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ThisBougieLife
November 4th, 2016, 01:53 AM
Let's talk about it.

It's a hot-button issue on other forums that I frequent, so I thought I'd ask about it here as well.

Cultural appropriation, in its simplest definition, is the act of one culture adopting or using elements of another culture. More specifically, there is an idea that the culture using the other culture's elements does not appreciate or understand them, and it can be thus seen as disrespectful, particularly when it is a majority culture adopting elements of a minority culture. Things that have important cultural relevance or symbolism to the minority may be shallowly seen as "exotic" by the other culture without an understanding of how the minority culture views the items and the importance they attach to them.

A common example given is non-Native Americans wearing Native American headdresses. A recent example that has gained some attention from college campuses is White People With Dreads.

Some say cultural appropriation is a necessary consequence of multiculturalism and that if cultures are to live together and mix, cultural elements will be borrowed without much regard to whether or not the borrowed element is sacred or culturally important.

So: is negative "cultural appropriation" a thing? If so, what is a cultural borrowing that qualifies as a valid example? And one that does not? Have you experienced it or been accused of it?

Stronk Serb
November 4th, 2016, 06:26 AM
If so, all non-whites should stop wearing western-like clothes and stop using the internet. This whole thing is a slippery slope. If blacks say you cannot wear dreads, than whites can say you cannot wear x or do y. It's fucking pointless.

Vlerchan
November 4th, 2016, 07:56 AM
Insofar as it results in the bastardification of that culture, cultural appropriation is bad.

It's a hot-button issue on other forums that I frequent, so I thought I'd ask about it here as well.
For whatever reason - I blame phuckphace and Judean Zealot, of course - ROTW doesn't seem to attract these sort of liberals. Each of the threads on this so far have ended with a rehash of the claim I made above. Though, perhaps I will be surprised this time.

ThisBougieLife
November 4th, 2016, 10:26 AM
"These sorts of liberals"? You mean the type who are heavy-handed about cultural appropriation?

If so, all non-whites should stop wearing western-like clothes and stop using the internet. This whole thing is a slippery slope. If blacks say you cannot wear dreads, than whites can say you cannot wear x or do y. It's fucking pointless.

I get what you're saying, but I don't know any Westerner who would consider T-shirts and the internet sacred cultural items. That's what might set it apart from a white person wearing an Indian headdress or a bindi.

Voice_Of_Unreason
November 4th, 2016, 10:50 AM
"These sorts of liberals"? You mean the type who are heavy-handed about cultural appropriation?

I think he is referring to the Social Justice Warrior sorta liberal. The type that gets offended or outraged about basically anything.

I see cultural appropriation in the sense of doing or wearing something that originated from another culture because you like it as absolutely fine. You could argue that cultural appropriation founded America, with so many different aspects of different cultures eventually founding what you may call American culture.

As for the dreadlocks thing, I think that it is absolutely fine for white people to have dreadlocks. By their logic, black people shouldn't be allowed to straighten their hair, as that is a white hair style. Cultural appropriation is a necessity if you want a truly multicultural, united society. I find the argument against white dreadlocks to be absolutely hypocritical. There are hundreds of things that black people have adopted from European and white culture, yet white people take a hairstyle, not a religious icon or something essential to their culture even, but just a hairstyle, and they have a fit.

Insofar as it results in the bastardification of that culture, cultural appropriation is bad. I agree with that sentiment. A guy running around in American Indian warpaint and yelling war cries while acting like a caveman is pretty disrespectful towards that culture. Or if a culture holds something in high respect, then urinating on that item is pretty bad. Those are extremes, but cultural appropriation can be done negatively. I just feel that most of the SJW cultural appropriation examples are not intending or resulting in bastardization of culture.

Vlerchan
November 4th, 2016, 11:17 AM
"These sorts of liberals"? You mean the type who are heavy-handed about cultural appropriation?
Yes. But more broadly those possessing the social justice mindset that tends to accompany this - which tends to approach these grievances with a particularly exaggerated sentimentality (which - by the way - is not to claim these people are incorrect).

I just feel that most of the SJW cultural appropriation examples are not intending or resulting in bastardization of culture.
I get that impression too.

The lens I like to see it through is, would I be upset if it was occurring to Christianity?

