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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:06 pm 
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Frelga wrote:
I was still completely gobsmacked when I kept hearing how women are conditioned to be nice and to avoid conflicts

Come to the upper Midwest sometime, where everybody is conditioned that way! :D


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:02 pm 
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Frelga wrote:
Rose, that's why I can't bring myself to love the Great Male Writers of the 19th century - Dickens, Balzac, Dostoyevsky (wait, no, him I don't like for other reasons) - because their female characters feel so fake to me.

As River said, one solution is to write from an outsider perspective. That wouldn't be a problem if we have a diversity of perspectives, speaking to diverse audiences. Otherwise, the story of only one group is getting told, regardless of the setting.

Another solution is to have someone with the insider view review your work.


Try Trollope. If vison were here, she would have beat me to this. Trollope's women are astoundingly real.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:03 pm 
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Frelga wrote:
I spent basically my entire adult life in the US and tend to think of myself as pretty well assimilated. I was still completely gobsmacked when I kept hearing how women are conditioned to be nice and to avoid conflicts, and it took me up until quite recently to realize that not only do they mean it as a rule and not an exception, but that men (unconsciously?) factor that expectation into their interactions with women.


Is that what's going on? :scratch: No wonder most humans I come in contact with are so baffling.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:35 pm 
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Dave, I met several Midwestern families when we dropped my son off in Chicago. That was my first real exposure to the fabled Midwestern warmth, and it really is charming. Californian friendliness is a little more... reaching out instead of pulling in, it feels. Hilariously, the New Yorker I met at the same time was stereotypically loud and brash, but still very nice.

But I think the "women are supposed to be nice" statement comes with the unspoken rider of "when people are mean to them."

Prim, only the love I bear for you and vison made me get through a second Trollope book. :blackeyey: But you are right, women were well written.

Maria, yes, that's exactly how I felt.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:34 am 
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yovargas wrote:
(Apropos of nothing in particular, everyone should read the novel The brief and wondrous life of Oscar Wao, because it is amazing and it is Dominican as hell. :D )


There has been several attempts to get Junot Diaz to be the Guest Author of Honor at Mythopoeic Society conferences (MythCons) which apparently he has politely turned down, but another effort is being made.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:39 pm 
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The latest controversy with Megyn Kelly and her comments about blackface had me wondering. Back when Katie was a little girl, she loved the American Girl dolls, and she was particularly enchanted by Kaya, the Nez Perce girl. She wanted to dress up in a jingle dress for Halloween, so I sewed her a costume and attached probably 500 jingle bells to this dress and sent her off. No, we did not alter her skin tone (Irish white, if you're wondering, just like me), and her accoutrements were in keeping with the modern Nez Perce tribe. Was this offensive? Would it be offensive today?

I am particularly hoping that narya might pop in to give her opinion, but I'd like to hear everyone else's thoughts, too.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:52 pm 
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From what I’ve read Kelly said that it was okay to be blackface if you were dressing up
as a character, say Mickey Mouse. I don’t see what’s wrong with that (I also don’t know if the uproar was due to the word blackface or the actual thought).

And I don’t see what would be wrong with your girl dressing up that way.

Or what was wrong with the Pocahontas Yale incident.

This stuff annoys the hell out of me.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:33 pm 
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Frelga wrote:
I was still completely gobsmacked when I kept hearing how women are conditioned to be nice and to avoid conflicts, and it took me up until quite recently to realize that not only do they mean it as a rule and not an exception, but that men (unconsciously?) factor that expectation into their interactions with women. Well, that explained some things!

This is not to say that the majority of American women ARE so conditioned, but when they are not, they are still (unconsciously?) aware of the society's expectation that they would be. I tried to work out if it was just me who missed the memo, but my experience suggests otherwise.

So if I missed that pretty basic thing, could I ever hope to correctly portray someone from a culture I merely researched?


For those of you who have been ignoring mainstream media, Prince Harry and Megan Markle have been in Australia the last week or so. Megan has a female as her head of security.

