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Cultural appropriation

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This thread has been bothering me for a while now and as you can see, I've needed a while to organize my thoughts.

 

I had a strong feeling of "wrong wrong wrong" while reading this thread and was very surprised at myself.

 

I am not an intolerant idiot, I usually let people be who they are and I'm also not an unkind person. I usually don't go against people's wishes, why would I. Yet a voice in my head (maybe I'm just going crazy, who knows) kept yelling "no" to the complaints in this thread.

 

I think I have figured it out. Being European, I live in the nice tradition of beheading kings, not worshipping them. They have nice weddings on TV and gloriously awful coffee cups are sold with their picture. That's pretty much all that's left.

 

There were also long wars that made sure state, royalty and religion are now different things. I strongly believe in democracy.

 

I am also German and Germans learn very early on, that it is not a good idea to be proud of Germany. Most Germans simply aren't that attached to their country. I don't know if that attitude is justified, but I think it's healthy to keep a little distance to look at things.

 

I strongly believe, any kind of faith or worship is very personal. What other people do with it, can not harm me. In fact, I think they should treat it in any way they want. It is important to me alone. And what is being discussed in this thread aren't people who are delibaretly trying to offend, don't go there.

 

I think it is extremely dangerous to worship things or people to the extent that you're upset that someone is wearing a necklace that might resemble some symbol. Or freak out because they think "Hey, that's cool". Or go and kill them because they printed a picture in a newspaper. Or blow up buildings because a couple of minutes of film material were published.

 

So to me, Cultural appropriation sounds more like a good thing. Yes, parts of your culture are lost, that's what happens. Always and to every culture. In the bigger picture, one or two hundred years are nothing. New things will come. It's called life. And it doesn't stop you from living and enjoying your own culture.

I don't think you even understand. Look at the swatstika. It was originally a Buddhist symbol. Nazi Germans have distorted it to the point where its original meaning is gone. That's what's really upsetting.

 

You take a person's sacred symbol and you change the meaning, and oftentimes these symbols are from oppressed groups, who cannot speak up about this change, whose efforts to keep the symbol of its original meaning were oppressed, and now that this privileged people do it, it's suddenly seen as "cool" and "innovative". That is some messed up crap. Here's a good article.

 

Warning for some language: http://jezebel.com/5959698/a-much+needed-p...l-appropriation

 

I am trying to deliberately offend? So I shouldn't get upset when people mock my sacred symbols, that we were killed for having? Learn some history behind some of these symbols.

 

ETA: Oh, and no one here was talking about killing anyone, as far as I can see. dry.gif

Edited by SockPuppet Strangler

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@blah - Speaking of Nazis... here's a major reason why nowadays Germans aren't supposed to be proud of their culture.

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One of the Ethnic Studies majors came over and complained to us during our World Unity Fair last Saturday. We are apparently too white to wear Japanese yukata. In my opinion we weren't doing anything wrong here. Yukata is simply a style of traditional clothing -- it has no inherent "meaning." We were also all manning the Japan booth, and selling traditional food, and doing name writing and all sorts of things. The Ethnic Studies majored threw a fit that we didn't have more Japanese people representing, which is a true fact, but it isn't our fault. Many of the Nihonjin come to our meetings, but if they don't want to come and man our booth with us we aren't going to make them. We needed to be at the booth anyway, since we are all officers in the club. It's an unfortunate fact that none of the transfer students can become an officer -- they are really important positions that require training, and none of the students are even around for an entire academic year.

 

Nevertheless we work closely with them, and the Japanese Students Association. We were supplied the yukata by the senior Japanese sensei, who is also ultimately in charge of our club, and is Japanese herself. Plenty Japanese people, and the transfer students, stopped by the booth and order our food, and all of them thought we were cute/pretty in the yukata -- none of THEM were upset about it. It was the equally white Ethnic Studies major who had to come over with a fight to pick.

 

Further, all of the language class booths had lots of people that aren't from that area, but are learning the language. The German booth was mostly Americans who were learning German, as was the French booth. Likewise, we are all learning Japanese at our booth, and we are also wearing traditional clothing, just as they were.