ThisBougieLife
November 4th, 2016, 11:34 AM
You're right--I haven't seen too many SJWs here (thank God for that) and they do seem to dominate on other sites (including some of the ones I had in mind while posting this question). It's frustrating because my views are neither SJW nor "alt right" yet it seems like that's often all I can find online--these two extreme sides warring and me caught in the middle (and thus not appreciated or liked by either side). It is true, though, that my vexation with SJWs on other sites helped spawn this question, including some who were saying "WHITE PEOPLE CANNOT HAVE A VALID OPINION ON CULTURAL APPROPRIATION".

Either way, yes, I agree that most of the examples do not seem to result in a bastardization of culture. We all seem to recognize that disrespecting of culture exists--no one is denying that. But what makes accusations of cultural appropriation unique is that we are talking about people who have no disrespectful intent (unlike someone, say, urinating on a cultural artifact or running wild with stereotypes). We're talking about, say, a white girl wearing a kimono because she likes the way it looks--even if the girl has no intention of disrespect, some would say her being outside of the culture wearing it is inherently disrespectful (not saying I agree with that assessment, but that's the mindset).

As Vlerchan says, the main thing you can do is try to see it from the point of view of something you value culturally. Is there something that someone could "appropriate" that would bother you? I, for example, was raised Catholic, and sometimes it irks me to see people wear nun costumes or other costumes based on Catholic livery--since these vestments have a specific religious function and aren't just something "fun" you wear. This is the closest thing I can come up with to me experiencing cultural appropriation.

Stronk Serb
November 4th, 2016, 03:33 PM
"These sorts of liberals"? You mean the type who are heavy-handed about cultural appropriation?



I get what you're saying, but I don't know any Westerner who would consider T-shirts and the internet sacred cultural items. That's what might set it apart from a white person wearing an Indian headdress or a bindi.

Well, if a black came and wore traditional Serbian clothes we can be all SJW and say he cannkt wear that, but we don't care. There is a popular video on YouTube if a Serb and a black guy wearing traditional Serb hats and shoes and the Serb public just laughed. We don't care that he wears a šajkača and opanci.

phuckphace
November 4th, 2016, 03:48 PM
the current year is truly bizarre in the way that it insists that we all blend together into a writhing, shapeless brown mass and then bitching when cultural blending ("appropriation") occurs

Porpoise101
November 4th, 2016, 04:47 PM
Opinions expressed in this thread (http://www.virtualteen.org/forums/showthread.php?t=2029278&highlight=cultural+appropriation).

Babs
November 4th, 2016, 04:54 PM
Fun story: one time I went trick or treating with some siblings and their friends. We met up at the friends' house, who were Mexican. Their parents didn't speak English. These other friends of theirs showed up in costumes of Mexican people. They had maracas, mustaches, sombreros, those ponchos, the whole shebang. I don't know if they felt insulted, this is just me, I think it's really awkward if not a little rude to go to someone's house dressed in a costume of their race. In that instance, I think it's in very poor taste.

But when it comes to things like ethnic food, learning a language, fashion statements, I don't think there's anything wrong with that junk. I think it's really fucking silly to walk around in an Indian headdress, but it's not worth nit picking.

ThisBougieLife
November 4th, 2016, 06:53 PM
Opinions expressed in this thread (http://www.virtualteen.org/forums/showthread.php?t=2029278&highlight=cultural+appropriation).

Yeah I didn't realize another thread on this topic had been posted not too long ago; this topic just seemed to explode on other forums lately.

Interesting opinions there; the appropriation of the swastika is probably one of the most egregious examples of it in history, turning something peaceful into its antithesis. Though I'm not sure I agree that only religious elements are potential victims of appropriation and everything else is fair game, so to speak. It really depends on how much importance a culture places on an element (obviously religious ones are the most likely to have increased importance placed on them), but it is possible for something else, even if it's non-religious, to be appropriated, as long as it is important enough to the culture. It is also
Possible for a culture to not mind if something religious of theirs is borrowed. Every case has its own dynamics. But I don't, for example, think most Italians are upset about what happened to pizza in the US.

The issue then becomes: just how much importance is actually placed on these items, such as dread locks? Do black people actually value dreads so highly? Is it a unique distinctive cultural item that they can claim "ownership" of? Where can we realistically draw the line without excluding some legitimate cases?

the current year is truly bizarre in the way that it insists that we all blend together into a writhing, shapeless brown mass and then bitching when cultural blending ("appropriation") occurs

There is something especially ironic about this. It seems to me that there is a difficult balancing act between cultures living together and cultures maintaining certain elements that make them unique with a degree of exclusivity.

