Discussion in 'The Bridge Over The River Kawaii' started by MulMizu, Nov 29, 2012.
The word your looking for migh tbe dialect.
Also, wtf, you live in hell. I am so sorry, dear.
What the fuck.
I think those 'friends' are on a special list called "People you are legally allowed to punch in the face". Jesus Christ.
I've read this thread, discussion of painful, insensitive and offensive things people say and do.
And really, how do I words.
I'm sorry, I'm just really confused, now confused even more. How to act, what to do not to offend people or not to come off as racist, misogynic or ignorant.
I grew up as a sheltered white tomboy-but-still-definitely-girl in a country of white people, with great parents and no bullying in school. That's why I feel very awkward and don't know how to act when I meet people who are different in that respect. Being even more cautious than usual only makes things worse, even if I don't want to offend anybody.
I think that if non-Asians started talking at me in a stereotypical Asian accent I would actually punch them.
That being said, people do talk in stereotypical-sounding accents either from having to learn another language or being surrounded by/immersed in communities of people who speak in nothing but said stereotypical accent. It's more sad that the way someone speaks rather than the content of their speech limits their opportunities, makes others mock them constantly, and causes them to be generally disrespected, not listened to, and thought of as a second-class human being.
Let me tell you, having people talk over you or think you're mentally challenged from childhood until adolescence because your verbal communication was that bad is not fun. I had to learn how to speak louder and faster because I wouldn't be able to tolerate an entire lifetime of that, but if I hadn't had to I probably wouldn't have. Until absolutely everyone is talking as crisply and coherently as someone on NPR I don't think they have much right to judge.
EDIT: Just being conscious that people outside that bubble exist is a good start, Nimu.
I guess I just didn't complete my thought, I'm sorry, it's really difficult to find words.
I knew that for quite a while already, just reading about all these horrible experiences reminded me that awful stuff like this still exists, even if I don't see it.
My best friend for 14 years now and going has this coffee-and-milk dark skin tone, which was still pretty unusual where I live at the time (now it's not). She never got teased about it at school, but I suspect she was still somehow bullied in public transport, or anywhere else, because whenever I mentioned it, she was really offended and defense-mode-activated, and all I wanted to say was just "You are really beautiful and gorgeous, you idiot, you." I had to tell her this many many times, till she actually believed.
And I have a really smart beautiful bi-friend, whom I find absolutely best girl ever and even would defy my definitely straight sexuality for her if she ever finds me attractive enough. Since we are close and really good friends I'm not afraid to offend her or ask her stuff, she even promised to bring me to the awesome spring party which is actually funded by LGBT comunity, so I talk and get to know people more.
What I'm really confused about is how not to offend people over the Internet while discussing sensitive subjects like this. Because all I have are words. You don't even see my face or hear the intonation behind them.
It's never possible to completely avoid offending people (especially when you have no idea who's reading what you write) - handling the aftermath is more important than tiptoeing around trying to ensure you never say anything wrong. I mean obviously if you see a huge landmine it's polite to avoid that but really, you can't be perfect and it's not fair to expect you to be. So rather than stress yourself out trying to never put a foot wrong (which can eventually make you exhausted and resentful) it's more useful to look for the clues of when you have upset somebody, to be able to apologise, and to not get offended by their being upset.
My two cents anyway.
Plus I think it's important to keep in mind a very simple rule:
Treat other humans like you treat humans you're used to dealing with. Like for instance, when you're confronted with a woman who conforms to the general expectations of her gender, do you constantly point out her gender to her even in a positive way? No? When you're confronted with a middle-class white guy, do you talk about how pale his skin is or how the food he eats sure reflects how middle-class he is? No?
It's easy. Just do unto others as you generally do unto others, regardless of appearance or background.
Those sound like some awesome friends, Nimu. And don't worry - it's normal to try and forget bad things exist in the world. We all wish they didn't. But many have to go through that every day of their lives and...yeah. I suppose what I'm trying to say here is, it's okay if you don't think about it all the time, as long as you acknowledge that it's there and it's a problem.
