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Culture Appropriation

ford_prefect
Posts: 4,143
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9/10/2015 3:08:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I know you're butthurt because it's no longer considered polite or acceptable to mock other ethnic groups and their culture, but if you use your imagination you can think of other ways to entertain yourself. For example, you could try whining about how political correctness has ruined everyth...

Well, carry on then.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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9/10/2015 4:34:41 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/10/2015 3:08:00 AM, ford_prefect wrote:
I know you're butthurt because it's no longer considered polite or acceptable to mock other ethnic groups and their culture, but if you use your imagination you can think of other ways to entertain yourself. For example, you could try whining about how political correctness has ruined everyth...

Well, carry on then.

If cultural appropriation were only applied to cases of mockery, then you would have a point. However, there are those who enforce it as a sort of ideal of segregation, the idea that only those who are descended from a culture or raised in that culture can utilize that culture's various tropes and memes, even if mockery isn't really apparent. Which is stupid, because every culture that has every existed is an amalgamation of other cultures. So this sort of extreme interpretation (which tumblr, featured in the link, is infamous for) is essentially an outright denial of human history and human nature; it is an attempt at absurd, almost puritanical cultural zookeeping via the shutting down of the natural trans-societal diffusion of ideas and themes.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
FaustianJustice
Posts: 6,239
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9/10/2015 10:52:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I have found that the "best" aspects of a culture are the ones appropriated, and claimed as something the appropriating culture "always" had, for moral high ground or whatever such labels might be necessary to rationalize their own bias. The "bad" aspects of a culture are the ones that make said culture inferior.
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
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Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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9/11/2015 12:25:45 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/10/2015 10:52:22 AM, FaustianJustice wrote:
I have found that the "best" aspects of a culture are the ones appropriated, and claimed as something the appropriating culture "always" had, for moral high ground or whatever such labels might be necessary to rationalize their own bias. The "bad" aspects of a culture are the ones that make said culture inferior.

I don't know about that as an overarching rule. If you read the Muqaddimah, Ibn Khaldun, arguably the greatest Arab historian, absolutely lionizes the Persians when it comes to the sciences which the Arabs appropriated, fully attributing it to their culture, even though the Arabs exhibited complete political dominance at the time. Rome and Greece were another example; Virgil readily attributes Greece's cultural achievements to Greece in the Aeneid, and Cato the Elder was worried about the adoption of Greek culture, that it was at once too good and too different.

"Others will forge breathing bronzes more smoothly
(I believe it at any rate), and draw forth living features from marble.
They will plead lawsuits better and trace the movements
Of the sky with a rod and describe the rising stars.
You, O Roman, govern the nations with your power- remember this!
These will be your arts - to impose the ways of peace,
To show mercy to the conquered and to subdue the proud."
- Aeneid 847-853 -

The Aeneid is nationalistic almost to the point of being pornographic, yet even this epic poem showcases accurate attribution of cultural specialization. Has what you described happened? Yes. Is it the norm? I don't think so.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
UtherPenguin
Posts: 3,684
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9/11/2015 1:52:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/10/2015 3:08:00 AM, ford_prefect wrote:
I know you're butthurt because it's no longer considered polite or acceptable to mock other ethnic groups and their culture, but if you use your imagination you can think of other ways to entertain yourself. For example, you could try whining about how political correctness has ruined everyth...

Well, carry on then.

The definition of Cultural Appropriation is quite general. Since all it means is to have a member of one culture adopt aspects from a different culture. It doesn't have to be with appreciative or mocking intent.
"Praise Allah."
~YYW
ford_prefect
Posts: 4,143
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9/11/2015 2:29:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/10/2015 4:34:41 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 9/10/2015 3:08:00 AM, ford_prefect wrote:
I know you're butthurt because it's no longer considered polite or acceptable to mock other ethnic groups and their culture, but if you use your imagination you can think of other ways to entertain yourself. For example, you could try whining about how political correctness has ruined everyth...

Well, carry on then.

If cultural appropriation were only applied to cases of mockery, then you would have a point. However, there are those who enforce it as a sort of ideal of segregation, the idea that only those who are descended from a culture or raised in that culture can utilize that culture's various tropes and memes, even if mockery isn't really apparent. Which is stupid, because every culture that has every existed is an amalgamation of other cultures. So this sort of extreme interpretation (which tumblr, featured in the link, is infamous for) is essentially an outright denial of human history and human nature; it is an attempt at absurd, almost puritanical cultural zookeeping via the shutting down of the natural trans-societal diffusion of ideas and themes.