Edited by 7Deadly$ins

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One of the Ethnic Studies majors came over and complained to us during our World Unity Fair last Saturday. We are apparently too white to wear Japanese yukata. In my opinion we weren't doing anything wrong here. Yukata is simply a style of traditional clothing -- it has no inherent "meaning." We were also all manning the Japan booth, and selling traditional food, and doing name writing and all sorts of things. The Ethnic Studies majored threw a fit that we didn't have more Japanese people representing, which is a true fact, but it isn't our fault. Many of the Nihonjin come to our meetings, but if they don't want to come and man our booth with us we aren't going to make them. We needed to be at the booth anyway, since we are all officers in the club. It's an unfortunate fact that none of the transfer students can become an officer -- they are really important positions that require training, and none of the students are even around for an entire academic year.

 

Nevertheless we work closely with them, and the Japanese Students Association. We were supplied the yukata by the senior Japanese sensei, who is also ultimately in charge of our club, and is Japanese herself. Plenty Japanese people, and the transfer students, stopped by the booth and order our food, and all of them thought we were cute/pretty in the yukata -- none of THEM were upset about it. It was the equally white Ethnic Studies major who had to come over with a fight to pick.

Imo traditional clothes are okay unless it was say sth that only the royal family wore or a shaman's or other restricted symbols.

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Imo traditional clothes are okay unless it was say sth that only the royal family wore or a shaman's or other restricted symbols.

Nope. Yukata are fairly normal wear. Japanese people don't wear them much anymore except for maybe during festivals or things like that... but as far as I know they were really just intended to be pretty and comfortable (they started out as cotton clothing to wear after a bath). Hell, we were even wearing them properly, which is a bit more difficult than it sounds.

 

 

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Nope. Yukata are fairly normal wear. Japanese people don't wear them much anymore except for maybe during festivals or things like that... but as far as I know they were really just intended to be pretty and comfortable (they started out as cotton clothing to wear after a bath). Hell, we were even wearing them properly, which is a bit more difficult than it sounds.

That's what I was talking about...the Ethnicity major's not really knowledgable about their own field of study.

Edited by ylangylang

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@blah - Speaking of Nazis... here's a major reason why nowadays Germans aren't supposed to be proud of their culture.

Nazism is not "German culture". It is about a very nasty time in history - and every country has such things to be ashamed of. But it will rear its head again if Germans have to put paper bags over their heads. German culture includes those awful Bavarian Lederhosen, Bierfests, some fabulous prehistoric monuments, Beethoven - things like that. Sure, the fact that the Swastika is now a no-no is a shame; it used to be a peace symbol. But the same has happened to the hexagram, which cannot now be seen as anything other than a symbol of the Israeli state and Judaism. It was used by Hindus and Buddhists long before it was adopted as the Star of David in the middle ages, and carved in a synagogue, in the 3rd century. Images appropriated by others are often forced to lose their original true identity - but that's life.

 

I am SICK of how people STILL try to demonise Germans and their culture. I have recently come back from a great vacation in Germany, where everyone was delightfully accepting and tolerant and the rest.

 

The Hitler years are over. the enormous majority of Germans are bending over backwards to make sure they are never repeated. It is part of the reasoning behind the EU. Germans NOW are not those who were responsible for the trashing of the swastika.

 

Sheesh.

 

Excuse me, I need to lie down.

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@blah - Speaking of Nazis... here's a major reason why nowadays Germans aren't supposed to be proud of their culture.

Yes, that is what I meant when I said Germans learn very early on not to be proud of Germany and that they aren't attached to their country that much.

 

But you also should keep in mind that my grandmother was a toddler when Hitler took over the government and that this whole period lasted for less than twenty years.

 

And during that time, much of German culture was lost. Nazis were insane idiots who put a stop to everything that didn't fit their ideology and as a consequence, destroyed a lot. I am sad about that, but accept that this is the way it is.

 

ylangylang-

 

I believe that symbols should not be sacred. I am Christian but if you want to go and paint a cross pink and put it on your lawn to decorate with toilet paper, I'm not going to be, oh man I almost said cross. Bothered is probably a good word.

