satire offensive. Such satire does not need any reason to exist or justify its existence, unless that reason is the fact that some folks are demanding it should remain taboo for no good reason other than it causes them offence. Is that a circular argument?
Satire absolutely needs a reason to justify it's existence, otherwise it isn't satire but mockery. If you're mocking someone else's beliefs only because you think they need to be taken down a peg, you're an asshole.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 08, 2017, 10:12:07 PM
Purposeful antagonism is a different conversation than cultural appropriation, but in general one should have a good reason for attacking a different thing. Mocking someone else's religion just because it makes you feel better isn't a good reason to do so on it's own.

Sorry, off topic I know, but I'd have to disagree. There are religious people who find the mere existence of religious satire offensive. Such satire does not need any reason to exist or justify its existence, unless that reason is the fact that some folks are demanding it should remain taboo for no good reason other than it causes them offence. Is that a circular argument?
Satire absolutely needs a reason to justify it's existence, otherwise it isn't satire but mockery. If you're mocking someone else's beliefs only because you think they need to be taken down a peg, you're an asshole.
Yeah, this is like comedy 101, isn't it? Punching down isn't cool. If you're making fun of Muslims because they're poor and stupid, or even Islam as a whole because it's practiced by poor and stupid people, then yes, you're kind of a dick, aren't you? Whereas even the people who I think cross that line will make a point to talk about, for example, the shitty things that people do in the name of Islam, or because organized religion is like the drug of the masses or something, or whatever, because even *they* understand intrinsically that you do not just mock for the sake of mocking.

This thread is beginning to take on eerie similarities to that "why is there not a conservative comedy movement" thread we had a couple months ago...
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 08, 2017, 10:17:13 PM
This current discussion is much more valuable than an organically semantic debate about clarity of terminology when speaking with folks generally outside of social justice circles....

 :P
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 08, 2017, 10:19:12 PM
This current discussion is much more valuable than an organically semantic debate about clarity of terminology when speaking with folks generally outside of social justice circles....

 
If you encounter a situation wherein changing the words solves the problem, by all means observe and report how much progress you make by changing the word. I have never encountered this, and maintain my position that the word doesn't matter because the objection is not a result of confusion.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 08, 2017, 10:20:21 PM
This current discussion is much more valuable than an organically semantic debate about clarity of terminology when speaking with folks generally outside of social justice circles....

 
If you encounter a situation wherein changing the words solves the problem, by all means observe and report how much progress you make by changing the word. I have never encountered this, and maintain my position that the word doesn't matter because the objection is not a result of confusion.

I was talking about a situation wherein discussing the definitions would avoid a problem.

I prefer it to the name-calling silliness going on, but hey, you do you.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 08, 2017, 10:25:13 PM
This current discussion is much more valuable than an organically semantic debate about clarity of terminology when speaking with folks generally outside of social justice circles....

 
If you encounter a situation wherein changing the words solves the problem, by all means observe and report how much progress you make by changing the word. I have never encountered this, and maintain my position that the word doesn't matter because the objection is not a result of confusion.

I was talking about a situation wherein discussing the definitions would avoid a problem.

I prefer it to the name-calling silliness going on, but hey, you do you.
Have you encountered such a situation, and made progress by explaining the words?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: nameofthewave on April 08, 2017, 10:29:52 PM
Purposeful antagonism is a different conversation than cultural appropriation, but in general one should have a good reason for attacking a different thing. Mocking someone else's religion just because it makes you feel better isn't a good reason to do so on it's own.

Sorry, off topic I know, but I'd have to disagree. There are religious people who find the mere existence of religious satire offensive. Such satire does not need any reason to exist or justify its existence, unless that reason is the fact that some folks are demanding it should remain taboo for no good reason other than it causes them offence. Is that a circular argument?
Satire absolutely needs a reason to justify it's existence, otherwise it isn't satire but mockery. If you're mocking someone else's beliefs only because you think they need to be taken down a peg, you're an asshole.

Satire *is* just a form of mockery. If it has a more general, harder to define purpose (e.g. undermining the taboo of being able to criticise aspects of religion and related ideas) rather than a specific one, ultimately the defenders of the targets of your satire may vehemently disagree with your justification of it, or argue that the justification is weak, and thereby view it as purposeful antagonism.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 08, 2017, 10:32:44 PM
Purposeful antagonism is a different conversation than cultural appropriation, but in general one should have a good reason for attacking a different thing. Mocking someone else's religion just because it makes you feel better isn't a good reason to do so on it's own.

Sorry, off topic I know, but I'd have to disagree. There are religious people who find the mere existence of religious satire offensive. Such satire does not need any reason to exist or justify its existence, unless that reason is the fact that some folks are demanding it should remain taboo for no good reason other than it causes them offence. Is that a circular argument?
Satire absolutely needs a reason to justify it's existence, otherwise it isn't satire but mockery. If you're mocking someone else's beliefs only because you think they need to be taken down a peg, you're an asshole.

Satire *is* just a form of mockery. If it has a more general, harder to define purpose (e.g. undermining the taboo of being able to criticise aspects of religion and related ideas) rather than a specific one, ultimately the defenders of the targets of your satire may vehemently disagree with your justification of it, or argue that the justification is weak, and thereby view it as purposeful antagonism.
Hang on, because we're doing some wordplay here that's obfuscating the issue.

According to you, you are advocating mocking something that a person holds dear, because you think it's wrong for them to hold that thing dear. The justification for mocking the thing this person holds reverent is that they revere this thing and don't want other people to mock it.

Do I have that correct?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 08, 2017, 10:34:54 PM
This current discussion is much more valuable than an organically semantic debate about clarity of terminology when speaking with folks generally outside of social justice circles....

 
If you encounter a situation wherein changing the words solves the problem, by all means observe and report how much progress you make by changing the word. I have never encountered this, and maintain my position that the word doesn't matter because the objection is not a result of confusion.

I was talking about a situation wherein discussing the definitions would avoid a problem.

I prefer it to the name-calling silliness going on, but hey, you do you.
Have you encountered such a situation, and made progress by explaining DISCUSSING the words?

Yes, and including this very specific point about this specific definition, which is why I anecdotally feel it worthwhile to discuss here.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 08, 2017, 10:37:08 PM
Maybe that's the issue... there are many folks (on both sides) in here trying to explain what the phrase means when I feel they should be discussing the varying definitions. As soon as I quit the "distracting and semantic" discussion of the meaning of the phrase, folks piled on to trade jabs mostly based on their varying definitions for the phrase.

This. Is why. It's worth. Discussing.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 08, 2017, 10:48:48 PM
The person dismissing it out of hand as "PC nonsense" and resorting to Ken Ham levels of irrationality is not confused by definitions.

The person demanding that there be a single binary arbiter of what is cultural exchange vs what is cultural appropriation is not confused by the definitions.

The person who skips over several pages of discussion about the definition and about what is harmful vs benign is not confused about the definition.

The person who took his ball and went home because nobody would pick a single example to nail he entire argument to (again, the same illogic typical of creationism) was not confused about he definition.

6EQUJ5 discussed it in post #20. It was immediately dismissed. The issue isn't confusion over terminology, it's that people want the thing not to be real because it's incompatible with the worldview they've adopted.

Example: The first page of this thread.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 09, 2017, 02:00:45 AM
I wasn't talking about any posts that weren't mine, but if you feel any others were relevant to the discussion please quote them and respond directly.

I think there's far too much of responding to "that guy" in lieu of direct conversation going on.

Edit: grammar fixes
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: jt512 on April 09, 2017, 02:52:40 AM

The multiple definitions listed in every dictionary seem to support my point that "cultural appropriation" can mean any sort of cultural borrowing, regardless of whether or not more good or bad results from it. Where do you take issue?


Appropriation is the antithesis of borrowing.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 09, 2017, 02:59:05 AM

The multiple definitions listed in every dictionary seem to support my point that "cultural appropriation" can mean any sort of cultural borrowing, regardless of whether or not more good or bad results from it. Where do you take issue?


Appropriation is the antithesis of borrowing.

Can you make your point more clearly?

Appropriation (generally) means taking without permission. Borrowing (generally) means taking with permission. Clearly they are not antithetical to each other, and the crux of this conversation revolves around whether or not a hypothetical person *needs* permission (and from who) to use a hypothetical idea (which may or may not belong to another hypothetical entity).

So, (by dictionary definitions), they are not antithetical... but I believe you have a point which is discussion-worthy if we can get to it using clear and direct language.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 09, 2017, 03:25:23 AM
Borrowing (generally) means taking with permission.
And returning it after you're finished with it.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 09, 2017, 03:31:26 AM
Borrowing (generally) means taking with permission.
And returning it after you're finished with it.

Sure. So how do you feel this applies to the topic at hand? A musical or fashion expression, for example?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 09, 2017, 03:32:35 AM
Borrowing (generally) means taking with permission.
And returning it after you're finished with it.

Sure. So how do you feel this applies to the topic at hand? A musical or fashion expression, for example?
If I wanted to comment on how that applies to the topic at hand, I would have done so. I was just correcting one of your statements, which I felt was incomplete.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: nameofthewave on April 09, 2017, 03:35:49 AM
Purposeful antagonism is a different conversation than cultural appropriation, but in general one should have a good reason for attacking a different thing. Mocking someone else's religion just because it makes you feel better isn't a good reason to do so on it's own.

Sorry, off topic I know, but I'd have to disagree. There are religious people who find the mere existence of religious satire offensive. Such satire does not need any reason to exist or justify its existence, unless that reason is the fact that some folks are demanding it should remain taboo for no good reason other than it causes them offence. Is that a circular argument?
Satire absolutely needs a reason to justify it's existence, otherwise it isn't satire but mockery. If you're mocking someone else's beliefs only because you think they need to be taken down a peg, you're an asshole.

Satire *is* just a form of mockery. If it has a more general, harder to define purpose (e.g. undermining the taboo of being able to criticise aspects of religion and related ideas) rather than a specific one, ultimately the defenders of the targets of your satire may vehemently disagree with your justification of it, or argue that the justification is weak, and thereby view it as purposeful antagonism.
Hang on, because we're doing some wordplay here that's obfuscating the issue.

According to you, you are advocating mocking something that a person holds dear, because you think it's wrong for them to hold that thing dear. The justification for mocking the thing this person holds reverent is that they revere this thing and don't want other people to mock it.

Do I have that correct?

Kind of, except that I'm not making any judgements about whether people should hold certain things dear or not. Regarding the justification for satire, as an example I like the Jesus and Mo cartoons and find them pretty funny, but I know that many people find them offensive. I'm not sure if you can necessarily weigh any "good" they do by being out there against the offence they may cause some people. Saying that, I'm not going to, for example, wear a Jesus and Mo T shirt when visiting someone who is religious.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 09, 2017, 03:54:40 AM
Borrowing (generally) means taking with permission.
And returning it after you're finished with it.

Sure. So how do you feel this applies to the topic at hand? A musical or fashion expression, for example?
If I wanted to comment on how that applies to the topic at hand, I would have done so. I was just correcting one of your statements, which I felt was incomplete.

After considering my reply, which took into consideration your idea about the idea's completeness, what do you think?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 09, 2017, 06:29:11 AM

The multiple definitions listed in every dictionary seem to support my point that "cultural appropriation" can mean any sort of cultural borrowing, regardless of whether or not more good or bad results from it. Where do you take issue?


Appropriation is the antithesis of borrowing.
Culture is a finite resource?   I don't see how there can be a "taking" in the sense that you suggest. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 09, 2017, 10:47:11 AM


Purposeful antagonism is a different conversation than cultural appropriation, but in general one should have a good reason for attacking a different thing. Mocking someone else's religion just because it makes you feel better isn't a good reason to do so on it's own.

Sorry, off topic I know, but I'd have to disagree. There are religious people who find the mere existence of religious satire offensive. Such satire does not need any reason to exist or justify its existence, unless that reason is the fact that some folks are demanding it should remain taboo for no good reason other than it causes them offence. Is that a circular argument?
Satire absolutely needs a reason to justify it's existence, otherwise it isn't satire but mockery. If you're mocking someone else's beliefs only because you think they need to be taken down a peg, you're an asshole.

Satire *is* just a form of mockery. If it has a more general, harder to define purpose (e.g. undermining the taboo of being able to criticise aspects of religion and related ideas) rather than a specific one, ultimately the defenders of the targets of your satire may vehemently disagree with your justification of it, or argue that the justification is weak, and thereby view it as purposeful antagonism.
Hang on, because we're doing some wordplay here that's obfuscating the issue.

According to you, you are advocating mocking something that a person holds dear, because you think it's wrong for them to hold that thing dear. The justification for mocking the thing this person holds reverent is that they revere this thing and don't want other people to mock it.

Do I have that correct?

Kind of, except that I'm not making any judgements about whether people should hold certain things dear or not. Regarding the justification for satire, as an example I like the Jesus and Mo cartoons and find them pretty funny, but I know that many people find them offensive. I'm not sure if you can necessarily weigh any "good" they do by being out there against the offence they may cause some people. Saying that, I'm not going to, for example, wear a Jesus and Mo T shirt when visiting someone who is religious.

We can certainly try, or at least begun by asking what purpose does it serve. Racists jokes are enjoyed by many people, but that enjoyment alone is generally considered not to outweigh the larger (for lack of a better word) shittiness of telling racist jokes.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 09, 2017, 10:48:08 AM

The multiple definitions listed in every dictionary seem to support my point that "cultural appropriation" can mean any sort of cultural borrowing, regardless of whether or not more good or bad results from it. Where do you take issue?


Appropriation is the antithesis of borrowing.
Culture is a finite resource?   I don't see how there can be a "taking" in the sense that you suggest.
Something does not have to be finite for theft. This is the entire basis of IP law. Plagiarism doesn't make the orog8nal word disappear, but we still consider it theft.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Caffiene on April 09, 2017, 10:59:13 AM
Something does not have to be finite for theft. This is the entire basis of IP law. Plagiarism doesn't make the orog8nal word disappear, but we still consider it theft.

No we dont. Thats why we call it piracy and plagiarism instead of calling it theft, and why there is such a thing as IP law instead of it being dealt with by theft laws. Corporations that own a lot of IPs like to try to paint it as theft to control public perception, but its largely unsuccessful as evidenced by the fact that piracy is significantly more widespread than physical theft.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 09, 2017, 11:37:33 AM
If we assume that rap music in the 90's was a largely rooted in the African-American community, one can argue that Eminem cost at least one African American person an opportunity to be a successful performer.  But isn't it possible that the good eclipsed the bad?  Eminem brought rap music to the masses, which undoubtedly led to the rise of many African-American artists who may never have had the same opportunities but for Eminem's success.  It also created a cultural bridge between the white and African-American communities.  Countless whites were led to an appreciation of at least this aspect of African-American culture.

I know that you argue against the proposed claim here, but I find the claim to reflect an absurd way of thinking in the first place. Eminem did the music he liked, and he was successful. His skin color is irrelevant. Various music genres are not "reserved" for specific skin colors.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 09, 2017, 11:44:53 AM
Something does not have to be finite for theft. This is the entire basis of IP law. Plagiarism doesn't make the orog8nal word disappear, but we still consider it theft.

No we dont. Thats why we call it piracy and plagiarism instead of calling it theft, and why there is such a thing as IP law instead of it being dealt with by theft laws. Corporations that own a lot of IPs like to try to paint it as theft to control public perception, but its largely unsuccessful as evidenced by the fact that piracy is significantly more widespread than physical theft.
I'm pretty sure "intellectual property theft" is a thing that exists. We might have a specific set of terminology to remain specific, but it's still considered theft.

https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/white-collar-crime/piracy-ip-theft

Most types of theft that get into unique stuff have their own special laws, such as identity theft. In fact I don't think we have "theft" laws because each category is separated out. Petty theft, larceny, grand theft, IP theft, various types of air and sea piracy, etc. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 09, 2017, 12:13:43 PM
TIL Eminem was the first white rapper. Someone better tell House of Pain, 3rd Bass, The Beastie Boys, and Rage Against the Machine that they aren't white. MCA will roll over in his grave from the sadness. :( :( :(
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 09, 2017, 12:16:44 PM
Many American and Canadian cities are also *extremely* monocultural. Like, the entire Midwest is a lot like that (I mean, to a point): there is not a great deal of non-American culture that happens in Indianapolis (source: I lived in this place so I know it) and while even a place like Seattle is becoming quite a bit more multicultural, the Pacific Northwest also has a long, long legacy of being a very white, monocultural place. I would go so far as to argue that the places where you see actual cultural exchange taking place aren't these places that you believe that your Swedish cities compare favorably to, it's in places like New York City (the birthplace of *so much* American culture, from beat poetry to modern folk music to... I mean, at some point if you're not sure where some American cultural phenomenon took place, you just assume it took place in NYC) or New Orleans (the birthplace of jazz in the form of Dixieland), or places with a very strong and solid black subculture like Chicago or Atlanta, or, hell, even places with a strong non-dominant mid-American culture, like Nashville or San Francisco.

Which, speaking of... your 14.3% or 23% numbers are also *extremely* misleading to compare. First up, the US is *massive* compared to Sweden. No offense to Sweden - I actually like Scandinavia - but your entire country is roughly the size of California, our 3rd largest state, and it has as many people in it as North Carolina, its 10th most populous. Ignoring Alaska because nobody lives there, we're talking about a land mass almost 10 times as big as yours with roughly 30 times as many people living here. Our cities are *way* spread out - I feel like this is a thing that Americans don't fully get until they go to Europe and vice versa - and as such the sheer amount of space has helped to create a Southern culture that differs greatly from Northeastern that itself differs from Midwestern, Southwestern, and the Pacific Coast. But even *that* doesn't begin to tell the whole story. Whether or not there are still people moving in *now*, this is a nation of immigrants, some of them here by choice, some of them not. There are vast parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin and the Dakotas, for instance, that still maintain a relatively strong German community. To take things to an extreme there are pockets of Western Pennsylvania and Ohio where people actually speak a separate language that's kind of a pidgin of German and English (and yes, I know that Europe has some crazy dialects and there are likely pockets of Sweden that do something similar, but consider that this is a phenomenon that occurred in the last 250-300 years and is just plain caused by people from entirely different parts of the world living near each other). A big part of what makes NYC and Chicago what they are are the large Italian/Jewish/Irish and Irish/Polish sub-populations that have, even a hundred years plus on, only kind of "melted" into the rest of the nation (this whole "American melting pot" thing is a massive misnomer anyway; even when the term first came out in the early part of the 20th century, people thought it was kind of garbage; a comparison to a symphony orchestra was one of many that was considered more apt). There are *literally* more people of Irish descent who live in the US than there are people who live in Ireland. Then of course there are Native Americans, who aren't particularly numerous but do represent a decent-sized minority in some parts of the country (the Pacific Northwest for instance). The fact that many of these folks are now 4th and 5th generation Americans (or in the case of NAs, "we've been here a lot longer than you" generation) doesn't really even begin to tell the story of American diversity.

And then of course there is the black subculture (which itself is overly reductive - Atlanta's black community shares a lot of common ground with Chicago's but there are also a *lot* of differences, for example). There are close to 5 times as many African Americans living in the US as there are Swedish people in Sweden. I would go so far as to say that black culture is so far removed from white culture that culturally speaking it may as well be coming from another country. It makes up more than 12% of our population, so if you're really interested in comparing cultural diversity, before you even *start* to look at Sweden's 14% or 23% foreign-born people compared to the US, you need to take that 12% into account. *Plus* all the people who aren't literally just off the boat but who are still members of very, very different cultures, some of which have integrated, some of which haven't. *Plus* the ingrained cultural differences you get when take these disparate cultures, add in population centers and distance, and marinate for a hundred or 200 years. I'm sorry, but there's a reason why "we" (by which I mean a whole bunch of people completely unrelated to me except that we live in the same country) created jazz and rock and R&B and the blues and Tex-Mex and Cajun and so on and so forth: we have *massive* cultural exchange on a level that "you" (by which I mean, people probably only tangentially related to you) haven't experienced since the 900s AD.

(note: if you wanted to compare us to, say, Canada instead of Scandinavia there might be a better point to make. Even the United Kingdom has its own deal with the Commonwealth that makes it fairly unique amongst Europe. But no, those statistics? They don't begin to tell the story here.)

I'm not denying that the USA is more diverse or heterogenous. I'm simply arguing against the narrative that Nordic countries are remarkably homogenous, which seems to be a widespread impression.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 09, 2017, 04:05:02 PM
IP law protect specific works, not genres of work. In that regard, your analogy fails.  You can't patent "all drugs that help alleviate pain."  You can't copyright "all rap music."  IP laws prortect individual rights to incentivize creative work for the betterment of society at large. 

Again, culture is not a finite resource.   You can't steal something that is not finite. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 2397 on April 09, 2017, 04:22:12 PM
Can't steal intellectual property, either. That's why there has to be a whole different set of laws and regulations for it.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 09, 2017, 04:25:34 PM
And let's not forget that IP protections are limited in time.  After a certain number of years, IP laws say, "Here, everyone gets to use this."  In that regard, the analogy REALLY fails. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 09, 2017, 04:25:34 PM
The FBI disagrees on whether or not IP can be stolen.

It seems like we're bending pretty far backwards to try to pretend that works of culture (such as food dishes or styles of dress) are totally different than music or automobile designs. Seems like maybe if given that one of the major agencies involved chooses to use "theft" regarding intellectual property, that maybe the people claiming you can't steal intellectual property need to pony up with something beyond a "nuh-uh."
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 09, 2017, 04:28:34 PM
My point is that culture is not a finite resource.  Thus, if you take, you aren't denying another's use. 

I understand that the consequences of the taking are the objectionable part, but let's stop pretending that the act of taking deprives anyone in and of itself. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 09, 2017, 04:29:41 PM
My point is that culture is not a finite resource.  Thus, if you take, you aren't denying another's use. 

I understand that the consequences of the taking are the objectionable part, but let's stop pretending that the act of taking deprives anyone in and of itself.
My point is that finite has no bearing on the subject at hand. The issue is not denying use by another.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 09, 2017, 04:44:08 PM
My point is that culture is not a finite resource.  Thus, if you take, you aren't denying another's use. 

I understand that the consequences of the taking are the objectionable part, but let's stop pretending that the act of taking deprives anyone in and of itself.
One of the points already made using historic examples is that this may not necessarily be the case if you appropriate hard and carelessly enough.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 2397 on April 09, 2017, 04:58:02 PM
The FBI disagrees on whether or not IP can be stolen.

It seems like we're bending pretty far backwards to try to pretend that works of culture (such as food dishes or styles of dress) are totally different than music or automobile designs. Seems like maybe if given that one of the major agencies involved chooses to use "theft" regarding intellectual property, that maybe the people claiming you can't steal intellectual property need to pony up with something beyond a "nuh-uh."

You can infringe on copyright and violate patents, but stealing IP is metaphorical.

I also think it's ridiculous that the FBI is involved in IP at all. Unless they're telling someone not to use their seal. Although then it's probably more a case of impersonation.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 09, 2017, 05:01:53 PM
(http://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/shrinknp_800_800/AAEAAQAAAAAAAAZPAAAAJDdkOTBjNmE4LWNjM2YtNDQ5ZS04NWY1LWVlZGMyYjJmZGI0Mg.jpg]https://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/shrinknp_800_800/AAEAAQAAAAAAAAZPAAAAJDdkOTBjNmE4LWNjM2YtNDQ5ZS04NWY1LWVlZGMyYjJmZGI0Mg.jpg)
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Caffiene on April 09, 2017, 10:03:05 PM
Seems like maybe if given that one of the major agencies involved chooses to use "theft" regarding intellectual property

Major agency in one country that is well known for an overly aggressive legal system and undue corporate influence on government and law. By contrast here in Australia, as discussed not long ago in the TV Shows thread, its highly questionable that piracy even counts as illegal in most cases (its a civil matter unless it involves large scale supply and distribution) let alone as the specific crime of theft.

