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bloodrose wrote

I remember thinking about this a while back and thinking "yeah, the bindi was a bit much but hey, we were naive then"...then Harijuku girls came out and I was like "holy shit, you can't say that - you can't say you'll dress them up like dolls. Fuck." Then I started thinking back to Holla Back...and well, yeah. It's bad.

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MrPotatoeHead wrote

These stunts used to be acceptable as "their shtick, or gimmick", when it was done. Even blackface was okay 100 years ago. Times change and people become more culturally sensitive.

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go1dfish wrote

Honest question.

What's wrong with cultural appropriation and what separates it from genuine cultural appreciation?

Isn't nearly all culture the result of remixing existing culture?

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ziq OP wrote

this sort of “borrowing” is exploitative because it robs minority groups of the credit they deserve.

Art and music forms that originated with minority groups come to be associated with members of the dominant group. As a result, the dominant group is deemed innovative and edgy. At the same time, the disadvantaged groups they “borrow” from continue to face negative stereotypes that imply they’re lacking in intelligence and creativity.

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go1dfish wrote

this sort of “borrowing” is exploitative because it robs minority groups of the credit they deserve.

In the case of Gwen Stefani, the cultural influences of what she is appropriating are not hidden and are still widely known. If you adopt Indian culture and attribute those bits of culture to the Indian people doesn't that alleviate the issue?

Art and music forms that originated with minority groups come to be associated with members of the dominant group.

Is this only a problem in one direction? Or is it also considered cultural appropriation when a minority group embraces and dominates culture that originated with whites?

For example basketball: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basketball#Creation Is it cultural appropriation for non-whites to play basketball? And if so; is that still problematic?

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ziq OP wrote (edited )

also see this for a deeper explanation of the power dynamics involved:

https://medium.com/@tempest/the-cultural-appropriation-primer-91f1101dae1d

In Stefani's case, the biggest issue is that she is taking people's sacred cultural artifacts, presenting them as her own innovations, and cheapening them by turning them into a trendy fashion choice so that she can profit. With the long history of whites colonizing India, stealing resources from India and their commoditization of Indian culture, it's especially perverse.

is it also considered cultural appropriation when a minority group embraces and dominates culture that originated with whites?

no because the power dynamics are completely different. And in most cases, they'll only ever adapt 'white culture' because of white colonization of their lands.

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go1dfish wrote

taking people's sacred cultural artifacts, presenting them as her own innovations

That's the thing though, I don't think Stefani has ever attempted to present or adaptations of other cultures as her own original innovations.

cheapening them by turning them into a trendy fashion choice so that she can profit.

Commercializing culture, especially that is religious in nature is a criticism I'm much more sympathetic to.

no because the power dynamics are completely different.

Isn't that a fundamentally racist view though?

The idea that something is bad when one racial group does it but neutral or good when another race does?

I see a lot of racist whites bemoan the existence of minorities in sports they believe are reflective of their culture and I think it's bad to be exclusionary this way regardless of which races are involved.

Races are not sports teams or political parties. People don't choose to be born a certain race, and many people don't focus on the race they are born into as a core aspect of their identity. I think it's wrong to assume that the actions of an individual is bad simply because of the race they are born into when another person of a different race doing such a thing does not receive such criticism.

Do you think it is appropriate to use force (whether that be the government or individual violence) to stop what you view as cultural appropriation?

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ziq OP wrote (edited )

I don't think Stefani has ever attempted to present or adaptations of other cultures as her own original innovations.

https://everydayfeminism.com/2013/09/cultural-exchange-and-cultural-appropriation/

The most relevant parts:

One of the reasons that cultural appropriation is a hard concept to grasp for so many is that Westerners are used to pressing their own culture onto others and taking what they want in return.

We tend to think of this as cultural exchange when really, it’s no more an exchange than pressuring your neighbors to adopt your ideals while stealing their family heirlooms.

True cultural exchange is not the process of “Here’s my culture, I’ll have some of yours” that we sometimes think it is. It’s something that should be mutual.

The fact is, Western culture invites and, at times, demands assimilation. Not every culture has chosen to open itself up to being adopted by outsiders in the same way.

“Ethnic” clothes and hairstyles are still stigmatized as unprofessional, “cultural” foods are treated as exotic past times, and the vernacular of people of color is ridiculed and demeaned.

So there is an unequal exchange between Western culture – an all-consuming mishmash of over-simplified and sellable foreign influences with a dash each of Coke and Pepsi – and marginalized cultures.

People of all cultures wear business suits and collared shirts to survive. But when one is of the dominant culture, adopting the clothing, food, or slang of other cultures has nothing to do with survival.

So as free as people should be to wear whatever hair and clothing they enjoy, using someone else’s cultural symbols to satisfy a personal need for self-expression is an exercise in privilege.

Because for those of us who have felt forced and pressured to change the way we look, behave, and speak just to earn enough respect to stay employed and safe, our modes of self-expression are still limited.

People shirk “ethnic” clothes in corporate culture, but wear bastardized versions of them on Halloween.

There is no exchange, understanding, or respect in such cases – only taking.

So if you’re reading this and you’re tired of people giving white women wearing bindis crap for appropriating because “freedom of speech,” recognize that pointing out cultural appropriation is not personal.

This isn’t a matter of telling people what to wear. It’s a matter of telling people that they don’t wear things in a vacuum and there are many social and historical implications to treating marginalized cultures like costumes.

Cultural appropriation is itself a real issue because it demonstrates the imbalance of power that still remains between cultures that have been colonized and the ex-colonizers.

