misandry-mermaid

A Handy Guide to What Is and Isn’t Cultural Appropriation

alwayslabellavita:

What isn’t cultural appropration:

• Trying/eating/making a culture’s food
• Listening to that culture’s music
• Watching that culture’s movies
• Reading that culture’s books
• Appreciating that culture’s art
• Wearing that culture’s clothing IF in a setting where that culture is prevalent and IF people are okay with it and/or it is necessary to fit in and not stand out weirdly (i.e. If you visit Pakistan, you can wear a shalwar kameez so you don’t stand out as an American tourist. Or if you visit a specific temple or religious setting, you may need to/want to adhere to specific dress forms. Or if you’re invited to a wedding and they allow/invite you to wear their cultural dress to participate in the festivities).
• Using that culture’s dance/physical traditions in specific settings (i.e. taking belly-dancing classes, or going to an Indian wedding and trying to dance with them).

What is cultural appropriation:

• Wearing specific items of clothing that may (and probably do) have deeper meaning as a costume. Like on Halloween.
• Wearing specific items of clothing to be trendy or fashionable.
• Trying to imitate their natural beauty standards and possible makeup/markings (i.e dreadlocks and bindis and mehndi/henna).
• Taking their rituals, old-as-hell traditions, and dances and turning them into cheap, tacky everyday garbage for you to have “fun” with (i.e. smoking sheesha. Y’all turned it into this janky nonsense that looks so trashy and stupid).
• Taking spiritual/religious ideas and traditions and subscribing to them to be trendy or unique
• Trying to act like you’re an expert in their food, music, or art, and that you can do it BETTER than them
• Basically trying to WEAR that culture’s skin, clothing, & beauty traditions as a costume/trend and turn old traditions into cheap garbage

And WHY is this wrong? Because, in our society, white people or non-POC can get away with wearing another culture’s clothes and identities and it will be “cute”, “indie”, “bohemian”, “trendy”, and “exotic.” BUT when a POC who actually belongs to that culture wears their own culture’s clothing, styles of beauty, or does things that are specific to their culture, they’re looked down upon, made fun of, sneered at, told to “Go home, get out of this country, we don’t do that here,” and laughed at. The few times I wore a shalwar kameez in public—and I’m Pakistani—people gave me weird looks, like I had a disease. And yet if a white person (or, heck, even a different POC, because POC don’t have the right to appropriate other cultures either) wears a shalwar kameez, people will call her exotic and cute. Seriously? Do you see a problem? I do. Want some proof? When Selena Gomez and Katy Perry use other cultures as costumes in their music videos and stuff, they were thought to be creative and fun. But when an Indian American woman with brown skin won Miss America, there was a huge racist backlash and people said, “We don’t look like that here, we don’t need a curry muncher here, get out of this country.” So I guess Indian culture is only okay if Selena Gomez is stealing it, right? But not if an actual Indian woman is displaying it? Another example: white people with dreadlocks are seen as “soft grunge” and “hippie”, but black people with dreadlocks are looked down upon and seen as dirty and lazy for having them, even though they know how to take care of their dreadlocks way better. 

Respect the fact that we are different. You don’t need to be culturally BLIND because that is just as ignorant. Trying to ignore cultures means you’re trying to erase peoples’ identities. You can appreciate/like/admire other cultures without trying to steal them, use them, cheapen them, and wear them as costumes. You weren’t born into it, so know your limits. And YES. There will ALWAYS be those people who say, “But my Chinese friends don’t care if ____!” and “I’m Mexican and I don’t care if people ____,” but they do not speak for all people of that culture and just because THEY don’t mind doesn’t mean other people don’t. Plenty of POC get harassed/taunted/degraded/fetishized over their own cultures WHILE people not of that culture are called “free-spirited”, “bohemian”, “quirky” and “trendy” for imitating the SAME culture—so yes, the people who oppose cultural appropriation do it based on actual microaggressions and bigotry they may have faced and it is NOT your job to try and convince then that they don’t have a right to their own culture or that the oppression against them should mean nothing.

Think about this. There are some women okay with sexism. Some POC okay with racist jokes. Some Jewish people don’t care about anti-Semitic jokes. And your friend might be one of these people. But suddenly that makes it okay for you to behave foolishly, immaturely, and ignorantly? 

Wise up. It’s 2014. There is no excuse to be ignorant.

