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  #121  
Old 06 October 2018, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by damian View Post
Your insistence that you are right is equal to my insistence that you are wrong.
In what sense is it equal?

If you're claiming that it's equally vehement, and/or equally firmly held, that while difficult to determine is certainly possible.

If you're claiming that the discussion is about something to which no facts apply, and therefore it's just as much a matter of opinion as, say, "chili flavored icecream tastes good", then I don't think you are correct. (I'm happy to go into further detail as to why I don't think so, if I get a coherent response to this from someone who seems to be listening.)

If you're claiming that no facts whatsoever apply to disagreements and that anybody's opinion about anything is equal to anyone else's opinion about anything, then I doubt there's any sense in having the discussion; but I would point out that if you have a different opinion than most other people about what a red traffic light means, then I would certainly hope you aren't driving, because you'd be likely to kill somebody if you were.

And if you think that nobody's ever died over a cultural disagreement, I'd invite you to go read some history.
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  #122  
Old 07 October 2018, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASL View Post
For a western example, there is a difference between me buying a model of Big Ben (whether at a trinket shop in London or at a local store in the US) vs. me deciding that the Victoria Cross sure looks nifty and deciding to strut around wearing a replica of one, posing for pictures and all. Call it cultural appropriation, call it just being a twit, there's a degree of cultural insensitivity to one that need not apply to the other. Can you see that distinction, at least?
But that's not what's meant by cultural appropriation. I'd think it would generally be considered about as bad for an Briton to do that as it would be for a American to do that. Pretending to be a military hero is a far cry from most claims of cultural appropriation.
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  #123  
Old 07 October 2018, 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by damian View Post
Let's just agree to disagree.
It really really annoys me that people think that this is a good and proper place to end a debate, rather than where people should start a debate. It's lazy and intellectual cowardice.
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  #124  
Old 07 October 2018, 03:11 AM
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It seems that some people in this thread are really struggling to understand what cultural appropriation actually is and why it's a bad thing and why some instances of borrowing aspects of other cultures (using chopsticks, buying souvenirs, etc) don't count so here's a handy article that explains it:
https://www.philosophytalk.org/blog/...-appropriation


Edit: also ANOTHER reminder that this discussion isn't even on topic and only happened because ganzfeld pointed out that the cartoonist's depiction of Naomi Osaka gave her a blonde ponytail (I guess because he didn't realise that she actually does have a blonde ponytail) and damian facetiously asked if that was cultural appropriation. It's just a distraction from the actual topic under discussion.
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  #125  
Old 07 October 2018, 03:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gutter Monkey View Post
It seems that some people in this thread are really struggling to understand what cultural appropriation actually is and why it's a bad thing and why some instances of borrowing aspects of other cultures (using chopsticks, buying souvenirs, etc) don't count so here's a handy article that explains it:
https://www.philosophytalk.org/blog/...-appropriation
From the article:
Quote:
cultural appropriation is where people from a group that oppressed or oppresses another group mimics or represents cultural artifacts or manners of the oppressed group in a way that expresses or reinforces psychological elements of the racist ideology inherent in the colonialist project responsible for the oppression.
But it doesn't just mean that. The discussions of cultural appropriation on this board have been more along the lines of "American woman wore a Chinese dress" or "Canadian yoga class gets cancelled". So no, that blog's definition of the term isn't right.
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  #126  
Old 07 October 2018, 04:25 AM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
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Why do you think those examples don't meet that definition? Are you saying that Indian and Asian countries and people weren't subject to racist colonialism? Whether or not they "express or reinforce psychological elements of the racist ideology inherent in the colonialist project responsible for the oppression" is what was being debated in those threads. So I don't think you can object to the definition merely on those grounds. (And not everyone agreed, of course.)
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  #127  
Old 07 October 2018, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Why do you think those examples don't meet that definition?
Because Canada never colonized India.
Quote:
Are you saying that Indian and Asian countries and people weren't subject to racist colonialism?
Good lord, when will this annoying "Are you saying" stuff end? No, obviously I'm not saying that. You know that.
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  #128  
Old 07 October 2018, 04:46 AM
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The definition doesn't even imply that it's only the colonists themselves expressing or reinforcing. (ETA I don't think there's any real debate about whether Asians from many areas were the subjects of racism and oppression in the US and Canada.)

Last edited by ganzfeld; 07 October 2018 at 04:55 AM.
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  #129  
Old 07 October 2018, 05:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
But that's not what's meant by cultural appropriation. I'd think it would generally be considered about as bad for an Briton to do that as it would be for a American to do that. Pretending to be a military hero is a far cry from most claims of cultural appropriation.
Just continuing with the example, for the sake of argument...