Large corporations with extensive IP collections certainly want to name piracy as "theft" in an attempt to influence public perception, but I think the public has a very different view - partly evidenced by the very fact that the corporations put such emphasis on pushing that perception. There would be little need to push the viewpoint if it was already shared by the general public. Movie publishers have had an extensive campaign of ads that air at the start of retail DVDs that use the wording "You wouldnt steal a car..." and similar statements to directly push that comparison - the only commentary Ive ever heard regarding those ads is ridicule and opposition to that equivalency. It even has its own page on "Know Your Meme" due to all the parody it generated. (Ironically, the background music for the anti-piracy ad was used without permission of the creator)

Personally I feel like naming it as theft, when there are clear differences in the nuances compared to physical theft, undermines the severity of piracy. It comes across as equivocation, which makes a sort of implication that we have to call it theft or else it isnt bad / or isnt bad "enough". To which I disagree. Piracy is its own problem with its own effects on victims. It doesnt need to be called anything other than piracy to be able to judge those effects and assign moral or legal views to the act.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 09, 2017, 10:09:42 PM
Seems like maybe if given that one of the major agencies involved chooses to use "theft" regarding intellectual property

Major agency in one country that is well known for an overly aggressive legal system and undue corporate influence on government and law. By contrast here in Australia, as discussed not long ago in the TV Shows thread, its highly questionable that piracy even counts as illegal in most cases (its a civil matter unless it involves large scale supply and distribution) let alone as the specific crime of theft.

Large corporations with extensive IP collections certainly want to name piracy as "theft" in an attempt to influence public perception, but I think the public has a very different view - partly evidenced by the very fact that the corporations put such emphasis on pushing that perception. There would be little need to push the viewpoint if it was already shared by the general public. Movie publishers have had an extensive campaign of ads that air at the start of retail DVDs that use the wording "You wouldnt steal a car..." and similar statements to directly push that comparison - the only commentary Ive ever heard regarding those ads is ridicule and opposition to that equivalency. It even has its own page on "Know Your Meme" due to all the parody it generated. (Ironically, the background music for the anti-piracy ad was used without permission of the creator)

Personally I feel like naming it as theft, when there are clear differences in the nuances compared to physical theft, undermines the severity of piracy. It comes across as equivocation, which makes a sort of implication that we have to call it theft or else it isnt bad / or isnt bad "enough". To which I disagree. Piracy is its own problem with its own effects on victims. It doesnt need to be called anything other than piracy to be able to judge those effects and assign moral or legal views to the act.
While that would be a valid point in a thread about whether IP theft was theft or not, in this thread it keeps getting brought up as a way to deny that there's any harm from cultural appropriation because one definition of appropriation is theft and you can't steal ideas.

In short, people are trying to hang up on words instead of ideas. If we were talking about legal terms it would be important, but to find a flaw in an analogy and then decide that the entire subject is moot because the analogy is flawed or because one of a half dozen dictionary definitions doesn't work in this context is the intellectual equivalent of plugging one's ears and shouting "I'm not listening."

I'm sure a skeptic will be along shortly to explain that there's some flaw in my simile and therefore nobody is doing anything wrong.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 09, 2017, 10:13:41 PM
(click to show/hide)
While that would be a valid point in a thread about whether IP theft was theft or not, in this thread it keeps getting brought up as a way to deny that there's any harm from cultural appropriation because one definition of appropriation is theft and you can't steal ideas.

Can you link to the post where somebody said this? I don't think anybody in here has denied that cultural appropriation can be harmful.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 09, 2017, 10:18:36 PM
(click to show/hide)
While that would be a valid point in a thread about whether IP theft was theft or not, in this thread it keeps getting brought up as a way to deny that there's any harm from cultural appropriation because one definition of appropriation is theft and you can't steal ideas.

Can you link to the post where somebody said this? I don't think anybody in here has denied that cultural appropriation can be harmful.
Jt and damion have explicitly denied he issue several times, and JT brought up the appropriation definition think. NEKskeptic keeps repeating the "you can't steal something that isn't finite" which is again ignoring the real issue to try to minimize the damage by arguing over an analogy.

I can't be fucked to pull up posts from my phone tonight. Too much work for zero payoff.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Caffiene on April 09, 2017, 10:30:07 PM
While that would be a valid point in a thread about whether IP theft was theft or not, in this thread it keeps getting brought up as a way to deny that there's any harm from cultural appropriation because one definition of appropriation is theft and you can't steal ideas.

In short, people are trying to hang up on words instead of ideas.

With respect, Id say that that person is you. There is a discussion to be had about whether the moral consequences of cultural appropriation are the same or similar to the moral consequences of theft, and whether "appropriation" necessarily implies negative judgement, but you were the one brought up the matter of what IP law and the FBI call it.

I dont think many people have been arguing that there is no harm because it isnt theft. Ive seen them simply arguing the null statement - that you cant say there is harm by comparison to theft. If the comparison to theft is invalid, it doesnt say anything one way or the other.

My point is that I think it can be easily argued that the FBIs naming doesnt agree with general public perception, and as a result their naming cannot be used as a good argument as to whether appropriation is inherently negative or how it should be judged - cultural appropriation must be judged on its own merits and consequences, not by comparison to "theft".
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 09, 2017, 10:40:44 PM
Jt and damion have explicitly denied he issue several times, and JT brought up the appropriation definition think.

I said that appropriation is generally bad when it involves mockery. None of the examples given in the OP did that.


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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 09, 2017, 11:23:34 PM
(click to show/hide)
While that would be a valid point in a thread about whether IP theft was theft or not, in this thread it keeps getting brought up as a way to deny that there's any harm from cultural appropriation because one definition of appropriation is theft and you can't steal ideas.

Can you link to the post where somebody said this? I don't think anybody in here has denied that cultural appropriation can be harmful.
Jt and damion have explicitly denied he issue several times, and JT brought up the appropriation definition think. NEKskeptic keeps repeating the "you can't steal something that isn't finite" which is again ignoring the real issue to try to minimize the damage by arguing over an analogy.

I can't be fucked to pull up posts from my phone tonight. Too much work for zero payoff.

I think you're wrong to assume that their posts mean  "cultural appropriation cannot be harmful," because they haven't said anything of the sort. (Please correct me if I'm wrong)

If we were all suddenly able to focus, what would be the point that you think is most worthy of discussion? What would be the takeaway that you wish everybody could understand?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 10, 2017, 12:14:32 AM
Borrowing (generally) means taking with permission.
And returning it after you're finished with it.

Sure. So how do you feel this applies to the topic at hand? A musical or fashion expression, for example?
If I wanted to comment on how that applies to the topic at hand, I would have done so. I was just correcting one of your statements, which I felt was incomplete.

After considering my reply, which took into consideration your idea about the idea's completeness, what do you think?
Again, if I wanted to comment, I would have done so.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 10, 2017, 12:23:45 AM
Borrowing (generally) means taking with permission.
And returning it after you're finished with it.

Sure. So how do you feel this applies to the topic at hand? A musical or fashion expression, for example?
If I wanted to comment on how that applies to the topic at hand, I would have done so. I was just correcting one of your statements, which I felt was incomplete.

After considering my reply, which took into consideration your idea about the idea's completeness, what do you think?
Again, if I wanted to comment, I would have done so.

You commented. And I responded.

And your response to my response is to say... you don't wanna talk about it anymore? I feel like we're playing children's games, here.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 10, 2017, 12:28:42 AM
Borrowing (generally) means taking with permission.
And returning it after you're finished with it.

Sure. So how do you feel this applies to the topic at hand? A musical or fashion expression, for example?
If I wanted to comment on how that applies to the topic at hand, I would have done so. I was just correcting one of your statements, which I felt was incomplete.

After considering my reply, which took into consideration your idea about the idea's completeness, what do you think?
Again, if I wanted to comment, I would have done so.

You commented. And I responded.

And your response to my response is to say... you don't wanna talk about it anymore? I feel like we're playing children's games, here.

You're the one trying to get me to comment on something I have zero interest in commenting about.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 10, 2017, 06:36:43 AM
So if everyone agrees that cultural appropriation can be harmful, that people affected may not like it and that it does happen....
What are the actual objections of people who chimed in to tell Superdave that he was being silly or that he should not be concerned about cultural appropriation as an issue?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 10, 2017, 07:31:25 AM
What are the actual objections of people who chimed in to tell Superdave that he was being silly or that he should not be concerned about cultural appropriation as an issue?

I cannot speak for those who called him silly, but superdave didn't seem terribly overwrought about it.


So at the end of the day, I kinda get where some of the anger comes from but personally don't feel like this is a big deal.

As to objections, the main one is that unless we have a bright line between beneficial exchange and harmful appropriation, we run the risk of condemning and thereby chilling both forms of expression.


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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 10, 2017, 08:28:54 AM
The world does not run on bright lines.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 10, 2017, 08:41:12 AM
Murder must be distinguished from justifiable killing in self-defense.

Rape must be distinguished from consensual sex.

Assault and battery must be distinguished from fighting for sport.

We need conceptual lines to be drawn, as clearly as possible, whenever we create a moral dichotomy like this one, if we hope to have the intended effect. 

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 10, 2017, 10:14:04 AM
Insensitivity is not a crime.
Nor should it be.
This is just like any other thing that may be considered rude or not cool to do. Theres always a little bit of measuring by thumb with real world etiquette.
If you disagree with an assessment that you have been rude (in any context) then thats fine! At least you acknowledge the complaint and are willing to live with the consequences of not apologising (which are usually fuck all)
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 10, 2017, 10:29:44 AM
The analogy to criminal law is imperfect, to be sure, but etiquette guides aren't exactly free from bright lines, last I checked. If your goal is to prevent certain behaviours (a goal shared by prosecutors, ethicists, and purveyors of etiquette)  then you have to be fairly clear about what you are condemning. If the arbiters of etiquette prove to be evenly divided on, say, the question of using chopsticks at Pei-Wei, then we cannot expect people to take their advice into consideration on that issue.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 10, 2017, 10:46:08 AM
We are not talking about crime and punishment.  We're talking about human interactions and feelings.  Moreover, while the law may have to establish a line in defining what is criminal and what is not, the behavior itself exists on a continuum and even that which is not criminal may be harmful. And when we are talking about human interactions, those nuances are important to discuss and understand.  We cannot and should not reduce them to a bright line; some things which are not criminal may still be wrong, for instance.  Let's take just one of your examples: consent.  Consent exists on a continuum from enthusiastic 'yes' to resounding 'no.' We can all agree, I think, that if two adults both want to engage in sexual activity there is mutual consent; and we can all agree that if a person is forced violently to engage in sexual activities there is no consent.  But there are infinite shades in-between.

Both partners enthusiastically participate
One partner isn't in the mood, but participates to please the other.
One partner initially declines, but is cajoled into participating, perhaps grudgingly.
One partner feels pressured, but is not coerced, to participate.
One partner is significantly older than the other.
Both partners are minors.
Both partners are intoxicated
There is a significant power differential between partners.
One partner feels emotionally manipulated or coerced into participating.
One partner is intoxicated but not incapacitated.
The victim is incapacitated.
The victim is a minor.
The victim is physically coerced.

Please, let's not quibble about ordering within the list; I wrote it up quickly and have not had time to consider all of the implications fully.  And specifics of individual cases may change the ordering.  It's there for illustrative purposes.  The point is: this is a continuum; and, while the law may draw a bright line before incapacitated, minor, and physically coerced victims, there are many behaviors above that line which I would consider wrong.  And, yes, many times how an individual partner feels about the situation may significantly alter the ethics of the same physical act.

It's the same thing with cultural borrowing.  Some cultural borrowing is harmless or even productive.  Other borrowing is tacky and tone-deaf but relatively harmless.  Other borrowing can offend unintentionally. Or intentionally with a purpose that outweighs the offense. Or intentionally with no purpose. At worst it can deprive members of a culture of opportunities, perpetuate damaging stereotypes, or perpetuate economic or social inequalities.  Where any given instance of cultural borrowing falls on the scale from harmless to damaging will depend on the circumstances, including the feelings of those borrowed from.  Similar borrowing from different cultures and by different people can have different effects.  One must consider each instance in its own context when evaluating it.  There is an almost infinite variation of such acts, and each shades into the next.  You want things to be black and white that just aren't.

===== Unrelated Content =====

SNL had a great skit about the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad.  This isn't exactly (or at least only) an example of cultural appropriation, but it's illustrative of how an act of 'borrowing' can be exploitive and offensive.  And, yes, how the borrower's intent doesn't really matter.

https://youtu.be/Pn8pwoNWseM
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 10, 2017, 11:12:14 AM
Please, let's not quibble about ordering within the list; I wrote it up quickly and have not had time to consider all of the implications fully.  And specifics of individual cases may change the ordering.  It's there for illustrative purposes.  The point is: this is a continuum; and, while the law may draw a bright line...

I'm not going to quibble with the order of the list, but surely you are aware of campaigns such as "Yes means yes" which attempt to educate young people about how to avoid finding themselves in the morally ambiguous gray zones of the consent continuum. Do we fault these campaigns for trying to give people clear guidelines in lieu of simply acknowledging the spectrum of possibilities?

And please do recall that I'm not one of those advocating the idea of a conceptual binary sorting acts of cultural borrowing into either (morally permissible) cultural exchange and (morally impermissible) cultural appropriation. But if we're going to move forward with that conceptual binary as our working model, then we need a fairly reliable heuristic for sorting.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 10, 2017, 11:21:29 AM
No, we don't.  The world works perfectly fine with moral ambiguity.  Demanding a bright line on one side of which you can remain blameless regardless of circumstances is ridiculous.  It's even more ridiculous to declare, as you have been throughout the thread, that without such a line the entire concept is meaningless.  You have to live in the real world like everyone else, and you have to accept that sometimes what you saw no problems with turns out to offend or harm others.  Be aware, consider your actions and their potential effects, and if you fuck up apologize.  That's the real world.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 10, 2017, 11:24:53 AM
I think some people are looking for a "Not touching you, cant get mad" clause.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 10, 2017, 11:26:56 AM
I think some people are looking for a "Not touching you, cant get mad" clause.

That's exactly what it feels like to me.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 10, 2017, 11:28:08 AM
I think some people are looking for a "Not touching you, cant get mad" clause.
Right. It's the Ken Ham argument of "If you can't provide every transitional fossil, evolution is fake."
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 10, 2017, 11:34:43 AM
No, we don't. The world works perfectly fine with moral ambiguity.

Have you even seen the world lately? It's really messed up. That said, once again, I'm not the one promoting the idea of a cultural exchange/appropriation moral binary (http://t.co/XyWqOYShMF) as a useful dichotomy which ought to be broadly adopted as a guide to human behavior.


Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 10, 2017, 12:28:20 PM
No, we don't. The world works perfectly fine with moral ambiguity.

Have you even seen the world lately? It's really messed up. That said, once again, I'm not the one promoting the idea of a cultural exchange/appropriation moral binary (http://t.co/XyWqOYShMF) as a useful dichotomy which ought to be broadly adopted as a guide to human behavior.
Sorry, bud. Moral ambiguity exists. That is the reality. You can demand easy choices all you want but your demands are not going to make those easy choices appear. Also, the world has its issues, some of which may ultimately destroy us (global warming and the threat of nuclear war for two) but all in all, humanity is also at a better place than we've ever been at in terms of longevity, freedom, etc.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 10, 2017, 12:29:24 PM
Can we all agree that the exchange/appropriation dichotomy is relatively useless, then?

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Shibboleth on April 10, 2017, 12:56:10 PM
Unfortunately I think a lot of this falls into trying to define pornography. The lines get blurry pretty quick. Hipsters are a culture of people that get ridiculed on a regular basis and quite often indiscriminately and insensitively. Is it wrong for me to dress up as a hipster for Halloween or if Walmart made beard oils from Iceland with pantone labels?

Personally I don't give a shit for the most part. If you are a sword maker in the US and you want to make Samurai Swords, have at it.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: random poet on April 10, 2017, 12:57:21 PM
Can we all agree that the exchange/appropriation dichotomy is relatively useless, then?

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No, I think we have all just agreed to precisely the opposite of that.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 10, 2017, 01:02:33 PM
Can we all agree that the exchange/appropriation dichotomy is relatively useless, then?

No, I think we have all just agreed to precisely the opposite of that.

Show me how it works then. Of the four numbered examples in the OP, which ones are productive cultural exchange (good) and which are cultural appropriation (bad)?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: random poet on April 10, 2017, 01:31:37 PM
Can we all agree that the exchange/appropriation dichotomy is relatively useless, then?

No, I think we have all just agreed to precisely the opposite of that.

Show me how it works then. Of the four numbered examples in the OP, which ones are productive cultural exchange (good) and which are cultural appropriation (bad)?
Tell you what: In the future, just play it safe and assume that there is no such thing as cultural exchange, and that all cultural appropriation is bad. Problem solved. You'll never have to look like an asshole again.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 10, 2017, 01:36:40 PM
Evasion noted.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 10, 2017, 01:36:54 PM
Can we all agree that the exchange/appropriation dichotomy is relatively useless, then?

You are the only one saying that there's a dichotomy.  Everyone else is saying that there is a continuum and that an act is appropriative in proportion to its harm.  The fact that there is no universally-applicable rule for determining whether a thing is "old" doesn't mean that the concept "old" is meaningless.  Likewise, with appropriation, each act has to be judged in context to weigh its harms and benefits.  There's no shortcut.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 10, 2017, 01:44:57 PM
Can we all agree that the exchange/appropriation dichotomy is relatively useless, then?

You are the only one saying that there's a dichotomy.

I didn't just make up the idea that cultural exchange is okay whereas cultural appropriation is wrong. Please see upthread.

The existence of cultural exchange does not make appropriation a good thing.
Appropriation is bad by definition (at this point, people are going to have to go google the definition for themselves), but the two things are close.
Its important to stress that cultural exchange is not what is being objected to.



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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 10, 2017, 02:01:21 PM
Can we all agree that the exchange/appropriation dichotomy is relatively useless, then?

You are the only one saying that there's a dichotomy.

I didn't just make up the idea that cultural exchange is okay whereas cultural appropriation is wrong. Please see upthread.

The existence of cultural exchange does not make appropriation a good thing.
Appropriation is bad by definition (at this point, people are going to have to go google the definition for themselves), but the two things are close.
Its important to stress that cultural exchange is not what is being objected to.

But not everything is equally appropriative.  Nobody is saying that every act is either appropriative or not.  We are saying that to the extent that it is harmful, it is appropriative (and vice-versa).
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 10, 2017, 02:07:56 PM
Okay, assuming everyone is on board with a continuum from harmless exchange to harmful appropriation, can we at least rank the examples in the OP from least to most harmful? That way, people will know which of those actions (after some appropriate level of generalization) to most conscientiously avoid. This is a moral exercise, after all.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Shibboleth on April 10, 2017, 03:24:32 PM
The most harmful would be appropriating a culture's island and blowing it up with thermonuclear weapons.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 10, 2017, 04:14:12 PM
Okay, assuming everyone is on board with a continuum from harmless exchange to harmful appropriation, can we at least rank the examples in the OP from least to most harmful? That way, people will know which of those actions (after some appropriate level of generalization) to most conscientiously avoid. This is a moral exercise, after all.
What benefit do people gain from a ranking syste.?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 10, 2017, 04:43:05 PM
I assume that the point in distinguishing cultural appropriation (harmful) from cultural exchange  (neutral or beneficial) is to encourage moral agents to avoid appropriation in favor of exchange. If this assumption is correct, then we can put the system into practice by applying it in real world situations. It so happens that the original post has several examples, worthy of consideration. Since I'm barely Ashkenazi by ancestry and not at all Jewish by culture, which of those four things must I most strenuously avoid?

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 10, 2017, 04:44:41 PM
Abandoned that ranking think pretty quick, didn't we?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 10, 2017, 06:43:25 PM
I just asked for the top-ranked most appropriative example from the OP. That's a pretty small ask, assuming that this appropriation concept pulls any weight at all in terms of guiding real-world decision making. You are welcome, of course, to rank all four.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 10, 2017, 06:44:44 PM
That's not how ethical and moral questions work.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 10, 2017, 06:50:30 PM
If you say so. As a consequentialist concerned with harm aversion, I'd have to disagree.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 10, 2017, 06:56:35 PM
Funny, I don't remember encountering any lists if the Worst Things in my admittedly brief overview of conequentialist philosophy. In fact requiring an external definition of ranking is more akin to moral absolutism than consequentialism, since you're relying on an external set of absolutes rather than examining the harm on a case by case basis.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 10, 2017, 07:50:16 PM
Neither external nor absolute.

Look, if you don't think the idea of cultural appropriation helps guide actual decision-making, just say so.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 10, 2017, 10:07:20 PM
Neither external nor absolute.

Look, if you don't think the idea of cultural appropriation helps guide actual decision-making, just say so.

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This whole thing of misinterpreting and drawing false parallels and then acting like it is some kind of gotcha isn't actually forming a compelling argument of any kind.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 10, 2017, 10:07:57 PM
If you say so. As a consequentialist concerned with harm aversion, I'd have to disagree.

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I agree that there's not much utility in ranks here, and probably not much in general.

I think there would be good value in finding controversial examples to discuss--instances where some here feel the appropriation is more negative than positive, and others vice versa.

For example: I think most instances of musical cultural appropriation are more positive than negative, but it's still important to note the negative aspects.

Blues becoming popularized was imo an overall good thing: it expanded both the art itself and its audience, and led to blues becoming a major part of the foundation of nearly all Western pop music since. But we should also highlight the individual artists who were negatively affected by the art's assimilation, and also consider the changes and losses to the music itself which inevitably accompany such appropriation.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 10, 2017, 10:27:35 PM


If you say so. As a consequentialist concerned with harm aversion, I'd have to disagree.

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I agree that there's not much utility in ranks here, and probably not much in general.

I think there would be good value in finding controversial examples to discuss--instances where some here feel the appropriation is more negative than positive, and others vice versa.

Would that discussion actually help clarify what we should or shouldn't do, as musicians or as consumers of music?

My son plays bass guitar and upright bass. Given that he is European American, Hispanic and at least nominally Native American, are there certain genres he needs to avoid playing or remixing? Can he jam on blues tabs guilt-free?


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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 10, 2017, 10:38:00 PM
Neither external nor absolute.

Look, if you don't think the idea of cultural appropriation helps guide actual decision-making, just say so.

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This whole thing of misinterpreting and drawing false parallels and then acting like it is some kind of gotcha isn't actually forming a compelling argument of any kind.
Agreed.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 10, 2017, 11:09:54 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/
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 10, 2017, 11:25:09 PM
White girls should take off those earrings and apologize.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170411/1970ad19bf0306f0eb5bd02640554276.jpg)

Just terrible.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho 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?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 10, 2017, 11:39:09 PM
Yeah, let's get some #NotAllMen going here while we're at it.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 11, 2017, 12:36:49 AM
If you'd like to talk about my character or posting habits, please PM me.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic 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. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn 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?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Caffiene 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: seamas on April 11, 2017, 10:10:57 AM
Hoop earrings are cultural appropriation?

 ::)
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic 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.   :)
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer 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.

