Author Topic: Cultural Appropriation Culture  (Read 755 times)

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Offline kimmy

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Cultural Appropriation Culture
« on: May 05, 2018, 10:46:14 am »
There have been many controversies in recent years over "cultural appropriation". White women wearing dreadlocks. Native themed clothes being worn as Halloween costumes.   The latest one to cause enough controversy on Twitter to become news involves a white girl who wore a Chinese "qipao" style dress to her prom.  http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-43947959

The girl posted this photo...



 ...on her Twitter page, and somebody replied "My culture is NOT your goddamn prom dress."

https://twitter.com/jere_bare/status/990065548447793152?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

He continues and explains why the "qipao" dress is important-- it became a symbol of women's liberation in Asia, apparently. His post became very widely shared, and many people agree, but many people also disagree.   Some note that she isn't wearing the dress as a "costume", she is wearing it to a formal event, as originally intended. Others simply don't get why they're supposed to be offended.
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When the furore reached Asia, though, many seemed to be scratching their heads. Far from being critical of Ms Daum, who is not Chinese, many people in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan proclaimed her choice of the traditional high-necked dress as a victory for Chinese culture.

“I am very proud to have our culture recognised by people in other countries,” said someone called Snail Trail, commenting on a post of the Utah episode by a popular account on WeChat, the messaging and social media platform that had been read more than 100,000 times.

“It’s ridiculous to criticize this as cultural appropriation,” Ms Zhou Yijun, a Hong Kong-based cultural commentator, said in a telephone interview. “From the perspective of a Chinese person, if a foreign woman wears a qipao and thinks she looks pretty, then why shouldn’t she wear it?”

If anything, the uproar surrounding Ms Daum’s dress prompted many Chinese to reflect on examples of cultural appropriation in their own country. “So does that mean when we celebrate Christmas and Halloween it’s also cultural appropriation?” asked one WeChat user, Larissa.
...
“To Chinese, it’s not sacred and it’s not that meaningful,” said Ms Hung Huang, a Beijing-based writer and fashion blogger, in an interview. “Nowadays, if you see a woman wearing a qipao, she’s probably a waitress in a restaurant or a bride.”

There is also some debate about the origins of the qipao dress itself. The qipao dress was worn by the northern Manchu minority and "appropriated" by the Han majority.  And the "modern" version originated in the 1920s and was actually inspired by western fashion. (reverse cultural appropriation?)

https://www.todayonline.com/world/teenagers-prom-dress-stirs-furore-us-not-china

...

And of course it has turned into a meme as well, with people putting the caption "My culture is not your goddamn prom dress" on photos like this...



...or this...


...or this...





What is cultural appropriation?   When is it ok?  When is it not ok?




...



 -k
Paris - London - New York - Kim City

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Offline MH

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Re: Cultural Appropriation Culture
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2018, 10:55:33 am »
The discussion is fine but I understand the people who started it are being harassed now which isn't fine.  I think that's what we have to deal with.

Offline TimG

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Re: Cultural Appropriation Culture
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2018, 11:43:50 am »
What is cultural appropriation?   When is it ok?  When is it not ok?
1) There are a billion Chinese in the world. Who decided that this SJW is entitled to speak for them? Even if this SJW expresses a widely held opinion then why should the SJW's opinion be more important than those Chinese that see no problem?

If anyone is "appropriating a voice" it is the SJW who has the arrogance to presume they are entitled to speak for all Chinese.

2) The best way to ensure a minority culture dies and is forgotten is to tell the majority that they are not allowed to adopt/use elements from that culture. Borrowing is how culture propagates.




Offline ?Impact

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Re: Cultural Appropriation Culture
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2018, 11:46:28 am »
There has been a ton of American cultural appropriation over the years, are we supposed to be offended as well?
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Offline Omni

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Re: Cultural Appropriation Culture
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2018, 12:24:56 pm »
1) There are a billion Chinese in the world. Who decided that this SJW is entitled to speak for them? Even if this SJW expresses a widely held opinion then why should the SJW's opinion be more important than those Chinese that see no problem?

If anyone is "appropriating a voice" it is the SJW who has the arrogance to presume they are entitled to speak for all Chinese.

2) The best way to ensure a minority culture dies and is forgotten is to tell the majority that they are not allowed to adopt/use elements from that culture. Borrowing is how culture propagates.

Um, didn't you just point out there are ~ a billion Chinese? How is that a "minority culture"?
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Offline MH

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Re: Cultural Appropriation Culture
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2018, 12:44:48 pm »
1) There are a billion Chinese in the world. Who decided that this SJW is entitled to speak for them?

"My culture is NOT your goddamn prom dress."

I think that's a personal expression, not a presumption to speak for others.

