Odds and Ends
8 10, 5:07am
'-USA dehumanization is something that you do to an individual. "Culture" is either a set of stories, language, beliefs and preferences or a class to which you arbitrary assign some number of individuals.
Entertainment in general and specific pieces aimed at children trivialize a lot of things, it has to do so to remain entertaining. If someone uses children's story as a source of accurate information on some culture, problem lies within reader's attitude and not the story. Creators being "hurt" by headdress is a weird claim, unless one of them was, say, dismembered to make one. You could mean economic damage, in which case it's not very likely that original product would be in demand by those who purchased "counterfeit".
"And this prioritized the feelings and profit of the white-owned Disney company over any of the native americans that they stole the look from."
How use of Native American "look" in a cartoon prevents Native Americans from utilizing the same look? If it doesn't, how do you justify the use of word "stole"?
But here's a better example - "The Merchant of Venice". Original material had a strong antisemitic tone to it and served to dehumanize Shylock, trivialize his moral suffering and economic loss. Shakespeare is unlikely to have been Jewish or even citizen of Venice. Apparently, this play is supposed to be a cultural appropriation.
However, modern reading and adaptations tend to present Shylock as a sympathetic character, whose religious and cultural background determine reaction and actions towards Antonio and Bassanio. That, however, distorts author's original intent without his express permission or compensation. One could argue that antisemites of various nationalities are hurt by humanization of character, who is driven by his cultural and religious background to demand unreasonable death of Christian and served to show harmful aspects of cultural separatism and predatory lending by Jews. Does that mean that in order to avoid cultural appropriation all copies of "The Merchant of Venice" and derivative works should be destroyed? Should they be accessible only to either Venetians, Venetian Jews or British people (provided that they are sufficiently antisemitic to view the work as originally intended)?
"When Ms. Natalie Winter made a Wikitongues video on how to speak gypsy, several Romani complained. She was neither Romani, nor was speaking the language well. She took to public media to say that the ones complaining against her didn't 'look' Romani, and therefore their complaints weren't valid. Fortunately, Wikitongues did take her video down as appropriation, but that damage is done. "
Oh, languages are fun.
Damage to Romani amounts to what? If there is any meaningful damage, do some Romani engage in harmful cultural appropriation when they speak in dialect which does not correspond to some ideal vocabulary and pronunciation? If someone who is not Romani speaks the same dialect, does that count as cultural appropriation of some "mainstream" form of language? If not - why?
If purpose of the video is to demonstrate the perfect pronunciation, then taking it down makes sense on grounds of insufficient quality, not "cultural appropriation".