Back to misoginy. While I am working towards getting better, it's amazingly sad how paranoid the treatment I received from males in my life has made me. I even doubted relatives I didn't see that often.
Just a year back, during christmass, a second cousin visited. We very rarely see each other, and I was dressed up for the feast. When he saw me, he complimented me saying I looked very pretty and grown-up. My brain instantly went into defense mode.
Later on that year, I found out he had just come out to his parents. Which was likely the reason he was spending Christmass with us.
And thinking about how my insides twisted and I panicked in my head...damn, I just. Why was I so scared? There was literally no reason for me to be scared. But the fact that he was a male I wasn't very familiar with was enough to cause me anxiety. I've gotten better, but I think that's when it really hit me that this was not the way I should react. That everything bad that had happened before that lead to this was not okay and I should not think it was normal.
It's just so ridiculous, isn't it? The conditioned-instinctive way in which certain things make us respond.
Oh my god, tell me about it.
I consider myself fluent in English ,i.e. I can carry a conversation perfectly well as long as no one asks me to spell words like benevolent, which I can pronounce but not spell oh god the n's, so many n's.
However, as soon as some people hear my accent (which is admittedly strong), added to the pace of my delivery (I speak really fast, in all language I know, so sometime I swallow vowels and such, but that's my natural pace), they immediately assume I must have the language skills of a poodle, and proceed to talk to me in a LOUD AND SLOOOW VOICE, MAKING SURE TO ENUNCIATE PROPERLY, and accompany it with helpful pantomime, in case I have troubles grasping complex ideas such as sale. For example:
Me: Hey, do these cardigans come on other colours?
Sales Person: THIS IS ON SALE, ONLY THE COLORS HERE *making gestures to the pile, and waving hands wildly*
Me: Okaaay, so how much are they? (since the sign helpfully said SALE but did not specify an actual price)
Sales Person: THIS IS ON SALE, 20% OFF, LESS PRICE! *makes a chopping motion*
Me: But, the actual price is..?
Sales Persons: ON SAAAAALE!!
And then I go postal and murder everyone in the store with a mechanical pencil, because those cardigans were made from cheap fabric anyway.
I get the same treatment in regards to French. I mean, I'll admit I often offer to help people speak French because, well, practise is very important and I have a Bescherelle so I can help with the conjugaison when they need it, but actually teaching the language is something I'm not really good at. If someone has previously taken lessons, I can work with that. From scratch? DEAR GOD WHERE DO I START?
Basically, people just kind of. Flock over to people who speak a foreign language because a lot of them wish to speak it as well and they assume if a native speaker speaks to them in their native tongue, it'll be easier than taking classes. Which it isn't.
1. Is it bad my first thought was of Calphurnia from To Kill a Mockingbird?
2. Huh. I never realized it could be degrading. I remember a few times where somebody asked to imitate the Chinese accent while speaking English (which I cannot manage to contort my tongue into, I pretty much learned English first since all the Chinese I knew flew out of my head in kindergarten). I took it as an interest in accents. Similar to where people will ask somebody to speak in another language because they want to hear it.
I suppose it strongly depends on the way you're asked. If someone asked me to speak in Spanish because they're interested and without being rude, I don't think I would refuse.
It's when they treat you as a caricature of your culture that it gets degrading.
Edit: speaking of, last Halloween I saw a bunch of pictures of 'halloween costumes' that stereotyped and demonized many cultures and I just
I really think it depends on context. With my friends, we joke around about stereotypes and voice accents related to our culture because we personally don't take it seriously and don't associate it strongly to who we are. However, if someone I just met asked me to do the same, I'd be upset. If a friend I wasn't particularly close to asked me to do the same just for the hell of it, I'd be upset. It really depends on the context of when the joke is being made and with who.
Like everyone else has said, it's different if you voluntarily choose to do it and it's with people that you know well.