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Even if this SJW expresses a widely held opinion then why should the SJW's opinion be more important than those Chinese that see no problem?

You don't have to be an SJW (presuming you have a personal definition that somehow fits) to object to how your group is treated.

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2) The best way to ensure a minority culture dies and is forgotten is to tell the majority that they are not allowed to adopt/use elements from that culture. Borrowing is how culture propagates.

So the 'minority' is Chinese people here ?  That's pretty presumptive.  I think that if you could see into the future you might see that culture dominating on earth but it's anyone's guess.

Offline kimmy

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Re: Cultural Appropriation Culture
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2018, 12:59:41 pm »
So the 'minority' is Chinese people here ?  That's pretty presumptive.  I think that if you could see into the future you might see that culture dominating on earth but it's anyone's guess.

China might in the future become a dominant exporter of culture in the way that the US is at present...  but what would they actually be exporting?  The "Today Online" article I linked to quoted a Chinese fashion expert who said that nobody in China actually wears a qipao dress unless she is "a waitress in a restaurant or a bride."   America has become the world's dominant cultural exporter for the time being, but it's not exporting much that would be described as "traditional" American culture.  The clothes, movies, television, music, and so on, are all very of the moment, not traditional in any way.

 -k
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Offline TimG

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Re: Cultural Appropriation Culture
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2018, 01:06:49 pm »
I think that's a personal expression, not a presumption to speak for others.
Of course it is. By describing the dress as "my culture" the speaker usurps ownership of the "culture" in question and implies they speak for who that share the culture. I think it is clear that the speaker is someone who gets high off lecturing others on 'injustices'. Whether they really care about the issue or just care about having an excuse to lecture others is unknown.

So the 'minority' is Chinese people here ?  That's pretty presumptive.  I think that if you could see into the future you might see that culture dominating on earth but it's anyone's guess.
They are a minority in North America.

Offline SirJohn

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Re: Cultural Appropriation Culture
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2018, 03:18:32 pm »
Does this mean every Asian, African and Middle Eastern businessman, professor or politician who wears a suit and tie is appropriating western culture? Should we demand they stop?
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline Queefer Sutherland

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Re: Cultural Appropriation Culture
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2018, 08:30:56 pm »
As long as you're not being racist or totally disrespectful to the other culture i think it's not a big deal.  Everybody needs to get over themselves and chillax a bit.
"Nipples is one of the great minds of our time!" - Bubbermiley
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Offline MH

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Re: Cultural Appropriation Culture
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2018, 07:08:29 am »
China might in the future become a dominant exporter of culture in the way that the US is at present...  but what would they actually be exporting? 

Aspects of their culture.  Japan did it with comics and animation for example.
 
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Offline MH

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Re: Cultural Appropriation Culture
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2018, 07:13:00 am »
Of course it is. By describing the dress as "my culture" the speaker usurps ownership of the "culture" in question and implies they speak for who that share the culture.

I don't think that makes sense.  "MY" culture is personal by definition.

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I think it is clear that the speaker is someone who gets high off lecturing others on 'injustices'. Whether they really care about the issue or just care about having an excuse to lecture others is unknown.

I won't argue that but getting up in everyone's business has been a thing since forever and isn't the sole domain of left-wing caricatures or Indian church ladies.

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They are a minority in North America.

Ok, well you are ignoring global culture.  Americans are a tiny minority outside America and their culture is arguably a force in every country and not from appropriation.

This statement still sounds weird to me, since I was thinking about global forces:
" The best way to ensure a minority culture dies and is forgotten is to tell the majority that they are not allowed to adopt/use elements from that culture. "

Anyway, is there a counter-example to that sentence ?


Offline cybercoma

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Re: Cultural Appropriation Culture
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2018, 09:01:04 am »
As long as you're not being racist or totally disrespectful to the other culture i think it's not a big deal.  Everybody needs to get over themselves and chillax a bit.
Who's defining racism and disrespect? If you say the people being disrespected, then I'll have to remember that next time someone makes a cartoon of the prophet in Islam.

Offline cybercoma

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Re: Cultural Appropriation Culture
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2018, 09:01:58 am »
I don't think that makes sense.  "MY" culture is personal by definition.
How can culture be personal? The definition of culture involves groups of people interacting with each other and sharing common understandings, values, norms, and beliefs.

Offline SirJohn

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Re: Cultural Appropriation Culture
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2018, 09:10:56 am »
The definitive dismissal of the silliness of the whole thing.



But I strongly doubt even most Chinese in China are aware of that background these days. Sometimes a dress is just a damn dress. There are no co-opting implications.


https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/05/04/dont-get-your-cheongsam-in-a-knot.html
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum