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Author Topic: Steampunk Vs Cultural Appropriation  (Read 7826 times)
Lilith-Nighthawk
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beautious thorn


« Reply #50 on: December 12, 2014, 11:07:22 am »

OK, here's the thing that people aren't seeing in this thread. Cultures are fluid, and they do evolve. At the same time they also belong to the people who are a part of them. I may find Mexica, Shiwi, Dineh, Chopec etc artwork  appealing, I may display them with pride in my home or talk with a Zuni (Shiwi) friend about the culture and people. But that in no way gives me the right to don their traditional clothing as steampunk gear, or to profess to share beliefs with them and appropriate their rituals.

The same could be said for any other cultures I'm not a part of. Just because my cousins are half or full-blooded Cambodian doesn't mean I'm going to make traditional Asphara dance costumes "steampunk" either. It's disrespectful, and I won't do it.

There is a deeply ingrained power imbalance in Western society whether white people see it or not, that makes them the dominant racial and ethnic group socially. And yes I do mean to say racial group, humans have trait markers that make different groups apparent to forensic anthropologist. In short, we do have races though in my opinion none are inferior to the others.

Take what you will from that, but as a POC I'm very often ticked off when non-POC dismiss the idea of appropriation. They get to take off their otherness at the end of the day, while we don't. Especially the ones who like my Shiwi friend will proudly mention their culture or religious holidays they're celebrating, or I and others who are obviously descended of African slaves.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #51 on: December 12, 2014, 12:21:22 pm »

What do we not see in this thread? I'm not clear what you mean. That we should not use symbols in a trivial way (I totally agree on that, though what exactly constitutes disrespect is exactly what Chicar was asking at the beginning). That under no circumstances should I use Mexica symbols, even though I'm a descendent of Mexica people?  Or that I should not use any Inca symbols in the hypothetical case that I had some Peruvian cousins because I'm not Peruvian?

BTW my skin is brown.  According to the American (USA) way of thinking I am a "POC" too (Person of Color - for Non-Americans reading this), . But I hate that definition.  I find it insulting. Humiliating. It's like going back in time and self martirising according to the way Caucasian folk wanted to see my ancestors for control and subjugation purposes. That is a horribly outdated definition, and innacurate scientifically.  What am I? I'm as much French as I am Mexica.  I am as much Italian and Basque, and Spanish, and Jewish as I am Mexica.  I'm all of the above and I will not disrespect my ancestors by throwing them into a tiny umbrella category.

Mexicans, incidentally hate categorising themselves by the color of their skin.  That is a touchy issue because there was a color-based quasi-caste system down there for hundreds of years (please read this post" http://brassgoggles.org/forum/index.php/topic,43181.msg920453.html#msg920453 , better yet - read the whole thread)  You try going to Mexico, picking someone at random, and calling that someone "Non-White."  I promise you that you will not come back to the USA with all of your teeth intact.

I can't speak for North American decendents of Natives and how they feel. But from my end, I see millions of descendants of Zapotec, Mexica, Mixtec, Maya, Inca, etc. moving on to the 21st. century. They knew slavery, injustice and power imbalance.  But they are moving forward. They do not see themselves as a "non-white" category on an statistics sheet (which is exactly what POC means - non white). Saying "POC" only makes sense in a country where white people are a majority and you are trying to separate all the minorities from the majority. It happens that these descendants of American Natives in "Latin America" are the majority where they live and white people are, in fact, a minority "South of the Border" so to speak.  And yes, "Latin America" IS part of the Western World.  And for good of for bad, there was a mixing of culture along with the blood, and we are at the point where you can't separate Native from Spanish (or even French) any more in Mexico, for example.  What do you do then?

Do I shake my finger at Mexicans and say "no you are not brown enough to display your ancestors' symbols"?
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 01:04:39 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Lilith-Nighthawk
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


beautious thorn


« Reply #52 on: December 12, 2014, 01:50:11 pm »

What do we not see in this thread? I'm not clear what you mean. That we should not use symbols in a trivial way (I totally agree on that, though what exactly constitutes disrespect is exactly what Chicar was asking at the beginning). That under no circumstances should I use Mexica symbols, even though I'm a descendant of Mexica people?  Or that I should not use any Inca symbols in the hypothetical case that I had some Peruvian cousins because I'm not Peruvian?

BTW my skin is brown.  According to the American (USA) way of thinking I am a "POC" too (Person of Color - for Non-Americans reading this), . But I hate that definition.  I find it insulting. Humiliating. It's like going back in time and self martirising according to the way Caucasian folk wanted to see my ancestors for control and subjugation purposes. That is a horribly outdated definition, and inaccurate scientifically.  What am I? I'm as much French as I am Mexica.  I am as much Italian and Basque, and Spanish, and Jewish as I am Mexica.  I'm all of the above and I will not disrespect my ancestors by throwing them into a tiny umbrella category.

Mexicans, incidentally hate categorising themselves by the color of their skin.  That is a touchy issue because there was a color-based quasi-caste system down there for hundreds of years (please read this post" http://brassgoggles.org/forum/index.php/topic,43181.msg920453.html#msg920453 , better yet - read the whole thread)  You try going to Mexico, picking someone at random, and calling that someone "Non-White."  I promise you that you will not come back to the USA with all of your teeth intact.

I can't speak for North American decedents of Natives and how they feel. But from my end, I see millions of descendants of Zapotec, Mexica, Mixtec, Maya, Inca, etc. moving on to the 21st. century. They knew slavery, injustice and power imbalance.  But they are moving forward. They do not see themselves as a "non-white" category on an statistics sheet (which is exactly what POC means - non white). Saying "POC" only makes sense in a country where white people are a majority and you are trying to separate all the minorities from the majority. It happens that these descendants of American Natives in "Latin America" are the majority where they live and white people are, in fact, a minority "South of the Border" so to speak.  And yes, "Latin America" IS part of the Western World.  And for good of for bad, there was a mixing of culture along with the blood, and we are at the point where you can't separate Native from Spanish (or even French) any more in Mexico, for example.  What do you do then?

Do I shake my finger at Mexicans and say "no you are not brown enough to display your ancestors' symbols"?


I am not sure how to get through what I am saying to you. It's part trivialization, part dependant on the person's actual heritage. US and British culture more so than other western cultures, of which, yes, the blendedcultures specifically of Latin America, South America, and the Caribean are a part of. But just because Maya, Chopec, and Zuni cultures still survive in a western country doesn't make the cultures themselves western anymore than traditional Cambodian or Japanese culture are western. Also please keep in mind that I and others don't have the same issue with the term Person of Color that you do, so there's no need and indeed no use lecturing me on it's evils. It's a term, that along with black and mulato I personally wear with pride. I'm fine being "non-white."  And where on gods green earth did I say that lighter skinned, even straight up white looking Mexicans can't wear traditional clothing? Please, sir, point it out to me?

Anyway, if you're quite done trying to shame me into seeing things differently when it comes to that term. I am going to return to what I was saying before. That just because I know someone who is part of that group, doesn't give me the right to wear their clothes as dress up. Just because I'm fascinated by the art and the culture doesn't give me the right to wear its designs, and religious symbols as something that is cool. They do belong to those people, they have a history and religious signifigance to said people. If I married into the culture and chose to wear such things during family functions to show my pride at being part of the group that's different than someone dressing up as another culture steampunk or not. One is out inherint respect, and 8 or 9 out of 10 times the other is appropriation. I see so much of it when at things like cons or festivals, I've personally developed an adversion to people not part of whichever group it is wearing the symbols and clothing of a culture. Invariably it comes from a place of coolness instead of respect, and that isn't something I can or do choose to tolerate. Period.
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jonb
Snr. Officer
****
England England



« Reply #53 on: December 12, 2014, 05:30:05 pm »


New Orleans Indians.