The thing is, that "accent" isn't a different language. It's a stereotypical caricature of black people that's been carried around for CENTURIES and is not in the least bit positive. It's a sign of...not ignorance, but lesser status? I don't quite know how to explain it to someone that isn't black because it's like a...hm...
Imagine there is a Chinese man working at a store. He has a sale on things for half off.
A non-Asian man walks into the store and looks at the merchandise. He asks how much something is. The Chinese man says in a completely normal voice "It's four dollars." The non-Asian man says, "No, say it like a Chinese guy."
Do you see how this is an issue? It's not that the Chinese guy is speaking a different language as much as speaking in this stereotypical voice for the sake of amusing someone else. It's a negative stereotype. The non-Asian man doesn't want the man to say it in Chinese. He wants him to say "OHHHH IS A-FO' DOLLAH SOOPA CHEEP YOU BUY YES????" (that was incredibly painful to type and I am incredibly sorry for typing it, but it was for the sake of getting a point across). You don't want to hear an accent, you want to hear this negative stereotype that's stuck with a people because of general ignorance (and in some cases, a perpetuation of the stereotype because of multiple factors).
by the by.
it's "ask", not "axe".
please stop chopping questions at me.
Okay. Japan. I think we need to have a talk.
I can get the "Idols" thing - it's really no different than the American "pin-up girls"/calendar models genre. Maid cafes are pretty much, as I understand it, to the Japanese what Hooters restaurants are to Americans.
That being said - http://kotaku.com/5962863/this-lady...d-then-shoots-deadly-assault-rifles/gallery/1
I just - what.
All of this.
As I said, when I'm joking around with friends, I don't mind. I'm okay with pretending to sound Parisian or Québécois stereotype of when they speak English. But we're doing it as a joke, know very well it's just a stereotype, and know each other well. We're not expecting each other to do it all the time and, well, we generally don't ask each other to do it, it's a spur of the moment thing on occasion as a joke and we don't push it. We still shouldn't do it though since, deep down, I still feel uncomfortable when I do it so I don't know why I do it. I kind of just got used to it, terrible though it may sound, I guess? Ahahahaaaa...
Like you're saying, if some complete stranger came up to me and found out I was French-Canadian then asked me to "Speak like a Quebecker", I'd be fucking pissed.
Not to mention I'm not from Québec in the first fucking place, so there's that.
My little brother's wet dream RIGHT. THERE.
It's really cool actually, I think. Though I didn't realize civilians could carry firearms in Japan... I was under the impression that its gun control laws are pretty strict.
Well that's a thing that happened.
I think we need to discuss Kawaisa. (Warning: TV Tropes link.)
I'm pretty fascinated by it, even if I'm a bit unsure of what to think of it overall. I'm not sure if this is true, but I hear some women even get operations to make their teeth slightly crooked since it looks more "cute", and thus fits that Kawaiiko style or something. Don't take my word for it, though. Sorry if I offended anyone!
I know even the business men had cute cell phone charms on their phones when I was in Japan. It was kind of awesome, actually. It's funny how stuff like that works across different cultures because that would probably qualify someone for Bunny Ears Lawyer status here.
Also, can we take a second to talk about foot binding because I'm reading a historical novel and AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They tried to make their feet 7 to 14 centimeters in length which is the size of a thumb, which they did by curling all but the big toe under the foot and wrapping the feet in tight binding and then making the girls walk on them so their toes would break and this was done as young as three in some places. It's absolutely horrifying and it makes me realize that even if there's still a lot wrong with the world today, we're headed in the right direction because at least women are no longer forced to mutilate themselves (with the exception of a few cultures where things like genital mutilation are practiced) in order to have any sort of value.
But, you know, props to Lisa See for being able to write about it from the point of view of a historical Chinese woman because I'm not sure I'd be able to do the same without bringing all my modern sensibilities into it.
Well then, I'd probably be viewed as adorable in Japan, if they could get over how tall I am. (I'm tall enough to be a model here in America, but if I was to be a model, I'd be considered on the short side.)
I remember my 6th grade teacher reading a book about that to my class. I don't remember the title, but it may have been the same one you were reading.