Also I've never seen an evolution. Checkmark, atheists!
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 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/ (http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/11/unapologetically-black-at-work/)
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/thoughts-of-an-alternative-black-girl (https://www.theodysseyonline.com/thoughts-of-an-alternative-black-girl)

Here are two places it is referenced.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer 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.
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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: seamas on April 11, 2017, 12:22:48 PM
They should make sure to have the hoop earrings in stores where no White or Asian women are allowed to shop.

Keep the men out too. Men should probably be banned from wearing earrings altogether.

Tattoos should only be worn be a select few as well.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 11, 2017, 12:24:35 PM
it's not really for sheltered privileged people to make decisions about what should and shouldn't be with regard to social issues.

Was that a characterization of me?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 11, 2017, 12:25:50 PM

Tattoos should only be worn be a select few as well.


Only the Maori.  Definitely only the Maori. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 11, 2017, 12:29:39 PM
The race-based insults and ad hom responses in this thread are truly unnerving, especially since many of the "socially enlightened" are so readily tossing them out.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 11, 2017, 12:48:52 PM
On the plus side, SkeptiQueer and I aren't so far apart on this:

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.


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.

In my opinion, we should listen to and be empathetic toward those that feel disempowered by the assimilation of hoop earrings--but in this case, I don't think there is cause for anybody to be telling anybody to do or not do a thing.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 11, 2017, 12:52:46 PM
On the plus side, SkeptiQueer and I aren't so far apart on this:

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.


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.

In my opinion, we should listen to and be empathetic toward those that feel disempowered by the assimilation of hoop earrings--but in this case, I don't think there is cause for anybody to be telling anybody to do or not do a thing.

NO ONE IS DEMANDING CULTURAL SEGREGATION IN THIS CASE

I can't make the text any larger, so if anyone is still missing the fucking point PM me your address and I'll tattoo it into your forehead in homage to Steig Larsson.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 11, 2017, 12:56:00 PM
Nobody said anybody is! (regular-sized type is fine) It's worth specifying, though, because there are other examples of appropriation where I DO think that somebody shouldn't do that thing.

But a forum member posted asking what we each think about it and I posted what I think. It's nice to see that you think pretty much the same thing!  :)
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 11, 2017, 01:06:25 PM


Nobody said anybody is! (regular-sized type is fine) It's worth specifying, though, because there are other examples of appropriation where I DO think that somebody shouldn't do that thing.

But a forum member posted asking what we each think about it and I posted what I think. It's nice to see that you think pretty much the same thing!  :)

Everyone who is doing the "only X culture can have" is saying that.

You also did when you sai, verbatim, "in this case I don't think there is a cause for anybody to be telling anybody to do or not do a thing."
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 11, 2017, 01:11:58 PM

Tattoos should only be worn be a select few as well.


Only the Maori.  Definitely only the Maori.
White girls should take off those earrings and apologize.

[Picture of Anita Sarkeesian wearing hoop earrings]

Just terrible.

They should make sure to have the hoop earrings in stores where no White or Asian women are allowed to shop.

Keep the men out too. Men should probably be banned from wearing earrings altogether.

Tattoos should only be worn be a select few as well.

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/


Nobody said anybody is! (regular-sized type is fine) It's worth specifying, though, because there are other examples of appropriation where I DO think that somebody shouldn't do that thing.

But a forum member posted asking what we each think about it and I posted what I think. It's nice to see that you think pretty much the same thing!  :)

ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT CONSISTENT WITH THE OTHERS.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 11, 2017, 01:14:46 PM


Nobody said anybody is! (regular-sized type is fine) It's worth specifying, though, because there are other examples of appropriation where I DO think that somebody shouldn't do that thing.

But a forum member posted asking what we each think about it and I posted what I think. It's nice to see that you think pretty much the same thing!  :)

Everyone who is doing the "only X culture can have" is saying that.

You also did when you sai, verbatim, "in this case I don't think there is a cause for anybody to be telling anybody to do or not do a thing."

Yes--I don't think there is cause for anybody to tell anybody to tell anybody not to wear hoop earrings. Do you agree? Disagree?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 11, 2017, 01:19:59 PM


Nobody said anybody is! (regular-sized type is fine) It's worth specifying, though, because there are other examples of appropriation where I DO think that somebody shouldn't do that thing.

But a forum member posted asking what we each think about it and I posted what I think. It's nice to see that you think pretty much the same thing!  :)

Everyone who is doing the "only X culture can have" is saying that.

You also did when you sai, verbatim, "in this case I don't think there is a cause for anybody to be telling anybody to do or not do a thing."

Yes--I don't think there is cause for anybody to tell anybody to tell anybody not to wear hoop earrings. Do you agree? Disagree?
Maybe you should go back and read the original post that was made about hoop earrings and decide if *you* agree or disagree with the statements made there instead... that way we aren't moving goalposts around.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 11, 2017, 01:33:18 PM


NO ONE IS DEMANDING CULTURAL SEGREGATION IN THIS CASE

Really? No one?(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170411/c5286bff24bd204e85359623bfb98ac6.jpg)

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 11, 2017, 01:37:31 PM


NO ONE IS DEMANDING CULTURAL SEGREGATION IN THIS CASE

Really? No one?(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170411/c5286bff24bd204e85359623bfb98ac6.jpg)

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

From the article, because apparently you can google a picture but clicking a link to try to understand the art is just too much work:

Quote
When one white student expressed confusion about the message, Alegria Martinez (PZ ’18) – a Pitzer College Resident Assistant (RA) and active member of the “Latinx Student Union” – responded in an email thread sent to the entire student body: “[T]he art was created by myself and a few other WOC [women of color] after being tired and annoyed with the reoccuring [sic] theme of white women appropriating styles … that belong to the black and brown folks who created the culture. The culture actually comes from a historical background of oppression and exclusion. The black and brown bodies who typically wear hooped earrings, (and other accessories like winged eyeliner, gold name plate necklaces, etc) are typically viewed as ghetto, and are not taken seriously by others in their daily lives. Because of this, I see our winged eyeliner, lined lips, and big hoop earrings serving as symbols [and] as an everyday act of resistance, especially here at the Claremont Colleges. Meanwhile we wonder, why should white girls be able to take part in this culture (wearing hoop earrings just being one case of it) and be seen as cute/aesthetic/ethnic. White people have actually exploited the culture and made it into fashion.”

Jacquelyn Aguilera (PZ ’19), another student claiming credit for the spray-painted message, responded to the school-wide email thread, “If you didn’t create the culture as a coping mechanism for marginalization, take off those hoops, if your feminism isn’t intersectional take off those hoops, if you try to wear mi cultura when the creators can no longer afford it, take off those hoops, if you are incapable of using a search engine and expect other people to educate you, take off those hoops, if you can’t pronounce my name or spell it … take off those hoops / I use “those” instead of “your” because hoops were never “yours” to begin with.” Aguilera attached an image of herself and the others who spray-painted the wall exposing their own hoop earrings.

Question, when a socialist says something like "eat the rich" do you think they're literally advocating for cannibalism? Or are you going to explain to all of us why the people who created that art are wrong about what it means?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 11, 2017, 01:42:49 PM
"Eat the rich" basically begs for a non-literal reading, unless you've no taboo against cannibalism. Terrible analogy, that one.

And surely you cannot expect that the set of people who saw the signage is coextensive with those who bothered to read the email thread. Right?

As to the email itself, it is hard to imagine that many people in college today can be credited with creating this particular artifact of human culture, or even popularizing it in a given subculture.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: random poet on April 11, 2017, 01:48:07 PM
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.
That is not what is going on here. We are definitely not agreeing to disagree. You are wrong, and people are trying to explain why, and you are choosing to ignore that. Then you are doubling down on your priviledged position and "explaining" things to others while being even more wrong about it. It's almost a caricature. I would laugh if it weren't so frustrating to watch.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 11, 2017, 01:51:01 PM
DELETED
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 11, 2017, 01:56:39 PM


NO ONE IS DEMANDING CULTURAL SEGREGATION IN THIS CASE

Really? No one?(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170411/c5286bff24bd204e85359623bfb98ac6.jpg)

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

From the article, because apparently you can google a picture but clicking a link to try to understand the art is just too much work:

Quote
When one white student expressed confusion about the message, Alegria Martinez (PZ ’18) – a Pitzer College Resident Assistant (RA) and active member of the “Latinx Student Union” – responded in an email thread sent to the entire student body: “[T]he art was created by myself and a few other WOC [women of color] after being tired and annoyed with the reoccuring [sic] theme of white women appropriating styles … that belong to the black and brown folks who created the culture. The culture actually comes from a historical background of oppression and exclusion. The black and brown bodies who typically wear hooped earrings, (and other accessories like winged eyeliner, gold name plate necklaces, etc) are typically viewed as ghetto, and are not taken seriously by others in their daily lives. Because of this, I see our winged eyeliner, lined lips, and big hoop earrings serving as symbols [and] as an everyday act of resistance, especially here at the Claremont Colleges. Meanwhile we wonder, why should white girls be able to take part in this culture (wearing hoop earrings just being one case of it) and be seen as cute/aesthetic/ethnic. White people have actually exploited the culture and made it into fashion.”

Jacquelyn Aguilera (PZ ’19), another student claiming credit for the spray-painted message, responded to the school-wide email thread, “If you didn’t create the culture as a coping mechanism for marginalization, take off those hoops, if your feminism isn’t intersectional take off those hoops, if you try to wear mi cultura when the creators can no longer afford it, take off those hoops, if you are incapable of using a search engine and expect other people to educate you, take off those hoops, if you can’t pronounce my name or spell it … take off those hoops / I use “those” instead of “your” because hoops were never “yours” to begin with.” Aguilera attached an image of herself and the others who spray-painted the wall exposing their own hoop earrings.

Question, when a socialist says something like "eat the rich" do you think they're literally advocating for cannibalism? Or are you going to explain to all of us why the people who created that art are wrong about what it means?
Looks like the second! Al, what did SkeptiQueer win?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 11, 2017, 01:57:01 PM
"Eat the rich" basically begs for a non-literal reading, unless you've no taboo against cannibalism. Terrible analogy, that one.

No it's a perfect analogy. Reactionaries on the right have tried to paint similar sloganeering as calls for violent revolution before.

And surely you cannot expect that the set of people who saw the signage is coextensive with those who bothered to read the email thread. Right?

I don't have to. That's not the way art works. I also don't expect people who hear "eat the rich" to have read contemporary socialist literature. Art is supposed to provoke a response and HOLY FUCKING DICK would you look at that, the response it provoked got the group's message out well beyond the reach of their campus. Holy shit it's amazing how that worked isn't it?

As to the email itself, it is hard to imagine that many people in college today can be credited with creating this particular artifact of human culture, or even popularizing it in a given subculture.

That's not what was claimed in the email at all. You realize everyone else can read those words too and, if they're functional English speakers, can come to the conclusion that the thing you just claimed was said is not, right? Seriously, how stupid do you think everyone else is?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 11, 2017, 02:00:36 PM


NO ONE IS DEMANDING CULTURAL SEGREGATION IN THIS CASE

Really? No one?(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170411/c5286bff24bd204e85359623bfb98ac6.jpg)

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

From the article, because apparently you can google a picture but clicking a link to try to understand the art is just too much work:

Quote
When one white student expressed confusion about the message, Alegria Martinez (PZ ’18) – a Pitzer College Resident Assistant (RA) and active member of the “Latinx Student Union” – responded in an email thread sent to the entire student body: “[T]he art was created by myself and a few other WOC [women of color] after being tired and annoyed with the reoccuring [sic] theme of white women appropriating styles … that belong to the black and brown folks who created the culture. The culture actually comes from a historical background of oppression and exclusion. The black and brown bodies who typically wear hooped earrings, (and other accessories like winged eyeliner, gold name plate necklaces, etc) are typically viewed as ghetto, and are not taken seriously by others in their daily lives. Because of this, I see our winged eyeliner, lined lips, and big hoop earrings serving as symbols [and] as an everyday act of resistance, especially here at the Claremont Colleges. Meanwhile we wonder, why should white girls be able to take part in this culture (wearing hoop earrings just being one case of it) and be seen as cute/aesthetic/ethnic. White people have actually exploited the culture and made it into fashion.”

Jacquelyn Aguilera (PZ ’19), another student claiming credit for the spray-painted message, responded to the school-wide email thread, “If you didn’t create the culture as a coping mechanism for marginalization, take off those hoops, if your feminism isn’t intersectional take off those hoops, if you try to wear mi cultura when the creators can no longer afford it, take off those hoops, if you are incapable of using a search engine and expect other people to educate you, take off those hoops, if you can’t pronounce my name or spell it … take off those hoops / I use “those” instead of “your” because hoops were never “yours” to begin with.” Aguilera attached an image of herself and the others who spray-painted the wall exposing their own hoop earrings.

Question, when a socialist says something like "eat the rich" do you think they're literally advocating for cannibalism? Or are you going to explain to all of us why the people who created that art are wrong about what it means?

I saw nothing metaphorical, figurative, or tongue in cheek in that explanation. She very clearly feels that white girls should not wear hoops. She also seems to genuinely believe that her own culture invented them in some meaningful sense of the term as an expression of their marginalization.

People in lower social classes are usually late to fashion trends. As a result, there is overlap between ghetto/trailerpark fashion and what is regarded as "tacky" by the mainstream. Many of these "tacky" things, including the hoops, where once quite fashionable before falling out of favor, and will inevitably cycle back into popularity, given the time.

The problem is that entire ethnic communities are being forced into lower social classes. That's the problem. The fact that fashion cycles through those different classes at different rates is not the problem. The fact that hoops are making their millionth comeback is not the problem.

Quote
Or are you going to explain to all of us why the people who created that art are wrong about what it means?

It's not that they are wrong about "what their art means". For one thing, they seem to totally support the interpretation that white girls shouldn't wear hoops.

It's that, like L. Ron Hubbard and Ayn Rand before them, their art is, itself, wrong. It has an incorrect message.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 11, 2017, 02:03:14 PM


NO ONE IS DEMANDING CULTURAL SEGREGATION IN THIS CASE

Really? No one?(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170411/c5286bff24bd204e85359623bfb98ac6.jpg)

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

From the article, because apparently you can google a picture but clicking a link to try to understand the art is just too much work:

Quote
When one white student expressed confusion about the message, Alegria Martinez (PZ ’18) – a Pitzer College Resident Assistant (RA) and active member of the “Latinx Student Union” – responded in an email thread sent to the entire student body: “[T]he art was created by myself and a few other WOC [women of color] after being tired and annoyed with the reoccuring [sic] theme of white women appropriating styles … that belong to the black and brown folks who created the culture. The culture actually comes from a historical background of oppression and exclusion. The black and brown bodies who typically wear hooped earrings, (and other accessories like winged eyeliner, gold name plate necklaces, etc) are typically viewed as ghetto, and are not taken seriously by others in their daily lives. Because of this, I see our winged eyeliner, lined lips, and big hoop earrings serving as symbols [and] as an everyday act of resistance, especially here at the Claremont Colleges. Meanwhile we wonder, why should white girls be able to take part in this culture (wearing hoop earrings just being one case of it) and be seen as cute/aesthetic/ethnic. White people have actually exploited the culture and made it into fashion.”

Jacquelyn Aguilera (PZ ’19), another student claiming credit for the spray-painted message, responded to the school-wide email thread, “If you didn’t create the culture as a coping mechanism for marginalization, take off those hoops, if your feminism isn’t intersectional take off those hoops, if you try to wear mi cultura when the creators can no longer afford it, take off those hoops, if you are incapable of using a search engine and expect other people to educate you, take off those hoops, if you can’t pronounce my name or spell it … take off those hoops / I use “those” instead of “your” because hoops were never “yours” to begin with.” Aguilera attached an image of herself and the others who spray-painted the wall exposing their own hoop earrings.

Question, when a socialist says something like "eat the rich" do you think they're literally advocating for cannibalism? Or are you going to explain to all of us why the people who created that art are wrong about what it means?

I saw nothing metaphorical, figurative, or tongue in cheek in that explanation. She very clearly feels that white girls should not wear hoops. She also seems to genuinely believe that her own culture invented them in some meaningful sense of the term as an expression of their marginalization.

People in lower social classes are usually late to fashion trends. As a result, there is overlap between ghetto/trailerpark fashion and what is regarded as "tacky" by the mainstream. Many of these "tacky" things, including the hoops, where once quite fashionable before falling out of favor, and will inevitably cycle back into popularity, given the time.

The problem is that entire ethnic communities are being forced into lower social classes. That's the problem. The fact that fashion cycles through those different classes at different rates is not the problem. The fact that hoops are making their millionth comeback is not the problem.
So the series of if-then statements calling for women in the privileged majority to be more aware of the issues of appropriating elements of culture from the lower classes just blew right by you?

There's not one problem. We are not limited to one social issue. There are a bunch of issues that intersect, and trying to abstract them away from their context is like trying to talk about global warming without talking about how it will harm life on earth.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 11, 2017, 02:05:24 PM



NO ONE IS DEMANDING CULTURAL SEGREGATION IN THIS CASE


The student said this:
Quote
Meanwhile we wonder, why should white girls be able to take part in this culture (wearing hoop earrings just being one case of it).
 

She did more than just "wonder" when she painted that message.  And no, it is a message first and foremost.  Categorizing it as a work of art is a stretch, especially in light of the fact that the persons who wrote the message haven't categorized it in that manner.  The article uses the term, "spray-painted message" which went unchallenged.

Finally, the patronizing tone you have adopted is unbecoming of this forum.  If you can't refrain from that tone, it's best to not comment at all.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 11, 2017, 02:08:50 PM
So the series of if-then statements calling for women in the privileged majority to be more aware of the issues of appropriating elements of culture from the lower classes just blew right by you?


You are completely mischaracterizing her statement and ignoring that the statement was given as context only after the message was spray painted on the wall.  You need to do that to cling to your contention.  I'll stick to the facts, thank you.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 11, 2017, 02:12:12 PM
Really? Because it's my experience that fashion is weird. The further you get away from big cities the more outdated the fashion becomes in general, and I guess there's a stigma associated with rural people and poverty, and then I guess on top of that some poor people, particularly older folks, will wear older fashion because those are literally the clothes that they actually own, but we have a long, long history of poor people fashion getting co-opted by the middle class in some way, shape, or form, whether it's because middle class kids are mimicking the clothing and hairstyles of their favorite bands (who often come from poor backgrounds) (a great example of this being early heavy metal and punk rock... hip hop too, for that matter) or else subcultures that happen to be poor produce something cool that everyone else wants to mimic. The cultural *exchange* of fashion doesn't *only* occur between lower and middle class but it's very, very common to see.

Also, I think we need to examine our uses of "trailer park tacky" and the like. Just because the people in your head are white does not mean that it's okay to be derisive of them and their culture. An *awful* lot of that "lolol look at these dumb people in Wal-Mart" garbage you see on Tumblr and Reddit is just coded classism, nothing more.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 11, 2017, 02:13:10 PM
There's not one problem. We are not limited to one social issue. There are a bunch of issues that intersect, and trying to abstract them away from their context is like trying to talk about global warming without talking about how it will harm life on earth.

I'm not sure I agree with that. In fact, I think the argument can be made that this is a way for the powerful to distract us from the economic exploitation that is a part of everyday life for most Americans.

There is merit in some of these ideas, as I said earlier, but on balance I think they burn up energy better spent fighting for all working people. If you don't think economics have anything to do with this hoop earring issue, I can only conclude that you haven't been paying attention.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 11, 2017, 02:47:08 PM
So the series of if-then statements calling for women in the privileged majority to be more aware of the issues of appropriating elements of culture from the lower classes just blew right by you?


You are completely mischaracterizing her statement and ignoring that the statement was given as context only after the message was spray painted on the wall.  You need to do that to cling to your contention.  I'll stick to the facts, thank you.


I'm not seeing a lot of daylight in those if-then statements anyhow. Maybe Gwen Stefani gets a pass (maybe not!) but certainly not Dolly Parton.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170411/26ad4b64db7a6f37ddb507fcae114ef3.jpg)


Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 11, 2017, 02:54:05 PM
And don't even get me started on hula figurines in Lyft vehicles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDEtq5LjmeE

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: nameofthewave on April 11, 2017, 03:13:41 PM
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.
That is not what is going on here. We are definitely not agreeing to disagree. You are wrong, and people are trying to explain why, and you are choosing to ignore that. Then you are doubling down on your priviledged position and "explaining" things to others while being even more wrong about it. It's almost a caricature. I would laugh if it weren't so frustrating to watch.

So if a member of a minority group was to have the opinion that others were overreacting to cultural appropriation, or were to say "it doesn't bother me at all", is their opinion valid? Or would they also need to be educated?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 11, 2017, 03:16:17 PM
Ah, that old canard."My black friend said I could use the N word, so checkmate libs!"
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 11, 2017, 03:20:01 PM


There's not one problem. We are not limited to one social issue. There are a bunch of issues that intersect, and trying to abstract them away from their context is like trying to talk about global warming without talking about how it will harm life on earth.

I'm not sure I agree with that. In fact, I think the argument can be made that this is a way for the powerful to distract us from the economic exploitation that is a part of everyday life for most Americans.

There is merit in some of these ideas, as I said earlier, but on balance I think they burn up energy better spent fighting for all working people. If you don't think economics have anything to do with this hoop earring issue, I can only conclude that you haven't been paying attention.

The powerful are the ones who keep telling us that misogyny and transphobia and racism are all made up to keep us distracted. If you want to demonstrate that all these issues go away if we "fight for working people" then by all means, but until then it sounds an awful lot like you're telling everyone else to bench their problems because they don't matter as much.



So the series of if-then statements calling for women in the privileged majority to be more aware of the issues of appropriating elements of culture from the lower classes just blew right by you?


You are completely mischaracterizing her statement and ignoring that the statement was given as context only after the message was spray painted on the wall.  You need to do that to cling to your contention.  I'll stick to the facts, thank you.

To recap: things the artist said about her work=not facts.
Things men who've never met the artist say about her work=facts.

Yep, this is all just because we don't fight for the working class. Damn us essjaydubyahs for always getting sidetracked by women's issues. If only we would reempower the unions we could go back to the days when women and minorities weren't oppressed by the oppressed working class.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 11, 2017, 03:21:59 PM
Ah, that old canard."My black friend said I could use the N word, so checkmate libs!"
Sily lib, minorities who agree with me are the only ones who matter, the rest are shills for Big Karma!
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 11, 2017, 03:24:16 PM
Dodged a bullet here:

(https://preview.ibb.co/kcNby5/Photo_SGU.png) (https://ibb.co/c27n5k)
photo upload (https://imgbb.com/)
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: nameofthewave on April 11, 2017, 03:29:02 PM
Ah, that old canard."My black friend said I could use the N word, so checkmate libs!"

Ah, the old "some of my best friends are black" counter-counter. Of course you could always contend that there is a diversity of opinion on this matter that doesn't necessarily fall along privileged/non privileged lines.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 11, 2017, 03:30:51 PM
Of course you could always contend that there is a diversity of opinion on this matter that doesn't necessarily fall along privileged/non privileged lines.

That would be a well reasoned response.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 11, 2017, 03:35:34 PM
I'm pretty sure Algonquian peoples were killing each other with stone-bladed tomahawks long before the British showed up and introduced metalworking.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 11, 2017, 03:42:22 PM
I'm pretty sure Algonquian peoples were killing each other with stone-bladed tomahawks long before the British showed up and introduced metalworking.


Uh oh.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 11, 2017, 04:43:42 PM
I'm pretty sure Algonquian peoples were killing each other with stone-bladed tomahawks long before the British showed up and introduced metalworking.