I am a old white male living in London, when I talk to an Australian or New Zealander they will tell me about how the British suppressed the indigenous populations, and it is true, but there is also another element to it. I was talking to an Australian friend of mine, and it became clear when he was talking about an early European settler in Australia (his ancestor) was in his eyes Australian, but when talking about the killing of Aboriginal People at that time in Australia he put the blame firmly on the British. As if the foreign British did all the killing and it was nothing to do with white Australians. As such to an extent he was divorcing his ancestors from the responsibility of the horrors and placing that responsibility on mine.
To an extent that is right because British were in control, but we have to ask ourselves could my ancestors be rightly blamed for what went on in Distant lands in that they were poor mainly rural English nonconformists who it seems fought against the powers of the state they were subject to. Yes well I am a white guy and to an extent in a still partly racist society can be said to benefit from it, but on the other hand are we then saying I am just a whiteman, and denying my individuality, and in so doing just playing the racists game?

So cultural Appropriation, shall we start with the language we are using to converse with, Have you thought what would be left of English if we were to remove all the words from other cultures, all Scandinavian, Norman, French Latin, Greek, Hindu, Arabic, African and Chinese words became Taboo?

Swa ________ ______________, ____ wit steort ____ ___ ________ wit ___ _____ to ________ ____, Ælfríc ðú _______ hwa _____ béon laf __ Englisc gif wit ____ to ______ á ___ bíword_ fram  oþres ________, á ____________, Northman, Frencisc _____, _____, _____, _____, Affrican ond _______ biword_  béon-cume _____?

The above are the original English words that became parts of modern English the blanks are the appropriated words from other Languages from that sentence. (Least ways I translated the line to the best of my ability, but you get the idea.)

No man is an island, and no society is either, we only grow by swapping things. I would say as an American of colour you should be nothing but proud because your culture has not just enriched itself, but has given so much to humanity. I can tell you my life would be so poor without what your culture has given me.

(Additional line added after posting)
I am in saying that not belittling the suffering one from your background will have felt, but in knowing that suffering your culture still produced so much is astonishing. and you probably don't realise the influence your culture has had on my British working class culture.

The other side of the coin, I was listening to a documentary about 'The Washington Redskins' It was said in that that redskin is not a reference to the skin colour of native Americans, but is a reference to the bloody pelt of a human being cut off the dead body to collect the bounty paid for killing an indigenous man woman or child. As such redskin is not cultural appropriation, but a white man not seeing the offence he can cause to an indigenous American by insisting his right to identify with the term 'redskin' is showing his ignorance of his own culture's history.

Would I stop him then from doing it? In truth no, if a man is an ignorant *&%$! I think it is good if he wears a shirt on his back that makes it easy for me to identify him as being that stupid and I can avoid him.    
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 05:52:48 pm by jonb » Logged
jonb
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****
England England



« Reply #54 on: December 12, 2014, 06:41:52 pm »

PS

Steampunk appropriation at its best, the daddy of us all.
Jimmy the hero of my childhood, I saw him a few times when I was a boy, and he was the coolest man in the world. It was actually against the law in London at that time for him to wear that jacket, but Jimmy was too cool for the law.
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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #55 on: December 12, 2014, 07:55:46 pm »

I am not sure how to get through what I am saying to you. It's part trivialization, part dependant on the person's actual heritage. US and British culture more so than other western cultures, of which, yes, the blendedcultures specifically of Latin America, South America, and the Caribean are a part of. But just because Maya, Chopec, and Zuni cultures still survive in a western country doesn't make the cultures themselves western anymore than traditional Cambodian or Japanese culture are western. Also please keep in mind that I and others don't have the same issue with the term Person of Color that you do, so there's no need and indeed no use lecturing me on it's evils. It's a term, that along with black and mulato I personally wear with pride. I'm fine being "non-white."  And where on gods green earth did I say that lighter skinned, even straight up white looking Mexicans can't wear traditional clothing? Please, sir, point it out to me?

Anyway, if you're quite done trying to shame me into seeing things differently when it comes to that term. I am going to return to what I was saying before. That just because I know someone who is part of that group, doesn't give me the right to wear their clothes as dress up. Just because I'm fascinated by the art and the culture doesn't give me the right to wear its designs, and religious symbols as something that is cool. They do belong to those people, they have a history and religious signifigance to said people. If I married into the culture and chose to wear such things during family functions to show my pride at being part of the group that's different than someone dressing up as another culture steampunk or not. One is out inherint respect, and 8 or 9 out of 10 times the other is appropriation. I see so much of it when at things like cons or festivals, I've personally developed an adversion to people not part of whichever group it is wearing the symbols and clothing of a culture. Invariably it comes from a place of coolness instead of respect, and that isn't something I can or do choose to tolerate. Period.





Now, that's interesting. Should I dress up only in a t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops so as not to offend European, African, Lapp, Muslim, Asian, or any other grouping just because people seem to think that's what American southerners are culturally supposed to wear? How about a gimme cap, turned around backwards, and a dip of snuff in my lip which I spit in the bushes every five minutes? Is that what I'm supposed to wear and do?

How about I discard the (African) banjo in favor of, oh, let's see, can't play guitar either, that's Spanish (it's not, really, in the original reality - try moorish, and no, that's not the same thing). hmmm, I guess I'll have to go for the Nyckelharpa - no, that's Swedish, isn't it. Ah, I know, the Cwyrth  ...No, that's Welsh. Hmmm. Well,I used to play the Celtic Harp, I guess that's my only option. That and the Irish Flute- no, I tell a lie, that's actually only Irish by - horror of horrors! CULTURAL APPROPRIATION! They did that 'way back in the 1800s! those Irish were such bad people, weren't they/we? Oh, wait, dissing myself, there. And it wasn't actually the Irish who did  it initially, but rather other folks making an insidiously vicious ethnic joke. Damn.  I really hate tuning this harp, it takes an hour and it only holds a tuning for about that long. I wish I could be allowed to play something that stays tuned longer and has a sound like that African thing I heard the other day..

Seriously, I really think you're being ridiculous. What you are spouting is cultural isolationism, which history teaches us does nothing but kill a culture, rather than perpetuate it. Thus, I'm not going to stop playing the banjo because someone thinks it's an insult to their ancestors' culture, and yes, I've run into that crap - and crap it is - before (by the way, ask the Carolina Chocolate Drops for their opinion on this idea that borrowing ios somehow disrespectful; I think you'll be rather shocked). I'm Irish and Native American by descent, does that mean I should only wear pantaloons and a green cap with beaded appliques or a feathered headdress? Just how is it not a compliment to a culture to think their things are "cool," as you put it, and use them? Just how do you not do so just living through a day on earth? Tell us about that. Tell us how you don't insult Copper Age dagger cultures by using the copper in your computer for your own purposes, since use of a cultural item outside of the culture in question is supposedly an insult? You do wear shoes, don't you? Sandals? other cultures than yours use sandals, aren't you insulting them?

If you think it's wrong to borrow ideas from other cultures and bend them to one's own purposes, and that you can avoid doing so yourself (not to mention thinking you're not doing exactly that while using that computer in front of you or simply by wearing shoes) then you are seriously deluding yourself. The ancestors and members of the "POC" culture that you cite do it all the time; same goes for the other cultures you spoke of. It's not disrespectful to honor other cultures by using their ideas. Now, if I were to take my banjo, or a cambodian costume or whatever and knowingly do something socially unacceptable with it on stage, THEN you'd have a leg to stand on about disrespect. Trust me, your ancestors borrowed from other cultures. (it's pretty much impossible to live in any culture or level of technology and not borrow form other cultures. Sorry about that, but that's reality), and so did their and your forebears. They had to. The fact that you have clothes on your back (regardless of your current state of dress, whatever that may be) and a place to sit and use a computer makes that obvious.

Period.


And no, I do not think I went too far.

Period.