The media has mostly focused on what the woman is wearing... :(

It's not just the United States that tries to trivialize women who hold positions of power. :nono:

Sorry...osgiliating. But had to be said!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:40 pm 
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So, my production of "In the Heights" has precisely two people of colour in the cast, neither of whom are leads. There are people for whom this is a problem, but not, apparently for Lin Manuel Miranda:

Now THIS is sensitive, and I'm hesitant to begin again
But I'm a Puerto Rican-Mexican; I PLAYED Dominican.
And everyone's from everywhere, we are reppin' so many things
Andrea's Venezuelan and Jewish, Karen's like twenty things
So yes, I see your point, but ethnicity's just a factor
They've gotta play the part: in the end, dude is an ACTOR.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:02 pm 
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On the other hand, when The Cursed Child cast a black actress as Hermione, there was a sh!tstorm.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:53 pm 
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Lalaith, intention is very important when wearing cultural garb. The problem with 'blackface' isn't that someone chooses to dress up (respectfully) as say, Rosa Parks (a courageous black historical figure), it is that Blackface is inherently racist in origin and it's intent was to make fun of black people. "The practice gained popularity during the 19th century and contributed to the spread of racial stereotypes such as the "happy-go-lucky darky on the plantation" or the "dandified coon".


I would apply the same to other cultures. It's all about respect. It sounds like you and your daughter respectfully represented a girl (doll) from another culture. At least, that is how I view it. It would be nice to hear from others. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:54 pm 
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Blackface and things of that nature are problematic when they are a caricature, often mockingly, of an entire race or group of people. If you say "I am dressed up like a black person", you are saying that this is what all black people look like, reducing them all to a few stereotypical characteristics. It is at the very least a little dehumanizing towards that group.

What the girl that Megyn Kelly was talking about was doing the exact opposite of all of that. She was not doing a demeaning caricature of an entire group, she was doing a loving omage of a specific human. It is the exact opposite of why blackface is problematic, and therefore, in my view, the exact opposite of racism.

Dominican people don't really have the big stereotypes that other racial and ethnic groups have like blacks, Mexicans, or Native Americans do, but if they did, I feel certain that I would think the same way. A non-hispanic person dressing up as a broad caricature of my Dominican people? That is bad, please don't do that. A non-hispanic person dressing up in tribute of a specific famous Dominican person? Awesome, I love it!

What Lali and her daughter did sound much more like the latter than like the former and so I am in full support of it. YMMV.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:25 am 
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I agree with yov and Rose. Intention makes all the difference.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:33 am 
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But people who don’t know you, don’t know your intentions, either.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:08 am 
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Inanna wrote:
But people who don’t know you, don’t know your intentions, either.


True. But most people can tell if something is being made fun of and is buffoonish or if it is respectful. Blackface is intentionally clownish and derogatory. That said, it is wise to think of the context in which the article of clothing will be worn.

I read an article yesterday written by a Filipino woman (whose husband was Caucasian). They were attending a birthday party for her Grandfather and the family tried to make the food/decorations, etc.. as close to a celebration as it would have been back in his native island country. While the woman (and other guests) wore traditional garb, the (white) husband felt that it would be cultural appropriation and disrespectful, however the family talked him into wearing traditional clothing. The grandfather was honored & overjoyed and thought that it was very respectful to honor him by celebrating his homeland & culture in that way.

Someone else or another group may feel differently.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:41 pm 
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Here's a teacher who is in deep trouble for wearing blackface to a costume party. I don't think she meant to be disrespectful: she was coming to the party as part of a group of characters from the TV show, Napoleon Dynamite.

Anyway, pictures taken at the party hit social media, and it did NOT go over well! :(

https://percolately.com/mikewc/iowa-bla ... c94d0ec567

So, this begs the question: can a white person EVER get away with portraying a black person, without being accused of racism?

I remember (was it in this thread?) someone mentioning a white guy who was harassed by black people for wearing his hair in dreadlocks.

Edit: yes, Alatar posted a video on pg. 2 of this thread, showing a white college student being harassed by a black woman (an employee of the college) for wearing dreads.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:51 pm 
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The earliest depiction of dreadlocks is over 2,000 years old from the Minoans of Greece (who were white
Europeans). Dreadlocks have also historically been worn in India and by American natives.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:58 pm 
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Sunsilver wrote:

So, this begs the question: can a white person EVER get away with portraying a black person, without being accused of racism?


Can they? Almost certainly not. Should they? I think yes.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:58 pm 
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The writer Anne Lamott, who is white, has worn dreads for decades because that’s the only way she can manage her hair. I have seen other white people with dreads, and maybe their stories match hers—not cultural appropriation, but finding a solution to a grooming problem.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:08 pm 
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RoseMorninStar wrote:
The earliest depiction of dreadlocks is over 2,000 years old from the Minoans of Greece (who were white
Europeans). Dreadlocks have also historically been worn in India and by American natives.


They are still worn in India by Sadhus etc. a grooming problem solution, as Prim said.

Heights of stupidity, if you ask me.

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