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Cultural Appropriation

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Doglover, Aug 3, 2019.

  1. Doglover

    Doglover Occasional commenter

    When a dominant culture takes something from a less dominant culture in a way that it’s members find degrading or offensive, it is often labelled as cultural appropriation.
    However is it really abuse of another culture’s heritage for example, for a white person to have cornrows or a white girl to dress in a kimono style dress?
    I’m genuinely interested in the debate surrounding this and have no agenda here.
    On the one hand we live in a society which celebrates diversity, but on the other hand it appears that if that diversity is used in the wrong way then it becomes offensive.
    Where do the paths meet and cross?
  2. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    I'm cheering @josienig 's Donegal team.
    josienig likes this.
  3. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    3 Ways Not to Be a Culturally Appropriating Jerk This Halloween
    Let's just, not? Shall we?


    So. Let's analyse.

    1. Hindu god/dess - doesn't bother me
    2. Puritan and Native American Indian - also finding it hard to get upset about that
    3. A much-loved character from "Orange Is The New Black" - I love Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" and who wouldn't want to dress up as her? She's awesome!
  4. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    Cultural appropriation reduces diversity. We must remain in our boxes.
    Laphroig likes this.
  5. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    Of course not, cultures have been evolving and influencing each other in such ways for millennia. The internet age however allows the very few shouters and whingers to get their prejudices (and prejudices they are) aired as never before.
  6. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    That crazy eyes looks like Piper who's had too much sun and sea. Next they will be doing bw minstrels. Emulate the interesting bits of a culture for entertainment and in so doing trivialise or ignore all the challenges of said culture, I'm not sure why anyone would want to do that, except if they are comedian. Its all a bit self gratifying and does nothing for society in my view... like any fancy dress party...
  7. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Use to be the only people who opposed cultural mixing were far-right racist idiots ... then somehow it became mainstream.

    Who knew the 21st century would be such a clusterf***?
    lexus300 and Oscillatingass like this.
  8. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    To my understanding, it’s not necessarily that members find it degrading or offensive, but that some styles or fashions are viewed differently depending on who is exhibiting them.
    The controversy about one of the kardashians wearing cornrows wasn’t so much about whether she was ‘allowed’ to adopt a style that’s most commonly associated with black culture (yes I’m aware that many cultures use this style of hair management historically) but more that it was seen as something cool and edgy, a style that she could play around with purely for fashion reasons, while those styles, which are a way of protecting or managing natural Afro type hair, are still seen as being unprofessional, untidy, dirty, unkempt or inappropriate in many situations when worn by black people. The argument was less about who ‘owned’ the style or who could wear it, and more about why it was still viewed differently on different people.
    And I think that’s a valid point.

    It’s the same with a few years ago and the coachella trend of feathers in the hair in a Native American style. The criticism I heard from those cultures through online opinion pieces and twitter etc was largely (and I say largely because there are always the minority of wallies in any conversation saying stupid things) that while discrimination against Native Americans is still very much a thing, the dominant culture taking one of their sacred cultural symbols and reducing it to a fashion item, felt really disrespectful. As if they are cherry picking the bits of that culture they like to use as frivolous decoration, while still holding the people of that culture in contempt (eta or even just not acknowledging prejudice that those communities face).

    I don’t always agree with accusations of cultural appropriation but I do think it’s always important to listen to what people are saying they find offensive about it before jumping on the “OMG everyone’s a snowflake looking for something to be offended about” bandwagon.
  9. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    As with any issue, there’s a level of nuance and context that gets lost as people oversimplify the arguments.
    LunaBlue123 and sbkrobson like this.
  10. coffeekid

    coffeekid Star commenter

    Every time I hear the expression "cultural appropriation" I think of RuPaul's Ru-sical of Cher's Unauthorised Biography. That, and the film "Get Out"
    "Cultural appropriation - that's what we never heard
    Cultural appropriation - was that even a word??"

    Idiomas11 likes this.
  11. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    In some instances there has to first be a culture to appropriate.
  12. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    It does look a little daft on occasion.

  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    If I were to dress up as the Michelin-person for a fancy-dress party (let me say NOW that I never have nor ever WILL turn up at such an occasion) would I be deemed to be insulting rotund persons? Would I be claiming some vital aspect of their rotund identity to which I had no right*?

    How about sporting a dirndl? A Mohican haircut? Or going as Jacob Rees-Mogg like those Japanese chappies?

    *If you've met me you already know I'm not exactly whippet-thin. Ahem. :oops:
    nomad likes this.
  14. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    You double down and dress up as a Sumo wrestler... you'd be 'insulting' two-for-one then.
  15. 10000YearsBC

    10000YearsBC New commenter

  16. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Almost every example of the use of the phrase "cultural appropriation" I've come across has been from America. I'm sure some elsewhere get upset about it, but more often than not I see it as complimentary and believe it is intended as such. Look, I think your culture is great! In Japan it's a bit of a thing for young women to rent out a kimono for the day while on holiday and go around in a lightweight fancy dress version of traditional dress. There are shops that hire these out to mainly South Korean and Chinese tourists .

    Here's some in Kyoto, Japanese people in modern clothing, South Korean tourists doing a bit of cultural appropriation.

    lanokia and grumpydogwoman like this.
  17. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Half a day to light a fire :eek:, you never did your "Fire lighting" badge in the Scouts did you? ;)

    We didn't have a "Mammoth bringing down" badge though, we had something far worse, British Bulldogs :D
  18. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Of course this involves not focusing on what offends only yourself.
    Some people find that a stretch, which is a shame.
    I think your point is really important.
    LunaBlue123 and Orkrider2 like this.
  19. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    I am outraged. I'm not sure why but I think I ought to be. Are they appropriating female culture. Or trans culture? Are they taking the piece out of me? Grumble, grumble.

    (Er, these are England cricket fans in my favourite Hollies stand so... more power to their elbow.)
  20. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    Would anyone think an appropriate fancy dress outfit was ‘Jew’? Is that ‘celebrating’ the culture or reducing it to a funny stereotype?

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