Who's to say I’m claiming to be a military hero by wearing a nifty little medal on a neat ribbon? I don’t know what it means (hypothetically) I just saw a picture of some guy wearing one and thought "gosh, that sure is cool looking. Even though I have absolutely no idea what it is, I’m just going to go ahead and put one on. If anyone asks, I’ll say I’m celebrating/honoring *British culture."

Isn’t that cultural appropriation in a nutshell? Taking something of significance to one culture, as a member of a different culture with either a) no clue or b) no concern for its history or significance, and then proceeding to wear it like one would a cheap piece of jewelry?

*ETA: Actually, for full effect, I should say I’m honoring French culture. Because all Western Europeans look alike to me and are culturally indistinct.

Last edited by ASL; 07 October 2018 at 05:12 AM.
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  #130  
Old 07 October 2018, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
From the article:
But it doesn't just mean that. The discussions of cultural appropriation on this board have been more along the lines of "American woman wore a Chinese dress" or "Canadian yoga class gets cancelled". So no, that blog's definition of the term isn't right.
No, the blog's definition is just more nuanced than what has been used on this board in the past. The blog's definition of the term wouldn't include practicing yoga and it probably wouldn't include wearing a Chinese dress unless it was part of a more problematic costume (squinty eyes, coke bottle glasses, buck teeth, "Me so solly" accent").

Cultural appropriation as a concept isn't as simple as "wearing a Chinese dress" and the blog goes to some lengths explaining the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ASL View Post
Just continuing with the example, for the sake of argument...
Stolen valor is different to cultural appropriation. That's not to say that either practice is better or worse than the other, just that the terms describe different practices. Also "the military" in no way count as an "oppressed group"

Last edited by Gutter Monkey; 07 October 2018 at 06:24 AM.
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  #131  
Old 07 October 2018, 07:26 AM
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And because the military isn't an opressed (more importantly, not marginalized) group, people will recognize the misuse of important symbols and call out their misuse.
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  #132  
Old 07 October 2018, 02:23 PM
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It’s a loose analogy meant to highlight some key components that others would tend to deny. It's the whole "this is culturally significant to you, but not to me, and when I use it I may tend to use it in a..."

You know what it, I’m done. We don’t even disagree, I’m not going to waste time explaining something that should be intuitively obvious to you. Stop being so literal and perhaps you’ll get it.

Oh, one last thing, in many ways I do think the military is marginalized and stereotyped—and people are applauded for buying into those stereotypes.
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  #133  
Old 07 October 2018, 02:48 PM
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ASL, FWIW, I thought it was a decent analogy.
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  #134  
Old 07 October 2018, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Pretending to be a military hero is a far cry from most claims of cultural appropriation.
Not from all of them.

People wearing certain types of Native American costumes are doing exactly that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ASL View Post
Isn’t that cultural appropriation in a nutshell? Taking something of significance to one culture, as a member of a different culture with either a) no clue or b) no concern for its history or significance, and then proceeding to wear it like one would a cheap piece of jewelry?
I think ASL's making a lot of sense. ETA: tied to the minute with Lainie!
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  #135  
Old 07 October 2018, 03:51 PM
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FWIW, I didn't think the military valor comparison was very apt but I did think it could help people who understand those kinds of grievances begin to understand some important parts of the other.

But, trying to be more honest, I can't say for sure that soldiers (or perhaps the military itself) are not oppressed in some ways. It seems so different but I have to step back and admit that it's not for me to say, having witnessed one and not the other and not having been the subject of either. (For what it's worth, I have many close friends and family in both types of group. But that's not worth anything if I'm not going to listen to them. I'm definitely willing to listen.)
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  #136  
Old 07 October 2018, 03:55 PM
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I thought ASL's analogy was good as well.

I don't know if this is still the case, but I remember years ago that the kind of people who complained about "political correctness" involving cultural appropriation often complained about things like rappers wearing American flags- oh no, it's been desecrated (despite, of course, the flag being a popular decoration for country musicians and many other groups as well). Does that work better as an analogy?
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  #137  
Old 07 October 2018, 07:06 PM
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I also thought ASL's analogy was solid, and I think it's distinguishable from stolen valor in that the appropriator in his example wasn't trying to claim military honors; rather, he was so ignorant and insensitive he didn't even realize or care that that's what he was doing. To me, that's an important aspect to problematic cultural appropriation as opposed to respectful cultural appreciation or exchange. Are you slithering around in a glittery bikini to Shakira's "Ojos Asi" without knowing enough context to even know whether you're making a mockery of belly dance, or are you actually learning the music, the moves, and the history? Are you taking up yoga as a meditative practice where you're studying under a legitimate yogi in a religious/spiritual context, or does your teacher wear Lululemon and talk about core strength but still slap on a bindi for funsies? Are you buying silver and turquoise jewelry from Native American craftspeople and taking a minute to learn about their craft, or are you wearing a headdress from the rubber tomahawk district to Coachella? What you don't know about what you're doing is largely where the hurt comes from.
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