Edited for better sense and inadvertently omitted words and phrases.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 09:24:23 pm by MWBailey » Logged

Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
jonb
Snr. Officer
****
England England



« Reply #56 on: December 12, 2014, 08:39:12 pm »

Oh stop making a fuss Mr Bailey its not holding this man back.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 08:44:30 pm by jonb » Logged
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #57 on: December 12, 2014, 09:10:37 pm »

What do we not see in this thread? I'm not clear what you mean. That we should not use symbols in a trivial way (I totally agree on that, though what exactly constitutes disrespect is exactly what Chicar was asking at the beginning). That under no circumstances should I use Mexica symbols, even though I'm a descendant of Mexica people?  Or that I should not use any Inca symbols in the hypothetical case that I had some Peruvian cousins because I'm not Peruvian?

BTW my skin is brown.  According to the American (USA) way of thinking I am a "POC" too (Person of Color - for Non-Americans reading this), . But I hate that definition.  I find it insulting. Humiliating. It's like going back in time and self martirising according to the way Caucasian folk wanted to see my ancestors for control and subjugation purposes. That is a horribly outdated definition, and inaccurate scientifically.  What am I? I'm as much French as I am Mexica.  I am as much Italian and Basque, and Spanish, and Jewish as I am Mexica.  I'm all of the above and I will not disrespect my ancestors by throwing them into a tiny umbrella category.

Mexicans, incidentally hate categorising themselves by the color of their skin.  That is a touchy issue because there was a color-based quasi-caste system down there for hundreds of years (please read this post" http://brassgoggles.org/forum/index.php/topic,43181.msg920453.html#msg920453 , better yet - read the whole thread)  You try going to Mexico, picking someone at random, and calling that someone "Non-White."  I promise you that you will not come back to the USA with all of your teeth intact.

I can't speak for North American decedents of Natives and how they feel. But from my end, I see millions of descendants of Zapotec, Mexica, Mixtec, Maya, Inca, etc. moving on to the 21st. century. They knew slavery, injustice and power imbalance.  But they are moving forward. They do not see themselves as a "non-white" category on an statistics sheet (which is exactly what POC means - non white). Saying "POC" only makes sense in a country where white people are a majority and you are trying to separate all the minorities from the majority. It happens that these descendants of American Natives in "Latin America" are the majority where they live and white people are, in fact, a minority "South of the Border" so to speak.  And yes, "Latin America" IS part of the Western World.  And for good of for bad, there was a mixing of culture along with the blood, and we are at the point where you can't separate Native from Spanish (or even French) any more in Mexico, for example.  What do you do then?

Do I shake my finger at Mexicans and say "no you are not brown enough to display your ancestors' symbols"?


I am not sure how to get through what I am saying to you. It's part trivialization, part dependant on the person's actual heritage. US and British culture more so than other western cultures, of which, yes, the blendedcultures specifically of Latin America, South America, and the Caribean are a part of. But just because Maya, Chopec, and Zuni cultures still survive in a western country doesn't make the cultures themselves western anymore than traditional Cambodian or Japanese culture are western. Also please keep in mind that I and others don't have the same issue with the term Person of Color that you do, so there's no need and indeed no use lecturing me on it's evils. It's a term, that along with black and mulato I personally wear with pride. I'm fine being "non-white."  And where on gods green earth did I say that lighter skinned, even straight up white looking Mexicans can't wear traditional clothing? Please, sir, point it out to me?

Anyway, if you're quite done trying to shame me into seeing things differently when it comes to that term. I am going to return to what I was saying before. That just because I know someone who is part of that group, doesn't give me the right to wear their clothes as dress up. Just because I'm fascinated by the art and the culture doesn't give me the right to wear its designs, and religious symbols as something that is cool. They do belong to those people, they have a history and religious signifigance to said people. If I married into the culture and chose to wear such things during family functions to show my pride at being part of the group that's different than someone dressing up as another culture steampunk or not. One is out inherint respect, and 8 or 9 out of 10 times the other is appropriation. I see so much of it when at things like cons or festivals, I've personally developed an adversion to people not part of whichever group it is wearing the symbols and clothing of a culture. Invariably it comes from a place of coolness instead of respect, and that isn't something I can or do choose to tolerate. Period.


Ms. Nighthawk, I assure you I have no desire to shame you.  I barely know you and in fact for a long time I haven't seen you in Brassgoggles.  I think this is in fact the first time I reply to one of your posts since I joined BG in 2009.  I have no interest in shaming you.

What I speak about is based on factual experience.  If you want to take it as an insult I apologize, but this is the way I see it, and I will not apologize for being a promoter of cultural and racial miscegenation.  I am the product of my Mexica and European forefathers.  A process that started 500 years ago and cannot be stopped. That is all.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2014, 01:50:30 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
MWBailey
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #58 on: December 12, 2014, 09:25:49 pm »

Oh stop making a fuss Mr Bailey its not holding this man back.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)





LOL I stand corrected.
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Vagabond GentleMan
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Clockwork Sepia


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« Reply #59 on: December 13, 2014, 12:51:18 am »

Bumpin' Wilhelm, jonb, and Bailey.

To be honest, I appreciate Nighthawk's spunk and fierceness, but it seems rather a over-simplification of a complex issue.  Cuz, well, it's personal.

Yes, white folk are still the folk with advantage in the U.S. and much of the Western World, which seems to have an ambiguous definition already.  Yes, it's easier to be accused of appropriation if you are white than it is if you aren't.  So white folk should be more sensitive.  That's that.

But if there WERE an even playing field, white folk could complain that anyone wearing Nike, using a computer, flying a plane, composing Classical music, or oil painting photo-realistic work in the Pre-Raphaelite style were guilty of cultural appropriation.

But that seems really unfair and rather ridiculous.

If only those things that were a product of culture-sharing are fair game for everyone, those very things wouldn't have existed in the first place.

Where does culture-sharing start and appropriation end?

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Well that wolf has a dimber bonebox, and he'll flash it all milky and red.  But you won't see our Red Jack's spit, nug, cuz he's pinked ya, and yer dead.
jonb
Snr. Officer
****
England England



« Reply #60 on: December 13, 2014, 02:05:15 am »

Well classical musical forms have a strong relationship to Arabic origins, which is why most traditional instruments of the orchestra are based on Arabic originals. Similarly the step forward in European Classical painting was being able to design a three dimensional looking image using a  mathematical formula and geometry, which also comes from Arabic mathematics, but that maths is based on a numbering system formulated in India. As that is the case white people are not entitled to any of these things either.
Nike being a Greek goddess with pre Greek origins from Asia, it would be hard to justify this as a name for an American Company. And as for a computer or plane once we have stripped out the bits needed in its creation which are of other cultural influence there is not much left for a person of European descent to claim as theirs.

Some things may mean something particular to a culture, but is the next step that it therefore belongs to them true? I personally am inclined to say no, but as I sometimes walk round the British Museum and look at the Elgin Marbles, or the Benin Bronzes, or a countless number of other things the British stole over the years, I can see where that answer leads.

The only real answer for me is it is like eating sweets, I would not ban it but if you show no restraint your teeth will rot, fall out and my American friends you will be just like the English.     
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #61 on: December 13, 2014, 05:47:51 am »

Quote
How about I discard the (African) banjo in favor of, oh, let's see...


Also, I might add that food is part of a culture - not just art, or music, but everything including all things needed for survival are part of your culture, e.g the Inuit hunting for bear and seals, including all the rituals and customs that go along with it.

The terrible realisation is that actively blocking the sharing of culture smacks a bit of xenophobia...

Quote
The only real answer for me is it is like eating sweets, I would not ban it but if you show no restraint your teeth will rot, fall out and my American friends you will be just like the English.
   

Let me use this line above as an example of how dividing "us' from 'them" is difficult in the context of our world after the 16th C.:

[xenophobic rant]

I'm afraid my people from the Central Americas are partially responsible for that dentist bill, Mr Jonb. You like chocolate, don't you? But using chocolate for your girlfriend on Valentine's day?? Most disrespectful!  You bought what? Swiss chocolate?... How dare you? Cacao was used by the Mexica and Maya in religious rituals!