When or more different cultures invented the same thing independently, then we need to go back with the archeological record to see which group invented it first, then use genetic sequencing to find out what modern ethnic group most closely resembles that precursor, and make sure that nobody else is allowed to use that invention without proper attribution.  History isn't public domain, it's creative commons!
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 2397 on April 11, 2017, 04:59:52 PM
I'd like to introduce the term convergent engineering, but unfortunately there is a company with that name.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: random poet on April 11, 2017, 05:36:23 PM
All right, dudebros, have fun with your right-wing circle-jerk, this thread is dead.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 11, 2017, 05:38:54 PM
All right, dudebros, have fun with your right-wing circle-jerk, this thread is dead.

Well then it must be so!
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 11, 2017, 05:39:20 PM
It was mostly just taking ideas from other threads anyhow.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 11, 2017, 05:57:59 PM
Actually if the folks who refuse to discuss this issue with anybody of a certain race who disagree with them have all left, maybe a conversation can finally take place.

Can anybody think of any examples of cultural appropriation in which you feel members of not-that-culture shouldn't participate?

Clearly, you can be a jerk about anything--and I think CA boils down to trying to be open and aware to ideas and offenses, but with no ethical imperative to cease or avoid an action based on it meeting the definition for CA.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 11, 2017, 06:12:34 PM


Can anybody think of any examples of cultural appropriation in which you feel members of not-that-culture shouldn't participate?

NWA cover bands.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 11, 2017, 06:12:47 PM
I'm pretty sure Algonquian peoples were killing each other with stone-bladed tomahawks long before the British showed up and introduced metalworking.

When or more different cultures invented the same thing independently, then we need to go back with the archeological record to see which group invented it first, then use genetic sequencing to find out what modern ethnic group most closely resembles that precursor, and make sure that nobody else is allowed to use that invention without proper attribution.  History isn't public domain, it's creative commons!

This is a deliberate misunderstanding of the definition of cultural appropriation.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 11, 2017, 06:14:22 PM
Actually if the folks who refuse to discuss this issue with anybody of a certain race who disagree with them have all left, maybe a conversation can finally take place.

Can anybody think of any examples of cultural appropriation in which you feel members of not-that-culture shouldn't participate?

Clearly, you can be a jerk about anything--and I think CA boils down to trying to be open and aware to ideas and offenses, but with no ethical imperative to cease or avoid an action based on it meeting the definition for CA.

Before anyone goes on, I highly recommend watching this to understand what cultural appropriation really is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXejDhRGOuI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXejDhRGOuI)

I'm gonna repost this, because I think this answers some of the questions that have been asked. Wearing your hair in braids/cornrows/locs is a something that shouldn't be done by anyone except for black folks. But if you are invited to participate in someone else's culture (i.e. going to an Indian wedding) by all means, participate.

I'm gonna say that the rule of thumb is don't do anything that you can get away with because you are white but that other folks can't do even though it's their own culture because of the color of their skin. All these comments about the history of something not being usable in other cultures are missing the huge point of why cultural appropriation is a problem.

PLEASE WATCH THAT VIDEO.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 11, 2017, 06:22:34 PM
Actually if the folks who refuse to discuss this issue with anybody of a certain race who disagree with them have all left, maybe a conversation can finally take place.

Can anybody think of any examples of cultural appropriation in which you feel members of not-that-culture shouldn't participate?

Clearly, you can be a jerk about anything--and I think CA boils down to trying to be open and aware to ideas and offenses, but with no ethical imperative to cease or avoid an action based on it meeting the definition for CA.
Nobody has refused to discuss anything with anyone because of their race. Explicitly the opposite.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 11, 2017, 06:50:39 PM
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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 11, 2017, 07:46:01 PM
All right, dudebros, have fun with your right-wing circle-jerk, this thread is dead.

Dudes, we like totally won.  Let's go celebrate at a Hawaiian luau and drink some sake!
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 11, 2017, 08:12:01 PM
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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 11, 2017, 08:15:33 PM
He isn't missing much. The video at no point describes any actual harms caused by the actions which they hope to eliminate.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 11, 2017, 08:41:33 PM
He isn't missing much. The video at no point describes any actual harms caused by the actions which they hope to eliminate.
Do you really want a detailed, enumerated list of the precise and exact "harms" that appropriation causes? With, perhaps, a scaled ranking of how harmful the harms are?

Get over it. No-one has that. For anything. Your demand is completely unreasonable.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 11, 2017, 08:46:42 PM
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.

On a more personal note, Arth, I can't tell you how many times people on the "more lefty" side from me in a debate on these forums have refused to entertain any videos from my side. I can't recollect well enough to say whether you ever did so, but I don't accept that you could possibly be unaware of this history.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 11, 2017, 08:55:20 PM
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!
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 11, 2017, 09:23:41 PM
Do you really want a detailed, enumerated list of the precise and exact "harms" that appropriation causes? With, perhaps, a scaled ranking of how harmful the harms are?

Get over it. No-one has that. For anything. Your demand is completely unreasonable.

Come now, it is not even all that hard. Somewhere upthread, someone told a compelling story about how a friend was harmed by a lack of Asian leading men in whitewashed kung-fu movies.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 11, 2017, 09:39:35 PM
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!


Dude, it's freaking MTV.  Lighten up and stop acting like he's being dismissive of a scholarly journal. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 11, 2017, 09:44:46 PM
It's Redamare.  I don't think we should just dismiss him on tribal lines.  If anything he represents "one of our own" who disagrees with us on this issue.  That's probably the best scenario one can hope for to try and understand the issue honestly.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Caffiene on April 11, 2017, 11:20:26 PM
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.

Sure. But first you have to have analysed the reaction to a sufficient level of understanding to show that the chemical is involved in the reaction, and that it makes a recognisable difference from a reaction where the chemical isnt present.

There are social issues where the issue is a complication resulting from power dynamics. That doesnt mean every concept associated with a power dynamic is inherently an issue in and of itself beyond the issue of the power dynamic. Thats the question Im asking - Is it an issue that has consequences not explained purely by explaining the power dynamic itself?

If its a social issue where the problem is entirely represented by the power dynamic then it seems to me to be much more productive to directly address the power dynamic. Attempting to address the issue in a way that isnt directed at the power dynamic seems like it would inherently be less effective, if the power dynamic is fully responsible for the issue.

If its an issue that isnt entirely represented by the power dynamic, then there are efficient measures which can be taken to address the issue beyond addressing the power dynamic itself. In which case it is important to identify those parts of the issue which are unique and separate from the power dynamic in order to address them.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 11, 2017, 11:36:32 PM
PLEASE WATCH THAT VIDEO.

Thanks for posting that! I think it's an excellent primer for those unfamiliar with the issue, and contains some nice reminders for those that are in the know.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 11, 2017, 11:39:31 PM
Can anybody think of any examples of cultural appropriation in which you feel members of not-that-culture shouldn't participate?

NWA cover bands.

Well I can't argue with this one.  :laugh:
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 11, 2017, 11:42:03 PM


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.

Sure. But first you have to have analysed the reaction to a sufficient level of understanding to show that the chemical is involved in the reaction, and that it makes a recognisable difference from a reaction where the chemical isnt present.

There are social issues where the issue is a complication resulting from power dynamics. That doesnt mean every concept associated with a power dynamic is inherently an issue in and of itself beyond the issue of the power dynamic. Thats the question Im asking - Is it an issue that has consequences not explained purely by explaining the power dynamic itself?

If its a social issue where the problem is entirely represented by the power dynamic then it seems to me to be much more productive to directly address the power dynamic. Attempting to address the issue in a way that isnt directed at the power dynamic seems like it would inherently be less effective, if the power dynamic is fully responsible for the issue.

If its an issue that isnt entirely represented by the power dynamic, then there are efficient measures which can be taken to address the issue beyond addressing the power dynamic itself. In which case it is important to identify those parts of the issue which are unique and separate from the power dynamic in order to address them.

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?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Caffiene on April 12, 2017, 12:17:08 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer 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.

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare 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!
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic 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. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn 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?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist 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...
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 12, 2017, 07:26:10 AM
Is this that video or is it something else?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBluYsydAVc (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBluYsydAVc)
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic 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
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N 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.

*WATCHES VIDEO (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXejDhRGOuI)*

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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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 12, 2017, 11:39:05 AM
REEEEE FAKE QUOTES
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 12, 2017, 12:03:48 PM
What's a REEEEE?

ETA: Quotations usually involves quotation marks, or perhaps blockquote formatting.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 12, 2017, 12:55:34 PM

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.

Anti-feminist?  Wow, you really are determined to check every box in your invocation of ad hominems.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Shibboleth on April 12, 2017, 01:18:17 PM
As a white European male is it wrong for me to wear a Shemagh when I am out camping? I love them for the neck and head cover along with dealing with sweat.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 12, 2017, 01:39:28 PM

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.

Anti-feminist?  Wow, you really are determined to check every box in your invocation of ad hominems.
Observing that there are antifeminists and anti-feminist virtue signalling in this thread is not an ad hom. At least learn your logical fallacies.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 12, 2017, 02:24:37 PM
If feminism is simply advocating for sociopolitical equality for women, calling someone antifeminist is basically accusing them of being a male supremacist. Bit much, given the content of the thread.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 12, 2017, 02:37:35 PM

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.

Anti-feminist?  Wow, you really are determined to check every box in your invocation of ad hominems.
Observing that there are antifeminists and anti-feminist virtue signalling in this thread is not an ad hom. At least learn your logical fallacies.
Now you are just making things up. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 12, 2017, 02:45:43 PM
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.

Presented by who?

I think a lot of the problem is that you want to argue against narratives you've seen elsewhere, with folks here whose arguments have to be stretched mighty thin to match. Then people push back and forth for pages and pages about who meant what.

Quote
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.

Comes with having my posts mischaracterized for years here; I try to guess what a few of the most likely mischaracterizations would be and nip them in the bud. However it comes off, it's been very effective at preventing "well obviously here's what you mean" type responses, and hopefully it's improved my own communication skills and clarity.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 12, 2017, 02:50:28 PM
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.

Presented by who?

I think a lot of the problem is that you want to argue against narratives you've seen elsewhere, with folks here whose arguments have to be stretched mighty thin to match. Then people push back and forth for pages and pages about who meant what.

Quote
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.

Comes with having my posts mischaracterized for years here; I try to guess what a few of the most likely mischaracterizations would be and nip them in the bud. However it comes off, it's been very effective at preventing "well obviously here's what you mean" type responses, and hopefully it's improved my own communication skills and clarity.

Presented by the people who aren't madly scrambling to dismiss the concepts of social justice.

I haven't addressesed anything that wasn't  this thread. I've shown you twice where you've contradicted yourself and claimed things were happening in this thread that were. You claimed people werw being dismissed based on their race despite explicitly asking ans having the opposite explicitly stated to you, quoting your post. Call me crazy but I'm not going to take your word for it.

If you want to tell me I'm trying to drag in stuff not in this thread than show me, and for the love of godmake sure you've read the thread before you try to tell me that a picture of Anita Sarkeesian isn't anti-SJW/anti-feminist virtue signalling, or that there aren't two posters in this thread who have argued against feminism (by way of the 'but third wave...' canard) on this forum.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 12, 2017, 03:03:53 PM

Presented by the people who aren't madly scrambling to dismiss the concepts of social justice.
Can you not comprehend that your concept of social justice may not be the only acceptable concept?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 12, 2017, 03:12:02 PM
I suppose a photo of a widely-known white feminist with prominent hoop earrings isn't relevant to a thread about cultural appropriation? My bad.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 12, 2017, 03:13:25 PM



Presented by the people who aren't madly scrambling to dismiss the concepts of social justice.
Can you not comprehend that your concept of social justice may not be the only acceptable concept?

So not rational, logically consistent, just, compassionate, ethical, moral, but what's important is that they be acceptable.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 12, 2017, 03:14:46 PM
I suppose a photo of a widely-known white feminist with prominent hoop earrings isn't relevant to a thread about cultural appropriation? My bad.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
No, it wasn't relevant to anything at hand. Few "Checkmark, Feminists!" posts are.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 12, 2017, 03:26:57 PM
The important thing is that you're having so much fun reducing the people you haven't persuaded into gibbering drooling stereotypes.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 12, 2017, 03:55:56 PM
I think it is a fairly salient question whether white feminists (especially highly visible activists) who wear hoop earrings need to take them off, for the sake of publicly upholding the values espoused by those concerned with intersectionality. If the Latinx Student Union cannot persuade an outspoken and dedicated feminist to take off her hoops, they shouldn't expect to persuade many others.

One might even say it is a good test case to suss out what the competing values are here. What is the upside of confining white folks to the use of "white culture" assuming that is really a thing? Is there a downside, perhaps reinforcing the idea (popular among the alt-right) that whiteness should be set apart from any other cultural milieu?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 12, 2017, 04:03:04 PM



Presented by the people who aren't madly scrambling to dismiss the concepts of social justice.
Can you not comprehend that your concept of social justice may not be the only acceptable concept?

So not rational, logically consistent, just, compassionate, ethical, moral, but what's important is that they be acceptable.

"Acceptable" implied those things, silly person.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 12, 2017, 04:04:03 PM
I suppose a photo of a widely-known white feminist with prominent hoop earrings isn't relevant to a thread about cultural appropriation? My bad.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

Not according to the thought police.  Oh, no. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 12, 2017, 04:20:46 PM



Presented by the people who aren't madly scrambling to dismiss the concepts of social justice.
Can you not comprehend that your concept of social justice may not be the only acceptable concept?

So not rational, logically consistent, just, compassionate, ethical, moral, but what's important is that they be acceptable.

"Acceptable" implied those things, silly person.

No it didn't. You're just saying that after the fact. Remember, explanations given after the fact don't count:
http://sguforums.com/index.php?action=post;quote=9490933;topic=48481.375;last_msg=9491254 (http://sguforums.com/index.php?action=post;quote=9490933;topic=48481.375;last_msg=9491254)


The important thing is that you're having so much fun reducing the people you haven't persuaded into gibbering drooling stereotypes.

I don't have to reduce anyone to anything. The argument against has been nothing but strawman, denial, strawman, "NO U" and on and on. We can't go a single page without someone drooling out the most hackneyed "CHECKMATE FEMINISM!" bullshit. You did about the best so far, but completely dismissed intersectionalism and didn't make any attempt to defend your claim that fighting for the working class would alleviate all these social ills despite that not being the case anywhere in the world.

Hey, now someone has actually typed the words "thought police." Are you sure it's me reducing people to stereotypes? Are you sure?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 12, 2017, 04:39:36 PM



"Acceptable" implied those things, silly person.

No it didn't. You're just saying that after the fact.

So you know better what I was thinking than I do?  That seems just a teensy bit absurd.   
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: random poet on April 12, 2017, 04:59:38 PM
I think it is a fairly salient question whether white feminists (especially highly visible activists) who wear hoop earrings need to take them off, for the sake of publicly upholding the values espoused by those concerned with intersectionality. If the Latinx Student Union cannot persuade an outspoken and dedicated feminist to take off her hoops, they shouldn't expect to persuade many others.

One might even say it is a good test case to suss out what the competing values are here. What is the upside of confining white folks to the use of "white culture" assuming that is really a thing? Is there a downside, perhaps reinforcing the idea (popular among the alt-right) that whiteness should be set apart from any other cultural milieu?

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You know what, you're right. Having that one prominent womanist who refused to retroactively take off her hoop earings means that cultural appropriation doesn't exist, and also feminism is bad, or something.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 12, 2017, 05:03:18 PM
Is that what I said, poet?

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 12, 2017, 05:03:51 PM
I think it is a fairly salient question whether white feminists (especially highly visible activists) who wear hoop earrings need to take them off, for the sake of publicly upholding the values espoused by those concerned with intersectionality. If the Latinx Student Union cannot persuade an outspoken and dedicated feminist to take off her hoops, they shouldn't expect to persuade many others.

One might even say it is a good test case to suss out what the competing values are here. What is the upside of confining white folks to the use of "white culture" assuming that is really a thing? Is there a downside, perhaps reinforcing the idea (popular among the alt-right) that whiteness should be set apart from any other cultural milieu?

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You know what, you're right. Having that one prominent womanist who refused to retroactively take off her hoop earings means that cultural appropriation doesn't exist, and also feminism is bad, or something.
That wasn't the point of the image.  The issue is whether or not the image was relevant to just some degree.  It most certainly was. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 12, 2017, 05:05:50 PM
Is that what I said, poet?

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Not even close. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 12, 2017, 05:16:25 PM
I thought you took your ball and went home random poet.  Come, enjoy this lovely kugel.  It's thick enough to eat with chopsticks!
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 13, 2017, 01:32:24 AM
Seriously, explain intersectionality to me.

I mean, I get the notion that a person can be marginalized in more than one way. I am an Atheist, physically disabled, and suffer from mental illness. And yeah, those things effect each other sometimes. But there's so much more going on in an individual than can be put into some sort of didactic venn diagram of oppression.

Also, it seems to encourage tribalism. If you are a member of a group, it is presumed that this membership is passionately important to your identity, or at least that it is a fine and good thing for it to be, if it is. But see, I don't actually think that's a good thing. I don't think group membership outside of things that actually benefit and appeal to you should be that central to anyone's identity. If you identify as something, beyond your family, nation of which you are either/both a citizen or resident, job you actually do, sports team you actually play on, etc., that's fine but it shouldn't be central to your overall personal identity.

Now, I am NOT saying, for example "Stop being so Ethnic/Gay/Trans/Atheist/Disabled and we'll treat you better!" It's just that other people are saying "Be as Ethnic/Gay/Trans/etc. as you can be and go to meetings about how (Whatever) you are and describe your life in explicit terms of your (Whatever) context until they treat you better!" and I'm all like "Gee, I don't know, that doesn't really sound like it will make you a happy person, or the sort of person likely to be allowed in the room when a landmark decision is made to end an injustice. Maybe just be as much of the things that you are as you want to be, and be secure enough in it that the people around you aren't having to constantly validate your identity for you with special terminology, pronouns, etc."
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: wastrel on April 13, 2017, 01:46:55 AM
I am pretty sure I know the answer when it comes to Redamare and Andrew Clunn, but I am curious.  NEKSkeptic, D4M10N, jt512; are you a member of any of the groups that might be considered a minority population, or a population without dominant power, in your culture?

The answer to this in no way invalidates your opinions on any matter, I am just curious if the opposition to cultural appropriation as a concept may correlate in some way to one's relative position in the dominant culture. I posit that one who is within a class/culture that holds a dominant position over others is more likely to perceive cultural appropriation as a non-issue.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Johnny Slick on April 13, 2017, 02:45:08 AM
Seriously, explain intersectionality to me.

I mean, I get the notion that a person can be marginalized in more than one way. I am an Atheist, physically disabled, and suffer from mental illness. And yeah, those things effect each other sometimes. But there's so much more going on in an individual than can be put into some sort of didactic venn diagram of oppression.

Also, it seems to encourage tribalism. If you are a member of a group, it is presumed that this membership is passionately important to your identity, or at least that it is a fine and good thing for it to be, if it is. But see, I don't actually think that's a good thing. I don't think group membership outside of things that actually benefit and appeal to you should be that central to anyone's identity. If you identify as something, beyond your family, nation of which you are either/both a citizen or resident, job you actually do, sports team you actually play on, etc., that's fine but it shouldn't be central to your overall personal identity.

Now, I am NOT saying, for example "Stop being so Ethnic/Gay/Trans/Atheist/Disabled and we'll treat you better!" It's just that other people are saying "Be as Ethnic/Gay/Trans/etc. as you can be and go to meetings about how (Whatever) you are and describe your life in explicit terms of your (Whatever) context until they treat you better!" and I'm all like "Gee, I don't know, that doesn't really sound like it will make you a happy person, or the sort of person likely to be allowed in the room when a landmark decision is made to end an injustice. Maybe just be as much of the things that you are as you want to be, and be secure enough in it that the people around you aren't having to constantly validate your identity for you with special terminology, pronouns, etc."
Not to be the thread police here but this has nothing to do with the conversation that's going on. I'm open to talking about that but not here.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 13, 2017, 05:37:48 AM
I am pretty sure I know the answer when it comes to Redamare and Andrew Clunn, but I am curious.  NEKSkeptic, D4M10N, jt512; are you a member of any of the groups that might be considered a minority population, or a population without dominant power, in your culture?
Yes, I am.   Are you?

The idea that someone's opinion could be given less weight because of the pigment of their skin or their genitalia is abhorrent to me.  I find that question to be insulting, frankly. 
Title: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 08:59:33 AM
I am pretty sure I know the answer when it comes to Redamare and Andrew Clunn, but I am curious.  NEKSkeptic, D4M10N, jt512; are you a member of any of the groups that might be considered a minority population, or a population without dominant power, in your culture?

Sort of gave it away in post #432 (http://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,48481.msg9491145.html#msg9491145) upthread, but yeah. I'm the first in my patrilineal line born in the States, and the first born in an English speaking household. Not that I've ever felt oppressed, really. Class buffers much.


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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 13, 2017, 09:43:39 AM
Nearly all of us are Atheists.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 10:05:53 AM
Nearly all of us are Atheists.

Religious folks are quite welcome and heartily encouraged to appropriate the culture of secularism, though. Secularize away, I say! Roll back the blue laws. Stop giving special privileges to all religions, including Secular Humanism. Relocate religious monuments to private land, deed them over to private parties.

Maybe keep Xmas as a federal holiday, though. We secular folk have appropriated so much of it.



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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 13, 2017, 10:28:11 AM
Maybe keep Xmas as a federal holiday, though. We secular folk have appropriated so much of it.

See atheists who appropriate Christmas are wrong for stealing Christian culture.  Of course the Christians are wrong for stealing pagan culture.  Oh man... it's almost like culture is this nebulous thing that isn't specifically tied to one's lineage because it can be transferred laterally.  That'd be really inconvenient for anyone trying to argue that they own an idea because they share a skin tone with its inventor though.  I mean besides the whole IP restriction on steroids, tribal divisiveness, and hypocrisy issues.
Title: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 02:44:16 PM
The tribalism is what gets me the most. It is difficult to envision how sending the message that white people should stick to doing white people things (no locs, no braids, no hoops, no tribal ink unless it's Celtic) is going to somehow lead to racial reconciliation and equality in the long term. Or anything good, for that matter.

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Title: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 02:45:43 PM
ACCIDENTAL REPOST DELETED
Title: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 02:46:45 PM
ACCIDENTAL REPOST REPOSTED, DELETED

Title: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 02:49:23 PM
But maybe there is an upside to rigorously policing other folks' self-expression.

I'm going to watch that MTV educational video again, just in case.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 13, 2017, 03:50:02 PM
The tribalism is what gets me the most. It is difficult to envision how sending the message that white people should stick to doing white people things (no locs, no braids, no hoops, no tribal ink unless it's Celtic) is going to somehow lead to racial reconciliation and equality in the long term. Or anything good, for that matter.

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Because in order for white folks to think that racial reconciliation is important, people of color have to be nice to them?

Because it's SO important to make sure that white people get to do whatever they want, it doesn't matter if other people get hurt in the process?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: RGU on April 13, 2017, 03:55:40 PM
OK, so I read this whole thread... yes it took forever.
So, in short cultural appropriation is when the Dominate culture "steals" cultural ideas from the Marginalized culture and uses them.
Right?
However, everything I have read appears from a very American (as in USA) view.
Do the people who have an issue with this appropriation also feel the same when it occurs in other countries and what happens when people cross country lines?

