Your ass should appropriate my foot!
Enough with the "cultural appropriation" bullshit. It's gone too far. I understand it when people wear slutty ethnic costumes or do things that degrade the people the activity is supposed to represent, but when you can't do anything anymore without cries of appropriation? Nope. No. DONE!
I heard someone say recently that they wouldn't want to do vodou because it would be "cultural appropriation".
Em…magick is magick. No one gives a flying fuck what color you are, just as long as you respect the practices and the right beings, whether its gods or lwa. Do you really expect non-black people who have been vodouisants all their lives to suddenly drop what they're doing and change their belief system just because you suddenly believe it's "wrong"? Christians stole their holidays from Pagans and then ran around killing them when they didn't conform to their newly invented religion, but I don't see anyone deserting churches over it!
What's next? "We can't play jazz because black people invented it"?
"We can't do martial arts because we're not Asian"?
"We can't take Bollywood because it's ‘appropriation’–despite there being Indians willing to teach us"?
At what point do we say, "What the fuck?! ENOUGH!"
Maybe we need to have a lesson in what's offensive and what's not.
If the outfit makes you say "dear Goddess!" before you even learn it's called "temptress Indian costume", it's probably offensive, never mind "appropriation"!
Pretty sure the beading on ceremonial outfits means specific things. That feather? I remember learning in elementary school that men earned feathers for killing enemies and other battle activities. Seems like women did not earn feathers!
Compare with this photo of a Cherokee woman from Western Washington University. (There was no citation, so I hope it's legit.) See how she's covered up? And no feathers, because that's not appropriate for her gender?
Here's one that really drives me bats–but at least I believe I have a partial explanation for it.
According to what I've read, during WWII, some prostitutes decided to call themselves "geisha girls"; leading geisha to be inextricably associated with sex in the American mind for generations ever after. (Yes, geisha did have sex once in their careers before the 1951 prostitution ban–Golden got that much right–but otherwise, they kept themselves like nuns until their careers were over.)
I could comment on everything wrong with this costume, but then we'd be here all day and nitpicking would defeat the point of a rageblog.
My anger at "cultural appropriation" has been simmering under the surface for a while now, but today's Ask Amy really set me off. (My paper edited out some of this stuff, but I'll include all of it.)
"Colleague": I am not from India, but I had a traditional Indian shirt, called a kurta, made when I was invited to an Indian wedding. The shirt is made of Indian silk with gold embellishments.
Would it be appropriate to wear this shirt to a Halloween gathering at my office?
I know that there are some people from India working in the same building.
Amy: No, this would not be appropriate; it would be appropriation.
Cultural appropriation is when you take something that has cultural meaning or significance for someone else, and use it for your own purposes. You choosing to wear this beautiful shirt as a Halloween costume could be quite offensive.
I think that anyone wondering how to dress for an office-related Halloween gathering should just pick a character from the TV show “The Office,” and go with that.
Okay, stop. Just stop!
There is nothing-the-fuck-wrong with this:
It doesn't show her hoo-ha, she's not trying to attract/seduce anyone, she's not wearing anything inappropriate to her gender (both wear them–I guess a kurta is a pretty neutral piece of clothing)…NOTHING IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE EXCEPT THE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS OF THE WORLD WE LIVE IN!
If it's appropriate to wear to a wedding, then yes, it's fine for a Halloween party. (Especially if no one at the wedding bitched about appropriation!) If the Indians in your office have a problem with it, they need to step off and get a life! If they have time to complain about the inoffensive piece of clothing you're wearing, they have time to go do something more productive–like skipping the party and going back to work. Or going home and bitching to someone who cares!