Hey!  Italians, please don't cook with my Mexica tomatoes (tomatl).  And Germans and Irish, who told you could eat the Inca's and Mexica's potatoes?  What the hell is wrong with you?

Chinese! And Indians!  Damn you!  No chile peppers for you.  Those belong to my people! Curry my a$$! You give that back, and I'll return vanilla and cinnamon to Asia.  Wheat, barley and oats go back to Europe.  They make me fat anyway.

And French, please take your stupid pastries out of my country.  No I didn't appropriate the Croissant. To begin with the Austrians brought the Kipferl with Emperor Maximilian during the French intervention of the 1860s. No it was not called Croissant back then... If you remember, in the 1890s the Austrians gave the Kipferl to you as well and then you re-named it "Croissant" in Paris! So you can't take that, but you can take the Vol Au Vents and the Palmieres...  Oh wait!  Let me grab one of those before you leave!  They have shrimp in Chipotle sauce, so you probably won't like them (too spicy for you).

Philipinos, I apologize for eating mangos. I'm so sorry. And I'll stop eating bananas, and I'll write an apology letter to the African continent for eating sugar cane and bananas.  Oh!  Wait a minute! Casava root is South American.  Not African, so you can't eat it.  I don't care if you starve to death.

STOP EATING MAIZE. All of you. Just stop.  That includes Natives from (political) North America, because Maize was developed in the Valley of Tehuacan in Mexico more than 2500 years ago, and from there, it spread north and south via trade routes.  Corn belongs to my people, not you.

Italians!  Southern USA black and white people!  You are eating corn THE WRONG WAY.  Pilgrims schmilgims! You made that up! You have to Nixtamalize the corn before you can make dough. Gaaah!  Don't you know anything?

Polenta? Corn Bread? What are you dumb? Not obtained via Nixtamalization, ground corn will miss key nutrients and you will get Pellagra if you live on the stuff for too long.

To add insult to injury Mexican Americans (traitors) came up with something disgusting called "Fritos," made from, you guessed it, un-nixtamalized corn. Salty and greasy as hell too. Gods!! And they are selling that crap by the barrelful!

And stop drinking Tequila.

[/xenophobic rant]

The fact is that we are all very interconnected.  American (USA) racial politics notwithstanding. And it goes well beyond commerce, because marriage across cultures and races accelerated greatly on a global scale after the Spanish and Portuguese exploration in the 1400's and expansion in the 1500s .  But the United States and Canada were left behind by a couple of hundred years in this cultural and racial mixing process.  Just because massive racial mixing did not happen in (political) North America, it doesn't mean it won’t happen.  It has already begun.  I'd say since the last quarter of the 20th. C.  

As I worked for the 2010 US Census (Department of Commerce  - yes, BTW I'm an American citizen too and born in the USA and I lived in the two countries), I got to see first hand, how fast in the last 10 years racial mixing has accelerated, specially in the states of Texas and Florida, and particularly between whites and the nebulously-defined "Hispanic" (a legal definition that bundles all Latin Americans, regardless of race or ethnicity, under an umbrella term for civil-rights and hate crime punishment purposes).  With the mixing, cultural identities will change, because culture itself will be mixed.  And the politics of race will also change too, as the Spanish knew from their own ancestors, the Visigoths, when they established what I call "The Visigothic Order" after the fall of Roman Empire and enforced that in Spain, and later the Viceroyalty of New Spain.

This is not a process you can stop.  I'm just not sure that the American public even understands this. We are very USA-centric when speaking on these issues (I think I specifically mentioned this in my first post on this thread!), and we tend to apply our politics to other parts of the world as if only our point of view was valid. As if the rest of the world understood our internal politics.  But the politics will also have to change as our racial identity changes.  Terms and definitions that were applicable and politically correct in the 1970s will not be applicable in the year 2020.



Oh stop making a fuss Mr Bailey its not holding this man back.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)



Why does that remind me of Ren and Stimpy?
« Last Edit: December 13, 2014, 11:14:31 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #62 on: December 13, 2014, 09:31:06 am »

Bumpin' Wilhelm, jonb, and Bailey.

To be honest, I appreciate Nighthawk's spunk and fierceness, but it seems rather a over-simplification of a complex issue.  Cuz, well, it's personal.

Yes, white folk are still the folk with advantage in the U.S. and much of the Western World, which seems to have an ambiguous definition already.  Yes, it's easier to be accused of appropriation if you are white than it is if you aren't.  So white folk should be more sensitive.  That's that.

But if there WERE an even playing field, white folk could complain that anyone wearing Nike, using a computer, flying a plane, composing Classical music, or oil painting photo-realistic work in the Pre-Raphaelite style were guilty of cultural appropriation.

But that seems really unfair and rather ridiculous.

If only those things that were a product of culture-sharing are fair game for everyone, those very things wouldn't have existed in the first place.

Where does culture-sharing start and appropriation end?





One of the main problems here is that we seem to be using "appropriation" as a catchall for something that is perceived by the general population of the thread to be a bad thing. May I remind everyone of (since we are using the English language, after all), the existence of the term "mis-appropriation?"

As I see it, "Cultural Mis-appropriation" or just "mis-appropriation," or even more simply "misappropriation," is harder to say and type, but it's not that hard - and it more clearly fits the concept. To borrow an item, to accept a shared item, to steal an item, all are forms of appropriation (the only real difference is semantic). Accepting sharing is or would be appropriation (the positive kind, I mean. Ugh. It's embarrassing, but the proper positive prefix escapes me). Stealing is misappropriation. borrowing could be one or the other, depending on how its done and the intent of the borrower.

To answer your question, V.G., positive appropriation and misappropriation don't have a definite border; it all depends on intent and perception, on both sides. It also, unfortunately, depends on the level of paranoia on either or both sides. The idea that we have to "protect" our culture(s) from "bad" influences or borrowings is both a necessary, and when it gets out of control, an insidious force, that keeps things on an even keel when its kept in check, and blocks understanding and stymies positive interaction when it isn't.

And by the way, both are already going on; they always have, for millennia. It's called Being Human, and you can't stop either from happening. All you can do is nudge the flow a little bit now and then. Try riding herd on people of any age for a few years, and you'll understand what I mean. If you already have, then you already do know what I mean.

Even playing field... That phrase gets bandied about a lot. I tend to think that it's actual meaning has been lost.

Most people always have and always will talk however they wish. It's just a matter of how and where they say it. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but it really isn't up to you who gets to say what. It's not up to anyone, really. Beliefs to the contrary are just delusions. I can say that wearing shoes (I never said anything about Nike, but thanks for the example anyway) or using a computer is appropriation. The fact that I have already done so simply proves that point. It really isn't up to you (or anyone else, really) whether I can or not.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2014, 09:35:38 am by MWBailey » Logged
Lilith-Nighthawk
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« Reply #63 on: December 13, 2014, 11:00:24 am »

What do we not see in this thread? I'm not clear what you mean. That we should not use symbols in a trivial way (I totally agree on that, though what exactly constitutes disrespect is exactly what Chicar was asking at the beginning). That under no circumstances should I use Mexica symbols, even though I'm a descendant of Mexica people?  Or that I should not use any Inca symbols in the hypothetical case that I had some Peruvian cousins because I'm not Peruvian?

BTW my skin is brown.  According to the American (USA) way of thinking I am a "POC" too (Person of Color - for Non-Americans reading this), . But I hate that definition.  I find it insulting. Humiliating. It's like going back in time and self martirising according to the way Caucasian folk wanted to see my ancestors for control and subjugation purposes. That is a horribly outdated definition, and inaccurate scientifically.  What am I? I'm as much French as I am Mexica.  I am as much Italian and Basque, and Spanish, and Jewish as I am Mexica.  I'm all of the above and I will not disrespect my ancestors by throwing them into a tiny umbrella category.