 

I am also bisexual. Because you keep on talking about minorities and Christians are hardly a minority. Take the rainbow symbol. This isn't the first minority who's used it and it won't be the last. And to a kid in kindergarten it will mean another thing entirely. The most widely spread use is probably peace. I do not see how that is a bad thing or how it takes away from one of the groups using it.

 

I realise that the comparison is flawed. Because you're talking about keeping a culture alive, while sexual orientation is something people are becoming more aware of as we speak. But it doesn't change the fact that people have been killed over it and that it hasn't stopped.

 

I also said that a few hundred years aren't much compared to the whole history of humankind and there was a time when Christians were a minority and suffered everything minorities usually suffer.

 

About the Swastika - yes, the meaning changed. But Nazis weren't the only ones who changed it and that symbol is very old and very wide spread. The only bad thing about it is what it stands for in the Nazi context.

 

I never said you were deliberately trying to offend, I am sorry if it came across that way. I meant that we're here to discuss Cultural Appropriation which is basically thoughtlessness, and not people who deliberately try to offend people by making fun of their culture. I also wasn't talking to you, I was trying to adress the whole thread.

 

Thank you for the link to the article. I am shallow and the Bingo did make me laugh. It didn't cover my point though. I strongly believe it is dangerous to hold symbols that sacred. Or people. Or anything really.

 

Another point in the article is that minorities are being denied their right to live the way they want. Popular examples of that in Germany are that muslim girls (not a minority, but eh) have to participate in PE. Shechita is only allowed if you knock the animal out with an electric shock beforehand. Circumcision is being wildly discussed at the moment - whose rights are more important? Baby or parents?

 

So I know it does happen. I keep trying to think of something of my culture that would hurt me if it was taken away or out of context. I can't come up with anything. 15 years ago, Halloween was pratically unheard of here. Now people celebrate it and St. Martin's Day is rapidly losing importance instead. I dislike that immensly, but it is the way it is.

 

According to one of the comments to the article, my white privilege is showing when I say something like that. Let me just say that everyone has their cross to bear. Whites are not just whites. Metcalfe in the article says that there are hundreds of Native American cultures. Well, that goes for white people just the same. Still, my being white does not make me part of a minority. But others things about me do.

 

I also don't think that it is "messed up crap" when people finally realize that it was wrong to kill and torture people for some symbol or cultural aspect. I'd consider it an improvement. Of course, it feels ironic, but the result isn't so bad in my eyes.

 

Finally, no, no one was talking of killing anyone. But I was. And I was trying to illustrate my point, that it is completely dangerous to hold things so sacred. You seem to take all of this very personally, but I wasn't talking about you or specifically to you. I meant the reactions to Mark Basseley Youssef's video or the Muhammad cartoons controversy for example. That was not about appropriation, but shows what happens if people take an idea entirely to seriously.

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Yes, that is what I meant when I said Germans learn very early on not to be proud of Germany and that they aren't attached to their country that much.

 

But you also should keep in mind that my grandmother was a toddler when Hitler took over the government and that this whole period lasted for less than twenty years.

 

And during that time, much of German culture was lost. Nazis were insane idiots who put a stop to everything that didn't fit their ideology and as a consequence, destroyed a lot. I am sad about that, but accept that this is the way it is.

 

ylangylang-

 

I believe that symbols should not be sacred. I am Christian but if you want to go and paint a cross pink and put it on your lawn to decorate with toilet paper, I'm not going to be, oh man I almost said cross. Bothered is probably a good word.

 

I am also bisexual. Because you keep on talking about minorities and Christians are hardly a minority. Take the rainbow symbol. This isn't the first minority who's used it and it won't be the last. And to a kid in kindergarten it will mean another thing entirely. The most widely spread use is probably peace. I do not see how that is a bad thing or how it takes away from one of the groups using it.

 

I realise that the comparison is flawed. Because you're talking about keeping a culture alive, while sexual orientation is something people are becoming more aware of as we speak. But it doesn't change the fact that people have been killed over it and that it hasn't stopped.

