Thanks for the response. IMO, the level of detail and the confusing cross-cultural history and rules around these types of garments just supports my point: “cultural appropriation” is an incredibly complex web to navigate without offending *anyone.*

To answer your question near the end: I’d characterize that as non-violence, non-racism, and harmless ignorance. Easily. You can’t expect every random person on the street to know every other person’s exactly cultural and ethnic origin. Are you really saying that you’d read that negatively into some well-meaning person who says “Ni hao” to you to be friendly and who mistakes your ethnicity as Chinese versus Korean? Would you rather that person not greet you at all? Because that’s the likeliest response if you’re pushing speech-based rules like this. People are going to be so worried about offending that they won’t reach out at all. That’s one of the major points of my entire post: these hyper-complicated speech-based rules are scaring people into being silent because they’re impossible to navigate.

Lastly, I think you (and many people these days) are greatly misinterpreting the definition of the word “violence.” Violence is “behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.” It is not a minor level of discomfort. Thus you getting catcalled on the street is not “violence.” Pretty much every woman in history has experienced this, and it may make you uncomfortable and you may not like it, but it’s not “violence.” If you really believe it is, you need to toughen up 🤷🏻‍♀️ I used the example of “yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater” as speech that actually incites violence because it’s a scenario from a classic First Amendment case. In that scenario, you’d be creating a panic where people would trample each other to escape. That is actual harm.

Written by

Operating Partner at Accomplice. Formerly of Ovuline & Abine. I’m an angel investor, writer, lawyer, gamer, & liker of sci-fi & the Enneagram.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store