We’re not always going to see eye to eye, especially on the objectiveness of art.
Sometimes we read too much into another person’s thoughts on a cultural art form and take it to heart.
And sometimes we go overboard with our disdain about a subject.
Then a mess can unfurl.
Case in point…
Redditor AggressiveAd2795 to discuss his story for some feedback. So naturally he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“AITA for telling my White friend her opinion didn’t matter.”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“So me and my friend play a game called Genshin Impact (I know the community has a bad rep but please don’t base my judgement on the fact that I play this game).”
“Recently a new character that sings Chinese opera was announced.”
“I (17 m[ale]) am of fully Chinese origins and am proud of my culture while my friend (16 f[emale]) who also plays is White.”
“As I grew up in a very Asian household this was not my first time hearing Chinese opera, and I can agree it can be a little off putting your first time hearing it, but overall it’s a beautiful art form.”
“My friend disagrees, the moment she first heard the singing she made an exaggerated choking sound.”
“The next day she came to me and complained about how people on TikTok were berating her because she simply ‘did not like the music’ which is fine.”
“But when I saw her comments it was filled with jokes about how screechy and off tune [the opera] singing was and her making fun of the traditional outfits they wear.”
“After I saw these I straight up told her that her opinion on Chinese opera didn’t f**king matter because it wasn’t her culture and she had no place to do anything about it.”
“She got very mad and we haven’t talked since. I’m starting to feel very guilty about what I said.”
“So am I the a**hole?”
Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.
It’s a tricky situation.
Let’s hear some thoughts…
“NTA. It’s fine if she doesn’t like the music, it’s less fine if she’s going around the internet purposefully making fun of the music and traditional outfits.”
“At that point, she’s being disrespectful of the culture, and everyone’s right to call her on it.”
“She’s being a brat, don’t pay her any mind.” ~ caz__z
“Exactly. As a fellow Chinese, lemme just say that although I’m fully Chinese my family isn’t really into Chinese opera either.”
“My earliest memory of Chinese opera is based off TV shows.”
“It completely understandable that Chinese opera can be off putting and unusual to people who have never heard of it before, and no body is expected to like it if they can’t appreciate it.”
“However, disliking something is completely different from disrespecting it.”
“You can dislike something, not listen to it and still be cool that it’s there/exist.”
“Literally just don’t listen to it if you don’t like it.”
“Not mock how it sounds, don’t laugh at how ‘weird’ it is, don’t crap on it and don’t make racist remarks on it.”
“(Cause yes, what she said is racist. Not just her opinion, because ‘I don’t really understand/I don’t like this kind of music’ is completely different to ‘OMG, this is so screechy and completely off-tune and wtf is she wearing like?’).”
“Especially considering the fact that Chinese opera is Chinese culture and her singing was done by a professional opera singer.”
“Her traditional clothes are also part of Chinese opera.” ~ omega_white04
“Lots of people don’t like lots of different styles of music, and that’s ok.”
“But I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest racist little white girl probably doesn’t enjoy and spend a lot of time listening to traditional western opera either.”
“But doesn’t go out of her way to make fun of and belittle it to everybody on her social media. NTA.” ~ f02f2e6fa0b3
“She sounds pretty ignorant.”
“Maybe saying that her comments were offensive and explaining why would’ve been a more productive response, but you certainly were not wrong with what you said. NTA.”
“Want to make it clear that it’s not your responsibility to teach ignorant people how to be better.”
“You don’t owe her information, reasoning, or patience.”
“She owes you an apology and you may not get one unless she figures out what she did wrong. There was nothing wrong with what you said.” ~ Less-Statistician546
“NTA, but stop using ‘you’re white so your opinion doesn’t matter.'”
“It’s incredibly counterproductive, uncommunicative and just serves to push people into trying to spite you.”
“You weren’t wrong for being angry, mocking the outfits and singing etc is incredibly unnecessarily disrespectful and hurtful.”
“But you should have explained that, and discussed it as two human beings instead of making an empty statement and stooping to that level.” ~ mystery1nc
“NTA, because your anger is understandable here, but there are more tactful ways to tell friends they’re being offensive when you want to stay friends with them.”
“This is an art form from my heritage and your negative comments really made me uncomfortable.”
“It’s okay not to like an art form but I think it’s rude to make fun of it, particularly when it’s something outside of your culture.” ~ MyFaceSaysItsSugar
However, a few people saw the situation from a different angle…
“ESH, (your “friend’ being a AH isn’t a question) do you except the premise that your opinion are also completely meaningless when it comes to anything that originated from anywhere but China?”
“Do you like pizza? Oops sorry your opinion doesn’t matter, how about tv? Nope sorry that isn’t from China either.”
“See how utterly stupid that is?”
“Grow up, she is entitled to her opinion (even though like you I think it is wrong and ignorant) and you’re entitled to act like a adult and cut her out of your life.” ~ nmorgan123
“ESH. Her being White had nothing to do with anything.”
“She was ridiculing something that she clearly didn’t understand and was also important to others.”
“That’s not a good thing to do regardless of what race you are.” ~ SidHoffman
Well that is a lot to process and unpack.
When it comes to culture and race we are in a fragile place right now. So it can be difficult to express personal thoughts and situations.
It’s good that OP felt comfortable sharing his thoughts for feedback.
Maybe he and his friend can read through this thread together and find some healing.