Mexicans, incidentally hate categorising themselves by the color of their skin.  That is a touchy issue because there was a color-based quasi-caste system down there for hundreds of years (please read this post" http://brassgoggles.org/forum/index.php/topic,43181.msg920453.html#msg920453 , better yet - read the whole thread)  You try going to Mexico, picking someone at random, and calling that someone "Non-White."  I promise you that you will not come back to the USA with all of your teeth intact.

I can't speak for North American decedents of Natives and how they feel. But from my end, I see millions of descendants of Zapotec, Mexica, Mixtec, Maya, Inca, etc. moving on to the 21st. century. They knew slavery, injustice and power imbalance.  But they are moving forward. They do not see themselves as a "non-white" category on an statistics sheet (which is exactly what POC means - non white). Saying "POC" only makes sense in a country where white people are a majority and you are trying to separate all the minorities from the majority. It happens that these descendants of American Natives in "Latin America" are the majority where they live and white people are, in fact, a minority "South of the Border" so to speak.  And yes, "Latin America" IS part of the Western World.  And for good of for bad, there was a mixing of culture along with the blood, and we are at the point where you can't separate Native from Spanish (or even French) any more in Mexico, for example.  What do you do then?

Do I shake my finger at Mexicans and say "no you are not brown enough to display your ancestors' symbols"?


I am not sure how to get through what I am saying to you. It's part trivialization, part dependant on the person's actual heritage. US and British culture more so than other western cultures, of which, yes, the blendedcultures specifically of Latin America, South America, and the Caribean are a part of. But just because Maya, Chopec, and Zuni cultures still survive in a western country doesn't make the cultures themselves western anymore than traditional Cambodian or Japanese culture are western. Also please keep in mind that I and others don't have the same issue with the term Person of Color that you do, so there's no need and indeed no use lecturing me on it's evils. It's a term, that along with black and mulato I personally wear with pride. I'm fine being "non-white."  And where on gods green earth did I say that lighter skinned, even straight up white looking Mexicans can't wear traditional clothing? Please, sir, point it out to me?

Anyway, if you're quite done trying to shame me into seeing things differently when it comes to that term. I am going to return to what I was saying before. That just because I know someone who is part of that group, doesn't give me the right to wear their clothes as dress up. Just because I'm fascinated by the art and the culture doesn't give me the right to wear its designs, and religious symbols as something that is cool. They do belong to those people, they have a history and religious signifigance to said people. If I married into the culture and chose to wear such things during family functions to show my pride at being part of the group that's different than someone dressing up as another culture steampunk or not. One is out inherint respect, and 8 or 9 out of 10 times the other is appropriation. I see so much of it when at things like cons or festivals, I've personally developed an adversion to people not part of whichever group it is wearing the symbols and clothing of a culture. Invariably it comes from a place of coolness instead of respect, and that isn't something I can or do choose to tolerate. Period.


Ms. Nighthawk, I assure you I have no desire to shame you.  I barely know you and in fact for a long time I haven't seen you in Brassgoggles.  I think this is in fact the first time I reply to one of your posts since I joined BG in 2009.  I have no interest in shaming you.

What I speak about is based on factual experience.  If you want to take it as an insult I apologize, but this is the way I see it, and I will not apologize for being a promoter of cultural and racial miscegenation.  I am the product of my Mexica and European forefathers.  A process that started 500 years ago and cannot be stopped. That is all.


I'm trying not to roll my eyes at this, really trying but failing. I'm an example of racial miscegenation as you call it, being mixed race and all. But still I don't see why say my Zuni friend should sit quietly or my Khmer cousins should sit quietly if they see someone wearing symbols or clothing from their culture as a costume or part of a costume, and that is what it is for many of us. A hobby, something we like to do in our spare time. There are of course lifestylers, just like there are people who are gothic lifestylers or any subculture based on a certain aesthetic. That is hardly the same as say, someone of mexican decent wearing things seen as traditionally mexican. Or someone of creole descent wearing things seen as uniquely creole. I'm not going to say someone from a blended culture wearing what has become traditional for that culture is disrespectful because it isn't, but I would find someone wearing something say uniquely Mayan or Zapotec because it's cool disrespectful. Being from a blended culture doesn't mean someone is always respectful of the individual ones that make up theirs.

If I wear something from a certain culture, I do so with respect. Which is much more concrete for me than for other people I come across general. For me respect means that if there's a certain item people wear for religious purposes, or after certain cultural milestones then I don't wear it if I'm not a part of that culture. Yes, it does mean people may not see if I'm incorperating such thing because to them it isn't obvious. But that's the price I willingly pay for not wearing feathers in my hair or whatever else. It's a price I'm willing to pay for being mindful of others and their feelings.
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Lilith-Nighthawk
Zeppelin Captain
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beautious thorn


« Reply #64 on: December 13, 2014, 11:21:18 am »

I am not sure how to get through what I am saying to you. It's part trivialization, part dependant on the person's actual heritage. US and British culture more so than other western cultures, of which, yes, the blendedcultures specifically of Latin America, South America, and the Caribean are a part of. But just because Maya, Chopec, and Zuni cultures still survive in a western country doesn't make the cultures themselves western anymore than traditional Cambodian or Japanese culture are western. Also please keep in mind that I and others don't have the same issue with the term Person of Color that you do, so there's no need and indeed no use lecturing me on it's evils. It's a term, that along with black and mulato I personally wear with pride. I'm fine being "non-white."  And where on gods green earth did I say that lighter skinned, even straight up white looking Mexicans can't wear traditional clothing? Please, sir, point it out to me?

Anyway, if you're quite done trying to shame me into seeing things differently when it comes to that term. I am going to return to what I was saying before. That just because I know someone who is part of that group, doesn't give me the right to wear their clothes as dress up. Just because I'm fascinated by the art and the culture doesn't give me the right to wear its designs, and religious symbols as something that is cool. They do belong to those people, they have a history and religious signifigance to said people. If I married into the culture and chose to wear such things during family functions to show my pride at being part of the group that's different than someone dressing up as another culture steampunk or not. One is out inherint respect, and 8 or 9 out of 10 times the other is appropriation. I see so much of it when at things like cons or festivals, I've personally developed an adversion to people not part of whichever group it is wearing the symbols and clothing of a culture. Invariably it comes from a place of coolness instead of respect, and that isn't something I can or do choose to tolerate. Period.





Now, that's interesting. Should I dress up only in a t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops so as not to offend European, African, Lapp, Muslim, Asian, or any other grouping just because people seem to think that's what American southerners are culturally supposed to wear? How about a gimme cap, turned around backwards, and a dip of snuff in my lip which I spit in the bushes every five minutes? Is that what I'm supposed to wear and do?

How about I discard the (African) banjo in favor of, oh, let's see, can't play guitar either, that's Spanish (it's not, really, in the original reality - try moorish, and no, that's not the same thing). hmmm, I guess I'll have to go for the Nyckelharpa - no, that's Swedish, isn't it. Ah, I know, the Cwyrth  ...No, that's Welsh. Hmmm. Well,I used to play the Celtic Harp, I guess that's my only option. That and the Irish Flute- no, I tell a lie, that's actually only Irish by - horror of horrors! CULTURAL APPROPRIATION! They did that 'way back in the 1800s! those Irish were such bad people, weren't they/we? Oh, wait, dissing myself, there. And it wasn't actually the Irish who did  it initially, but rather other folks making an insidiously vicious ethnic joke. Damn.  I really hate tuning this harp, it takes an hour and it only holds a tuning for about that long. I wish I could be allowed to play something that stays tuned longer and has a sound like that African thing I heard the other day..