For example (using the hoop earrings)
A white girl should not wear them because they belong to Latinas (or black girls, whichever) because the white girl is in the Dominate culture.
So if that white girl moves to Peru, then she is allowed to wear hoop earring as she is no longer Dominate, but now the Marginalized culture.
And the Peruvian girls should stop wearing, i don't know... leggings? You know because that is a white girl thing.
So now that the girl who moved is allowed to wear hoop earrings, if she moves back to the US 10 years later, is she required to give up the hoop earrings again?

What if this girl was born in Peru because her white parents from Detroit lived there and she lived there for 18 years before going to the US. Who's culture is she part of and what does she get to wear?

This whole thing appears needlessly confusing. Especially since those judging the "appropriator" do not know the background of the person.
Title: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 03:56:09 PM
The tribalism is what gets me the most. It is difficult to envision how sending the message that white people should stick to doing white people things (no locs, no braids, no hoops, no tribal ink unless it's Celtic) is going to somehow lead to racial reconciliation and equality in the long term. Or anything good, for that matter.

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Because in order for white folks to think that racial reconciliation is important, people of color have to be nice to them?

Because it's SO important to make sure that white people get to do whatever they want, it doesn't matter if other people get hurt in the process?

No, not because either of those things. Rather, because it reinforces the pernicious idea that people need to stick to their own race/culture instead of branching out and enjoying what others have to offer.

EDIT: Get hurt?

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 13, 2017, 04:00:57 PM
OK, so I read this whole thread... yes it took forever.
So, in short cultural appropriation is when the Dominate culture "steals" cultural ideas from the Marginalized culture and uses them.
Right?
However, everything I have read appears from a very American (as in USA) view.
Do the people who have an issue with this appropriation also feel the same when it occurs in other countries and what happens when people cross country lines?

For example (using the hoop earrings)
A white girl should not wear them because they belong to Latinas (or black girls, whichever) because the white girl is in the Dominate culture.
So if that white girl moves to Peru, then she is allowed to wear hoop earring as she is no longer Dominate, but now the Marginalized culture.
And the Peruvian girls should stop wearing, i don't know... leggings? You know because that is a white girl thing.
So now that the girl who moved is allowed to wear hoop earrings, if she moves back to the US 10 years later, is she required to give up the hoop earrings again?

What if this girl was born in Peru because her white parents from Detroit lived there and she lived there for 18 years before going to the US. Who's culture is she part of and what does she get to wear?

This whole thing appears needlessly confusing. Especially since those judging the "appropriator" do not know the background of the person.

As with all things, context and nuance matter. Also the onus is on the "appropriator," not to do it. If you are insensitively appropriating, as with all social faux pas, you are going to get judged.

Edit: additional thoughts. I am mixed-race. I look white but I am half Indian. I am very aware of the fact that if I wear traditional Indian clothing that I look like I'm appropriating it, even though it is, at some level, authentic to my heritage. That said, choices have to be made. I know how it would look and I don't do it. This is not how everyone *does* or *should* act who is "white-passing," which is an extremely complicated topic in and unto itself. You also have to realize to some extent how you are being seen, but you are also allowed to make authentic choices for yourself. It is, and it is allowed to be nuanced and complicated.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 13, 2017, 04:08:34 PM
The tribalism is what gets me the most. It is difficult to envision how sending the message that white people should stick to doing white people things (no locs, no braids, no hoops, no tribal ink unless it's Celtic) is going to somehow lead to racial reconciliation and equality in the long term. Or anything good, for that matter.

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Because in order for white folks to think that racial reconciliation is important, people of color have to be nice to them?

Because it's SO important to make sure that white people get to do whatever they want, it doesn't matter if other people get hurt in the process?

No, not because either of those things. Rather, because it reinforces the pernicious idea that people need to stick to their own race/culture instead of branching out and enjoying what others have to offer.

EDIT: Get hurt?

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It's pernicious to whom? Cultural appropriation is pernicious to people of color. How are you in a position to say that less harm is perpetuated by the continuation of misappropriated culture because white folks wearing hoops and braids is what... curing racism?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 04:22:41 PM
It should be easy enough to see why it is pernicious to encourage white folks to stick to their own. If the folks at Stormfront are nodding along, you may well be heading down the wrong road. If the norms you are propagating play into the hands of ethno-nationalists, you need to seriously rethink those norms.


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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 13, 2017, 04:30:55 PM
It should be easy enough to see why it is pernicious to encourage white folks to stick to their own. If the folks at Stormfront are nodding along, you may well be heading down the wrong road. If the norms you are propagating play into the hands of ethno-nationalists, you need to seriously rethink those norms.


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Nobody is saying this. People are just telling white folks to stop misappropriating culture.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 04:32:18 PM
How is that substantially different than telling them to stick to white folks' stuff?


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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 13, 2017, 04:50:03 PM
How is that substantially different than telling them to stick to white folks' stuff?


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I don't know how many times we have to explain nuance and context here. By all means support restaurants of other cultures, make friends with people from other cultures, be respectful and go to museums and travel and read. Just don't take things that aren't your culture and parade them around without giving credit in contexts where people of that culture can't do those things because they are oppressed for it. Why is that such a problem? It's a bare minimum of decency and respect. Nobody HAS to be respectful, if you want to be crappy, be crappy.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 04:59:58 PM
Imagine a white woman named (hypothetically) Nikki, who is told by her (hypothetical) black friends where to go to get some braids done on her frizzy red hair. Must she refrain from doing so on pain of being disrespectful and crappy? Asking for a hypothetical friend.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 13, 2017, 05:07:52 PM
Imagine a white woman named (hypothetically) Nikki, who is told by her (hypothetical) black friends where to go to get some braids done on her frizzy red hair. Must she refrain from doing so on pain of being disrespectful and crappy? Asking for a hypothetical friend.

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This scenario is suuuper unlikely, but yes, she should. Her black friends don't speak for the entire black community and she should be aware that going around with her hair in braids is going to be hurtful.

That said, why is the pain of being called disrespctful or crappy such a big deal? Isn't it worse to think that you might actually be hurting someone? Why can't a person err on the side of not being hurtful? Why are people in this thread working so hard to reserve the right for white folks to continue (mis)appropriating culture without being called out on it?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 13, 2017, 05:19:00 PM
Imagine a white woman named (hypothetically) Nikki, who is told by her (hypothetical) black friends where to go to get some braids done on her frizzy red hair. Must she refrain from doing so on pain of being disrespectful and crappy? Asking for a hypothetical friend.

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This scenario is suuuper unlikely, but yes, she should. Her black friends don't speak for the entire black community and she should be aware that going around with her hair in braids is going to be hurtful.

That said, why is the pain of being called disrespctful or crappy such a big deal? Isn't it worse to think that you might actually be hurting someone? Why can't a person err on the side of not being hurtful? Why are people in this thread working so hard to reserve the right for white folks to continue (mis)appropriating culture without being called out on it?

Was about to tell D4M10N that this was a stupid question verging on a straw man.  Then you responded with...  Are you serious?  Like legitimately?  I can't tell if we're being trolled.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 13, 2017, 05:21:44 PM
Imagine a white woman named (hypothetically) Nikki, who is told by her (hypothetical) black friends where to go to get some braids done on her frizzy red hair. Must she refrain from doing so on pain of being disrespectful and crappy? Asking for a hypothetical friend.

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This scenario is suuuper unlikely, but yes, she should. Her black friends don't speak for the entire black community and she should be aware that going around with her hair in braids is going to be hurtful.

That said, why is the pain of being called disrespctful or crappy such a big deal? Isn't it worse to think that you might actually be hurting someone? Why can't a person err on the side of not being hurtful? Why are people in this thread working so hard to reserve the right for white folks to continue (mis)appropriating culture without being called out on it?

Was about to tell D4M10N that this was a stupid question verging on a straw man.  Then you responded with...  Are you serious?  Like legitimately?  I can't tell if we're being trolled.

No, I'm not trolling anyone.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 13, 2017, 05:38:25 PM
Alright.  Then I need to think.  We're coming from such different places here that I'm not sure of where to even establish a common language.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 13, 2017, 06:07:58 PM
Just don't take things that aren't your culture and parade them around without giving credit in contexts where people of that culture can't do those things because they are oppressed for it.

So no hoop earrings.  I repeat, NO hoop earrings.  You must always remember this.  Unless you are Greek. Or Egyptian.  Or Syrian.  Or Iraqi.  But for the rest of you non-Latinas, NO HOOP EARRINGS. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 06:10:47 PM
Her black friends don't speak for the entire black community and she should be aware that going around with her hair in braids is going to be hurtful.

I assume that no one speaks for the entire black community, not even that nice lady from the MTV educational video.

Speaking of people who don't speak for their entire community, here is an alternative view:

https://youtu.be/eGgj9S8XO7k

I would hope that, as skeptics, we can at least agree that it is an empirical question for the social sciences to suss out which view is actually more prevalent in any given community.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 13, 2017, 06:20:48 PM
If you think its about how many people would raise their hands when you ask if it bothers them, Im afraid you are still missing the point.
To pre-empt you follow up:
The point is that a number of people have vocally made their feelings very clear.
You can ignore them and say their feelings dont matter to you if you so wish. But be clear that this is what you are doing and some people may judge you accordingly.
Some.
Probably not even most.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 06:28:52 PM
You haven't bothered to ask whether it brings other people joy, Harry. You are looking at just one small portion of the relevant moral calculus here.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 13, 2017, 06:38:28 PM
And shouldn't there be a determination as to the reasonableness of the objection?  Some people are irrational.  It comes with our humanity. 
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 13, 2017, 06:44:37 PM
And shouldn't there be a determination as to the reasonableness of the objection?  Some people are irrational.  It comes with our humanity.
That really depends on how important the thing in question is to you.
Do your dreads bring you so much joy that its hands down worth it to you to upset other people?
Go for it.
In doing so though you are communicating what you value and people may judge you on that or they may agree with you.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 06:46:21 PM
And shouldn't there be a determination as to the reasonableness of the objection?  Some people are irrational.  It comes with our humanity.
That really depends on how important the thing in question is to you.
Do your dreads bring you so much joy that its hands down worth it to you to upset other people?
Go for it.
In doing so though you are communicating what you value and people may judge you on that or they may agree with you.
Braids might also bring joy (and cash) to the people who helped create them, possibly even PoC. Bigger picture here.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 13, 2017, 06:54:48 PM
And shouldn't there be a determination as to the reasonableness of the objection?  Some people are irrational.  It comes with our humanity.
That really depends on how important the thing in question is to you.
Do your dreads bring you so much joy that its hands down worth it to you to upset other people?
Go for it.
In doing so though you are communicating what you value and people may judge you on that or they may agree with you.
Braids might also bring joy (and cash) to the people who helped create them, possibly even PoC. Bigger picture here.

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As I said. If its worth it to you.

But if you are looking for me to say that its not a reasonable thing for some people to feel raw about and that you arent upsetting people by doing certain things then no, I cant tell you that.
Your appeal to some bigger picture involving money for hairdressers is so weak I dont know where to start with it tbh.
Yeah. Im sure they will be delighted to take your money. You get to take the positives with the negatives. The negatives will still be there.
You seem very thick skinned though so Im sure you will be fine with the terrible persecution.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 07:06:52 PM
I asked whether sharing culture in this way might make some people happy.  You reply by making it about me, personally. I'm basically hairless above the eyebrows, so there isn't really an issue there.

Once again, you are focusing solely on those with raw feelings, and not bothering to ask whether other sorts of people even exist. Almost as if you've prejudged this issue, knowing what conclusion you hope to reach.


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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 13, 2017, 07:18:00 PM
Actually I have not. I was very much against the idea of cultural appropriation not so long ago.
Im using you as a stand in. Replace yourself with any random person if it helps you to read what Im saying.

I answered your question but you seem to have missed it.
Yes. Its possible a person could take great joy from hooped earrings or something like that. It seems unlikely that their joy could be comparable to the feelings that having your culture appropriated can throw up.

I personally dont believe in taking the action that causes the most amount of joy. Its a philosophy that at its far end, tramples upon the rights and happiness of those too small in number to matter.
I dont believe in moral math.
You may. Good on you.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 07:25:21 PM
Whenever I see someone enjoying my culture, I'm happy for them. Wish it was much more common, actually. But maybe you're right. Maybe it causes significant numbers of pther people significant emotional distress. This is, once again, an empirical question.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 13, 2017, 07:39:17 PM
It depends on what you would deem as significant.
I would not be comfortable drawing a line on the other side of which I would tell someone their pain doesnt matter.

Again, you cant really do so without expressing personal values.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 13, 2017, 07:44:08 PM
Sticking with the hoop earring: I dispute that they EVER belonged to Latina Culture in any meaningful way. The fashion is many times older than Spanish Colonialism.

Furthermore, I meet the notion that Hoop earrings were in any way chosen as some kind of deliberate response to or expression of marginalization with skepticism. What's the connection there?

Lastly, all of the relevant connotations of hoop earrings are highly temporary! It only makes sense because they are unfashionable AT THIS PARTICULAR MOMENT. Upper class people picking them up again is HOW the cycle of what's fashionable changes. Saying that we have to freeze it right here is arbitrary.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 07:53:39 PM


I would not be comfortable drawing a line on the other side of which I would tell someone their pain doesnt matter.

Never said it doesn't matter. I've said repeatedly that we have to balance different values against one another, e.g. religious freedom vs. the actual psychic pain of seeing someone blaspheme.




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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: superdave on April 13, 2017, 08:05:02 PM
it used to be that these academic concepts filtered through several sources before hitting the mainstream, but thanks to the internet, they are skipping that filtering process, and I think the net affect is negative.

And this is happening not just in cultural studies but also the harder sciences.  People are able to download and read journal articles and studies without the context they need to understand what they are saying.

This is not to say I don't think cultural appropriation is a problem but I just don't know if as a layperson, I am qualified to use the concept in a meaningful way.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 13, 2017, 08:34:25 PM
it used to be that these academic concepts filtered through several sources before hitting the mainstream, but thanks to the internet, they are skipping that filtering process, and I think the net affect is negative.

And this is happening not just in cultural studies but also the harder sciences.  People are able to download and read journal articles and studies without the context they need to understand what they are saying.

This is not to say I don't think cultural appropriation is a problem but I just don't know if as a layperson, I am qualified to use the concept in a meaningful way.
I do have similar feelings actually.
It would take me some time to gather my thoughts on it and I probably wouldnt have much worth offering though.



I would not be comfortable drawing a line on the other side of which I would tell someone their pain doesnt matter.

Never said it doesn't matter. I've said repeatedly that we have to balance different values against one another, e.g. religious freedom vs. the actual psychic pain of seeing someone blaspheme.




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If you are telling them that their pain is outweighed by someone elses joy, then yes, you are essentially telling them it doesnt matter and saying 'sorrynotsorry'.

Im not really sure what you want from the discussion at this point. You can measure out what you think the balance should be all you like but the people voicing their concerns will still think what they think. The only further productive thing for you to do would be to go and engage them directly.

Redamare,
Clearly hooped earrings were a thing for as long as earrings have been a thing.
Thats not being disputed.
The issue is in how that style was percieved and derided in recent history when it was mostly women of certain demographics wearing them during that period.

The exact same thing has happened in my country with a totally different demographic
That does not invalidate the feelings of women who view a double standard in how they are treated and would prefer if white women did not participate in it for reasons of intersectional solidarity.
Or just so they dont have to have their faces rubbed in how differently they are viewed.

Also- Its not about any one example. Its about a concept and trying to explain more what is not being said at this point. If you have a problem with that specific example, there are loads more in the thread. We dont need to die on that hill.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 13, 2017, 08:41:36 PM
Alright.  Then I need to think.  We're coming from such different places here that I'm not sure of where to even establish a common language.

English is a good start. From there, perhaps think about the idea that someone might have a point, rather than immediately dismissing them because of your preconceived biases.

If everyone was able to do that, we'd be a lot further down the road than we are.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 13, 2017, 08:45:46 PM
Whenever I see someone enjoying my culture, I'm happy for them. Wish it was much more common, actually. But maybe you're right. Maybe it causes significant numbers of pther people significant emotional distress. This is, once again, an empirical question.

"If someone wolf-whistled me in the street, I'd take it as a compliment!"

 ::)
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 08:52:07 PM
Whom are you quoting?

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 13, 2017, 09:12:43 PM
Whom are you quoting?

What's it like to miss the point that hard?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 09:24:05 PM
"Sometimes when I use quotation marks, I'm actually just attributing views to other people in bad faith."

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 13, 2017, 09:37:28 PM
Except its not bad faith because its blatantly obvious that he isnt implying you actually said that.
It does how ever illustrate to you how you are coming cross and what logic you appear to be operating under.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 13, 2017, 10:05:09 PM
I'd like to see this logic spelled out. How exactly is wolf-whilsting analogous to cultural appropriation?

Wanda: I hate it when men wolf-whistle at me.

Mankato: Why is that?

Wanda: It sorta squicks me out. If they are willing to cross that social boundary, who knows what ethcial boundaries they might cross. 

Mankato: Makes sense. Sexual assault is a widespread social problem.

Wanda: I hate it when I see white girls with braids.

Mankato: Why is that?

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 13, 2017, 10:42:28 PM
I think we should all have an attitude of attention and compassion toward the suffering expressed by others.  But I think there's a baseline level of rationality and plausibility we are supposed to reach before these grievances become mainstream etiquette.

I worry that we're in such a hurry to be "woke" that we're skipping that requirement if an idea comes from someone browner than us, or a woman , or in any way uncommon with respect to sex and gender.

And it's not that I'm biased against these groups. Nobody gets to speak for all black people. That means we can't just reduce it to the Most Offended Common Denominator, any more than we can appeal to But My Black Friend Says It's Fine. People deserve rights just because they're people. Demographics, as such, don't deserve anything. They're just abstractions.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 13, 2017, 10:52:00 PM
Hoop earrings are not racial! Poor people are always behind the fashion curve. That's just a fact. Black and Latin people in the US tend to be poor. Also a fact. You will see a lot of white women wearing hoop earrings in trailer parks, too, but no one's calling them fashionable.

Fashion changes as small things are able to be integrated a little bit at a time. When a white woman's hoop earrings are called "fashionable", that doesn't mean she could have pulled off any old pair with any old outfit. It means she did something aesthetically creative with them, that probably doesn't intrinsically depend on her being white. I worked for a while with an ethnically Ethiopian chick from LA who was very fashion oriented and could pull off any pair of earrings you wanted to see anytime she damned well felt like it.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 14, 2017, 04:09:43 AM
I'd like to see this logic spelled out. How exactly is wolf-whilsting analogous to cultural appropriation?
The analogy is between the person who says that wolf-whistling should be taken as a compliment, and the person who says that cultural appropriation should be taken as a compliment. The first is taking something that is offensive, and saying that it shouldn't be offensive. The second is taking something offensive, and saying that it shouldn't be offensive.

See the difference?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Caffiene on April 14, 2017, 04:36:10 AM
The analogy is between the person who says that wolf-whistling should be taken as a compliment, and the person who says that cultural appropriation should be taken as a compliment. The first is taking something that is offensive, and saying that it shouldn't be offensive. The second is taking something offensive, and saying that it shouldn't be offensive.

See the difference?

This is very strange to me. So to be clear, in reference to what he originally posted that you paraphrased, are you saying you believe that it is inherently offensive for somebody to enjoy any part of any culture other than their own?

His original post was that he is happy when he sees somebody enjoying his culture, and I cant find any reasonable interpretation of your phrase "taking something offensive" as referring to anything other than the clause "people enjoying my culture".
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 14, 2017, 04:47:56 AM
The analogy is between the person who says that wolf-whistling should be taken as a compliment, and the person who says that cultural appropriation should be taken as a compliment. The first is taking something that is offensive, and saying that it shouldn't be offensive. The second is taking something offensive, and saying that it shouldn't be offensive.

See the difference?

This is very strange to me. So to be clear, in reference to what he originally posted that you paraphrased, are you saying you believe that it is inherently offensive for somebody to enjoy any part of any culture other than their own?

His original post was that he is happy when he sees somebody enjoying his culture, and I cant find any reasonable interpretation of your phrase "taking something offensive" as referring to anything other than the clause "people enjoying my culture".
I looked for a facepalm gif, but couldn't find a good enough one.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Caffiene on April 14, 2017, 05:22:52 AM
I looked for a facepalm gif, but couldn't find a good enough one.

Thats nice.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 14, 2017, 05:37:08 AM
Answering someones concerns about an action with "well I happen to like it" is absolute bullshit.
It doesnt matter how you think you would feel in their position, they are expressing THEIR concerns.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 14, 2017, 06:04:15 AM

I looked for a facepalm gif, but couldn't find a good enough one.

In other words, "I've got nothing."
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Caffiene on April 14, 2017, 07:07:35 AM
Answering someones concerns about an action with "well I happen to like it" is absolute bullshit.

I dont see where that was his answer to anyones concerns. If anything, the latter half - that we can measure how many people are adversely affected and to what extent, and go from there - is the response to concerns.

"Someones concerns" are no less an anecdote than "I happen to like it", its just feeling vs feeling. If we want to make decisions or judgement based on feelings, it seems the best way to do so would be to start by gathering evidence of what those feelings are on a community-wide or culture-wide level.

As mentioned up-thread, the same statements of offense, upset and concern are made about blasphemy, which is a big part of what leads to blasphemy laws such as Ireland has - do you agree with those laws? If not, how do you reconcile that against the stance here? Id argue that in many ways its very similar - a cultural idea which is taken by others outside the culture and used in a way that devalues/ignores the cultural (religious) context in a way that those in the culture find upsetting and offensive.

Personally Im against the idea of blasphemy laws or even offense at blasphemy in general (its not just about it being a law), and generally in favour of dont-be-a-dick philosophy regarding cultural appropriation, but it makes me uneasy that the two things are conceptually very similar and I havent seen or been able to articulate for myself a good reason as to what separates them.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 14, 2017, 07:28:42 AM
I'd like to see this logic spelled out. How exactly is wolf-whilsting analogous to cultural appropriation?
The analogy is between the person who says that wolf-whistling should be taken as a compliment, and the person who says that cultural appropriation should be taken as a compliment.

Did I say it should be taken a certain way, or are you mispresenting my position again?

Would I like for more people to adopt ideas/hairstyles/jewlery/clothing from different cultures? Yes. It makes me happy to see more cultural diversity without regard to race or ethnicity.

Do I expect other people to feel the same way? No. People don't all have the same experiences and values.

Do I assume that one group should necessarily prevail and enforce their preferred social norms on everyone else? No. We have to figure out which system will do the most good, in general, based on shared human values.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 14, 2017, 07:28:59 AM
So if you and I disagree about what temperature the room should be then that is your feelings versus my feelings and in that case it would matter to quantify who thinks it should be which way.
In the case of me chewing with my mouth open, it doesnt matter what the breakdown is of who it bothers or not. If one person asks me to chew with my mouth shut, I either need to do so or continue being a source of irritation/discomfort to another person.

Thats all this is. Its just that in this case, its never been safe or acceptable for people who have been annoyed by open mouth chewing to speak up and say so, and so those hearing that they have been causing distress feel unreasonably attacked and want to 'prove' that the person complaining is unreasonable or are placing a burden on the complainer to 'prove' that they are reasonable.
That has a veneer of reasonability and skepticism, but its not really how such categories of social issues have ever really worked.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Caffiene on April 14, 2017, 08:10:16 AM
So if you and I disagree about what temperature the room should be then that is your feelings versus my feelings and in that case it would matter to quantify who thinks it should be which way.
In the case of me chewing with my mouth open, it doesnt matter what the breakdown is of who it bothers or not. If one person asks me to chew with my mouth shut, I either need to do so or continue being a source of irritation/discomfort to another person.