From Wikipedia: "Cultural appropriation differs from acculturation or assimilation in that the "appropriation" or "misappropriation" refers to the adoption of these cultural elements in a colonial manner: elements are copied from a minority culture by members of the dominant culture, and these elements are used outside of their original cultural context - sometimes even against the expressed, stated wishes of representatives of the originating culture. Often, in the process, the original meaning of these cultural elements is distorted; such uses can be viewed as disrespected by members of the originating culture, or even as a form of desecration."

It's fine to criticize the extremists. I would even agree with some of that criticism, to an extent. However, ending true cultural appropriation is a legitimate and noble goal. The cartoon in the OP doesn't seem to acknowledge that.

Hypothetically, if my house were on fire and I was extinguishing it with my garden hose, what would you think of someone who came by and started lecturing me about how we're in a drought and that really, a bucket of water would have been sufficient?
ford_prefect
Posts: 4,143
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9/11/2015 2:30:29 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 1:52:27 AM, UtherPenguin wrote:
At 9/10/2015 3:08:00 AM, ford_prefect wrote:
I know you're butthurt because it's no longer considered polite or acceptable to mock other ethnic groups and their culture, but if you use your imagination you can think of other ways to entertain yourself. For example, you could try whining about how political correctness has ruined everyth...

Well, carry on then.

The definition of Cultural Appropriation is quite general. Since all it means is to have a member of one culture adopt aspects from a different culture. It doesn't have to be with appreciative or mocking intent.

See post 9.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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9/11/2015 2:38:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 2:29:56 AM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 9/10/2015 4:34:41 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 9/10/2015 3:08:00 AM, ford_prefect wrote:
I know you're butthurt because it's no longer considered polite or acceptable to mock other ethnic groups and their culture, but if you use your imagination you can think of other ways to entertain yourself. For example, you could try whining about how political correctness has ruined everyth...

Well, carry on then.

If cultural appropriation were only applied to cases of mockery, then you would have a point. However, there are those who enforce it as a sort of ideal of segregation, the idea that only those who are descended from a culture or raised in that culture can utilize that culture's various tropes and memes, even if mockery isn't really apparent. Which is stupid, because every culture that has every existed is an amalgamation of other cultures. So this sort of extreme interpretation (which tumblr, featured in the link, is infamous for) is essentially an outright denial of human history and human nature; it is an attempt at absurd, almost puritanical cultural zookeeping via the shutting down of the natural trans-societal diffusion of ideas and themes.

From Wikipedia: "Cultural appropriation differs from acculturation or assimilation in that the "appropriation" or "misappropriation" refers to the adoption of these cultural elements in a colonial manner: elements are copied from a minority culture by members of the dominant culture, and these elements are used outside of their original cultural context - sometimes even against the expressed, stated wishes of representatives of the originating culture. Often, in the process, the original meaning of these cultural elements is distorted; such uses can be viewed as disrespected by members of the originating culture, or even as a form of desecration."

It's fine to criticize the extremists. I would even agree with some of that criticism, to an extent. However, ending true cultural appropriation is a legitimate and noble goal. The cartoon in the OP doesn't seem to acknowledge that.

Hypothetically, if my house were on fire and I was extinguishing it with my garden hose, what would you think of someone who came by and started lecturing me about how we're in a drought and that really, a bucket of water would have been sufficient?

I honestly don't care if it's 'considered' offensive. If the Greeks were 'offended' by the Roman adoption of their artistic, scientific, and political traditions, and the Romans desisted, then Greece would be a historical footnote in the West instead of the enduring soul of an entire continent. Politics based on the emotional reactions of any individual, instead of on the actual, tangible effects of a policy or action, are utterly useless to me. I think that examples of cultural appropriation which are demeaning and dehumanizing in effect (blackface performances, the mockery of Lakota headdresses, the perpetuation of racist stereotypes by the media, etc.) are exceedingly rare when compared to the actual overall incidence, but that any instance of cultural appropriation nowadays is deemed 'offensive' (a white woman wearing a Sari or Kimono, for instance).
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
ford_prefect
Posts: 4,143
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9/11/2015 3:12:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 2:38:46 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 9/11/2015 2:29:56 AM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 9/10/2015 4:34:41 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 9/10/2015 3:08:00 AM, ford_prefect wrote:
I know you're butthurt because it's no longer considered polite or acceptable to mock other ethnic groups and their culture, but if you use your imagination you can think of other ways to entertain yourself. For example, you could try whining about how political correctness has ruined everyth...