Posts merged. Use the multi-quote button. ~Amethyst_

Vlerchan
November 4th, 2016, 07:33 PM
I'm going to just play devil's advocate so this thread doesn't get boring*.

The main issue with cultural appropriation is that it reduces cultural traditions to the level of mass-culture - and on a further point, the level of consumption (in accordance with the logic of capitalism - Ergo: capitalism is the root of all Evil). This is problematic insofar as the very power of a cultural-tradition is in it's position above mass-culture, and in flattening cultural transactions to the level of our own engagement, we are undermining the existence of an 'other', assimilating them in a venture that might only be reasonably described as neo-colonial.

The question also raises issues of privilege and domination. There is a clearly unequal relationship in any sort of environment where cultural transactions occur. It is solely the privledged that are capable of normalizing cultural goods - and that have the power to garner respect in renovating traditions. It is, furthermore, obviously erroneous to make attempts to conflate this with the adoption of Western hairstyles by women of color - or, women that are subject to Western beauty standards.

---

* People might also remember I lost in this argument to Judean Zealot last time. Try not to review that and cheat :P.

StoppingTom
November 4th, 2016, 08:08 PM
if white people have no culture explain Guy Fieri and John Green books huh

"cultural appropriation" is a slippery slope because inherently when cultures interact they will adopt portions of eachother but i get why, say, a Native American dude might get a bit testy if some frat boy dressed up in feather and war paint and called himself Chief Big Dick or something. i guess what i'm saying is if you adapt an aspect of another culture, if it maintains the respect and dignity it deserves then i have no qualms

DefinitelyNotY
November 4th, 2016, 09:31 PM
I'm from the other side, i'm from mexico, and there has been some polemic in this issue just a few days ago, because of american white women painting the "sugar skull" in their faces.
In a spanish language forum, we had this discussion with over 150 comments, and a
overwhelming majority (>95%) thinks it's cool, or dont care, the only one negative comment about this, got heavily downvoted.
But for some reason, hispanic people living in the USA, and specially second generation who can't speak good spanish, think that's offensive.

conclusion: In mexico, and probably in all LatAm, we don't care, and in a lot of times(over the half) WE LOVE IT
I feel proud and I thinks it's great if foreign people likes somethings of my country.

PS:Sorry for the bad english :P

phuckphace
November 4th, 2016, 09:34 PM
original:

http://i.imgur.com/91OoHjX.png

fixed:

http://i.imgur.com/7PEuCjQ.png

Porpoise101
November 4th, 2016, 10:13 PM
original:

image (http://i.imgur.com/91OoHjX.png)

fixed:

image (http://i.imgur.com/7PEuCjQ.png)
Am Triggered :eek::eek:

I've never seen a white person wear bindi before. Usually, it's just worn by elderly women and maybe during a time when you wear traditional garb. I also have half a mind to believe this was made by some white girl on Tumblr, but I wouldn't know for sure.

Protip time: Most of the time, (if you want) you can fight cultural appropriation by making the appropriator feel awkward and stupid from straying from their normalcy.

phuckphace
November 5th, 2016, 11:22 PM
I should add that I'm not the least bit bothered by non-whites "appropriating" elements of white cultures (because white cultures are inherently superior for inherently superior reasons so it's to be expected) although when that happens it tends toward cheesy cargo-cultishness. there are plenty of places in the Third World where attempts are being made to introduce newfangled Western concepts such as not cheating on tests or gang-raping your sister and then stoning her to death, although for some mysterious, unfathomable reason (to the social engineers anyway) it hasn't quite caught on yet.

There is something especially ironic about this. It seems to me that there is a difficult balancing act between cultures living together and cultures maintaining certain elements that make them unique with a degree of exclusivity.

the balancing act exists precisely because it is an abnormal and novel arrangement that is inherently at odds with itself. if you look at where exactly this rhetoric flows from (progressive globalists) you'll notice that 100% of the care is reserved for bastardization of brown cultures only, up to and including valorizing them and whitewashing their barbaric elements, while our own cultures are considered valueless and anachronistic. as I've noted before, whites are the only group who aren't permitted to express preference or appreciation for white things and white neighbors (doing this leads to Hitler) while brown groups can openly display racial/ethnic/national pride and intolerance toward other groups with near impunity.