I agree with the options you gave. You would be a source of discomfort. But the question is, is it sometimes reasonable to be a source of discomfort? Is it unreasonable to incidentally blaspheme? Some people are offended even by something as simple as the exclamation "Oh my god" - is it inherently unreasonable to say "Oh my god"?

I lean towards agreeing that we should not view it as reasonable to culturally appropriate (is that the verb of cultural appropriation?) in a way that causes distress to people, but I cant hope to justify that idea or consider it well founded if I dont have some level of argument as to why it is true in this case and not in others.

If 1 person in a million hates open-mouth chewing but the other 999,999 people actively enjoy it and want you to do it, is it unreasonable to be a source discomfort for that one in a million? I feel like at some point theres a transition, where more or less people being in favour vs opposed to an idea make a difference to its reasonableness. I dont expect to identify the line, but I want to have an understanding of why a behaviour might transition from reasonable to unreasonable. Unless we are to make a blanket statement that all discomfort is bad or all discomfort is good, we should be able to express that here are some reasons why it falls on one side or the other and here are explanations of why cultural appropriation fits those reasons.

I dont think anyone here has asked the complainant to prove their reasonableness. Even Damion just said that the number of people is an empirical question. A charitable reading, and certainly the way I did phrase it, is that we can measure it empirically. The onus is on us as skeptics if we want a reasonable foundation to argue from and to convince other people is to find evidence to support those arguments. In many ways I believe on a general level that skepticism is about grinding a topic right into the ground to get to a logical foundation, rather than saying "I cant be bothered with that level of detail" and just assuming there are no inconsistencies or logical pitfalls in the details.

(Sorry for the teal deer. It must be getting late, im getting rambley)
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: RGU on April 14, 2017, 08:10:30 AM
OK, so I read this whole thread... yes it took forever.
So, in short cultural appropriation is when the Dominate culture "steals" cultural ideas from the Marginalized culture and uses them.
Right?
However, everything I have read appears from a very American (as in USA) view.
Do the people who have an issue with this appropriation also feel the same when it occurs in other countries and what happens when people cross country lines?

For example (using the hoop earrings)
A white girl should not wear them because they belong to Latinas (or black girls, whichever) because the white girl is in the Dominate culture.
So if that white girl moves to Peru, then she is allowed to wear hoop earring as she is no longer Dominate, but now the Marginalized culture.
And the Peruvian girls should stop wearing, i don't know... leggings? You know because that is a white girl thing.
So now that the girl who moved is allowed to wear hoop earrings, if she moves back to the US 10 years later, is she required to give up the hoop earrings again?

What if this girl was born in Peru because her white parents from Detroit lived there and she lived there for 18 years before going to the US. Who's culture is she part of and what does she get to wear?

This whole thing appears needlessly confusing. Especially since those judging the "appropriator" do not know the background of the person.

As with all things, context and nuance matter. Also the onus is on the "appropriator," not to do it. If you are insensitively appropriating, as with all social faux pas, you are going to get judged.

Edit: additional thoughts. I am mixed-race. I look white but I am half Indian. I am very aware of the fact that if I wear traditional Indian clothing that I look like I'm appropriating it, even though it is, at some level, authentic to my heritage. That said, choices have to be made. I know how it would look and I don't do it. This is not how everyone *does* or *should* act who is "white-passing," which is an extremely complicated topic in and unto itself. You also have to realize to some extent how you are being seen, but you are also allowed to make authentic choices for yourself. It is, and it is allowed to be nuanced and complicated.

I get that this is your choice, however I think it is quite sad that you feel you are not "allowed" to wear Indian styled clothing because you think someone somewhere might see you and be offended. Do you do the same if you travel to India? Would you not wear it because you don't want to hurt someones feelings who thinks "what is this crazy white person doing?" Or, are you allowed to because over there you would be the minority and are now the "victim" of western appropriation which allows you to wear the same clothing you cannot wear in the US, while at the same time you are allowed to get upset by any Indian wearing blue jeans. Do you approach those people and tell them, "Hey I don't wear Indian garb in the US, so you can't wear blue jeans in India".
Don't you think the whole things becomes very ridiculous when you look at it from a worldly view?
I would never tell my daughter, sorry you can do, wear, say that because you don't look enough like your mother...  you came out too white, my bad. Or maybe she is only allowed to do those things in the summer because she looks so much more Hispanic when she is tan, but white in the winter. So she is technically only a Winter Appropriator.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 14, 2017, 08:28:50 AM
Caffeine, do you have reason to believe that the numbers of people in affected groups who feel affected by cultural appropriation are similar to the example you gave?

That seems like a very unlikely ratio to me and I would feel like a dick insisting that people help me to verify to a reasonable standard that it was the case before I took their claim seriously.

If you wanted, you could just do the equivelant of checking left and right for PoCs before telling a slightly racist joke , because afterall, the number of people affected is small.
Or you could just modify general behaviour.
Its ENTIRELY up to you.
Nothing I say will remove the consequences of people making a decision about whether or not you are a dick because of it.
If you really think the numbers are as low as they are for your hypothetical for each and every individual example of appropriation, then go for it.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 14, 2017, 09:04:03 AM
I want a black person to come here and say they don't think white people should wear hoop earrings or certain hairstyles.  Find me somebody who is of the group being offended to come say as much and explain it to us.  That's what I want.  I want to hear it from them.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Caffiene on April 14, 2017, 09:10:40 AM
If you really think the numbers are as low as they are for your hypothetical for each and every individual example of appropriation, then go for it.

Its called an example by hyperbole. I was clearly not saying the numbers are like that. The point of the example is to show that if you agree in that one extreme case, then thats evidence theres a spectrum of cases that may be in between and there is reason to consider how to differentiate parts of that spectrum. Are you making the counter-claim that all situations are fully black or white?

To be blunt, your reason reads to me as essentially "Evaluating is too much effort, so Im just going to act under the assumption that all examples are negative". Thats perfectly valid in terms of a personal strategy that will cause the least distress, but it is also completely invalid as a strategy to convince anybody else to modify their behaviour.

If you are only concerned about your own effects on others and are fine with everyone else appropriating whatever they feel like then you can get away with that strategy, but when discussing moral issues on a forum like this Im not interested in "how should I act" - thats usually pretty obvious. Im interested in "how are my actions justified by reason", and "how can we convince people in general to do the right thing".
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 14, 2017, 09:11:27 AM
This was discussed (http://forum.vof.se/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=20721) on the forum of the Swedish Skeptics Association a few years ago. Roughly everyone but one person in that thread were dismissive of the concept. Below are some examples, translated by me.

Maybe you will conclude that that the Swedish skeptics are more rational than the American skeptics who champion this concept? Maybe not?

Quote
Sounds to my ears as if opponents of cultures mixing have tried to make up a more socially acceptable formulation of their opinions. "Intelligent design" was after all invented when people got their eyes open about how stupid creationism is.

http://forum.vof.se/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=20721#p661326

Quote
It becomes a little absurd when there are those who are priviledged who try to define what "the others" should be upset about.

http://forum.vof.se/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=20721#p661464

Quote
As the early hiphoppers gladly mimiced Kraftwerk, maybe only Germans should be allowed to hiphop? Or possible black people in Bronx who like German music.

On the other hand, Kraftwerk were inspired by soul...

On the third hand much of the soul from the 60s were written by white people (especially the "genuinly black" south state soul from Stax and Muscle Shoals)...

http://forum.vof.se/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=20721#p661581

Quote
I don't think "appropriation" is a fitting word for this. It rather describes "laying claim to", so that the original creators are shut out from their creation henceforth. That one group embraces another group's culture in this way I don't see anything wrong with. You can view it as cultural spreading. The whites laid claim to the land of the Native Americans, but Beastie Boys didn't lay claim to hiphop.

It feels unfair to accuse Miley to be false in her embrace. She might just as well think that twerking is the coolest thing there is.

http://forum.vof.se/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=20721&start=15#p661584

Quote
[In case it isn't clear, this post is written sarcastically.]

The negros who have the rhythm in their blood should be allowed to have their music for themselves, while the white, priviledged middle class should listen to Wagner as the closet-fascist bung they are. To allow the cultural expressions to cross-fertilize each other in both directions? God forbid!

http://forum.vof.se/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=20721&start=15#p661676

Quote
What hits me is that very rarely there are entire peoples or cultures that are under-priviledged. If we take Muslims as an example; there is no shortage of Muslims who are very priviledged in all sorts of ways. And there are Muslims who clearly are non-priviledged.

The same applies to other peoples and religions.

Is it time to start to see offendedness as something that acutally affects real people of meat and blood, not entire peoples or entire groups of people?

http://forum.vof.se/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=20721&start=45#p661937
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 14, 2017, 09:43:24 AM
Caffeine,
I know you were being hyperbolic.
But that kind of ratio is the only one where I would really consider it worth following the kind of approach you are suggesting.
Its not that I think evaluating is too much effort, its that unless the answer turned out to be as extreme as your example, it would not change my approach.
I would say that the questions you are interested in can be addressed separately to this issue and this issue gets obscured by tangeants such as that so I think they are both best dealt with in isolation.

Quetz,
Non of that surprises me. A few years ago I would have been on that side myself. This forum was actually what turned me around on the issue.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 14, 2017, 09:59:03 AM
I don't get why you'd need an extreme ratio, Harry.

Hypothetically, suppose...

⅓ of people from a fictional culture take joy in sharing their distinctive tattoo methods and designs with people from outside of that culture

⅓ of people from said culture feel pained when they see outsiders wearing their distinctive ink

⅓ of people from said culture don't care much one way or another.

Why assume that the second group of people should prevail, when it comes to the construction of a cross-cultural norm regarding this particular cultural practice?



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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: superdave on April 14, 2017, 10:05:59 AM
It's hard to come up with a specific case of injury or harm because the damage caused is nonspecific and thinly spread over an entire population.

Take my original example, Madonna and her pseudo Judaism free form of Kabbalah. 
Divorcing Judaism from the practice denies Madonna a chance to learn more about a culture and their beliefs, thereby denying a chance for her become more tolerant and appreciative of Jewish people. 

It also takes away a chance for Jewish people to be their own messengers.  You lose the most authentic sense of Kabbalah and anything that goes with it, which means important details could be lost.  This trend kind of died, but it's not hard to imagine a situation, had the trend really taken off, where Jewish people learn about Kabbalah without even realizing the roots in their own heritage.  And this means one less chance for someone to feel pride in the contributions of their culture.

So the net effect is that there is more antisemitism, or at least, a lost opportunity for less antisemitism.  But the damage is more in the form of missed opportunities, so they are hard to point out in the same way desecrating a cemetery or drawing a swastika on a synagogue might be.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 14, 2017, 10:25:40 AM
Yes, because if there's anyone who is under represented in the media relative to their population it's the Jews  ::)  Gosh, get over your bullshit persecution complex.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: superdave on April 14, 2017, 10:26:52 AM
Yes, because if there's anyone who is under represented in the media relative to their population it's the Jews  ::)  Gosh, get over your bullshit persecution complex.

If I could give the Black perspective on this, I would.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 14, 2017, 10:42:55 AM
Take my original example, Madonna and her pseudo Judaism free form of Kabbalah. Divorcing Judaism from the practice denies Madonna a chance to learn more about a culture and their beliefs, thereby denying a chance for her become more tolerant and appreciative of Jewish people.

To the extent that Kabbalah becomes part of the public discourse, though, people will be given an opportunity to learn about its origins. A similar process has happened with other westernized practices with Eastern religious roots, e.g. meditative forms of Buddhism and yogic Hinduism. Those who care to delve into historical origins will do so. Some will go much deeper than others, finding a traditional practitioner to give them advanced instruction.

Incidentally, Rabbi Boteach comes off as a bit of a slut-shamer in his takedown of Madonna (http://www.somethingjewish.co.uk/articles/984_perverted_priorities.htm).

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22Madonna+has+been+allowed+to+destroy+the+female+recording+industry%22

Then again, Abrahamic faiths aren't generally keen on liberating women.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 14, 2017, 12:37:55 PM
Isn't there a good argument to be made that Roman (Constantinian) Christianity was basically a huge act of cultural appropriation, with imperial colonizers freely borrowing selected ideas from the oppressed people of Judaea, including those of a particular Jewish rabbi whom they martyred?

Have a Good Friday, everyone. ;)


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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Shibboleth on April 14, 2017, 12:39:13 PM
Isn't there a good argument to be made that Roman (Constantinian) Christianity was basically a huge act of cultural appropriation, with imperial colonizers freely borrowing selected ideas from the oppressed people of Judaea, including those of a particular Jewish rabbi whom they martyred?

Have a Good Friday, everyone. ;)


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Not really. It was already in Rome at the time. I would say the Roman that did that most was Paul.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 14, 2017, 12:43:00 PM
How does that really change anything, though? Paul is like that one black guy that says it's okay to wear dreadlocks. MTV definitively showed that you shouldn't listen to that guy.


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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 14, 2017, 01:05:51 PM
Thats all this is. Its just that in this case, its never been safe or acceptable for people who have been annoyed by open mouth chewing to speak up and say so, and so those hearing that they have been causing distress feel unreasonably attacked and want to 'prove' that the person complaining is unreasonable or are placing a burden on the complainer to 'prove' that they are reasonable.
That has a veneer of reasonability and skepticism, but its not really how such categories of social issues have ever really worked.

This this this this this
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 2397 on April 14, 2017, 01:23:41 PM
Isn't there a good argument to be made that Roman (Constantinian) Christianity was basically a huge act of cultural appropriation, with imperial colonizers freely borrowing selected ideas from the oppressed people of Judaea, including those of a particular Jewish rabbi whom they martyred?

Have a Good Friday, everyone. ;)


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In part. Paul sounds like he was the Joseph Smith of his time, taking established myths, adapting them for the local population and throwing in some stuff to assert his own religious significance.

But I don't think that that really matters, up against the fact that Christianity initiated a real culture war and a cultural invasion, with its monotheism. After Constantine, they did far more than appropriate, they claimed everything.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 14, 2017, 01:44:37 PM
Thats all this is. Its just that in this case, its never been safe or acceptable for people who have been annoyed by open mouth chewing to speak up and say so, and so those hearing that they have been causing distress feel unreasonably attacked and want to 'prove' that the person complaining is unreasonable or are placing a burden on the complainer to 'prove' that they are reasonable.
That has a veneer of reasonability and skepticism, but its not really how such categories of social issues have ever really worked.

This this this this this

New scenario:

So, I'm riding a bicycle around my town and a... let's say Korean person stops me to let me know that bicycles are a Korean expression of their unique cultural hardships, and that by riding one in the context of my white privilege, I am appropriating their culture and being grossly insensitive.

Now, literally none of that is true. This person is confused, for some reason, about the history of bicycles and their relationship to Koreans. Personally, what I would do is politely explain that bicycles have their own long History in my culture that has nothing to do with Koreans, and that anyway bicycles are a tool with a distinct functionality that cannot be quite duplicated by any other mode of conveyance.

What would you (either of you) do?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 14, 2017, 01:53:36 PM
Thats all this is. Its just that in this case, its never been safe or acceptable for people who have been annoyed by open mouth chewing to speak up and say so, and so those hearing that they have been causing distress feel unreasonably attacked and want to 'prove' that the person complaining is unreasonable or are placing a burden on the complainer to 'prove' that they are reasonable.
That has a veneer of reasonability and skepticism, but its not really how such categories of social issues have ever really worked.

This this this this this

New scenario:

So, I'm riding a bicycle around my town and a... let's say Korean person stops me to let me know that bicycles are a Korean expression of their unique cultural hardships, and that by riding one in the context of my white privilege, I am appropriating their culture and being grossly insensitive.

Now, literally none of that is true. This person is confused, for some reason, about the history of bicycles and their relationship to Koreans. Personally, what I would do is politely explain that bicycles have their own long History in my culture that has nothing to do with Koreans, and that anyway bicycles are a tool with a distinct functionality that cannot be quite duplicated by any other mode of conveyance.

What would you (either of you) do?
I would shrug and cycle off because Id assume it was a prank or I was about to get mugged.
If I magically know thats not the case then I would apologise but explain that we live in a society whose infrastructure is built around roads and bikes are an integral part of that which it is not reasonable for us to do without barring massive redesign and financial investment and cost to the environment.

Which would make bikes exactly like hooped earrings I guess.
Dammit. Ive come undone.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 14, 2017, 02:00:36 PM
I'm not saying they are exactly the same, though I think there is more similarity between them than you would care to admit.

My point was to establish that a claim of CA should be A: based on accurate information and B: reasonable to accommodate.

Now we need to figure out where the line is.

As for hoops, while I admit that it is more easily accommodated than the bicycle one, I think it is just as factually confused. Do you disagree?

ETA: Also to make the point that this isn't really about showing "basic respect" to literally anyone who complains.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 14, 2017, 02:05:07 PM
This was discussed (http://forum.vof.se/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=20721) on the forum of the Swedish Skeptics Association a few years ago. Roughly everyone but one person in that thread were dismissive of the concept. Below are some examples, translated by me.

Maybe you will conclude that that the Swedish skeptics are more rational than the American skeptics who champion this concept? Maybe not?

Quote
Sounds to my ears as if opponents of cultures mixing have tried to make up a more socially acceptable formulation of their opinions. "Intelligent design" was after all invented when people got their eyes open about how stupid creationism is.

http://forum.vof.se/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=20721#p661326

Quote
It becomes a little absurd when there are those who are priviledged who try to define what "the others" should be upset about.

http://forum.vof.se/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=20721#p661464

Quote
As the early hiphoppers gladly mimiced Kraftwerk, maybe only Germans should be allowed to hiphop? Or possible black people in Bronx who like German music.

On the other hand, Kraftwerk were inspired by soul...

On the third hand much of the soul from the 60s were written by white people (especially the "genuinly black" south state soul from Stax and Muscle Shoals)...

http://forum.vof.se/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=20721#p661581

Quote
I don't think "appropriation" is a fitting word for this. It rather describes "laying claim to", so that the original creators are shut out from their creation henceforth. That one group embraces another group's culture in this way I don't see anything wrong with. You can view it as cultural spreading. The whites laid claim to the land of the Native Americans, but Beastie Boys didn't lay claim to hiphop.

It feels unfair to accuse Miley to be false in her embrace. She might just as well think that twerking is the coolest thing there is.

http://forum.vof.se/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=20721&start=15#p661584

Quote
[In case it isn't clear, this post is written sarcastically.]

The negros who have the rhythm in their blood should be allowed to have their music for themselves, while the white, priviledged middle class should listen to Wagner as the closet-fascist bung they are. To allow the cultural expressions to cross-fertilize each other in both directions? God forbid!

http://forum.vof.se/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=20721&start=15#p661676

Quote
What hits me is that very rarely there are entire peoples or cultures that are under-priviledged. If we take Muslims as an example; there is no shortage of Muslims who are very priviledged in all sorts of ways. And there are Muslims who clearly are non-priviledged.

The same applies to other peoples and religions.

Is it time to start to see offendedness as something that acutally affects real people of meat and blood, not entire peoples or entire groups of people?

http://forum.vof.se/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=20721&start=45#p661937

So people agree or disagree with these sentiments?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: RGU on April 14, 2017, 02:05:38 PM
Thats all this is. Its just that in this case, its never been safe or acceptable for people who have been annoyed by open mouth chewing to speak up and say so, and so those hearing that they have been causing distress feel unreasonably attacked and want to 'prove' that the person complaining is unreasonable or are placing a burden on the complainer to 'prove' that they are reasonable.
That has a veneer of reasonability and skepticism, but its not really how such categories of social issues have ever really worked.

This this this this this


New scenario:

So, I'm riding a bicycle around my town and a... let's say Korean person stops me to let me know that bicycles are a Korean expression of their unique cultural hardships, and that by riding one in the context of my white privilege, I am appropriating their culture and being grossly insensitive.

Now, literally none of that is true. This person is confused, for some reason, about the history of bicycles and their relationship to Koreans. Personally, what I would do is politely explain that bicycles have their own long History in my culture that has nothing to do with Koreans, and that anyway bicycles are a tool with a distinct functionality that cannot be quite duplicated by any other mode of conveyance.

What would you (either of you) do?

I'd laugh as I couldn't believe he was being serious.
Then, I might inform him that if he feels that way then he best stop everyone he knows in Korea from driving cars because that is an American thing. Hopefully he would see how silly he is being.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 14, 2017, 02:12:40 PM
I'm not saying they are exactly the same, though I think there is more similarity between them than you would care to admit.

My point was to establish that a claim of CA should be A: based on accurate information and B: reasonable to accommodate.

Now we need to figure out where the line is.

As for hoops, while I admit that it is more easily accommodated than the bicycle one, I think it is just as factually confused. Do you disagree?

ETA: Also to make the point that this isn't really about showing "basic respect" to literally anyone who complains.
You may note that I did not address the accuracy. Only the reasonability of accomadation.
 
So I disagree we are where you say we are with regards to finding a line. Because it actually is about showing respect. My answer in no way invalidates that.

But just in case its where this is going- I will not be answering on more glhypotheticals to help people find any lines (which would be pointless as they would be my lines only)

Quetz, I did address your post.
I do disagree mostly. Pretty much all of those points have been addressed already in this thread.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 14, 2017, 02:21:08 PM

But just in case its where this is going- I will not be answering on more glhypotheticals to help people find any lines (which would be pointless as they would be my lines only)

Does this really seem reasonable to you? To even come right out and admit that you are swearing off hypotheticals "just in case" it goes in a direction not favorable to your position?

I like you, Harry, but that's not intellectually honest behavior. That's...really awful, in fact.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 14, 2017, 02:39:59 PM
But just in case its where this is going- I will not be answering on more glhypotheticals to help people find any lines (which would be pointless as they would be my lines only)

Does this really seem reasonable to you? To even come right out and admit that you are swearing off hypotheticals "just in case" it goes in a direction not favorable to your position?

I like you, Harry, but that's not intellectually honest behavior. That's...really awful, in fact.
That is not why.
There are a couple of reasons:
1- The thought of jumping through various hoops thrown up by people trying to find a line (the concept of which I disagree with) is mind numbing. Its not how I want to spemd my time.

2- As stated, I disagree with your premise. Why would I tacitly accept it by agreeing to what you are suggesting.

3-As I said, any line we find would be my line only. It would not be representative of anyone else, let alone the people affected by cultural appropriation.

4-It would be ridiculous for me to accept the position of someone who can have any influence over the concept or detract from the legitimacy of the claims people may make with regard to it. I dont have that power, that level of knowledge or that right. All I can do is correct basic misconceptions, which is what this thread has mostly been.

I knew I would regret answering your first hypothetical but I did not want to be immediately dismissive because I see us as friends and these conversations can make it hard for people to tell if the other side has forgotten that or not.

I will say though that its amazing how much the principle of charity gets applied to the likes of Spicer and Trump on here but I make one post that requires elaboration and Im chided for intellectual dishonesty when you have known me for years.
I know you personally have not been fighting their corner so to speak, it just felt weird to have you accuse me of that so early.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 14, 2017, 02:41:13 PM
But just in case its where this is going- I will not be answering on more glhypotheticals to help people find any lines (which would be pointless as they would be my lines only)

Does this really seem reasonable to you? To even come right out and admit that you are swearing off hypotheticals "just in case" it goes in a direction not favorable to your position?

I like you, Harry, but that's not intellectually honest behavior. That's...really awful, in fact.