Seriously, I really think you're being ridiculous. What you are spouting is cultural isolationism, which history teaches us does nothing but kill a culture, rather than perpetuate it. Thus, I'm not going to stop playing the banjo because someone thinks it's an insult to their ancestors' culture, and yes, I've run into that crap - and crap it is - before (by the way, ask the Carolina Chocolate Drops for their opinion on this idea that borrowing ios somehow disrespectful; I think you'll be rather shocked). I'm Irish and Native American by descent, does that mean I should only wear pantaloons and a green cap with beaded appliques or a feathered headdress? Just how is it not a compliment to a culture to think their things are "cool," as you put it, and use them? Just how do you not do so just living through a day on earth? Tell us about that. Tell us how you don't insult Copper Age dagger cultures by using the copper in your computer for your own purposes, since use of a cultural item outside of the culture in question is supposedly an insult? You do wear shoes, don't you? Sandals? other cultures than yours use sandals, aren't you insulting them?

If you think it's wrong to borrow ideas from other cultures and bend them to one's own purposes, and that you can avoid doing so yourself (not to mention thinking you're not doing exactly that while using that computer in front of you or simply by wearing shoes) then you are seriously deluding yourself. The ancestors and members of the "POC" culture that you cite do it all the time; same goes for the other cultures you spoke of. It's not disrespectful to honor other cultures by using their ideas. Now, if I were to take my banjo, or a cambodian costume or whatever and knowingly do something socially unacceptable with it on stage, THEN you'd have a leg to stand on about disrespect. Trust me, your ancestors borrowed from other cultures. (it's pretty much impossible to live in any culture or level of technology and not borrow form other cultures. Sorry about that, but that's reality), and so did their and your forebears. They had to. The fact that you have clothes on your back (regardless of your current state of dress, whatever that may be) and a place to sit and use a computer makes that obvious.

Period.


And no, I do not think I went too far.

Period.

Edited for better sense and inadvertently omitted words and phrases.

I think you are the one deluding yourself, sir. I never once said that US culture, specifically in the south isn't a blended culture and I have not even the foggiest idea where you got that notion. And I am not saying cultural blending/borrorwing is a bad thing. Enjoy your logical fallacy.

I am however saying that because someone enjoys a specific culture and it's art that does not automatically give them the right to wear said cultures clothing and art as meer decoration. If I wore something clearly Zuni or Navajo because it is cool, I would expect my Zuni friend to call me out on it. Especially a religious symbol of some sort. Cultural mixing and exchange of ideas is different than out and out stealing.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #65 on: December 13, 2014, 12:15:48 pm »

What do we not see in this thread? I'm not clear what you mean. That we should not use symbols in a trivial way (I totally agree on that, though what exactly constitutes disrespect is exactly what Chicar was asking at the beginning). That under no circumstances should I use Mexica symbols, even though I'm a descendant of Mexica people?  Or that I should not use any Inca symbols in the hypothetical case that I had some Peruvian cousins because I'm not Peruvian?

BTW my skin is brown.  According to the American (USA) way of thinking I am a "POC" too (Person of Color - for Non-Americans reading this), . But I hate that definition.  I find it insulting. Humiliating. It's like going back in time and self martirising according to the way Caucasian folk wanted to see my ancestors for control and subjugation purposes. That is a horribly outdated definition, and inaccurate scientifically.  What am I? I'm as much French as I am Mexica.  I am as much Italian and Basque, and Spanish, and Jewish as I am Mexica.  I'm all of the above and I will not disrespect my ancestors by throwing them into a tiny umbrella category.

Mexicans, incidentally hate categorising themselves by the color of their skin.  That is a touchy issue because there was a color-based quasi-caste system down there for hundreds of years (please read this post" http://brassgoggles.org/forum/index.php/topic,43181.msg920453.html#msg920453 , better yet - read the whole thread)  You try going to Mexico, picking someone at random, and calling that someone "Non-White."  I promise you that you will not come back to the USA with all of your teeth intact.

I can't speak for North American decedents of Natives and how they feel. But from my end, I see millions of descendants of Zapotec, Mexica, Mixtec, Maya, Inca, etc. moving on to the 21st. century. They knew slavery, injustice and power imbalance.  But they are moving forward. They do not see themselves as a "non-white" category on an statistics sheet (which is exactly what POC means - non white). Saying "POC" only makes sense in a country where white people are a majority and you are trying to separate all the minorities from the majority. It happens that these descendants of American Natives in "Latin America" are the majority where they live and white people are, in fact, a minority "South of the Border" so to speak.  And yes, "Latin America" IS part of the Western World.  And for good of for bad, there was a mixing of culture along with the blood, and we are at the point where you can't separate Native from Spanish (or even French) any more in Mexico, for example.  What do you do then?

Do I shake my finger at Mexicans and say "no you are not brown enough to display your ancestors' symbols"?


I am not sure how to get through what I am saying to you. It's part trivialization, part dependant on the person's actual heritage. US and British culture more so than other western cultures, of which, yes, the blendedcultures specifically of Latin America, South America, and the Caribean are a part of. But just because Maya, Chopec, and Zuni cultures still survive in a western country doesn't make the cultures themselves western anymore than traditional Cambodian or Japanese culture are western. Also please keep in mind that I and others don't have the same issue with the term Person of Color that you do, so there's no need and indeed no use lecturing me on it's evils. It's a term, that along with black and mulato I personally wear with pride. I'm fine being "non-white."  And where on gods green earth did I say that lighter skinned, even straight up white looking Mexicans can't wear traditional clothing? Please, sir, point it out to me?

Anyway, if you're quite done trying to shame me into seeing things differently when it comes to that term. I am going to return to what I was saying before. That just because I know someone who is part of that group, doesn't give me the right to wear their clothes as dress up. Just because I'm fascinated by the art and the culture doesn't give me the right to wear its designs, and religious symbols as something that is cool. They do belong to those people, they have a history and religious signifigance to said people. If I married into the culture and chose to wear such things during family functions to show my pride at being part of the group that's different than someone dressing up as another culture steampunk or not. One is out inherint respect, and 8 or 9 out of 10 times the other is appropriation. I see so much of it when at things like cons or festivals, I've personally developed an adversion to people not part of whichever group it is wearing the symbols and clothing of a culture. Invariably it comes from a place of coolness instead of respect, and that isn't something I can or do choose to tolerate. Period.


Ms. Nighthawk, I assure you I have no desire to shame you.  I barely know you and in fact for a long time I haven't seen you in Brassgoggles.  I think this is in fact the first time I reply to one of your posts since I joined BG in 2009.  I have no interest in shaming you.

What I speak about is based on factual experience.  If you want to take it as an insult I apologize, but this is the way I see it, and I will not apologize for being a promoter of cultural and racial miscegenation.  I am the product of my Mexica and European forefathers.  A process that started 500 years ago and cannot be stopped. That is all.


I'm trying not to roll my eyes at this, really trying but failing. I'm an example of racial miscegenation as you call it, being mixed race and all. But still I don't see why say my Zuni friend should sit quietly or my Khmer cousins should sit quietly if they see someone wearing symbols or clothing from their culture as a costume or part of a costume, and that is what it is for many of us. A hobby, something we like to do in our spare time. There are of course lifestylers, just like there are people who are gothic lifestylers or any subculture based on a certain aesthetic. That is hardly the same as say, someone of mexican decent wearing things seen as traditionally mexican. Or someone of creole descent wearing things seen as uniquely creole. I'm not going to say someone from a blended culture wearing what has become traditional for that culture is disrespectful because it isn't, but I would find someone wearing something say uniquely Mayan or Zapotec because it's cool disrespectful. Being from a blended culture doesn't mean someone is always respectful of the individual ones that make up theirs.

If I wear something from a certain culture, I do so with respect. Which is much more concrete for me than for other people I come across general. For me respect means that if there's a certain item people wear for religious purposes, or after certain cultural milestones then I don't wear it if I'm not a part of that culture. Yes, it does mean people may not see if I'm incorperating such thing because to them it isn't obvious. But that's the price I willingly pay for not wearing feathers in my hair or whatever else. It's a price I'm willing to pay for being mindful of others and their feelings.