 

I also said that a few hundred years aren't much compared to the whole history of humankind and there was a time when Christians were a minority and suffered everything minorities usually suffer.

 

About the Swastika - yes, the meaning changed. But Nazis weren't the only ones who changed it and that symbol is very old and very wide spread. The only bad thing about it is what it stands for in the Nazi context.

 

I never said you were deliberately trying to offend, I am sorry if it came across that way. I meant that we're here to discuss Cultural Appropriation which is basically thoughtlessness, and not people who deliberately try to offend people by making fun of their culture. I also wasn't talking to you, I was trying to adress the whole thread.

 

Thank you for the link to the article. I am shallow and the Bingo did make me laugh. It didn't cover my point though. I strongly believe it is dangerous to hold symbols that sacred. Or people. Or anything really.

 

Another point in the article is that minorities are being denied their right to live the way they want. Popular examples of that in Germany are that muslim girls (not a minority, but eh) have to participate in PE. Shechita is only allowed if you knock the animal out with an electric shock beforehand. Circumcision is being wildly discussed at the moment - whose rights are more important? Baby or parents?

 

So I know it does happen. I keep trying to think of something of my culture that would hurt me if it was taken away or out of context. I can't come up with anything. 15 years ago, Halloween was pratically unheard of here. Now people celebrate it and St. Martin's Day is rapidly losing importance instead. I dislike that immensly, but it is the way it is.

 

According to one of the comments to the article, my white privilege is showing when I say something like that. Let me just say that everyone has their cross to bear. Whites are not just whites. Metcalfe in the article says that there are hundreds of Native American cultures. Well, that goes for white people just the same. Still, my being white does not make me part of a minority. But others things about me do.

 

I also don't think that it is "messed up crap" when people finally realize that it was wrong to kill and torture people for some symbol or cultural aspect. I'd consider it an improvement. Of course, it feels ironic, but the result isn't so bad in my eyes.

 

Finally, no, no one was talking of killing anyone. But I was. And I was trying to illustrate my point, that it is completely dangerous to hold things so sacred. You seem to take all of this very personally, but I wasn't talking about you or specifically to you. I meant the reactions to Mark Basseley Youssef's video or the Muhammad cartoons controversy for example. That was not about appropriation, but shows what happens if people take an idea entirely to seriously.

I'm a bisexual Asian woman in an Asian country. And yes, the comparison is flawed. Unless you're saying that non heterosexuals have a culture of their own, a language of their own for which they're killed for practicing-and trust me, there are many, many examples of indigenous groups who had their children forcibly taken away from them, who were killed for speaking their language, who had forced assimilation schools, who were killed for the color of their skin, who were used as sexual slaves, who have almost zero representation of themselves in the media today, who had to fight tooth and nail to get their voting rights, I'm going to come out and say that what you're comparing is not even close to comparison. You are talking about vastly different LEVEL of oppression.

 

Say that I shut up, don't tell anyone about my identity as a bi person. No one would notice. No one would give a damn.

 

However, for me as a non white person I don't have that privilege. I could shut up and everything but the moment I show my face people know that I belong to a certain race. That's not something I can take off at a moment's gesture. Non heterosexuals open up their sexual orientation by coming out of the closet. Until then no one necessarily knows that you're straight or not. For many of us non white people we do not have any of that privilege. We're identified with a racial marker very early on. We have people who within our group look more "white" than the rest, and that's called "white-passing" privileges.

 

And you do have white privileges. Just because you have it doesn't mean that you get a free pass on everything in the world, it just means that you don't have to deal with additional baggage on top of that that comes with being not white. For example, if I was male, I'd have privileges that comes with being male, although I'd still be a non heterosexual non white person, that you as a female won't necessarily have. It's the same thing with you. You have privileges as a white person over people who are in the same situation as a non white person.

 

And you're comparing this theft of cultures, the mockery of sacred symbols to a terrorist act. That's called "appeal to extremes". By that logic I can say that everything is bad, because there's an extreme version of what happens when you commit such an act.

 

Few hundred years ago? We're talking about cultural theft that is ongoing and that most people aren't aware of.