It is unreasonable and intellectually dishonest to pose absurd hypotheticals. It comes off as an attempt to bend the original premise into a strawman.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 14, 2017, 04:01:43 PM
Look, I think you two are confused, and I know one of us has to be.

Hypotheticals of this sort can help me figure out what you are saying and what you aren't saying.

What I'm trying to figure out right now is to what extent, according to your standards, a claim of CA needs to conform to the facts.

And this "You can do what you like, I guess, as long as you understand you're upsetting people.." business rubs me the wrong way, I must say. We've established that upset people are upset. Using it as if it were an argument feels condescending to me, and also seems like hiding behind indignation rather than confronting morally salient facts.

Sometimes people feel frustrated about things, but that doesn't necessarily mean their feelings are manifesting in a legitimate way. Trust me, I work for the Postal Service. I see illegitimate anger all the time.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 14, 2017, 04:49:12 PM
I thought I might get an apology but no worries.

The thing is that I personally am not making any argument other than to address what I see as misconceptions of the concept we are discussing and to say that yes, the only thing to acknowledge is that you may be upsetting some people and not everyone thinks thats cool.

I dont see anything else that needs to be confronted. I dont know what we would be debating. I really think its just a difference of values.
But if you want to discuss the legitimacy of peoples feelings in more detail then you will have to take it up with them because the people in question have enough shit with having their versions of events questioned and dismissed (like the approach many of us had to police violence until good phone cameras were a thing) without someone like me misrepresenting them and being used as a stand in so that someone can detract from their credibility even more.
I know you, I know thats nowhere near a goal you have but I feel like thats what would be happening regardless and Im choosing to decline.
If you want to think its because Im scared my mind will change and I will suddenly...fit in with everyone around me irl? Then thats fine. Im not going to do a Marty McFly and come running back just because you called me chicken.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 14, 2017, 05:51:26 PM
I do apologize for any offense I have given.

I guess I still am struggling with your position. If I were to say "Well, it doesn't matter if the grievance about hoops is based entirely on confusion. The important thing is that these people are upset and the decent thing would be to not antagonize them I their distress." that would have repercussions that would compromise my whole moral philosophy."

Imagine if we said that about anti-vax moms?  How do we stop people from just trolling by pretending to think something ahistorical and kicking up a fuss about it?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 14, 2017, 06:10:30 PM
The stakes are different though.
Children wont die if my sister doesnt wesr hooped earrings.
She wont be denied earrings in general if she chooses not to wesr that style, just as I wont go unclothed just because I choose not to wear a shirt insulting religious people.

If we indulge anti-vaxxers then people die. Not so with >insert cultural appropriation case that has been raised<
If the very worst risk you run is that of indulging a troll then I think its probably fine.
Its also a similar argument to the trans people in bathrooms (logically, not morally) whereby people are so worried about the edge case who might be faking that they want to deny an entire demographic a thing that is very important to them.

This reminds me somewhat of a conversation I had with a close friend yesterday who is more experienced in these issues than myself.
I expressed concern that a certain person was getting a double standard for a certain shitty thing she did because she was black. I was worried that it was the thing people who criticise libs always warn about- A dangerous echo chamber with no recourse to logic.

My friend had not heard of the issue so I went looking for the story and in vetting it before sending, I realised that the people with the sycophantic take were literally just one outlet. And even that was given with lots of asterisks. I realised that I had conflated one outlet with a movement and that this woman actually had been taken to task.

My point is- I think the reality of how and when CA gets brought up and what people want 'enforced' may not be as bad as you seem to think. I dont think there is a risk to freedom here.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 14, 2017, 06:32:18 PM
It's not like there isn't any downside to telling white folks to stay in their own cultural lane, though. Ethno-nationalism (which I assume we all recognize as a threat) is grounded on that ethos.

Anyhow, here is another non-hypothetical: https://www.google.com/search?q=Mehendi+art&client=ms-android-att-us&prmd=ivn&source=lnms&tbm=isch

After the white girls trade in their hoop earrings, should they also stop doing this?

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 14, 2017, 06:52:47 PM

I looked for a facepalm gif, but couldn't find a good enough one.

In other words, "I've got nothing."

Be sure not to mistake "I decline to engage with your crappy argument" for "I concede defeat".
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 14, 2017, 07:01:34 PM
Look, guys, it's very simple. So simple, in fact, that it is utterly stunning to me how and why some people might fail to understand it.

It's about not being a dick to other people.

If someone doesn't like something you are doing, you can either stop doing it - in which case that person won't think that you are a dick, or you can continue doing it - in which case that person will think you are a dick.

If you don't care that they think you are a dick, then by all means keep doing that thing. But that person is then likely to tell other people what a dick you are, and soon you'll get a reputation as a dick, and no-one will like you.

For example, I already don't like people who think it's okay to be a dick. I don't think it's worth engaging with them or their arguments.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 14, 2017, 07:19:12 PM


If someone doesn't like something you are doing, you can either stop doing it - in which case that person won't think that you are a dick, or you can continue doing it - in which case that person will think you are a dick.

I don't like these sorts of posts.

Please stop doing it.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 14, 2017, 07:31:54 PM


If someone doesn't like something you are doing, you can either stop doing it - in which case that person won't think that you are a dick, or you can continue doing it - in which case that person will think you are a dick.

I don't like these sorts of posts.

Please stop doing it.

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See, now I think you're just being a dick.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 14, 2017, 07:37:14 PM
Back at you. Now stop.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 14, 2017, 07:38:04 PM
Look, guys, it's very simple. So simple, in fact, that it is utterly stunning to me how and why some people might fail to understand it.

It's about not being a dick to other people.

If someone doesn't like something you are doing, you can either stop doing it - in which case that person won't think that you are a dick, or you can continue doing it - in which case that person will think you are a dick.

If you don't care that they think you are a dick, then by all means keep doing that thing. But that person is then likely to tell other people what a dick you are, and soon you'll get a reputation as a dick, and no-one will like you.

For example, I already don't like people who think it's okay to be a dick. I don't think it's worth engaging with them or their arguments.

This isn't what I am talking about. It's a tautology: if you upset people, those people will be upset.

There are people close to me who are upset that I don't believe in God. Half of my country is upset that I am Liberal. Presumably you wouldn't make that sort of statement if we were discussing these issues?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 14, 2017, 07:39:54 PM
Look, guys, it's very simple. So simple, in fact, that it is utterly stunning to me how and why some people might fail to understand it.

It's about not being a dick to other people.

If someone doesn't like something you are doing, you can either stop doing it - in which case that person won't think that you are a dick, or you can continue doing it - in which case that person will think you are a dick.

If you don't care that they think you are a dick, then by all means keep doing that thing. But that person is then likely to tell other people what a dick you are, and soon you'll get a reputation as a dick, and no-one will like you.

For example, I already don't like people who think it's okay to be a dick. I don't think it's worth engaging with them or their arguments.

This isn't what I am talking about. It's a tautology: if you upset people, those people will be upset.

There are people close to me who are upset that I don't believe in God. Half of my country is upset that I am Liberal. Presumably you wouldn't make that sort of statement if we were discussing these issues?
Wow, you've got me there.

In a different discussion I might make a different statement. Gosh, that was hard.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 14, 2017, 07:55:26 PM
A different statement, in defiance of the general principle you've put forth here.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 14, 2017, 08:07:57 PM
In order to make it an analogous statement you would have to modify it somewhat. If you, an atheist, were going up to religious people and telling them that they're delusional, then that would make you a dick. For Redamare's suggestion to be analogous, you would have to be offending black people simply by being white.

See the difference? People getting offended at you simply existing while atheist is not the same thing as people getting offended at you for taking their stuff and claiming it as your own. Hence, different discussion and different statement.

And before you ask, yes, people who get offended at your mere existence are also dicks. But that's not the discussion. That's a different discussion.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: The Latinist on April 14, 2017, 08:15:52 PM
Look, guys, it's very simple. So simple, in fact, that it is utterly stunning to me how and why some people might fail to understand it.

It's about not being a dick to other people.

If someone doesn't like something you are doing, you can either stop doing it - in which case that person won't think that you are a dick, or you can continue doing it - in which case that person will think you are a dick.

If you don't care that they think you are a dick, then by all means keep doing that thing. But that person is then likely to tell other people what a dick you are, and soon you'll get a reputation as a dick, and no-one will like you.

For example, I already don't like people who think it's okay to be a dick. I don't think it's worth engaging with them or their arguments.

This isn't what I am talking about. It's a tautology: if you upset people, those people will be upset.

There are people close to me who are upset that I don't believe in God. Half of my country is upset that I am Liberal. Presumably you wouldn't make that sort of statement if we were discussing these issues?

As I said earlier, Red, its about balancing harms.  There are causes worth offending or otherwise harming other people over, and You have to decide which those are for you.  But don't be surprised if people think you're a dick if you judge your disappointment in forgoing that killer "tribal" tat over the offense you cause the man whose life story you've stolen in the name of fashion.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 14, 2017, 08:19:40 PM
I wasn't aware that (pseudo)tribal tats conveyed a life story. This is a new wrinkle indeed, akin to stolen valor.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 14, 2017, 08:40:56 PM
"I refuse to talk in hypotheticals" is a never-fails hallmark of somebody with an irrational position. Hypotheticals are a wonderful way to explore any subject dealing in ethics and philosophy; refusal to answer hypotheticals means that one knows their position will be turned into swiss cheese by answering them.

Having stepped back from this thread, I really appreciate those on both "sides" who are conversing politely, it's a really interesting and important discussion.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: NEKSkeptic on April 14, 2017, 08:53:27 PM
"I refuse to talk in hypotheticals" is a never-fails hallmark of somebody with an irrational position. Hypotheticals are a wonderful way to explore any subject dealing in ethics and philosophy;

Socrates would agree.   
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 14, 2017, 08:56:16 PM
"I refuse to talk in hypotheticals" is a never-fails hallmark of somebody with an irrational position. Hypotheticals are a wonderful way to explore any subject dealing in ethics and philosophy;

Socrates would agree.

I'm a sucker for the ancient Greeks, for sure--though I consider myself a bit more a Plato person.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 14, 2017, 09:14:30 PM
I wasn't aware that (pseudo)tribal tats conveyed a life story. This is a new wrinkle indeed, akin to stolen valor.

There are more parallels between cultural appropriation and stolen valor that you might not have considered.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 14, 2017, 09:27:38 PM
Do tell.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 14, 2017, 10:18:18 PM
(which would be pointless as they would be my lines only)

been thinking about this bit for a while...

What is it you think I'm bringing to this? I'm nobody all that special, really. I don't even have a bachelor's degree. I can't expect to touch the mind of God through this forum. I sure hope you aren't, either.

I hear things, politically, that come from what I have always considered my own side, that make me say to myself, "one of us is missing something. I know what it sounds like they're missing from my point of view. I don't know what I am missing, because I am missing it by definition. I need to discuss this with other people until I can see enough to decide."

Granted this is tacit in any debate. But it's so salient here, because I'm not trying to rebel. I'm not wishing to cozy up to "Team Trump". I want to feel like this is my in-group, even though I am more ambivalent than most toward group/tribe thinking. But I can't just allow myself to be swallowed up by groupthink. I have to do my best to be a little organelle that filters out bullshit, because that is what we try to be in this community.

The only place I can look for answers is into the minds of other people. This is one of the least shitty places to do that on the whole damned internet.  But I can't go looking for someone smart enough to just tell me what to think. That doesn't resolve the problem. I have to throw ideas into the minds of whoever is willing to engage in this exercise and see what bounces back. You'll do, Harry.

And stay away from people who tell you that your thoughts on some things don't count. They aren't your friends. Yes, you have your own context, but you also have an incredible organ that can learn and imagine and improve itself by discipline and knowledge. The ideologies that have the gall to disdain such a treasure are everywhere, hiding in plain sight.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 14, 2017, 10:34:29 PM
I wasn't aware that (pseudo)tribal tats conveyed a life story. This is a new wrinkle indeed, akin to stolen valor.

There are more parallels between cultural appropriation and stolen valor that you might not have considered.
It's the whole crux of the Native American headdress issue, for example.

No, Arth, I don't think that all examples of cultural appropriation are equivalent to being offended by my existence.
 
But there's got to be a definition for "cultural appropriation" that includes things like the Headdress but pointedly excludes things like the hoops. We can't permit things to be simply made up.

Unless, that is, anyone here wants to argue that I didn't succeed in making the point that it was an idiotic example earlier in the thread. I've noticed no one has explicitly defended it since, but neither has anyone conceded the point.

ETA:Being an atheist is apt because I, a male who will never wear hoop earrings in his life, married to a woman who will never wear anything other than two studs in each ear for the rest of hers, in all apparent likelihood, am still being offensive merely by believing that this is bullshit. And don't forget the whole bit about I'm an astampcollecting, acomicreading, nonorphanadopter, and we don't have interest groups for that. Bald is not a hair color, right? "Atheist" isn't a thing, it's a nonthing. It often entails being offensive merely by believing that this is bullshit.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 14, 2017, 11:07:44 PM
Some good thoughts there, Red. Nicely said.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 14, 2017, 11:53:23 PM
Thank you. Hope your good opinion survived my editing.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 15, 2017, 12:09:14 AM
Thank you. Hope your good opinion survived my editing.

Nope, now I hate you and disregard all of your ideas due to your lack of philately.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 15, 2017, 12:18:54 AM
Do you habitually collect anything you handle as part of your work?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 15, 2017, 12:21:35 AM
Do you habitually collect anything you handle as part of your work?

The long-lingering memory of various bodily fluids.  :zombie:
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 15, 2017, 04:33:53 PM
To sum up the thread.

"White people should stick to white people things, because feels."

(Wow, that fake quotes thing is sort of fun after all.)

Nevermind that we are reinforcing ideas of racial purity from the alt-right. No way this will end badly.



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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 15, 2017, 04:46:15 PM
To sum up the thread.

"White people should stick to white people things, because feels."

(Wow, that fake quotes thing is sort of fun after all.)

Nevermind that we are reinforcing ideas of racial purity from the alt-right. No way this will end badly.

Come on man, don't stoop to their level.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 15, 2017, 05:10:37 PM
He's appropriating their strategy!
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 15, 2017, 05:26:56 PM
Why don't we let the other side of the discussion come back and have their say again before we continue with any more cheerleading?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 15, 2017, 05:31:44 PM
Fair enough, Red. I doubt whether anyone on that "side" would even admit that we are balancing goods and harms on both sides of the ledger, though.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 15, 2017, 05:33:22 PM
Why don't we let the other side of the discussion come back and have their say again before we continue with any more cheerleading?

Speaking for myself, I tried that.  Hell you came into this thread saying cultural appropriation was legit, but because you didn't agree completely with the hard liners they turned on you.  Fuck'em.  They're stupid.  Doesn't mean they're wrong.  Maybe there is an intelligent argument to be made for their "side" but they clearly aren't going to be the ones to make it.  So I'm gonna laugh because that's all they're good for.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 15, 2017, 09:21:57 PM
Do tell.
Allow me to "tell" through the method of Socratic questioning.

What about stolen valor offends you?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 15, 2017, 09:23:54 PM
But there's got to be a definition for "cultural appropriation" that includes things like the Headdress but pointedly excludes things like the hoops.
Exactly what is the difference? How can you tell the difference between two random hypothetical examples?

We can't permit things to be simply made up.
Who gets to decide what is "made up" and what isn't?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 15, 2017, 09:49:39 PM
If all you do is ask questions in response to other people's questions, then what is your favorite color?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 15, 2017, 09:53:01 PM
If all you do is ask questions in response to other people's questions, then what is your favorite color?

What does that have to do with the subject at hand? And haven't you heard of Socratic questioning?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 15, 2017, 10:11:43 PM
Do tell.
Allow me to "tell" through the method of Socratic questioning.

What about stolen valor offends you?

I wouldn't say it's offensive, but it can be deceptive. If a 10-y.o. pins on some jump wings, no one is going to assume they earned them. If an adult in uniform puts them on, they are knowingly creating an impression, which is either true or false.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 15, 2017, 10:16:43 PM
We can't permit things to be simply made up.
Who gets to decide what is "made up" and what isn't?

Is that a serious question? This is a skeptic forum. Exposing made-up ideas is literally all we do.

All of these claims of CA depend on facts about the world. If the underlying facts are false, then it's made up. This is not a matter of opinion.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Andrew Clunn on April 15, 2017, 11:48:52 PM
If all you do is ask questions in response to other people's questions, then what is your favorite color?

What does that have to do with the subject at hand? And haven't you heard of Socratic questioning?

I have, and it's not applicable in a situation where people are accused of false quoting or strawmanning when they attempt to fill in the gaps for a side that refuses to defend their own position.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 16, 2017, 05:06:21 AM
Do tell.
Allow me to "tell" through the method of Socratic questioning.

What about stolen valor offends you?

I wouldn't say it's offensive, but it can be deceptive. If a 10-y.o. pins on some jump wings, no one is going to assume they earned them. If an adult in uniform puts them on, they are knowingly creating an impression, which is either true or false.

So would a person wearing a Native American headdress be also knowingly creating an impression that is either true or false? Especially if you can't tell their ancestry by simple appearances alone? A person of Western European descent could be creating a false impression that they are of Native American descent. Do you agree that that would be deceptive?

There is also an aspect of stolen valour that you have ignored - that a person may be wearing military honours that they have not earned. That disrespects those who have earned those honours, and devalues the honours themselves. That's the reason that stolen valour is offensive, which you do not appear to acknowledge.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 16, 2017, 10:41:41 AM
Do tell.
Allow me to "tell" through the method of Socratic questioning.

What about stolen valor offends you?

I wouldn't say it's offensive, but it can be deceptive. If a 10-y.o. pins on some jump wings, no one is going to assume they earned them. If an adult in uniform puts them on, they are knowingly creating an impression, which is either true or false.

So would a person wearing a Native American headdress be also knowingly creating an impression that is either true or false? Especially if you can't tell their ancestry by simple appearances alone? A person of Western European descent could be creating a false impression that they are of Native American descent. Do you agree that that would be deceptive?


Under some circumstances, it may well be.

Italian-American actor Espera Oscar de Corti AKA "Iron Eyes Cody" comes to mind here, though he is a bit of an exceptional case.

By way of contrast, no one thought Christina Fallin was laying claim to significant Native ancestry, when she had that big headdress kerfuffle awhile back.

There is also an aspect of stolen valour that you have ignored - that a person may be wearing military honours that they have not earned. That disrespects those who have earned those honours, and devalues the honours themselves. That's the reason that stolen valour is offensive, which you do not appear to acknowledge.

It isn't quite clear to me how the deception devalues the honors themselves. I know what I had to do to earn my jump wings, seeing someone else wearing a pair isn't going to change that.

The real problem is that if enough people choose to be deceptive by wearing symbols of achievement which don't match their actual achievements, the symbols will start to lose their utility as such—no longer reliably conveying a message about the wearer.



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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 16, 2017, 01:34:26 PM
"I refuse to talk in hypotheticals" is a never-fails hallmark of somebody with an irrational position. Hypotheticals are a wonderful way to explore any subject dealing in ethics and philosophy; refusal to answer hypotheticals means that one knows their position will be turned into swiss cheese by answering them.

Having stepped back from this thread, I really appreciate those on both "sides" who are conversing politely, it's a really interesting and important discussion.

There's a difference between refusing to talk in hypotheticals and giving up on a conversation where the hypotheticals are such extreme examples presented as though they aren't that it seriously degrades the integrity of the discussion.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 16, 2017, 02:35:02 PM
If you take issue with the analogy a hypothetical attempts to draw, it is a simple matter to explain why the analogy breaks down, or to give a counter example. A hypothetical isn't some magic debate cheat code meant to leave the other side helpless and confused. It's just a tool of expression.

No one here is trying to trick anyone.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 16, 2017, 06:58:30 PM
If you take issue with the analogy a hypothetical attempts to draw, it is a simple matter to explain why the analogy breaks down, or to give a counter example. A hypothetical isn't some magic debate cheat code meant to leave the other side helpless and confused. It's just a tool of expression.

No one here is trying to trick anyone.

Agreed: if you have an issue with an idea, say so.

I'm perfectly happy knowing that those with more extreme views on CA aren't going to be persuaded that any example is ethically acceptable, and those on that side should be perfectly happy knowing that some of us feel like much (if not most) CA is just a normal part of cultural interaction, and shouldn't be avoided (though discussing which specific examples should be avoided could be an interesting topic).

There's no debate to "win," here--just some different ideas that I'd love to see explored deeper. It's disappointing that a few folks seem to take exception to having their ideas probed or criticized, as if for some reason we shouldn't be picking apart each other's opinions for consistency and rationality.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 16, 2017, 10:18:34 PM
It isn't quite clear to me how the deception devalues the honors themselves. I know what I had to do to earn my jump wings, seeing someone else wearing a pair isn't going to change that.

You don't see how allowing just anyone to slap a pair of jump wings on a bomber jacket devalues the work you did to achieve them? Why did you do all you did in order to get your jump wings, if you could have just bought a set at a flea market?

Would you feel the same if instead of jump wings we were talking about a Purple Heart?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 16, 2017, 10:30:59 PM
You *can* just buy a pair at a flew market. The sense of pride comes from knowing you earned them.

Anyone can lie about their achievements: on a résumé, at a singles bar, with a uniform, etc. No one who lies that way can feel the pride of achievement, of course.

I'm happy to condemn people for self-serving deception, pretty much of the time. But rather few of the examples of cultural appropriation given in this thread so far even begin to edge into that category.



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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 16, 2017, 10:35:59 PM
You *can* just buy a pair at a flew market. The sense of pride comes from knowing you earned them.

And what about the Purple Heart? The Congressional Medal of Honour? How would you feel about someone wearing one of those that you knew they hadn't earned? Would you really just shrug?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 16, 2017, 10:43:39 PM
I happen not to strongly care about stolen valor, either, on a personal level. That said, I can easily see that it's a bad thing which ought to be condemned.

It's poor taste for someone not of that culture to wear the headdress, which represents accomplishment and esteem that must be earned in their own context. But again, that is based on true facts about the history of the headdress and its role in native culture, to say nothing of the historical relationship between natives and Western settlers.

The gripe about hoops lacks that provenance.

I tend to think people are entitled to pretty much whatever feelings they happen to feel. But once I'm being asked to change my behavior because of those feelings, there needs to be something there. And where I might be tolerant of an individual with irrational feelings, I can't accept that as a "rule" of broad applicability to a whole demographic. Indulging an irrational person may be an act of patience, but these kinds of ideas are supposed to be vetted before they are granted scope over whole communities.

Arth, in all seriousness, why is that a controversial position?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 16, 2017, 10:45:31 PM



And what about the Purple Heart? The Congressional Medal of Honour? How would you feel about someone wearing one of those that you knew they hadn't earned? Would you really just shrug?

How could I even know that? I've never been wounded in battle.

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.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 16, 2017, 10:56:52 PM
I don't know that the deception needs to be deliberate to be insensitive. I'm in favor of being sensitive. I just don't think we should be pressured into "sensitivity" toward imaginary harms.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 16, 2017, 10:59:33 PM
The deception angle does seem to clearly separate CA from stolen valor, imo.

There was that lady that isn't African-American yet presented herself as such and held a position in the NAACP...  but if she considers herself to be culturally black, who am I to say she's not?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 16, 2017, 11:05:24 PM
I happen not to strongly care about stolen valor, either, on a personal level. That said, I can easily see that it's a bad thing which ought to be condemned.