Well, carry on then.

If cultural appropriation were only applied to cases of mockery, then you would have a point. However, there are those who enforce it as a sort of ideal of segregation, the idea that only those who are descended from a culture or raised in that culture can utilize that culture's various tropes and memes, even if mockery isn't really apparent. Which is stupid, because every culture that has every existed is an amalgamation of other cultures. So this sort of extreme interpretation (which tumblr, featured in the link, is infamous for) is essentially an outright denial of human history and human nature; it is an attempt at absurd, almost puritanical cultural zookeeping via the shutting down of the natural trans-societal diffusion of ideas and themes.

From Wikipedia: "Cultural appropriation differs from acculturation or assimilation in that the "appropriation" or "misappropriation" refers to the adoption of these cultural elements in a colonial manner: elements are copied from a minority culture by members of the dominant culture, and these elements are used outside of their original cultural context - sometimes even against the expressed, stated wishes of representatives of the originating culture. Often, in the process, the original meaning of these cultural elements is distorted; such uses can be viewed as disrespected by members of the originating culture, or even as a form of desecration."

It's fine to criticize the extremists. I would even agree with some of that criticism, to an extent. However, ending true cultural appropriation is a legitimate and noble goal. The cartoon in the OP doesn't seem to acknowledge that.

Hypothetically, if my house were on fire and I was extinguishing it with my garden hose, what would you think of someone who came by and started lecturing me about how we're in a drought and that really, a bucket of water would have been sufficient?

I honestly don't care if it's 'considered' offensive. If the Greeks were 'offended' by the Roman adoption of their artistic, scientific, and political traditions, and the Romans desisted, then Greece would be a historical footnote in the West instead of the enduring soul of an entire continent. Politics based on the emotional reactions of any individual, instead of on the actual, tangible effects of a policy or action, are utterly useless to me. I think that examples of cultural appropriation which are demeaning and dehumanizing in effect (blackface performances, the mockery of Lakota headdresses, the perpetuation of racist stereotypes by the media, etc.) are exceedingly rare when compared to the actual overall incidence, but that any instance of cultural appropriation nowadays is deemed 'offensive' (a white woman wearing a Sari or Kimono, for instance).

First of all, saying you don't care if something is considered "offensive" is a huge red flag that you're an a$$hole. I can go up to an orphan and crack jokes about their dead parents all day, and that's obviously not illegal but it certainly is offensive, and it makes me an a$$hole. Why not entertain myself in some other way? You certainly have the right to offend people, and sometimes it's necessary to do so. However, if you go out of your way to do it without a good reason, and you don't care that you're offending people, then guess what? You're an a$$hole.

Which brings me to your concern about politics and policy. I (and most people who don't like cultural appropriation) don't want to pass some law criminalizing it. We just want to bring it to everyone's attention. Believe it or not, when I went to college I met some homos who had never met a Hispanic person in real life before. So when they went to a themed party dressed up in sombreros and hand-drawn mustaches, and ended every word of their sentence with an o (happy drinko de mayo!), they didn't realize they were being a$$holes. The problem is that these homos were ignorant. When they learned that those are stereotypes, and Hispanics in real life don't dress or speak that way, the ones who weren't a$$holes stopped doing it. Similarly, I stopped speaking with a lisp when imitating homos once I met a few and realized they don't all do that.

Last couple of points: I hope you can see the difference between the Romans learning science and politics from the Greeks, and blackface or the Cleveland Indians logo. Also, nobody except the extremists (who I agree are in the wrong) is out there saying white people shouldn't eat tacos or wear kimonos. Again, there is a difference between eating a burrito, or wearing an actual kimono, and wearing a clearly fake kimono with slant-eyed makeup and ordering "Flied lice." Stop being so sensitive about what is "deemed offensive" by a tiny minority, because most people are NOT offended by attempts to genuinely share and explore other cultures, provided you aren't being an a$$hole.

Hope this is helpful.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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9/11/2015 4:03:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 3:12:53 AM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 9/11/2015 2:38:46 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I honestly don't care if it's 'considered' offensive. If the Greeks were 'offended' by the Roman adoption of their artistic, scientific, and political traditions, and the Romans desisted, then Greece would be a historical footnote in the West instead of the enduring soul of an entire continent. Politics based on the emotional reactions of any individual, instead of on the actual, tangible effects of a policy or action, are utterly useless to me. I think that examples of cultural appropriation which are demeaning and dehumanizing in effect (blackface performances, the mockery of Lakota headdresses, the perpetuation of racist stereotypes by the media, etc.) are exceedingly rare when compared to the actual overall incidence, but that any instance of cultural appropriation nowadays is deemed 'offensive' (a white woman wearing a Sari or Kimono, for instance).