When I was 11, though, it was an unpleasant experience (to say the least).
Oh god I've read about that and it's just ksajhdkjashdk
The perception of beauty througout the ages and cultures is fascinating, but many times has lead me to think oh god why.
Though I like corsets as an article of clothing, the idea of how they were worn long ago terrifies me. So many things could go wrong. There was a point where only the top part of your lungs would continue to work, the rest would fill with mucus. Of course, these were extreme cases, but having something that strongly difficulted breathing just for the sake of fashion makes no sense to me.
A generalization that may not be 100 percent true: I think the things that societies find attractive are less about the objective look and more about how the look signifies that someone has the money and free time to spend on superficial things.
This is true to an extent, just in the same way a pudgy woman was seen long ago as a sign of health and fortune.
Because you know money = food = health.
Norms change with time, of course.
xD I have to try not to laugh when I hear people 'axe' a question 'cause it sounds funny to me and my mind goes the same place yours does. 'Why are you slicing a question again..?' Even WORSE if it's someone of an ethnicity who wouldn't normally be using a dialect like ebonics or something... I just shake my head, because I wonder if they know their doing it, and if they do notice, do they realize how offensive it can be? Even if they ARE of an ethnic background you'd not be shocked to hear it from, it sounds sort of uneducated to blatently butcher the word like that. Often they're not unintelligent, just too lazy to correct themselves, which is too bad. ...From my experience anyway, I don't pretend to be an expert in lingustics ot culture.
Less on the cutsey side, but we have that here in the US. Doesn't one of our major gun publications just have bikini babes holding AK-47s and stuff? You don't need Freuid to dissect a chick holding a big, powerful, phallic symbol. Do you find it offensive though? Comepared to other things we've discusssed, that's more of one of those things I'd shrug off as people who have fetishes than a major cultural offense.
I think it's weird to me because you have a culture that isn't known for fetishizing firearms as much as the large section of the US population that worships at the altar of the 2nd Amendment, and the juxtaposition is a bit weird. Most of the fetish idol stuff - the maid outfits, schoolgirl/lolita roleplay, the emphasis on "cute" seems to be geared towards engendering feelings of protectiveness; the whole "moe" phenomenon. Combine that with the object of that attention not only posing with but actually using a firearm with a degree of skill and professionalism (hey, I may think it's weird but I can at least respect proper trigger discipline) just seems weird to me.
But then again there's a lot of "normal" fetishization that my brain just goes "well that's just silly" to.
Along with corseting in the Victorian era they use to remove the bottom rib to better create a wasp waist. The also had high heels where the ball and toe part of the shoe was rounded so that a woman needed a walking stick or the arm of a gentleman to better walk around.
Thank you Fashion Through History class for illustrating the many ways we have mutilated ourselves for beauty.
The fact that in Japan firearms aren't as common might actually add to the sexual appeal of it. Now you've got phallic symbol AND something forbidden. And maybe the mix of 'looks helpless, but not really,' might also have some kind of appeal that I can't pull apart into words at the moment.
I think fetishes and kinks are an interesting point here. And this is what I think:
It's totally okay to have them. It is! If you're not hurting anyone in any way, then there's not a problem.
The problem begins with people who are incapable of separating fantasy from reality; and realizing when it has become a problem. And really, it applies to many more things we've discussed. I think
Randissimo mentioned joking among friends about themes that anywhere else would be found offensive; I suppose I could use that as an example.
I think what I'm trying to say here is that someone smart enough won't look at a picture of a girl in a bikini holding an AK-47 and instantly think "IF I BUY A WEAPON I WILL GET WOMEN". That's just as ridiculous as it sounds. The problem is that many people do think that way.
This may be worded a bit funny and I apologize for any misconceptions, it's 4 am and I really shouldn't be posting here BUT WHAT IS A NORMAL SCHEDULE.
I totally almost brought that up, but I thought weird anime stuff might be opening a can of worms that I could explain easier without.. xD
Themes: assassins, cyborgs, girls with guns.
You need to understand that those themes are not separate. This series contains cyborg assassin girls with guns.
I was just going to let this go, for a number of reasons, but I am finding it, and a number of vernacular-related posts, to be bothersome in a particular lingering fashion that anyone who has ever had a brush-up with the sort of "upper level" (see: not overt Right Wing zealots) class-based, socio-political, coded racism is familiar with. Hint: black people aren't the only ones who replace a hard 's' with an 'x' and insinuating that "ebonics" (not even touching your usage of that one) is (even if still "laugh-worthy"!) might betray more about your perceptions of people and race than you would like to believe.
So: What, exactly, is offensive about it?
Girls with guns is practically an entire subgenre in Japanese anime. (Warning: TvTropes link!)
There's also Girls und Panzer!
Amongst the populace, but I saw more guns in the airport in Japan than I probably saw in my entire life in the US (none of my family/friends are gun people though.) Guys with SMGs everywhere!
It isn't offensive in an of itself, it's more how people use it. Kind of in the nature of how it was mentioned earlier of 'speak that way because it's amusing.' It bugs me if you see, for example, random white teenagers in sideways caps with sagging pants using it, and trying to emulate that culture. Again, mentioned before, emulating a stereotype and not very flattering, even if they genuinely like it.
And that's not to say 'axe' is ebonics, but I hear that also from people who you wouldn't expect it out of. You're right though, that may be a judgement misconception on my part. I don't pretend to be perfect. I'm usually not the only one surprised to hear it in these cases, though.
I laugh when I hear it usually, because it sounds unnatural coming from the people I hear it from. That, and it's a mispronunciation to begin with, unless it's a word who's meaning I have misunderstood.
I mean no offense at all of course. It's perhaps hard to explain out of context of the kind of people I've encountered at work and draw examples from. We have a fairly strange cross section of society that comes in, and they never fail to surprise all of the employees, who are in and of themselves somewhat diverse.
I'll just shut up now. I have feeling no response I can give will keep this from turning into you getting angry with me, so I'm just gonna back away slowly and hope no drama errupts. Bye guys.
Teddybear of Death: I am not angry with you and I have no desire to engage in any drama; quite the opposite, I wanted to get to the bottom of what you thought on the subject. I do not appreciate the sort of people who mimick the negative stereotypes of another race (there are contrary arguments as to the value of of laughing at them; that's your choice!) and I am sure you will find the vast majority of people here (speaking for sangry grognard side of the board) who have "put in the legwork" philosophically feel the same way - what I was trying to understand, based on an all too short post, was who you felt was offensive, who you were laughing at and so on.
I think that was a fantastic response on your part. I do not mean that in a condescending manner, nor do I mean that in an "atta-boy" way, either. You didn't need to answer me, nor did you need to put any more thought or effort into the subject than you all ready had. I am very thankful that you did and I hope you do not regret doing so. I am an outsider in this forum - do not ever let me make you feel unwelcome. I simply feel that, on subjects which start to become more about the ways hundreds of years of economic, educational, social, political and cultural forces have solidified complex class and racial interactions, up to and including using code-words to signal to others what your beliefs are, then maybe a bit more care is required than when discussing anime girls with guns.
Or maybe I'm way off base. This isn't D&D. Apologies if I am.
Nah, you're fine. I get nervous when I think a target is on my head and duck and roll out quickly, because in the past both in reality and online, I've witnessed/been attacked in some scary flamewars and yelling and stuff which I never want to see again. Rather than being someone to escalate such an event and ruin a thread everyone else is making polite progress in, I'd rather apologieze and bow out, if that makes sense. If we're cool though, I'll sit back down and be calm, ha.
I never regret thinking harder into a subject, especially like this. That's the nice thing about when subjects like this ARE civil, is you can be inspired to take a look at things from various angles. What better way to improve oneself than to get a new perspective and really think about your own words? And of course, I mean no offense, and I'm probably undereducated on the subject. I can only speak from my own experiences.
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