It's poor taste for someone not of that culture to wear the headdress, which represents accomplishment and esteem that must be earned in their own context. But again, that is based on true facts about the history of the headdress and its role in native culture, to say nothing of the historical relationship between natives and Western settlers.

The gripe about hoops lacks that provenance.

I tend to think people are entitled to pretty much whatever feelings they happen to feel. But once I'm being asked to change my behavior because of those feelings, there needs to be something there. And where I might be tolerant of an individual with irrational feelings, I can't accept that as a "rule" of broad applicability to a whole demographic. Indulging an irrational person may be an act of patience, but these kinds of ideas are supposed to be vetted before they are granted scope over whole communities.

Arth, in all seriousness, why is that a controversial position?
I wouldn't say it's a controversial position. It's a selfish position. You're saying that your feelings are more important than someone else's - that their feelings aren't sufficient reason to change your behaviour. And yet, they should simply deal with whatever your feelings are about a subject. Essentially, you're saying that your opinions are far more important than their feelings.

For me, in contrast, if someone says that something I did offended them, I take that as sufficient reason for me not to do that thing in the future. I don't care why they are offended, and I don't need data-supported, peer-reviewed evidence to prove that they are offended or that the thing I did is generally offensive. If I offend someone, I apologise to them and change my behaviour so that I don't do it again in the future.

You, on the other hand, when someone says they are offended, respond by shrugging and saying "Why the hell should I care? That's your problem."

And what about the Purple Heart? The Congressional Medal of Honour? How would you feel about someone wearing one of those that you knew they hadn't earned? Would you really just shrug?
How could I even know that? I've never been wounded in battle.
Huh? I didn't ask you whether you had been wounded in battle, I asked you how you responded if you found out that someone who had never been wounded in battle was wearing a Purple Heart.

Would you wear a Purple Heart? If not, why not?

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.

And to forestall your next argument about the hoops. Yeah - ignore that one. It's stupid. Focus on the ones that actually matter, and don't let the wild, ridiculous extremes guide your view of the broad range of the subject. Just because one specific example is stupid doesn't mean that the entire concept is. If you're having trouble distinguishing between examples that are stupid and examples that are not, ask yourself this: Does it seem stupid? If yes, it probably is.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 16, 2017, 11:11:22 PM
I wouldn't say it's a controversial position. It's a selfish position. You're saying that your feelings are more important than someone else's - that their feelings aren't sufficient reason to change your behaviour. And yet, they should simply deal with whatever your feelings are about a subject. Essentially, you're saying that your opinions are far more important than their feelings.

I disagree--I think it's that our feelings our equal. You're asking me to not wear hoop earrings... why? Is your feeling more important than mine? I think one should have to make a case in order for me to not do something I want to do and see no harm in.

A person saying "don't wear [fashion thing] because I say it's CA" is not enough for me. If it's enough for you, cool--I think you're giving too much credit to emotional reactions, but I don't fault you. I DO fault somebody for saying I'm a dick for rejecting a request for me to stop doing something I like without explaining why.

Quote
And to forestall your next argument about the hoops. Yeah - ignore that one. It's stupid. Focus on the ones that actually matter, and don't let the wild, ridiculous extremes guide your view of the broad range of the subject.

Great, now you're one of us. Welcome, friend!  ;D  It is the echo chamber's unwillingness to reject extreme examples that has led this thread to where it is.

Which examples matter the most to you, personally?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 16, 2017, 11:21:39 PM
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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Redamare on April 17, 2017, 01:34:23 AM
You can't live your whole fucking life that way. It's disrespectful to yourself, and condescending to everyone else.

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."

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.

Meanwhile, I'm "seriously degrading the integrity of the conversation" with a hypothetical, if you ask some people.

This is a madhouse.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho 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?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot 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?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot 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?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N 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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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Caffiene 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N 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.


Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N 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 (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreadlocks#History).

Once we admit that historical evidence matters, it is not enough to simply listen and believe.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Nosmas 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho 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?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 17, 2017, 01:04:52 PM
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.

Inevitably, you'd have some Indians saying, "I'm happy to see other cultures wearing this fashion because I love it," and others would say, "it's wrong for non-Indian folks to wear that fashion because it represents my culture, not theirs."

If you personally want to avoid causing the negative feelings in that second person, I totally respect that--but I don't think their offense is worth more than the first person's joy--so at the very least, I don't think one can judge this specific example of CA as okay or not or okay.

On the other hand, I might be ignorant about this--so if I learned that a large majority of Indian folks would think it rude for non-Indians to wear traditionally Indian fashion, then I'd probably avoid it out of politeness.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 17, 2017, 01:07:33 PM
There is a beauty shop (https://g.co/kgs/RQdH2c) not far from me which offers henna designs, eyebrow threading, and other beauty enhancements learned from a particular culture, one neither indigenous to the area nor particularly well-represented among the local demographics. Are they wrong to offer these services to white women?

EDIT: Does it matter where/how the artist/proprietor grew up?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Nosmas on April 17, 2017, 01:11:09 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.

Interesting that you use that example. I'd be curious to know what you think of the real life example I gave of this in post #607.

To summarize, my aunt is white but has been married to an Indian man for 30 years and wears Indian clothing occasionally. Her daughter looks white and does the same but actually is part Indian.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 17, 2017, 01:12:14 PM
Interesting that you use that example. I'd be curious to know what you think of the real life example I gave of this in post #607.

To summarize, my aunt is white but has been married to an Indian man for 30 years and wears Indian clothing occasionally. Her daughter looks white and does the same but actually is part Indian.

It's a long thread, but search back because 6equj5 also has personal experience with this subject for your consideration.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Nosmas on April 17, 2017, 01:23:26 PM
Interesting that you use that example. I'd be curious to know what you think of the real life example I gave of this in post #607.

To summarize, my aunt is white but has been married to an Indian man for 30 years and wears Indian clothing occasionally. Her daughter looks white and does the same but actually is part Indian.

It's a long thread, but search back because 6equj5 also has personal experience with this subject for your consideration.

I do not remember seeing that, but upon checking the post history I see the example is extremely related to his or her own personal experience. I'll read all of 6equj5's replies to see it's been already answered. If not I'm now even more interested in hearing a response. Thanks for pointing that out.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 17, 2017, 03:08:22 PM
(click to show/hide)

I kind of did answer it. I'm half Indian but I look white. I sometimes wear Indian clothing if I'm going to a family party that involves the members of my family who are more connected the Indian culture that wears traditional clothing. Incidentally some of my relatives come from a part of India that was conquered AND religiously converted and so they wore western apparel even when they grew up in India as people who were ethnically Indian- not people of European ancestry born there. I love Indian clothing and I own some, but I don't wear it around alone because I feel extremely conscious of the fact that I look like a white person trying to dress like an Indian person, even though I'm as Indian as I am white. As far as my family/friends here and in India are concerned, I'm aware of a sensitivity about appropriation- I'm aware of white people using Indian clothing (which sometimes gets incorrectly mixed with middle eastern culture- similar to how Katy Perry mixed up Chinese and Japanese in her Geisha video) as costume or bindis as decoration and aware of the fact that it kind of bothers my Indian peeps in contexts where it's people just doing it without being invited to a wedding because they often do it wrong or in the wrong context or mix it with other cultures in a way that comes off as uninformed and it feels kind of irritating to see. I am also aware of the fact Indians have different social issues here in the US as one of the "model minorities," but who still are subject to all kinds of other types of implicit bias and that there is a really strong pressure to assimilate. The strongest pressure to assimilate is in accents. The Indian accent is horrifically portrayed (see Apu from the Simpsons) in western pop culture, and there are a lot of other things that go along with that that are subtle but also deeply problemmatic- Indian men are seen as the butt of jokes and unattractive: you almost never see an Indian male lead in something, they are usually the sidekick or comedic relief (see Rajesh Koothrapali from big bang theory). Wearing Sikh dastaar (turbans) have become a bit of a joke and people wear them and there are a zillion jokes about turbans and how they look silly and or like what terrorists wear... even though it's an Indian thing and not a thing in the middle east. Younger Indian women are more often portrayed as mysterious or exotic, and clothing elements that go along with that add to the mystical Eastern stereotype that gets built up, and white women have (especially in the 90s) worn bindis combined with makeup that builds into this, there was an attempt to achieve an exotic look. Part of the model minority thing is that Indians are also generally known for less muckraking and quiet assimilation, but trust me when I say that bristling over white folks wearing Indian clothing happens when such conversations are safe to have.

This white woman who married an Indian man and had a half-Indian daughter likely understands her husband's culture and is then part of that Indian family and probably has a respectful way of going about wearing Indian clothing. That said, I would hope that she would understand- the way I understand, that if you do it in a certain context, people won't necessarily realize that you are (in my case) Indian (and in her case deeply tied by family), and it may come off as appropriation. White-passing people (& white people marrying) in families of color is an extremely complicated issue by itself.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: RGU on April 17, 2017, 04:17:08 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

If not, why not?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Harry Black on April 17, 2017, 04:33:22 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

If not, why not?
I dont 'go up' to people anyway. Nor do I tell white people not to have dreadlocks.
The context is different for nations that have been conquered however. For example Korean and Chinese people may feel pretty sore about Japanese people using parts of their cultures inappropriately due to the pretty bitter history there, but Japan very much underwent a traumatic occupation by western powers where foreign culture was pretty much impressed on them so I would certainly be sympathetic to them exploring that.
But if an actual cowboy (who are VERY few and far between) was there and got miffed about their portrayal of his livelyhood and specific culture while denying him citizenship (which Japan tends to do).
I doubt they would care, but thats a seperate issue.
Likewise, african american culture is not treated with great care in Japan (or wasnt last time I was there) so I could see an african american getting a bit annoyed with how they are portrayed in the media there etc.
White people actually do tend to get somewhat idealised in certain parts of japanese culture and thats a thing I found a bit uncomfortable and certainly put me in a different position to a japanese man in a western country due to our portrayal of most asian cultures.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Nosmas on April 17, 2017, 05:32:29 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.

Interesting that you use that example. I'd be curious to know what you think of the real life example I gave of this in post #607.

To summarize, my aunt is white but has been married to an Indian man for 30 years and wears Indian clothing occasionally. Her daughter looks white and does the same but actually is part Indian.

I kind of did answer it. I'm half Indian but I look white. I sometimes wear Indian clothing if I'm going to a family party that involves the members of my family who are more connected the Indian culture that wears traditional clothing. Incidentally some of my relatives come from a part of India that was conquered AND religiously converted and so they wore western apparel even when they grew up in India as people who were ethnically Indian- not people of European ancestry born there. I love Indian clothing and I own some, but I don't wear it around alone because I feel extremely conscious of the fact that I look like a white person trying to dress like an Indian person, even though I'm as Indian as I am white. As far as my family/friends here and in India are concerned, I'm aware of a sensitivity about appropriation- I'm aware of white people using Indian clothing (which sometimes gets incorrectly mixed with middle eastern culture- similar to how Katy Perry mixed up Chinese and Japanese in her Geisha video) as costume or bindis as decoration and aware of the fact that it kind of bothers my Indian peeps in contexts where it's people just doing it without being invited to a wedding because they often do it wrong or in the wrong context or mix it with other cultures in a way that comes off as uninformed and it feels kind of irritating to see. I am also aware of the fact Indians have different social issues here in the US as one of the "model minorities," but who still are subject to all kinds of other types of implicit bias and that there is a really strong pressure to assimilate. The strongest pressure to assimilate is in accents. The Indian accent is horrifically portrayed (see Apu from the Simpsons) in western pop culture, and there are a lot of other things that go along with that that are subtle but also deeply problemmatic- Indian men are seen as the butt of jokes and unattractive: you almost never see an Indian male lead in something, they are usually the sidekick or comedic relief (see Rajesh Koothrapali from big bang theory). Wearing Sikh dastaar (turbans) have become a bit of a joke and people wear them and there are a zillion jokes about turbans and how they look silly and or like what terrorists wear... even though it's an Indian thing and not a thing in the middle east. Younger Indian women are more often portrayed as mysterious or exotic, and clothing elements that go along with that add to the mystical Eastern stereotype that gets built up, and white women have (especially in the 90s) worn bindis combined with makeup that builds into this, there was an attempt to achieve an exotic look. Part of the model minority thing is that Indians are also generally known for less muckraking and quiet assimilation, but trust me when I say that bristling over white folks wearing Indian clothing happens when such conversations are safe to have.

This white woman who married an Indian man and had a half-Indian daughter likely understands her husband's culture and is then part of that Indian family and probably has a respectful way of going about wearing Indian clothing. That said, I would hope that she would understand- the way I understand, that if you do it in a certain context, people won't necessarily realize that you are (in my case) Indian (and in her case deeply tied by family), and it may come off as appropriation. White-passing people (& white people marrying) in families of color is an extremely complicated issue by itself.

Thanks for the long well thought out reply. I got an idea how you might respond by looking up some of your previous posts in this thread as well.

I'm sure my aunt does understand the culture quite well. Like you said though, people that do not know her could just assume she's "being a dick" because she's obviously white. Given we can't read each others minds or immediately know the context behind someone with a certain skin tone wearing or doing something traditionally done by people of another skin tone, then it seems best to reserve offense for something more blatant. Otherwise, assuming someone of a certain skin tone doesn't have the right to do or wear something actually makes the person who's offended a dick, far more so if they actually confront the imagined appropriator about it. That kind of being offended is a large chunk of the issue some people have with CA. Sure it can be dismissed by some here as being some extreme example that's ridiculous, but if they really are offended then who are you to tell them they're being ridiculous (not you specifically)? A look at internet discussions on the topic shows that quite a few people within social justice circles don't seem to think confronting someone about wearing hoops is stupid or that the person is stupid for feeling that way. They probably don't think that confronting a white lady wearing Indian clothing would be either. 

Clearly there's a line somewhere and varying shades of what's ok and what's ridiculous but I get a sense that some people more toward the pro CA side don't really want to try and clarify that line or talk about those shades. Just trying to simplify it as "oh it's just as simple as don't be a dick" really doesn't do the topic justice and comes across as lazy and unnecessarily patronizing. This is especially obvious when in one moment it's apparently as simple as a four letter phrase the next someone of an actual minority with personal experience is saying that some aspects of it " ...is an extremely complicated issue by itself."

There's the slightly separate but related issue of white people just wearing or doing something which traditionally belongs to another culture because they just happen to be a fan of that thing. Although this might be easier to write off as "don't be a dick" there's still more to it then that. It's not like nothing is lost by just not doing whatever offends some unknown acceptable percentage of a cultural group. You're now telling people that it doesn't matter if those dreadlocks look great to them and feels like a good way to express themselves, they're simply dicks for wanting to do it because some are offended. I only think they're worthy of being labelled this way if they don't particularly like dreads but do it anyway because they know it upsets someone. What makes it even more unclear is that some within the rightful deadlock wearing culture might actually want the style to become more popular.

EDIT: Don't take all of my reply as meant to target you 6EQUJ5. It's mostly meant to be a reply to the topic and thread in general but motivated by your post.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 17, 2017, 05:56:09 PM
I think everybody in this thread is well-intentioned. The division seems to be between valuing the avoidance of offense vs. valuing personal expression or the spreading of culture.

If I, as like the whitest person possible (seriously, I'm super pale), walk around downtown Houston in traditional Indian garb because I like the fashion, I accept that somebody might think, "that guy is obviously not Indian, and I don't like that he's choosing a cultural expression from my people as a fashion choice." But I also believe another person might think, "oh yay, look at that white dude wearing traditional Indian garb, that's great!"

I value the latter over the former (in that I think there is a greater good achieved)--but I don't think anybody is wrong to value the former over that latter as a personal choice.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 17, 2017, 06:02:29 PM
(click to show/hide)

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then it seems best to reserve offense for something more blatant.
(click to show/hide)

I object to the concept of discussing this in terms of "offense" and I also object to the idea that offense is something that is controllable. In the examples I offered, the point of me not wearing traditional Indian clothing is that I don't want an Indian person to feel the frustrated sense of injustice, unfairness, and general ickiness that they might feel from seeing me wearing Indian clothing. That reaction is not something that they can help, and it's part of the net life experience that is harder/more stressful for people of varying intersections. I recognize that looking white is a certain amount of privilege and that as a person with privilege that it is better for society and does less harm if I am careful with how I relate to the world.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Nosmas on April 17, 2017, 07:53:34 PM
(click to show/hide)

(click to show/hide)
then it seems best to reserve offense for something more blatant.
(click to show/hide)

I object to the concept of discussing this in terms of "offense" and I also object to the idea that offense is something that is controllable. In the examples I offered, the point of me not wearing traditional Indian clothing is that I don't want an Indian person to feel the frustrated sense of injustice, unfairness, and general ickiness that they might feel from seeing me wearing Indian clothing. That reaction is not something that they can help, and it's part of the net life experience that is harder/more stressful for people of varying intersections. I recognize that looking white is a certain amount of privilege and that as a person with privilege that it is better for society and does less harm if I am careful with how I relate to the world.

While it's fine that you would rather not discuss this in terms of offense, I think taking offense is a big part of what drives conversation about CA for many. I do agree that you can't really control what offends you, although I think hearing differing perspectives can change it. Same goes for "ickyness" and "unfairness" although probably less so the latter.

I understand your choice not to wear traditional Indian clothing. I think it comes down to a value judgement. Many will differ on where they land with that judgement.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 17, 2017, 08:48:16 PM
There is a racial element going on here which has been underanalyzed so far, AFAIK. People from multiethnic societies which lack racial homogeneity cannot look at an individual and guess whether they have the ancestry/background to go with the cultural artifact being displayed.

I don't know if the Latinx students against hoops  (mentioned upthread) know about this, but Latino people actually come in most every color.(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170418/ab33e14e254c0635f5812b97446111c7.jpg)

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 17, 2017, 10:15:09 PM
Would you wear a Purple Heart? If not, why not?

I already told you why not.

Because that would be deceptive.
Is that all? Is that the only reason you wouldn't wear it?

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.
Yeah, you missed my point again. I didn't say that deception wasn't part of cultural appropriation, I said it wasn't the key concept. Of course the fact that it is deceptive is an aspect of it, but it's not the most important aspect.

The most important aspect of cultural appropriation is that by taking it from its culture and using it yourself, you are devaluing it. You are saying that you care so little about the culture that you feel comfortable taking aspects of it - aspects that members of that culture may feel are extremely important to them - and putting them on as though they were a cheap t-shirt.

If I can get a pair of jump wings at the flea market for a buck fifty, what does that say about the effort you went through to get them? Furthermore, what am I saying about how much I value your effort? I just don't give a shit what you had to go through to get them, because I can get them for a buck fifty. You should have too. Why did you bother doing what you did? You wasted all that effort. Everything that you went through to get those wings is basically worthless.

Now, if those wings represent something in your life that you find significant, you might be offended that I value that so little. I don't know whether you would or not - perhaps your jump wings don't represent anything important to you.

Now think about the Purple Heart, and what kind of sacrifice that represents. You fought for your country - you were injured in the line of duty - you suffered, you risked your life, and your country has recognised that and awarded you an honour for it.

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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 17, 2017, 10:26:23 PM
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'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.

I didn't say that hoop earrings were a stupid case of cultural appropriation, I said that they were a stupid example for us to be discussing. And it's a stupid example because none of us have a cultural stake in it, so all we would be doing would be talking over the heads of those whom it does affect. And because it seems dumb to us, we devalue and dismiss it, and thereby devalue and dismiss the entire concept of cultural appropriation because we used a poor example.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N 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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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N 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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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N 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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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 17, 2017, 11:06:42 PM
Do you really think that's a case of someone being an asshole?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N 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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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N 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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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Caffiene 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.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N 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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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot 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?
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: arthwollipot on April 17, 2017, 11:56:01 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.
Please don't assume that I think "it is okay to demand" a damn thing. I have never said that, and you can't read my mind.

Edit: Your fictional Latino still sounds like an asshole, and an uninformed one to boot.
That you think this speaks volumes.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Drunken Idaho on April 18, 2017, 12:10:58 AM
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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.

I see why you and I aren't going to be productive, we're starting so vastly far apart. I think everybody should feel free to think about and discuss everything, and that it is good for everybody to do so.

I believe that trying to segregate who should discuss what based on their demographics reinforces bigotry, even if it's with the best intentions.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: D4M10N on April 18, 2017, 12:13:30 AM
That you think this speaks volumes.


If you walked up to a stranger and asked them to reconsider their fashion choices, because you assumed they didn't come from a culture wherein they saw those choices organically on display, then yes, that is an asshole move. Only your ideology makes it difficult to see this.

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Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 18, 2017, 01:23:12 AM
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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.

I see why you and I aren't going to be productive, we're starting so vastly far apart. I think everybody should feel free to think about and discuss everything, and that it is good for everybody to do so.

I believe that trying to segregate who should discuss what based on their demographics reinforces bigotry, even if it's with the best intentions.

This is how you end up with a bunch of wealthy white celibate men talking about what problems poor women of color face. If your source of information is entirely made up of people who largely don't experience the problem and people actively trying to dismiss or represent the problem, you're not going to have a productive discussion about it.

See also: why evangelical Christians can't have a productive discussion about what atheists believe.
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: Caffiene on April 18, 2017, 02:50:22 AM
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.

Honestly, this argument to me seems to undermine the very concept of cultural appropriation. Ownership of a cultural concept is itself a view of that type, so if a culture is not monolithic enough to have a measurable view on a subject, neither can it be said to be monolithic enough to have a recognisable ownership of a cultural expression. You would be left with simply an individual person saying "I feel an ownership of this concept and dont want you to use it".

If we accept that a culture is not monolithic enough to hold judgements beyond an individual level then we get into the realm of individual expression where, as we've seen in the Fearless Girl thread, most people do not believe the creator holds any significant right to control after the act of creation.

I disagree with the premise, and think that it is possible to make meaningful observations through survey and similar testing in order to at least estimate prevailing attitudes within a single community. That prevailing attitude is inherently necessary for a community to see or claim something as an expression of that culture.

Even the existence of a culture or community is in itself a recognition at a level beyond the individual. This is a skeptical community because the majority of people identify as skeptics and there is mutual recognition of the fact that it is a majority. We can conduct a survey to see how many people do or do not identify as skeptics, and the less rigorous "feeling" of having a majority of skeptics is what creates the feeling of community. Conversely, if we did a survey and found that only 1 in 4 people identify as a skeptic, we would no longer call it a skeptical community. It may not be well defined and hard science, but it all occurs well above the level of an individual or an anecdote.

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?

The idea of appropriation would indicate that if the discussion is able to be appropriated, it is something that is occurring specifically within the community. If the discussion on reproductive rights is something that can be appropriated from the female community, then it is by inference a discussion that was happening within that female community. Removing it from that context - eg, moving the conversation to a discussion among women and men together - would then be appropriation. Applying the idea of appropriation to discussion inherently prevents anyone outside the original context from ever participating in the discussion without being guilty of appropriation.

(To pre-empt the response that its ok so long as women choose to initiate the discussion with men, if we are considering appropriation to be relevant this would again be the "my black friend says its ok" defense. Participating in something outside its original context is still appropriation even if somebody within the original context gives you "permission". Which is one reason why I dont consider appropriation to be valid in this manner.)
Title: Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Post by: 6EQUJ5 on April 18, 2017, 10:09:02 AM
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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.

I see why you and I aren't going to be productive, we're starting so vastly far apart. I think everybody should feel free to think about and discuss everything, and that it is good for everybody to do so.

I believe that trying to segregate who should discuss what based on their demographics reinforces bigotry, even if it's with the best intentions.

This is how you end up with a bunch of wealthy w