 

ETA: And what is goddamn despicable about cultural appropriation is that it comes with racist undertones. For example, all the people taking Native American "headdresses"-perpetuating the Noble Savage stereotype. Most people sporting the "geisha" look- perpetuating the exotic east stereotype.

Edited by ylangylang

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I'm glad that someone else finally said something as well. I've had the same gut "no" feeling as Blah. I dislike this thread, I dislike the idea that cultural appropriation (in the form of clothing, wearing symbols, etc) is wrong. Why get mad at someone for thinking something about one culture is cool or looks pretty? What have they done wrong exactly?

 

To them it is not sacred. Why force them to follow rules that are your own? I will use the example of a christian cross that Blah started with above. Let's look at two people, John and Bob. Suppose that John is a christian and Bob is agnostic. To John, the cross symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus and his faith. To Bob, it's a t shaped item, a medieval torture device. For John it obviously holds a lot of meaning, for Bob it holds none.

 

Actually lets look at something slightly different. The Bible says to not take the Lord's name in vain. Our christian friend John must follow the Bible, his religious text. If he were to take the Lord's name in vain then he would be using a sacred "thing" in a way that is not good. Now look at Bob. He does not believe in the Bible and to him, God is just an abstract concept. Taking the "Lord's" name in vain is not bad in his mind. It's not wrong. Why should Bob have to follow John's beliefs?

 

(And I just realized this ties into gay marriage as well, why shouldn't I be able to marry who I love because it interferes with someone elses beliefs?)

 

How exactly is sacred clothing any different than my above example? It isn't. So why shouldn't I be able to wear an Indian headdress? I'm not doing it to offend anyone, it's not going against my beliefs. In my eyes, it is not wrong.

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How exactly is sacred clothing any different than my above example? It isn't. So why shouldn't I be able to wear an Indian headdress? I'm not doing it to offend anyone, it's not going against my beliefs. In my eyes, it is not wrong.

Because said "Indian headdresses" are

1. A symbol with racial caricatures, so sadly when people wear it people are unconsciously buying into this stereotype that Native American cultures are monolithic, when in reality only few tribes partook in this

2. People have been killed for stuff like this and to (mostly) white people coming in, using it as a fashion symbol, is wrong. It's wrong because you're sending the message that when Native Americans do this, it's wrong but when white people do it, it's innovative and fresh.

3. A lot of the time people wearing it are portray themselves in a very sexualized manner, which feed into the fetishization of Native American women, who are three times more likely to be raped, most of them by white people.

 

This-is-not-native.tumblr.com is a very good source for information.

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Because said "Indian headdresses" are

1. A symbol with racial caricatures, so sadly when people wear it people are unconsciously buying into this stereotype that Native American cultures are monolithic, when in reality only few tribes partook in this

2. People have been killed for stuff like this and to (mostly) white people coming in, using it as a fashion symbol, is wrong. It's wrong because you're sending the message that when Native Americans do this, it's wrong but when white people do it, it's innovative and fresh.

3. A lot of the time people wearing it are portray themselves in a very sexualized manner, which feed into the fetishization of Native American women, who are three times more likely to be raped, most of them by white people.

 

This-is-not-native.tumblr.com is a very good source for information.

4.) For the cultures who have those headdresses, they are symbols of great honor and prestige, given to those who have done good work for their people. People who haven't earned them wearing them is like wearing a purple heart/victoria cross/insert highly-regarded honor of your choice when you've done nothing to earn it.

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Because said "Indian headdresses" are

1. A symbol with racial caricatures, so sadly when people wear it people are unconsciously buying into this stereotype that Native American cultures are monolithic, when in reality only few tribes partook in this

Or people are wearing it because they think it is pretty, not anything to do with the culture it came from.

 

2. People have been killed for stuff like this and to (mostly) white people coming in, using it as a fashion symbol, is wrong. It's wrong because you're sending the message that when Native Americans do this, it's wrong but when white people do it, it's innovative and fresh.