First of all, saying you don't care if something is considered "offensive" is a huge red flag that you're an a$$hole. I can go up to an orphan and crack jokes about their dead parents all day, and that's obviously not illegal but it certainly is offensive, and it makes me an a$$hole. Why not entertain myself in some other way? You certainly have the right to offend people, and sometimes it's necessary to do so. However, if you go out of your way to do it without a good reason, and you don't care that you're offending people, then guess what? You're an a$$hole.

Of course, you completely ignore whether the offense is warranted. The problem with applying 'offensive' as the standard is that it's completely subjective. We're also talking about a meta analysis of societal trends, so applying that to interpersonal relations is pretty irrelevant.

Which brings me to your concern about politics and policy. I (and most people who don't like cultural appropriation) don't want to pass some law criminalizing it. We just want to bring it to everyone's attention. Believe it or not, when I went to college I met some homos who had never met a Hispanic person in real life before. So when they went to a themed party dressed up in sombreros and hand-drawn mustaches, and ended every word of their sentence with an o (happy drinko de mayo!), they didn't realize they were being a$$holes. The problem is that these homos were ignorant. When they learned that those are stereotypes, and Hispanics in real life don't dress or speak that way, the ones who weren't a$$holes stopped doing it. Similarly, I stopped speaking with a lisp when imitating homos once I met a few and realized they don't all do that.

Well, I've never done anything at all like that, so good on you for assuming that I'm an a$$hole when I prioritized an objective assessment of effects over subjective feelings of offense.

Last couple of points: I hope you can see the difference between the Romans learning science and politics from the Greeks, and blackface or the Cleveland Indians logo. Also, nobody except the extremists (who I agree are in the wrong) is out there saying white people shouldn't eat tacos or wear kimonos. Again, there is a difference between eating a burrito, or wearing an actual kimono, and wearing a clearly fake kimono with slant-eyed makeup and ordering "Flied lice." Stop being so sensitive about what is "deemed offensive" by a tiny minority, because most people are NOT offended by attempts to genuinely share and explore other cultures, provided you aren't being an a$$hole.

Hope this is helpful.

Unfortunately, it is pretty common. I have a Scottish friend who married into a Hindi family, and she received a couple of nasty comments over wearing a Sari at her own wedding when she went outside alone. My sister's best friend is 1/4th Japanese, works in a high-scale Japanese restaurant, and often has to deal with snide, offhanded comments about how the waitresses should be more 'traditional', and insinuations that she is wearing Japanese clothing for cynical commercial purposes. Her grandmother was a Japanese art collector and historian, survived WWII, and is very big into keeping the culture alive in the family, and she has to put up with this nonsense from bourgeois, sanctimonious, supremely privileged white people. I'm not just pulling this out of my @ss, I know people who have been affected by the growing segment of our population which positively gets off on being offended on the behalf of others, and for whom 'cultural appropriation' has become a strident battle cry. I have even come across with people who argue that jazz, of all things, is a product of cultural appropriation.

Just look at this ridiculous article:

"The fact is, Western culture invites and, at times, demands assimilation. Not every culture has chosen to open itself up to being adopted by outsiders in the same way.

And there's good reason for that.

"Ethnic" clothes and hairstyles are still stigmatized as unprofessional, "cultural" foods are treated as exotic past times, and the vernacular of people of color is ridiculed and demeaned.

So there is an unequal exchange between Western culture - an all-consuming mishmash of over-simplified and sellable foreign influences with a dash each of Coke and Pepsi - and marginalized cultures.

People of all cultures wear business suits and collared shirts to survive. But when one is of the dominant culture, adopting the clothing, food, or slang of other cultures has nothing to do with survival.

So as free as people should be to wear whatever hair and clothing they enjoy, using someone else's cultural symbols to satisfy a personal need for self-expression is an exercise in privilege.

Because for those of us who have felt forced and pressured to change the way we look, behave, and speak just to earn enough respect to stay employed and safe, our modes of self-expression are still limited."

There it is, in black and white, on a respected social justice magazine's website. The same absurd claim which you claim is rare. And that argument about white culture also applies perfectly to Roman and Arab civilization, making my analogy perfectly relevant.

http://everydayfeminism.com...
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -