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Asian guy gets offended

Am I a snowflake?

  • Stop being so offended

    Votes: 31 58.5%
  • You're justified

    Votes: 22 41.5%

  • Total voters
    53

moon

Active Member
Starting a thread here because I felt terrible about making a hubbub in a commercial thread. Sorry for the clickbait title. Please delete or move this if it's not appropriate.

Backstory: I was reading a thread for a VI made in an Asian country and came across some people posting what I thought were some relatively tasteless comments that perpetuated some stereotypes about the country. For what it's worth, I don't think these posters were being malicious or intentionally offensive, but the comments came off that way to me. Of course, I expressed my dislike of comments such as those in the thread. <MOD NOTE - That post is here.> I received numerous responses and had some civil debate with others, but the core of my argument was this: as someone of Asian heritage (which I assume the others were not), people saying comments such as those, even if not intended to be offensive, come across as such because they buy into and perpetuate stereotypes.

In the end, I had someone who I assume is not of Asian heritage tell me why they are an expert in a specific Asian country's culture, and that if I am offended it's my own problem to deal with. So here's my question for you all: am I being too sensitive, or am I justified in thinking that I shouldn't have to stand to hear and see comments like these?
 
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Denix

New Member
If you feel offended, then the others should take that seriously. To say that this is your problem because someone is familiar with the culture of the country is pretty weak.
There is some old research, that the stereotypes people had pre visiting a country were even more solidified post being there. It`s easier for brains to confirm beliefs than to reorganise.
 

GNP

Senior Member
It's not really about how you should feel about the comments, but rather you should just express yourself the way you want.

And if both outsiders and insiders contributing to the stereotyping insist that you should only express yourself in a certain way that fits only their worldviews, you can just laugh at them.
 
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Crowe

Avian Member
I honestly have no idea. I've grown up with hearing people talk trash about each and every country on my continent, my own included. Stereotypes galore. If misinformation and stereotypes can spread about countries right next to you, it's no real surprise some people don't know jack about a part of the world that's nowhere near them.

I personally don't care about stereotypes. If I catch them, I laugh at the people who perpetuate them and tell them they're wrong. Getting angry is useless, it will never stop. You can educate individual people, but you can never educate humanity. Because collectively, we are idiots.

I don't think you're too sensitive, but like everybody who feels the need to 'defend their culture', you may need to take a deep breath and think about what battles to fight.

There's an interesting thought too. As an example, I really like certain Kpop groups. I therefore watch a bunch of korean youtubers and newsoutlets and shows. Now imagine my surprise when I talk to a Korean acquaintance and regurgitate some really specific things about a certain cultural idea and she gets angry because it isn't like that at all. To her. That was kinda odd. I couldn't really defend myself because I'm 'not asian' but it's information I got from what I consider to be the source. Who is right? I'll never know. You can never win when it comes to 'culture', because people feel like they own it. That's a dangerous idea, I feel.

Anyway. I guess there's levels. There's dumb shit, there's annoying shit, and there's damaging shit. My take? Correct people where they are misinformed, but take care you don't become as obnoxious as the asshat regurgitating wrong information. And remember that stuff isn't black and white. What do people think they know, and why do they think they know it?

Bottom Line: I think you can correct anyone, but try not to get too angry while you do it. It's easier to feed someone new information than it is to outright tell them they're wrong and getting them to change their views that way.

EDIT: Having said everything else, I do think that folk who don't actually care about certain topics and/or have never actively tried to learn about them should kinda shut the f*ck up in general. I would never presume to know anything about Thailand, for example.

If you feel offended, then the others should take that seriously.
Automatically? No. Even people who get offended can be wrong. In fact, it doesn't matter if you're offended. It's exceedingly easy to let everything offend you.
 
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emilio_n

Señor Miembro
I think we live in times where societies tend to mark too much the stereotypes of other places. I am living in Hong Kong, where people get assumptions about western countries not always correct. On the other hand, even living here a few years and living a very local life with my wife, Hongkonense, I discover myself looking at the people here with a big glass of cliches and stereotypes in some situations.

It is mostly just minor cultural differences, so it is better not to take them so seriously.
 

zedmaster

Kevin Kuschel
After having lived several Asian countries during the last years, and experiencing glimpses of life there, I cringe every time when my friends (let alone strangers) talk about "Asian" culture. I see a lot of generalization and ignorance towards the incredibly rich history *and* present of China, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia etc. etc.

I think us westerners can't complain being educated in what's going on in that part of the world and should get out of our micro-horizon every now and then :P
 

Crowe

Avian Member
After having lived several Asian countries during the last years, and experiencing glimpses of life there, I cringe every time when my friends (let alone strangers) talk about "Asian" culture. I see a lot of generalization and ignorance towards the incredibly rich history *and* present of China, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia etc. etc.

I think us westerners can't complain being educated in what's going on in that part of the world and should get out of our micro-horizon every now and then :P
The problem here is that, as I've indicated, even if you actively go out and search for information there is no insurance that the information you acquire is correct. Even within countries folks view things differently from each other.

So going around saying 'westerners can't complain and should get out of their micro horizons' is interesting, but unhelpful. I try, very hard I might add, and it doesn't help much.
 

GNP

Senior Member
After having lived several Asian countries during the last years, and experiencing glimpses of life there, I cringe every time when my friends (let alone strangers) talk about "Asian" culture. I see a lot of generalization and ignorance towards the incredibly rich history *and* present of China, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia etc. etc.

I think us westerners can't complain being educated in what's going on in that part of the world and should get out of our micro-horizon every now and then :P
No worries you guys, we have alot of ignorant local bullshitters on the inside as well. :rofl:
 

Hansu Heya

New Member
Generalizations are part of the humor all over the world. French people are being sexualized, Italians are mostly about food, Germans about lack of humor and cars, Americans are all cowboys, ... One should not take any of that serious! That would be a clear sign of lack of intelligence.

You can complain when people actually use these stereo types all day! But you would have to complain about e.g. most comedy being broadcast, first! You cannot demand from actual people in day to day speech (and some joke being made) to be more restrictive with their wording then common media is. That is just absurd ...
 

d.healey

Senior Member
Asia is the largest and most culturally diverse continent on the planet, there is no such thing as Asian culture, only Asian cultures.

To say someone is of Asian heritage tells you almost nothing about them and nobody should make assumptions about their culture or way of life based on that one fact. It's like saying I'm English therefore I live in Big Ben, have tea with the Queen, and sound like Hugh Grant :)
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
I'm not aware of the thread. But I think that if everybody expects to be able to express themselves in which ever way they feel, why should that not apply to you as well?

In fact, the one person who tells you that you're "too sensitive" is the person who's not just making a harmless insensitive joke or stereotypical remark, but the guy who - consciously or not - indeed marginalizes you due to your cultural background.

That's the thing I don't like about the stereotype jokes etc. This is all stuff people are perfectly aware of but choose to be ignorant of anyway. When this stuff comes up, the lines are blurred between harmless joking and racism. Meaning that while certainly some people will make these remarks without maliciousness or ill intent, you bet there's a few racists among the crowd as well.
 
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handz

Senior Member
Well, we would need to see some examples of what offended you. But judging just from the fact you actually made a thread about it on the music forum leads me to the conclusion that you are probably getting too easily offended. People generally getting offended too much about everything lately. Good old days when this wasn't on a daily menu.

I wonder what Asian stereotypes are there that you can get offended by in such a debate? "Asians play great on any instrument" "Asians are great in math" Gosh, I would love to be in this stereotype group. The most heard stereotype about my nationality is that we drink a lot of beer (and well, it is true, as well, many stereotypes are based on common facts).
 

Jeremy Morgan

Active Member
If someone is offended by something and they know it was not intended by the offender and can convey that lack of intention in the critique on the words...the critique itself will be less offensive to that person and the person will be educated.

If someone heard the same thing by someone else and they knew it was not intended at all and in a different context, they may also not see anything to be critical about.

If someone intended to be offensive.... That is a problem period.

If we can all walk into a comedy club and understand the true intention of the comedian is humor even if it's dark ... we may never feel to be offended at all but as much as I love dark comedy to death... i'm not going to go to the 'Just for Laughs' KKK comedy festival because I know what those jokes will really mean.

If we felt ok to clarify people's intentions the world would be a better place. Words and intentions are packaged in my world and I'm rarely offended by something until I know the state of both.
 
To me, stereotypes aren't bad per se. Many stereotypes in specific contexts I wouldn't approve of, sure. What we call stereotypes are part of how humans always have and always will try to get by in the world by noticing what kinds of people, things, actions seem to occur together more often than chance would suggest. There are positive as well as negative stereotypes and any stereotype may contain no, a little or considerable truth. Stand-up comedians of both sexes often provoke considerable laughter of recognition from both sexes by pointing out 'stereotypes' about the behaviour of each sex.
 

dcoscina

Senior Member
I think it’s fine to call people out on a thread. I didn’t read the thread so I cannot attest to the tenor with which you expressed your concerns but I’m sure they were appropriate.
 

PeterN

Senior Member
After having lived several Asian countries during the last years, and experiencing glimpses of life there, I cringe every time when my friends (let alone strangers) talk about "Asian" culture. I see a lot of generalization and ignorance towards the incredibly rich history *and* present of China, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia etc. etc.

I think us westerners can't complain being educated in what's going on in that part of the world and should get out of our micro-horizon every now and then :P
Really. Well, so have I, and my Asian history knowledge is such, that I can even turn the history books around. I might.

The history knowledge of average Asians - on their own history - is very poor, but that goes pretty much for whole world. In modern times.

Nothing wrong using word "Asian", its a generalised concept that can be adapted reasonably well. In day to day communication. You can nitpick on it, but then so be it. Anyway, didnt come to collect virtue points.
 

chillbot

Sock Muppet
Since it's a poll I voted "you are justified" in that some of the comments were offensive and you are in the right to feel offended.

On the other hand, I wish people would be better... maybe this thread will bring some awareness (one can hope)... but it's hard to get worked up over some comments buried on page 60 of a 65+ page thread on a very niche forum on the INTERNET. Not to justify it but it happens a lot and much worse.

I also wonder how you seem to know everyone's background, i.e. that some of the people in the thread are not of asian-decent? Or that the people in the other thread were "a bunch of brits". This is a very anonymous forum, more than most. I have no clue of the majority of people's race/gender/age so never assume. I don't know if it really makes a difference anyway, is it only ok to talk joke about sushi if you are Asian? (I don't know the answer to that.) For example I am old and have boomer-tendencies so I always think it's funny if I call my friends boomers but if younger people call us boomers that is offensive. So maybe it does or maybe that's a different situation. I always say bad analogies are like refrigerators full of snow-cones.
 

Loïc D

Monkeying with libraries
Disclaimer : as a French, 165cm tall, left-handed and strongly shortsighted person, I allow the hereby ViC community to make jokes about :
- Frogs
- French revolution & history (incl. Napoleon & Joan of Arc)
- Wine & alcool
- Religion
- Politics
- Garlic and bad breath in general
- Boring movies
- Strong accent
- Personal hygiene
- Sex
- Midgets, dwarves, imps
- Nerds
- Hobbyists and musicians of lower skills
- You name it
…and hereby states that I won’t feel offended and I’ll probably get a good laugh and pour myself another glass.
 
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