Cultural Appropriation: A Feminist Myth
Cultural appropriation is the adoption or theft of icons, rituals, aesthetic standards, and behavior from one culture or subculture by another. It generally is applied when the subject culture is a minority culture or somehow subordinate in social, political, economic, or military status to the appropriating culture.
Well, here we are again, discussing the inane and vacuous claims of social justice warriors everywhere (and by everywhere I mean America) and this time it’s ‘cultural appropriation’, yet another magically confected phrase where an adjective is randomly attached to a noun and expected to mean something.
Cultural appropriation, as SJWs see it, doesn’t exist. The word they’re looking for is cultural diffusion: the spreading out of culture and its traits from a central point. To SJW’s, however, only members of that culture, or people they (SJWs) have deemed equally oppressed, can participate in cultural diffusion. Let’s go ahead and unpack this feminist bosh with some questions and answers.
White people shouldn’t wear…what exactly?
First off, and as usual, American SJWs seem to think ‘white people’ as a term defines something, which is exhibit A of not only their ideology’s inherent racism but also of their ignorant conflation of skin tone and culture. For example, people from North Africa through Turkey and the Middle East can be very light skinned but obviously don’t qualify under the feminist definition of ‘white people’. So I personally am always very confused when they set about defining race and ethnic groups by skin tone alone.
Look above, take a guess, white or ethnically Turkic?
My friends Lara and Ryan, for another example, are both half Central American, Spanish speaking, and have mothers whose second language is English, but are themselves as white as wonder bread. And anyone who has been to Italy, Spain, or the South of France knows that some Europeans can be darker than a supposed ‘POC’. So again, I ask, what ‘white people’ are you talking about exactly? (POC: Person of Color)
But even if we were to take this seriously we’d still have to consider a host of scenarios never mentioned, like biracial people or people ethnically related to one culture, but socialized by another, like many Americans. Do you have a right to appropriate then? What if you grow up in a culture that ethnically, you look nothing like, but you speak the language and were raised there – like a French person born in Japan? What about then? Can these people safely appropriate? Where are these lines that seem to be so resolutely drawn by feminists? Not only is there no such thing as a ‘white’ or ‘black’ or ‘POC’ monolith as their dismissive racism asserts, but people within cultures can have broad and varying experiences entirely disparate from one another.
Culture, by the way, is a matter of socialization and is not a static identity like one’s genetic make-up. Another friend of mine, Arthur, is Armenian ethnically but Moscow born and raised. He doesn’t feel close to Armenia, has turned away from Russian culture, and his closest relationships are with people from North America and Europe. He is not obligated to represent, engage, or maintain any kind of cultural identity and yet according to western SJWs, if Arthur decides to alter his preferences at any given moment he is guilty of a heinous social crime.
This brings me to my next question, does this extend to travel, cuisine, and language as well? I mean surely if one offends by donning an article of clothing then we trespass with equal insensitivity when we attempt the language, put a modern spin on a traditional dish, or even set foot in the country with our appropriating feet and cameras. The end result is obvious (segregation) and I have to wonder if that isn’t the SJW’s ultimate aim. They seem remarkably and even hysterically uncomfortable with the idea of cultural exchange.
Lastly, why is it that American SJWs seem to think that if you’re not white you can appropriate any culture you wish but if you’re white you can’t? I assume that means they also believe only white people can oppress other cultures. I guess they haven’t read up on their Japanese, Persian, Mongolian, or Aztec history. Korea, Greece, Russia, and the indigenous peoples of Central America would have a thing or two to say about that.
Why is it offensive again?
I’m putting the cart before the horse though, because there is no good argument for the emotional assumption that a white man wearing a keffiyeh is somehow innately offensive. Parodies and general mockery can be offensive, but the use of an article for genuine function and fashion is not. How are they the same? Do intentions and motives even matter to these people?
SJWs never explain why it is like ‘theft’ when someone outside a culture makes use of something from another. Their response is always a lengthy, incoherent throat-clearing of recently contrived phrases and explanations from their latest I’m Offended manual. Where exactly is that law that says collectively, a people own certain behaviors or styles?
Human societies have been bumping shoulders and using one another’s ideas since the beginning of time. It is certainly true that many of these exchanges have been violent but just as many if not more have simply occurred in the course of travel, trade, and migration.
On a final practical note, people in American can legally wear whatever they want and no amount of guffawing or molrowing will change that. Nor should it. Need I remind you that your ‘feelings’ are no justification for legislating in support of your preferences. I find the waving around of liberal arts degrees like ‘Women’s Studies’ as a qualification stupid and an example of one of Western Civilization’s low points, but I don’t think it should be outlawed.
Who are we hurting again? (Click to read an amazing article on this topic)
SJWs are often portraying themselves as the sociologically enlightened defenders of global POCs. But these American fighters of justice never bother to ask said people what they think about Americans or Europeans buying and wearing their cultures’ fruits. But then again you might have to learn another language to do it and that would be culturally presumptuous.
I wonder what kind of reaction the Middle Asian people at some of the markets I shop at here in Moscow would have if one of these ‘defenders’ of cultural honor told them to close shop and stop selling their goods to white people. Or if they were told they could only sell goods from ‘their’ country. Many of these guys sell Russian novelties. I wonder how the Korean vendors in Busan would react if they were told the same thing while in the midst of a transaction with a tourist. It seems like SJW’s just don’t get out much since all over the world people make livings off of selling cultural goods.
Yesterday I bought a jinnah cap, the kind Karzai wears, from a Middle-Asian vendor (I think, we didn’t talk about our ethnicities). He didn’t seem too upset during his sales pitch. This particular hat is worn in Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and even Russia, so it has gotten around. You might have noticed Brezhnev’s. Even Malcolm X sported this comfortable cap and he was certainly not from any of the aforementioned countries.
Cultural goods spread for practical reasons. They spread because they are beautiful, highly functional, or both. This in turn means they can be sold at a profit to markets that are unfamiliar with them, offering a host of new buyers. This is not a conspiracy to bastardize or make a mockery out of an entire people, it is what happens when good ideas are discovered and shared. Many feminists claim the worst part about C.A. is that it removes products of culture from their context in an effort to exploit notions of exoticism on the market. But who said their context was absolute? A once unnoticed, unimportant but functional object in one culture can rise to the level of art and fashion in another. This does not trivialize the object or the culture – it is simply another society’s perspective on the object in question. Sometimes this refashions the object for the better, making it not only more functional but more varietal.
Wrapping up…at long last…
We have to stop allowing SJWs and Western feminists to bully us into submission with their empty nomenclature and racist fear-mongering. Ever the specter, they hold scary words like racist and white-splain (white person excusing themselves) over their audiences for fear of being asked real questions and being forced to give meaningful, substantiated answers. They claim they are being dismissed when simply asked to give a logical argument and some evidence for their assertions. And when they can’t win, which is almost always, they fall back on name-calling and dismissing their opponents’ arguments with racist innuendos. I’m over it and you should be too. If you assert without evidence you can be dismissed without it as well.