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  #41  
Old 04 May 2018, 05:28 PM
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Can you share what makes you think she was being mindful?
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  #42  
Old 04 May 2018, 07:11 PM
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Her twitter post for one:
Quote:
To everyone who says Iím ignorant, I fully understand everyoneís concerns and views on my dress. I mean no harm. I am in no way being discriminative or racist. Iím tired of all the backlash and hate when my only intent was to show my love.
Yeah, she could be simpleminded and ignorant, but I don't think so. I think she understands the concerns and just doesn't agree with them.
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  #43  
Old 04 May 2018, 07:56 PM
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I took that quote to be about the reaction to the dress, and her response to it. I don't interpret it as saying or even implying that she was thoughtful in choosing it.

Maybe she was. I just don't agree that the statement you quoted is evidence of it.
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  #44  
Old 04 May 2018, 08:53 PM
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I took that quote the same way Lainie did. Also, I mean more when I say "mindful" than, "I know people will be upset, and why, but I mean no harm or discrimination, so I wish people would leave me alone."

In addition, even if she was fully mindful in the way I mean it, it doesn't mean anyone has to agree with her. If she explained her thinking, and how she had worked it through, sought input, educated herself, etc., I might sympathize or respect her decision even if I disagreed. But that statement doesn't suggest that she did any thinking before acting, or if she did, it was not at the level I'm talking about.
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  #45  
Old 04 May 2018, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ChasFink View Post
What we have here is really a metacultural debate. How can we agree in some universal way on what is and isn't an insulting appropriation, recognizing the perceptions of the cultures involved may differ?
We can't. We'd only be able to agree on that in a universal way if we were all part of exactly the same culture -- in which case there wouldn't be an issue in the first place.

What we can do is recognize the issue, discuss examples, take into consideration others' viewpoints to the extent that we can reasonably find out what they are, and then consider what to do in each individual instance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasFink View Post
Again I think of my own background: Polish-American culture (which I've experienced a great deal of but don't really identify with) is very different from Polish-in-Poland culture. Yet I don't think that any aspects of it - including the actual religious aspects - are considered so sacred that a significant number of Polish-Americans would have a problem with anyone who respectfully wants to adopt them.
Two things:

One, the religion is Christianity; which is a proselytizing religion, and (to varying degrees of course depending on denomination/sect) thinks everybody ought to become Christian. Of course Christian cultures aren't generally going to object if other people want to respectfully use Christian rituals.

Two: the issue I note there is that word "respectfully". Quite a few Christians would probably object if someone wanted to put on a mock Mass complete with communion body and blood but to treat it as a sort of party flavor -- say, something that could be a skit performed in the middle of a prom dance attended primarily by pagans.

Or, as erwins said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
it is a matter of being mindful. If you are considering using something from a culture that is not your own (or possibly that you are not, in these circumstances, perceived to be from), think about how and why you are using it, what groups or people might be affected, how they might view the use, what the consequences might be, etc. Then decide. [ . . . ]
Also, I don't in any way regard appropriation as being limited to things with religious significance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasFink View Post
Her twitter post for one:

Quote:
To everyone who says Iím ignorant, I fully understand everyoneís concerns and views on my dress. I mean no harm. I am in no way being discriminative or racist. Iím tired of all the backlash and hate when my only intent was to show my love.
Yeah, she could be simpleminded and ignorant, but I don't think so. I think she understands the concerns and just doesn't agree with them.
While that's possible, I agree with others that there's not enough evidence in that twitter post to show it.

She gives no evidence that she considered the concerns before wearing the dress. And the fact that somebody says they're not being discriminative or racist -- sometimes even the fact that they believe they're not being discriminative or racist -- doesn't mean that they're not being so anyway.

I'm actually rather put off by that language about "my only intent was to show my love." Somebody can indeed intend to 'show their love' but do so in a manner that infuriates those they're claiming to show it to -- because they didn't bother to find out whether the supposed recipients of that love want that particular demonstration of it. If you really love somebody, you should pay attention to what they want, not just to what you want.

If it simply hadn't occured to her that some people might be upset -- that doesn't mean she's a terrible person. It means she's ignorant in that area -- which is not an insult. All of us are ignorant about huge numbers of things. But the response to finding out that one has unintentionally insulted somebody should't be 'It wasn't an insult because I meant well!' It should be 'I'm sorry, I didn't understand enough about the implications, I'll go study up before I say/do that thing again.'

