That’s a catchy title, innit?!?
Cultural appropriation pisses me off…but probably NOT in the way you think.
I do not understand, at all, why someone would get pissed that X person is doing Y thing. I just don’t; it makes absolutely NO sense to me. Do you think only YOUR ancestors wore skirts or top knots or dreadlocks or heels or feathers or giant septum rings? No, boo boo. No, they are not the only ones. All of these “cultural” traditions have been worn and done by multiple cultures for thousands of years. Let’s just take a few, okay?
Dreadlocks.. Ahh, one of my favourite cultural” things. One of which I have been accosted many times, when I had them. You see, humans did not crawl out of the primordial goo with hair brushes. No, they did not! Bathing etiquette and hair brushing and other hygiene issues did not become an issue until much further down the road…And if we can all trace our species’ origin back to one place.. that means we ALL have ancestors who wore dreadlocks, if only because they did not have nor use brushes and combs.
Top knots.. Another of my favourites, as should have been evidenced by how I usually wore my mohawk..These have frequently been worn in warrior classes from all over the world..from the Orient to the Celtic to the Native American. And most of us can claim at least one of those as an acestor.
Skirts! Another good one! Those have been used by males and females alike for many hundreds of years all across the globe. And their sisters-in-fashion, the robe and the loin cloth.
Nearly every culture EVER has adorned their hair and noses and ears and lips and nipples and clothing with stones, beads, feathers, bone, sticks.. Welcome to the beginning of the body modification fascination, brought to you by Ugga and Elga from 5-8 million years ago!
I could sincerely go on. I have brought these up in particular because I personally have had people scream at me for them or have known people who received that sort of treatment (re: males in skirts..speaking of, I’d love to see anyone bitching about that go tell a Scotsman to take off his tartan. I’ll just sit riiiiiiiiiight here and watch that…) All this is bigotry, to bitch at someone for what they wear and do. First of all, not a single one of you truly knows
1. another person’s ancestry
2. how they were raised
3. where they come from
Unless you were there the entire time or they have told you. Bitching at me about dreadlocks or top knots or jewelry in my hair because I’m not _______ is 100% bigoted. And I get shit all the time when I wear my hair certain ways or wear certain hats or colours.
Newsflash: I LOOK caucasian.. that doesn’t mean I am only caucasian.
So I pose a question for you.. If I were born in Japan to a caucasian couple, would it be okay for me to wear kimonos? I am not, after all, Japanese.
But…I was raised there. I grew up immersed in their culture. So does that make it okay? YES? Okay, then.
So if I move to the USA and wear a traditional Kimono for an art show.. why do people heckle me? Because they ASSUME shit about my life, therefore that ASSUMPTION gives them the right to be a bigot towards me. To be hateful. To yell that I am “appropriating” a culture I grew up in.
If I put my hair in dreadlocks right now, what gives anyone the right to accost me and tell me I stole it from X or Y culture? Do they know my lineage, my life, my history? No, they do not.
This whole bit of cultural appropriation is, overall, ABSOLUTE BOLLOCKS. Absolute. I, personally, am a mutt. A purebred 100% mutt made up of all sorts of intermixed DNA from millions of years of culture intermingling and spreading. If I wear dreadlocks with a kilt and have henna on my hands and a feather in my dreads.. who are you, or anyone, to accost me for appropriation??
NO. Stop this shit.
First, when people wear trappings of my ancestry, I am damn glad it is still appreciated enough to be around. Second, it gives me an opportunity to open a dialogue about my history and to listen to yours. Third, none of us are unique in our cultures. Nope; not a one. We have always shared and traveled and given fashion and taken fashion. We are one big smorgasbord of ideas and ideals from millions of years of travel and conquest. So quit getting pissed about something so damn trivial and non-existent as “cultural appropriation”.. Greet your cousins with a hug and a smile. Quit letting your assumptions about others give you an excuse to be shitty to them.