And if you ever need to explain to someone what cultural appropriation is, show them this post (credit me if you post it elsewhere). It’s a good starter and I think it encompasses the basics of what cultural appropriation is and isn’t. 

recreationalcannibalism
brintty:

ultralaser:

BBC News - Tourist ‘upset’ at Buddha tattoo row

A British tourist is “shocked and upset” after being deported from Sri Lanka for displaying a Buddha tattoo on his arm, he says.
Antony Ratcliffe, 42, from Nottingham, was turned back at Colombo’s main airport on Friday for allegedly showing a lack of respect for Buddhism.
The authorities are tough on perceived insults to Buddhism - the religion of the island’s majority ethnic Sinhalese.
But Mr Ratcliffe says the “inoffensive” body art was meant as a tribute.
[…]
"They took my passport and held me there for an hour and a half. All the time they were bringing people in to look at my arm, and they were shaking their heads.
"I was explaining my case, pleading basically, and the chief officer just told me to ‘shut up, shut up’ and he refused to talk to me."
"I like the artwork in tattoos obviously and, due to my belief in Buddhist philosophy which I have followed for many years, I thought a quality tattoo of the Buddha was rather apt.
"It wasn’t something I took lightly or did on the spur of the moment."
Eventually, Mr Ratcliffe was allowed to continue his journey to Kuala Lumpur, but faced further questioning when he landed.
"The whole experience has been a shock - it has been upsetting and a waste of my time. I’m not taking it further, but when I saw they had accused me of speaking disrespectfully about Buddhism, I had to put my side of the story", he said.

'i mean, i still don't really give a shit whether or not they were offended by my imperialist tattoo, i just can't decide if i'm more insulted that they wouldn't let me into their country to 'appreciate' the rest of their heritage, or that they think they can tell me what i don't know about buddhism'.
fucks sake, man.  #whitegirlsinheaddresses

White people have the privilege to dabble in different “philosophies” and “aesthetics” and really don’t like it when they get called on their shit when they their appropriative tattoos offend people who have practiced a religion or culture for centuries/millennia/time immemorial.

brintty:

ultralaser:

BBC News - Tourist ‘upset’ at Buddha tattoo row

A British tourist is “shocked and upset” after being deported from Sri Lanka for displaying a Buddha tattoo on his arm, he says.

Antony Ratcliffe, 42, from Nottingham, was turned back at Colombo’s main airport on Friday for allegedly showing a lack of respect for Buddhism.

The authorities are tough on perceived insults to Buddhism - the religion of the island’s majority ethnic Sinhalese.

But Mr Ratcliffe says the “inoffensive” body art was meant as a tribute.

[…]

"They took my passport and held me there for an hour and a half. All the time they were bringing people in to look at my arm, and they were shaking their heads.

"I was explaining my case, pleading basically, and the chief officer just told me to ‘shut up, shut up’ and he refused to talk to me."

"I like the artwork in tattoos obviously and, due to my belief in Buddhist philosophy which I have followed for many years, I thought a quality tattoo of the Buddha was rather apt.

"It wasn’t something I took lightly or did on the spur of the moment."

Eventually, Mr Ratcliffe was allowed to continue his journey to Kuala Lumpur, but faced further questioning when he landed.

"The whole experience has been a shock - it has been upsetting and a waste of my time. I’m not taking it further, but when I saw they had accused me of speaking disrespectfully about Buddhism, I had to put my side of the story", he said.

'i mean, i still don't really give a shit whether or not they were offended by my imperialist tattoo, i just can't decide if i'm more insulted that they wouldn't let me into their country to 'appreciate' the rest of their heritage, or that they think they can tell me what i don't know about buddhism'.

fucks sake, man.  #whitegirlsinheaddresses

White people have the privilege to dabble in different “philosophies” and “aesthetics” and really don’t like it when they get called on their shit when they their appropriative tattoos offend people who have practiced a religion or culture for centuries/millennia/time immemorial.

liamdryden
Things like racism are institutionalized. You might not know any bigots. You feel like “well I don’t hate black people so I’m not a racist,” but you benefit from racism. Just by the merit, the color of your skin. The opportunities that you have, you’re privileged in ways that you might not even realize because you haven’t been deprived of certain things. We need to talk about these things in order for them to change.

Dave Chappelle (via fourteendrawings)

"you haven’t been deprived of certain things. We need to TALK ABOUT THESE THINGS IN ORDER FOR THEM TO CHANGE"

I can’t even explain the mind explosion I just had at this sentence, in 2 sentences it answers nearly 99.9999% of the asks pertaining to “why are you so angry and hate white people”

.

(via cho-yu)