If she had studied up, and decided to wear the dress because she'd concluded she was wearing it respectfully -- as it reads to me like Keket is doing -- then I think that would also be a reasonable response. And maybe that's what she did. But that's not what's in that tweet.
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  #46  
Old 04 May 2018, 10:30 PM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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I have lived in the American southwest (Texas and New Mexico) for over 4 decades. If I see someone from New York wearing a western suit and hat, I should get mad????

I see someone in France or Great Britain doing that, then can I get mad????

John Lennon wore a Nehru jacket. Should we be mad at him????

If I wear a kilt, should the Scots get mad at me??? After all, the closest my ancestors got to Scotland was when they went Viking.

The dress is pretty and the young woman looked good in it.
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  #47  
Old 04 May 2018, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
If I wear a kilt, should the Scots get mad at me??? After all, the closest my ancestors got to Scotland was when they went Viking.
Don't know if they'll get mad, but wearing a clan Tartan when you aren't of that clan is a faux pas AIUI.
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  #48  
Old 04 May 2018, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
I have lived in the American southwest (Texas and New Mexico) for over 4 decades. If I see someone from New York wearing a western suit and hat, I should get mad????
Who said anyone "should get mad"?

Also, please read the relevant threads and topics about cultural appropriation. Many of your questions have been answered multiple times. Thanks!
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  #49  
Old 04 May 2018, 11:16 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
I have lived in the American southwest (Texas and New Mexico) for over 4 decades. If I see someone from New York wearing a western suit and hat, I should get mad????

I see someone in France or Great Britain doing that, then can I get mad????

John Lennon wore a Nehru jacket. Should we be mad at him????

If I wear a kilt, should the Scots get mad at me??? After all, the closest my ancestors got to Scotland was when they went Viking.

The dress is pretty and the young woman looked good in it.
Pretty much every businessman in Asia wears western suits, is that appropriation?

Has Eminem appropriated rap and hip hop from black American culture?

The problem with getting upset over something so trivial as what a person wears is that it belittles serious cases of "cultural appropriation". For example, when a weaving factory in china mass reproduces patterns of hand woven carpets from Turkmenistan specifically for sale in the west. Not only are they copying a cultural pattern they are directly competing with native weavers (who often using traditional technology) and putting them out of business.
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  #50  
Old 04 May 2018, 11:24 PM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
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A lot of artists and commentators have wrote about Eminem (and other white rappers) and appropriation over the years. Why don't you just read what they have read? Or this thread about suits.

Whether something is a "serious case" or not is not necessarily for us to say.

I agree that "overreaction" can draw attention from more serious cases but it's just as much (or much more, IMO) the overreaction to a reaction that does so. If we take this case seriously, it takes nothing - I mean nothing at all - away from the case you mention, for example. But if we say "it's a slippery slope! Everyone wears my culture and I don't care! Therefore no one should!!!!!11!!!" Then it does, actually, take away from all of these more serious cases, in my opinion.
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  #51  
Old 04 May 2018, 11:29 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Whether something is a "serious case" or not is not necessarily for us to say.
In the age where everyone can spread their opinion on every thing that happens in the world (or as the Turnip likes to say "some people say..." then insert a lie or something stupid), there comes a time when you have to say the 1% is being either stupid or is just plain wrong.

This is one of those cases. No slippery slope, just a very small number of people getting way to much press over nothing of significance. The girl can logically and morally ignore the people that complained.
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  #52  
Old 04 May 2018, 11:41 PM
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Cowboy

I dunno. I'm not Chinese (like you are, apparently) but I agree there was an overreaction. However, I do think it was naive of her to think, without checking beforehand, that there wouldn't be one. She could have just asked around first and gotten opinions, which I don't think she did. (I, too, think no great harm no foul in this case but, again, my opinion doesn't matter in this case.)