 

Not to sound like I don't care or anything, but it's not my problem that people have been killed for this. As for white people wearing it, what if a black person wore it? What if a brown person wore it? Unless you've snooped through my posts, you don't know what color my skin is. You are assuming I am white.

 

3. A lot of the time people wearing it are portray themselves in a very sexualized manner, which feed into the fetishization of Native American women, who are three times more likely to be raped, most of them by white people.

 

People who wear things in a sexualized manner are demeaning themselves and their gender. If for instance I was to wear an indian headdress as part of a halloween costume that was not sexual at all, but in fact entirely accurate to the tribe that would have worn that type of headdress, then that is being respectful. I definitely commented on respecting cultures. Wearing an american flag bikini is disrespectful as well.

 

This-is-not-native.tumblr.com is a very good source for information.

This source has failed to impress me. Don't take me for uninformed, I've done (some) research.

 

4.) For the cultures who have those headdresses, they are symbols of great honor and prestige, given to those who have done good work for their people. People who haven't earned them wearing them is like wearing a purple heart/victoria cross/insert highly-regarded honor of your choice when you've done nothing to earn it.

 

Again, forcing your beliefs on someone else. Not cool. I don't care what your beliefs are, I don't want to be forced to follow them. Respect and following another cultures beliefs are significantly different.

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Freedom of expression is far more important than others' opinions on what should or should not be worn/displayed, as long as you're not saying that you are someone you are not or mocking them.

 

There, however, are things which *are* extremely disrespectful, and which you *definitely* should not do if you're decent person (visit catholic church dressed like the pope, buddhist temple dressed in the yellow robe of Lamas, and ylangylang's home wearing Korean queen's outfit, hairdo and hairsticks when you are none of the three, for instance), but those things must be not punishable. The only exception to 'not punishable' should be that the property owner/supervisor (in places belonging to individuals or institutions only!) can make them leave or change outfit if they want to stay.

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Freedom of expression is far more important than others' opinions on what should or should not be worn/displayed, as long as you're not saying that you are someone you are not or mocking them.

 

There, however, are things which *are* extremely disrespectful, and which you *definitely* should not do if you're decent person (visit catholic church dressed like the pope, buddhist temple dressed in the yellow robe of Lamas, and ylangylang's home wearing Korean queen's outfit, hairdo and hairsticks when you are none of the three, for instance), but those things must be not punishable. The only exception to 'not punishable' should be that the property owner/supervisor (in places belonging to individuals or institutions only!) can make them leave or change outfit if they want to stay.

This is what I'm trying to say and derping at. Thanks for saying it much more eloquently.

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But do you really have freedom to offend people deeply? You CAN, but you SHOULDN'T. And if you're not part of that culture... Who are you to say what is or is not deeply offensive to people who belong to that culture? I mean, if it's just like one or two people it probably isn't a big deal. But if it's widely regarded as offensive by members of that culture... Then you probably shouldn't do it. You CAN, but you will look like a massive censorkip.gif if you continue to do it when people say it's really offensive.

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But do you really have freedom to offend people deeply? You CAN, but you SHOULDN'T. And if you're not part of that culture... Who are you to say what is or is not deeply offensive to people who belong to that culture? I mean, if it's just like one or two people it probably isn't a big deal. But if it's widely regarded as offensive by members of that culture... Then you probably shouldn't do it. You CAN, but you will look like a massive censorkip.gif if you continue to do it when people say it's really offensive.

This kinda goes back to a point I made in the sexist threrad - if we truly value freedom of expression then that does include the freedom to say/do things that will offend other people.

 

Yeah, those of us that actualy get upset when we realise we've upset someone will probably stop doing it. But it's unreasonable to expect *everyone* to be have in a way designed not to upset a minority. (Largely because, as I said in the Sexism thread, if you start legislating to protect one group from being offended then, in all fairness, you can only legislate to protect everyone from being offended - and we'd all end up unable to speak if that was the case).

 

People that feel they are being disrespected have every right to demand that people stop, in whatever terms they prefer... but the people they're targeting have just as much right to thumb their noses and carry on regardless. Yeah, so it may not be the *nicest* thing on the planet to do, but that doesn't mean we should legislate to stop them doing it.