When a rich blonde woman takes from another culture, making millions from it in the process, there's no way to describe that as anything other than the powerful stealing from the less powerful. Just by wearing cultural artifacts in front of a global audience, she's effectively taken them and made them her own. Now they no longer belong to Indians, they belong to her and bastardized hollow commercialized American culture in general.

All the meaning of the deeply spiritual bindi has been whitewashed away by trendy white girls wearing it to go clubbing and look cute on their instagram feeds.

https://nileswestnews.org/31336/west-word/bindis-are-not-a-fashion-trend/

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go1dfish wrote

When a rich blonde girl takes from another culture, making millions from it in the process

Does the money matter? Or is such appropriation bad if a poor blonde girl identifies with and adopts a foreign culture without profit motive?

I can certainly agree that commercializing religious culture is a pretty shitty thing to do.

But I have trouble characterizing it as stealing. Ideas don't have marginal costs they are capable of spreading without limit. For the same reason that piracy is not stealing in the same sense as taking a physical possession; neither is it stealing to adopt and spread the ideas of others.

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation.

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ziq OP wrote

missed this part

Do you think it is appropriate to use force (whether that be the government or individual violence) to stop what you view as cultural appropriation?

no, this isn't an issue for force, it's an issue for education.

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go1dfish wrote

Cool, I think it's fine to call out behaviors you find unacceptable for any reason. Thank you for helping me understand this issue better.

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CircleA wrote (edited )

Isn't that a fundamentally racist view though?

You don't understand what racism is.

Read this:

https://www.dailydot.com/via/reverse-racism-doesnt-exist/

and this

https://www.dailydot.com/via/gwen-stefani-cultural-appropriation-harajuku-girls/

she's the classic colonizer, using people from other cultures to make bank.

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go1dfish wrote (edited )

My understanding of racism is treating people differently based on their race.

This article suggests a different definition of racism; a definition that if you believe it seems to imply that treating people different based on their race is only bad if done from a position of power.

My view is that it is wrong to stereotype people or treat them differently based on aspects of their person they had no control or choice in.

I think my understanding (and afaik the most widely accepted definition of racism) is still useful as a definition; and that you might need a more precise term for "racial privilege + power" to better distinguish between racial discrimination that is acceptable vs racial discrimination that is unacceptable in your view.

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CircleA wrote

Then your understand of racism is incorrect. A minority group can't be racist towards the dominant social group. They have no power over their oppressor.

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go1dfish wrote

You're welcome to think that, but if you argue your position using definitions of words that others disagree with you're unlikely to make much progress.

Do you think "racial discrimination" is a more accurate term for what I consider to be racism?

If you reject the common definition of racism for your own, what do you call what other people define as racist? That is to say is racial discrimination a more acceptable term to describe this? Or what would you call treating people differently based on race in general irrespective of power dynamics?

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CircleA wrote

If you reject the common definition of racism for your own,

It's not my definition, it's the standard definition as defined by countless writers, activists and academics.

Wealthy white American men don't get to decide what racism is when their group is responsible for 99.9% of it.

what do you call what other people define as racist

white fragility, most likely.

Do you think "racial discrimination" is a more accurate term for what I consider to be racism?

This definition?

My view is that it is wrong to stereotype people or treat them differently based on aspects of their person they had no control or choice in.

I'll need to see examples of this supposed racial discrimination against whites in America (where whites are the dominant group) in order to comment.

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go1dfish wrote (edited )

I'll need to see examples of this supposed racial discrimination

I'm not trying to talk about any specific races here.

You reject the definition of racism as "treating people differently based on their race".

I'm asking what you would term "treating people differently based on their race" as?

And I'm saying that criticizing "cultural appropriation" based on the race of the person doing it qualifies as "treating people differently based on their race"

When people are talking about "reverse racism" (I personally hate this term myself, racism is racism IMO) they are really just saying "treating people differently based on their race" not with the implied power dynamics you associate with the term.

Do you think "treating people differently based on their race" is acceptable?

"treating people differently based on their race" is quite a lot to type; which is why I wanted to try to find a agreeable term for it such as "racial discrimination" I don't think "white fragility" works because we're talking about a practice irrespective of the races or power dynamics involved.

Many people; myself included think it is wrong to treat people differently based on their race and that's what I mean when I say racism but I'm asking your help in finding a more acceptable term for it.

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zzuum wrote

If you don't like white fragility, than call it "punching up". Still not racism, racism is systematic. There is no systematic discrimination of whites.

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go1dfish wrote (edited )

"treating people differently based on their race" is an accurate description of criticizing someone for "cultural appropriation" based on their race.

In the case of Gwen stefani "punching up" fits sure.

But "treating people differently based on their race" is a description that also fits discrimination against minorities and I don't think "punching up" fits there.

So "punching up" is not a good term to cover the general idea of "treating people differently based on their race".

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zzuum wrote

Punching up does not replace racism. Punching up replaces what you seem to think "racism" against white people is.

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Luabeats wrote (edited )

You are right, but treating anyone badly just bc of their skin colour is bad in general. Just bc one race has power over another doesn't mean the oppressor should be attacked for their skin colour, they should be attack bc they are an oppressor. Fighting over definitions doesn't get anywhere when both systematic racism and ''casual'' racism is bad, on different levels, sure, but still just as bad as each other. All this crying about ''the whites'', when you should be tackling the actual problems and not getting caught in a trap of ''white people bad bc they have power''. Yeah, that's the problem, white people systematically have power over other races in most places across the globe, but whining about it does nothing. Fighting it does.

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zzuum wrote

Have you read none of this good damn thread?

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