Otherwise, how would she (or you or I) even know if it is a case like the carpets you mention? Are they just supposed to sense it? Just try to find out beforehand is all I think we can really ask. Be aware of the problem and accept that (g)you're probably ignorant about other people's culture -- and, perhaps more importantly, of the serious and concerning asymmetries, such as those in the case you mention. Then when people call (g)you out, at least it won't come as a surprise.
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  #53  
Old 04 May 2018, 11:44 PM
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As someone who wears, in a way that is deeply a part of my identity, clothes that mark me as a minority, all I can say is that thinking clothing is trivial comes from a place of privilege. Be thankful that you get to think clothing choices are so trivial. And now allow for the reality that for some, they are not.
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  #54  
Old 05 May 2018, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
I have lived in the American southwest (Texas and New Mexico) for over 4 decades. If I see someone from New York wearing a western suit and hat, I should get mad????

I see someone in France or Great Britain doing that, then can I get mad????

John Lennon wore a Nehru jacket. Should we be mad at him????

If I wear a kilt, should the Scots get mad at me??? After all, the closest my ancestors got to Scotland was when they went Viking.
Nobody said that anybody has to get mad; or even mildly annoyed. If it doesn't bother you, then it doesn't bother you. If it doesn't bother anyone else in the culture it's taken from, then it doesn't bother them.

Because most Christians are happy to have anybody come into the church doesn't mean that all religions' rites have to all be open to the public. But it does mean that if a particular congregation's happy to have you come into the church, then you can go into that church if you want to. (Though you may have to cover, or uncover, your head; as has recently been discussed elsewhere on the boards.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
The dress is pretty and the young woman looked good in it.
True and not relevant.

Do you think that if you thought the dress and/or the wearer were ugly that would mean she shouldn't have worn it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
Pretty much every businessman in Asia wears western suits, is that appropriation?
Already discussed at some length in this thread.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
Has Eminem appropriated rap and hip hop from black American culture?
I don't follow rap, but even I've noticed that there was some argument over that subject.

Plus which, the entire issue as related to music in the USA has also already been discussed at some length in this thread. Have you read the thread?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
The problem with getting upset over something so trivial as what a person wears is that it belittles serious cases of "cultural appropriation". For example, when a weaving factory in china mass reproduces patterns of hand woven carpets from Turkmenistan specifically for sale in the west. Not only are they copying a cultural pattern they are directly competing with native weavers (who often using traditional technology) and putting them out of business.
1) The entire question of whether a particular thing somebody's wearing is trivial or not is part of the issue. Neither you nor I gets to define what's "trivial" for everybody on the planet.

2) Calling attention to issues of clothing may indeed distract from theft of what generally doesn't get counted as intellectual property if the people who figured it out did so before patent law. Or it may call attention to the issue overall, and therefore may make people more likely to pay attention to such things.

Plus which, that entire argument sounds to me very much like 'worse things happen, so nobody should complain about anything but the very worst ones.' I'm not sure of the name of the fallacy, but I am sure that's a fallacy. The fact that people get murdered doesn't mean nobody should complain about only being punched, and the fact that people get punched doesn't mean nobody should be allowed to complain about being insulted. Etcetera. If anything, a culture that allows insulting and punching without objection is I suspect going to wind up with more murders, not fewer.
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  #55  
Old 05 May 2018, 05:07 PM
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E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
 
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For me, I tend to think in terms of two (admittedly over-simplistic) points:

1) Culture is not genetic;

and

2) You can't really "steal" culture -- if I adopt some aspect of, say, Japanese culture, that doesn't mean the Japanese don't still have it.

The first one stems from my own personal feeling (and I'll qualify this in a moment, don't worry) that -- except perhaps in matters of medical history -- who a person's ancestors were should be the least important thing about them. To me, culture is a collection of ideas, and an idea that works well for or appeals to one group of people, can work just as well for other people, regardless of their genetic heritage. I want to live in a society where people identify with ideas and ideals that suit them, not those that happen to have been used by people in the past who happened to share their skin color or place of birth.

However: again, this comes from someone who is part of the "baseline" American culture -- i.e., white. (I have a bit of Cherokee ancestry, but that's not something visually apparent, nor has it had any but the most trivial cultural influence on me.) So, it's pretty easy for me to say that I ought to be able to select my own culture; no one is particularly trying to force one on me.