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I don't really know where I stand exactly on the idea of doing something LEGALLY, but I don't agree with telling people who are offended to just shove off because screw them and their being overly sensitive and easily offended by something you think isn't offensive, no matter how deeply offensive it is to anybody from that culture.

 

The idea of "Hey, I don't mean to offend therefore it's not offensive" is what I disagree with (not saying specifically anybody here WAS saying that, mind you). Not meaning to offend doesn't mean it isn't offensive.

 

Thinking you're being respectful is not the same thing as actually being respectful.

 

If you are told flat-out that it's deeply offensive and if you're a decent person you'll stop, then you have every right to carry on and be a jerk about it. But you being an offensive and rude jerk doesn't mean that they don't have every right to be deeply offended.

 

And I have an issue with the people who then go "Shut up, I'm being respectful so you can't be offended" as their "justification" for what they do. (Again, not saying anybody here was specifically saying that. But I HAVE seen that attitude. Oh Tumblr, such lovely users you have sometimes...)

Edited by KageSora

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Okay, my turn.

 

Roma get a lot of appropriation. In fact, most people know we exist only through appropriation. People think it's okay to dress up "as g*psy fortunetellers" for Hallowe'en, or walk around in flowy skirts and big clunky earrings calling themselves "gypsies."

 

It can lead to awkward things, like when I've seen a young man ask a girl if she had a matchmaker, when she was dressed up with the gold coin jewelry that symbolises a girls dowry and the with symbols that denoted the girl as Kalderash, but she was "dressed up pretty," and the girl's mother thought the young man was "being a creeper."

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Shiny, do you mind if I ask you a few questions?

 

1. What is your opinion on just fortune-teller costumes, if the wearer doesn't associate it with the "g***y" stereotype?

 

2. What are things from Romani culture that definitely shouldn't be worn by people not part of it? I know the diklo is one, but that's all I can think of.

 

I hope this doesn't sound too pushy. There's just so little information on Romani culture, and I'm genuinely curious about it.

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1. What is your opinion on just fortune-teller costumes, if the wearer doesn't associate it with the "g***y" stereotype?

 

I've never seen one that didn't, so I can't judge. If you don't mind showing me one, I could give a better opinion.

 

2. What are things from Romani culture that definitely shouldn't be worn by people not part of it? I know the diklo is one, but that's all I can think of.

 

The gold coin jewelry, called galbi. It represents a woman's dowry and/or her place in the clan. Unfortunately, it's one of the things everyone copies.

 

The idea of the "g*psy fortuneteller" is also very offensive, because it's the representation of the choovihni, the Romani wise-woman. It's like the godmother of the entire community. She's the midwife, the doctor, the matchmaker.

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I've never seen one that didn't, so I can't judge. If you don't mind showing me one, I could give a better opinion.

I don't really have a specific example, but say someone wore say, a flowy skirt, peasant top, bangles... stuff like that, and called themself a fortune teller, is it okay, as long as they're not calling themselves a g***y?

 

The gold coin jewelry, called galbi. It represents a woman's dowry and/or her place in the clan. Unfortunately, it's one of the things everyone copies.

 

The idea of the "g*psy fortuneteller" is also very offensive, because it's the representation of the choovihni, the Romani wise-woman. It's like the godmother of the entire community. She's the midwife, the doctor, the matchmaker.

 

Thank you. I'll keep this in mind so I don't do it in the future.

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I don't really have a specific example, but say someone wore say, a flowy skirt, peasant top, bangles... stuff like that, and called themself a fortune teller, is it okay, as long as they're not calling themselves a g***y?

 

Maybe the best way to do this is to make an example.

 

Rroma traditional dress:

 

user posted image

 

So, I mean, the question becomes, if someone wears say, a kimono and elaborate hairstyle and says their dressing up as a "prostitute" rather than a "geisha" does that mean people looking at them will see a "prostitute" and not a "geisha."

 

Note: I am not calling geishas prostitutes. I am referring to the trend of dressing as a wisewoman and calling her a "fortune-teller" akin to the same.

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