Then we will agree to disagree. Go ahead, feel free to roll your eyes. I see your position as one of a hard-liner on the issue of cultural appropriation.  For me as for Chicar and Mr. Bailey, it it impractical to enforce such purity rules when faced with cultural blending in our environments. Because someone will always be out of line - not necessarily by malice.  But as you have stated it you will not tolerate it.

To take offence at every inappropriate ethnic costume I see is basically the same as walking with a chip on my shoulder looking to be offended (especially in this modern world of television and mass media - see how your people are portrayed in Middle Eastern TV, or Japanese TV for example - you think they are well informed? You would be appalled at how offensive and plain racist they can be!  To just about any racial/ethnic group)

Some flexibility and tolerance is needed, because not all human beings are well informed on what is acceptable or not; the use of feathers is a classic example - we assume that people are doing it maliciously - but how many times do you stop to calmly explain to the wearer, e.g. a child, that this is wrong?  Or do you just fume out of the convention?  I would hope not. This issue of tolerance reaches criticality among your own blended culture.  I would have a heart attack if I chose to get offended at every goofy Aztec costume I saw on Mexican TV.

Rather let me put it to you this way - what exactly do you plan to do about it, Ms. Nighthawk?  How many pages on North-Native American and African American experience have you written in this forum? How about contributing to Chicar's "The Longhouse" thread? Ask around and you'll find that I have done my part to educate.  I write everywhere.  On food,  On history (Anatomical).  On this present topic.  I'm rather verbose on my pages and I'm known for writing long posts. Some people like them - even if that makes you roll your eyes at me... Go ahead roll them again.

Ms. Nighthawk, thank you for your participation in the conversation.  I like your tenacity in this debate, but I will not write further on this topic because, I want to maintain a good tone in the conversation and I've said everything I wanted to say already.  Our positions will not change.  Plus I have to sleep before work later today. 

Good morning,

At your service,

J. Wilhelm.
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jonb
Snr. Officer
****
England England



« Reply #66 on: December 13, 2014, 02:20:07 pm »

Dear lady nighthawk,
I have to say that I find your attitude to the subject of wearing apparel very much driven by the interactions within American Culture. As such your intransigence looks to me as a non-American like a desire to impose American Cultural values on the world. As such is not the position you have taken up nothing other than a form of hierarchical suppression, where certain people or societies are privileged to make decisions over other's forms of expression?
That is cultural Imperialism.

Now having said the above, I wish to make something clear as a punk of the 70's, who ran around in nazi regalia with a mohican and tartan bondage gear, I would defend anybodies right to wear the most offensive clothing, and as part of that I will also defend anybodies right to be offended.

What cannot be said is; you have no right to be upset by what I wear.  
« Last Edit: December 13, 2014, 02:34:36 pm by jonb » Logged
Captain Lyerly
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Ukraine Ukraine


At the helm of the Frumious Bandersnatch


« Reply #67 on: December 13, 2014, 03:07:18 pm »

A side note on differences within the human genome: there aren't any.

Well, none to speak of.  Take look at a troop of chimpanzees - there is more genetic diversity amongst them than between the furthest-flung, "racially-pure" examples of humans.  There was a choke point, it seems, during the most recent ice age, when humans almost became extinct; there were very few of us, though estimates of the low-point number vary.  So we are far more closely related than it seems on the surface.

As far as "cultural appropriation" goes?  I have very little patience for that sort of thing.  Don't go out of your way to be insulting, do some research, pay attention - and move on.  Those who go out of their way to worry about others indulging in such might find themselves living in glass houses.

N.B. - I have not noted the above in this discussion among our Steampunks; only in the "popular media".



Cheers!

Chas.
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Captain Sir Charles A. Lyerly, O.B.T.
Soldier of Fortune and Gentleman Adventurer
wire: captain_lyerly, at wire office "Yahoo dot Qom"

"You'd think he'd learn."
"Heh! De best minions neffer do!"
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #68 on: December 13, 2014, 07:46:57 pm »

Ms. Nighthawk: there is no logical fallacy in my reasoning. Just your saying that there is does not make it so. Sorry about that.

Also: my saying that you are deluding yourself does not make it so. I wish I could have that kind of Godlike power, but I don't. Neither do you, despite what you seem to think, judging by your words. Therefore, don't get so bent. It isn't as if you're going to start having hallucinations because of what I said. Chill.

It seems obvious to me that you either can't, or refuse to handle the idea that posting an idea means people are most likely going to argue with it. It isn't a crime for them to do so, nor is it a crime for them to allege that you are having reality problems (ever said "You're crazy!"?). If it were, the majority of the people online would be in court, under arrest, or in prison for having done so IRL.

No, you didn't come right out and say any of that; you didn't have to. Your attitude (indicated by your words) fairly screamed it in our metaphorical ears. It continues to do so even now. it's a large part of the reason why we're so irritated with you.

I disagree with you. Again, Despite your obvious opinion on that point, it isn't a crime to do so. The same goes for you concerning my or others' opinions, to which I and they are also entitled. You are entitled to your opinion. I am entitled to mine. They are entitled to theirs. Here's a little clue, though: just because someone thinks they've made a convincing and unassailable argument does not mean that their opponent has to agree with them and change their opinion.  Here's the real kicker: nobody's opinion is wrong. Mine is just as right as yours is.

I suggest you learn to live with the fact that we don't have to agree with you, or you with us, and that no one has to change their opinion. You may find it maddening (younger people usually do), but its the way things actually work. I admire your fire, but I think you're wasting it.
Logged
Vagabond GentleMan
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Clockwork Sepia


WWW
« Reply #69 on: December 13, 2014, 08:36:09 pm »

Agreeing with Wilhelm's feeling that flexibility with this issue is important, and would add that so is empathy.

Agreeing with job's assertion about 70's punk culture and its intentional adoption of offensive accoutrement in that I believe there is indeed a time and place to discard convention if it's done with some degree of self-awareness.

Agreeing with Lyerly's assertion (hoping I'm not putting word's in the captain's mouth) that our subtle physiological hereditary differences do not constitute race.  I am a believer that Race is a social construct, in the manner stated by Toni Morrison on the Colbert Report on 11-19-14.
I feel it's intuitively and demonstrably obvious whenever presented with any multi-ethnic individual who could be labeled "Racially Ambiguous" in common parlance.


...But still, I feel that there IS such a thing as culture-theft in tasteless and offensive ways.  Iggy Azalea, I'm looking at you.

Logged
Lilith-Nighthawk
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


beautious thorn


« Reply #70 on: December 13, 2014, 10:20:11 pm »

Ms. Nighthawk: there is no logical fallacy in my reasoning. Just your saying that there is does not make it so. Sorry about that.

Also: my saying that you are deluding yourself does not make it so. I wish I could have that kind of Godlike power, but I don't. Neither do you, despite what you seem to think, judging by your words. Therefore, don't get so bent. It isn't as if you're going to start having hallucinations because of what I said. Chill.

It seems obvious to me that you either can't, or refuse to handle the idea that posting an idea means people are most likely going to argue with it. It isn't a crime for them to do so, nor is it a crime for them to allege that you are having reality problems (ever said "You're crazy!"?). If it were, the majority of the people online would be in court, under arrest, or in prison for having done so IRL.

No, you didn't come right out and say any of that; you didn't have to. Your attitude (indicated by your words) fairly screamed it in our metaphorical ears. It continues to do so even now. it's a large part of the reason why we're so irritated with you.

I disagree with you. Again, Despite your obvious opinion on that point, it isn't a crime to do so. The same goes for you concerning my or others' opinions, to which I and they are also entitled. You are entitled to your opinion. I am entitled to mine. They are entitled to theirs. Here's a little clue, though: just because someone thinks they've made a convincing and unassailable argument does not mean that their opponent has to agree with them and change their opinion.  Here's the real kicker: nobody's opinion is wrong. Mine is just as right as yours is.