If, on the other hand, my ancestors had been, let us say, Japanese; then even if I personally felt no particular connection to Japanese or Asian culture in general, even if I thought of myself as 100% American, I would nonetheless be constantly dealing with other people ascribing those cultural aspects to me. Apart from out-and-out discrimination, people would probably assume I liked sushi and rice, knew something about anime, or whatever. Even if *I* didn't identify as Japanese, other people would almost inevitably identify me that way, and that would create a cultural connection whether I wanted one or not. The same would be true if I were black, or Latino, or Native American.

So, in a way, my instincts regarding cultural appropriation are another extension of white privilege. That doesn't, I think, necessarily make my ultimate goal wrong or unworthy; but we don't live in that world yet.

(In George Takei's book To the Stars, he talks about the Star Trek episode "The Naked Time," when Sulu goes a little bit nuts and starts accosting people with a sword. Apparently, when they were in the writing stages, they were undecided as to whether him have assume the persona of a swashbuckling musketeer type, or something more like a samurai. Takei urged them to go with the former, as a way of showing that Sulu was a man whose cultural heritage included the entire world, not just Japan; and was very pleased that they agreed and allowed him to play it that way. This resulted in my being a little bit irritated when, in the more recent feature films, they showed Sulu pulling out a futuristic katana -- it seemed a bit of a step backwards. Of course, I don't think people should automatically reject or avoid the culture of their ancestors, either.)
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  #56  
Old 06 May 2018, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by erwins View Post
As someone who wears, in a way that is deeply a part of my identity, clothes that mark me as a minority, all I can say is that thinking clothing is trivial comes from a place of privilege. Be thankful that you get to think clothing choices are so trivial. And now allow for the reality that for some, they are not.
Yes, I am privileged. I am white, male, and relatively wealthy. I try not to act on that. Yet, that privilege doesn't always get extended to me. For example, if I am wearing an old T-shirt and dirty jeans, some salespeople may not be ready to help me if I wish to buy an item costing several hundred dollars. It should be noted that I try to respect others by trying to make sure the t-shirt and jeans are at least clean if I am out to purchase something. OTH, if the t-shirt and jeans are greasy and I have a smear of grease across my forehead, the auto parts store has no problem helping me find anything.

Our "American" culture is primarily northern European with the strongest influence being English. But America is supposed to be a melting pot of culture. Why can't others contribute? Unless the clothing is religious in nature, I see no problem wearing the styles of another culture.
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  #57  
Old 06 May 2018, 04:32 PM
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Little Pink Pill Little Pink Pill is offline
 
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It isn’t about whether you have a problem with it. It’s about the fact that someone else does.

It all comes down to whether or not you care to be sensitive to that. All the cowboy hat and greasy jeans arguments in the world are never going to change the core of the issue: someone else feels differently about their cultural symbols than you and I do. We don’t have to get it, we just have to respect it.

Or not, as the case may be.

And I think there are grey areas. Keket is someone with a respect for the culture, so she’s in a more difficult spot than I was when I realized I should stop wearing chopsticks in my hair. But I still eat Asian food, even though we once had a thread on someone being offended at that, because 1. I’m actually helping that immigrant family make a living, and 2. Orange chicken.
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  #58  
Old 06 May 2018, 04:54 PM
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I think the criticism of the young woman who wore a Chinese style dress is cyber bullying and should not be tolerated.
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  #59  
Old 06 May 2018, 05:07 PM
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Little Pink Pill Little Pink Pill is offline
 
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You’re changing lanes, but ok.

Are you referring to a different source than the OP? Because the article quotes people saying, “my culture is not your prom dress” and “that’s not ok.” Unless you’re looking at other posts I’m not aware of, calling someone out, addressing an issue, or expressing your offense is not anywhere close to bullying.

“Why don’t you kill yourself in that dress, whore” would be bullying.
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  #60  
Old 06 May 2018, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
Our "American" culture is primarily northern European with the strongest influence being English.
OK. What is your point? It sounds a lot like "America was founded on Christian values."

Quote:
But America is supposed to be a melting pot of culture. Why can't others contribute? Unless the clothing is religious in nature, I see no problem wearing the styles of another culture.
Who says America is supposed to be a melting pot?

When you say "contribute" it sounds voluntary, but what you are talking about is not.

And, again, the fact that someone "see[s] no problem with" using something strongly associated with a culture that is not their own is the exact issue we're discussing. And, "as long as it's not religious in nature" might be the lowest I've seen anyone set the bar around here.
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