I suggest you learn to live with the fact that we don't have to agree with you, or you with us, and that no one has to change their opinion. You may find it maddening (younger people usually do), but its the way things actually work. I admire your fire, but I think you're wasting it.


Honestly? I don't particularly care whether you or anyone else in this thread agrees with me. I do however reserve the right at the not so subtle digs that I'm an imperialist or xenophobic because of my opinion, to call people on their crap. It is neither xenophobic nor imperialist to think a culture belongs to its people. Nor is it xenophobic to say I dislike how said cultures are incorperated into things like steampunk attire with no respect towards what said culture finds respectful. I would say the same thing if people were talking about wearing a huge star of David or Menorah on their next outfit/costume.

In fact, I mentioned that I do incorperate things from other cultures into my clothing. Go back and read it if you do not think so. However I strive to be respectful, which means staying away from symbols worn by a certain gender role, after a certain milestone, or with great religious signifigance. Yes, that often means people don't see what I'm doing, but I'm not bothered by it. I'm not wearing whatever it is to look cool, but as a homage.
Logged
jonb
Snr. Officer
****
England England



« Reply #71 on: December 14, 2014, 12:25:55 am »

So what belongs to a culture?
So what does my culture own?
Language? No you are not English yet you are happy to use my Language,
Sound, No again you listen to the songs created by my people.
Food, No, I know many Americans choose to drink the drinks of my culture.
Clothing,  English Design is copied all over America.
As such does my culture own anything?

Point to what I have that you cannot take

Now Ms Lilith-Nighthawk, you say there are things which I should not be allowed to share where is the equality? What's yours is yours, and what's mine is yours it seems. That inequality is the basic building block of Imperialism!

I was not subtle in my accusation at all. You are demanding rights which elevate the status of your culture above all others simple answer to that

NO
Logged
Lilith-Nighthawk
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


beautious thorn


« Reply #72 on: December 14, 2014, 01:58:07 am »

So what belongs to a culture?
So what does my culture own?
Language? No you are not English yet you are happy to use my Language,
Sound, No again you listen to the songs created by my people.
Food, No, I know many Americans choose to drink the drinks of my culture.
Clothing,  English Design is copied all over America.
As such does my culture own anything?

Point to what I have that you cannot take

Now Ms Lilith-Nighthawk, you say there are things which I should not be allowed to share where is the equality? What's yours is yours, and what's mine is yours it seems. That inequality is the basic building block of Imperialism!

I was not subtle in my accusation at all. You are demanding rights which elevate the status of your culture above all others simple answer to that

NO

Miscontrue my words all you want sir, it matters not. Fact is that the US was once an English colony. We are simply a divergent path, not some barbians coming in and stealing English dress, customs, and/or language. Or are you trying to divorce us from the nation's origins? That tactic will in no way work with me, especially if you speak of the predominantly English original colonies where every person wishing to trade and earn a living needed to speak English just by virtue of English people being the primary power group. In Florida, Texas, California, Arizona, and New Mexico that language was Spanish. In much of the midwest, it was French. As time moved on the US and other nations in this half of the world which were once colonies created something that was a blend of the Idiginous Cultures, the European cultures which colonized them, and African culture from slaves brought over from differing parts of the continent. Such is what happens when a mother culture reaches out its finger, it creates offspring which both mirrors and differ greatly from the original. And a majority of the time? Well, they tend to keep the basic language of whichever mother culture spawned them for the most part. For the US as a whole that is English; for most of South America, Central/Latin America, and parts of the caribean that is Spanish; for parts of the Caribean and Canada, as well as French Guyana that is French. You have a problem with that then take it up with your ancestors and not me. I can't change history.

And before you latch onto the word barbarian, it is simply the word that fit and has no extra meaning. It is the closest I can come to describing what I am trying to get across, and still it is not the right one. Far from it if I am truthful. Either way I am done with this conversation and this thread. I am tired of being accused of xenophobia among other unsavory things, and particularly being accused of saying cultural stagnation is a good thing. I've fully admited by way of mentioning such things as creole culture that things change and evolve, there is no logical reason to think otherwise. To act as such when I have stated evidence otherwise is in itself a logical fallacy, and appears frequently in the last page of the thread.

We will simply have to disagree. 
Logged
jonb
Snr. Officer
****
England England



« Reply #73 on: December 14, 2014, 03:12:59 am »

Yes nicely said, English culture cannot own its spoken language, no culture can.
So far so good, so how then can a culture own its visual language?

A culture is therefore incapable of owning, and as such cannot deny others from coping aspects of it.

To say that one culture (or set of cultures) should now be respected above all others and nobody outside that culture should copy any aspect of it is to disrespect all people outside that culture unless the person saying it will deny themselves use of all material from other cultures.

 Ms Nighthawk, To use other cultures material, but to not allow others the same freedom with your own, Is to demand privilege.
This might seem the right path if one is living in a society which is unbalanced, but as soon as you step out of that particular society and apply it on a world stage, without reference to other cultures you have turned from the sufferer of discrimination to an imposer of it. You may think I have been disrespectful of you, but has it struck you at all how disrespectful you are being to Non American cultures?
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 04:11:56 am by jonb » Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #74 on: December 14, 2014, 06:39:48 am »

Ms. Nighthawk: there is no logical fallacy in my reasoning. Just your saying that there is does not make it so. Sorry about that.

Also: my saying that you are deluding yourself does not make it so. I wish I could have that kind of Godlike power, but I don't. Neither do you, despite what you seem to think, judging by your words. Therefore, don't get so bent. It isn't as if you're going to start having hallucinations because of what I said. Chill.

It seems obvious to me that you either can't, or refuse to handle the idea that posting an idea means people are most likely going to argue with it. It isn't a crime for them to do so, nor is it a crime for them to allege that you are having reality problems (ever said "You're crazy!"?). If it were, the majority of the people online would be in court, under arrest, or in prison for having done so IRL.

No, you didn't come right out and say any of that; you didn't have to. Your attitude (indicated by your words) fairly screamed it in our metaphorical ears. It continues to do so even now. it's a large part of the reason why we're so irritated with you.

I disagree with you. Again, Despite your obvious opinion on that point, it isn't a crime to do so. The same goes for you concerning my or others' opinions, to which I and they are also entitled. You are entitled to your opinion. I am entitled to mine. They are entitled to theirs. Here's a little clue, though: just because someone thinks they've made a convincing and unassailable argument does not mean that their opponent has to agree with them and change their opinion.  Here's the real kicker: nobody's opinion is wrong. Mine is just as right as yours is.

I suggest you learn to live with the fact that we don't have to agree with you, or you with us, and that no one has to change their opinion. You may find it maddening (younger people usually do), but its the way things actually work. I admire your fire, but I think you're wasting it.


Honestly? I don't particularly care whether you or anyone else in this thread agrees with me. I do however reserve the right at the not so subtle digs that I'm an imperialist or xenophobic because of my opinion, to call people on their crap. It is neither xenophobic nor imperialist to think a culture belongs to its people. Nor is it xenophobic to say I dislike how said cultures are incorperated into things like steampunk attire with no respect towards what said culture finds respectful. I would say the same thing if people were talking about wearing a huge star of David or Menorah on their next outfit/costume.

In fact, I mentioned that I do incorporate things from other cultures into my clothing. Go back and read it if you do not think so. However I strive to be respectful, which means staying away from symbols worn by a certain gender role, after a certain milestone, or with great religious signifigance. Yes, that often means people don't see what I'm doing, but I'm not bothered by it. I'm not wearing whatever it is to look cool, but as a homage.



Ha. You obviously do care, or you wouldn't keep harping on it.

By the way, I said nothing about xenophobia (that was either Mr. Wilhelm or Mr. Jonb, I can't remember which).
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 06:56:20 am by MWBailey » Logged
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