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. 

piscula:

blackfeminism:

How can rape by giving a drug or intoxicant to a person that renders them unable to give consent have a minimum sentence of 0-15 years but possession of drugs without being used for rape has a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years to life?

its almost like we have legalized the systematic oppression of women and people of color

asieybarbie:

"…Imagine a post-apocalyptic mermaid situation."

pardonmewhileipanic:

misandry-mermaid:

shutup-socialjustice:

princenmonster:

"real justice"/"anti-sjw" is code for "it’s okay when someone hates and oppresses you but it’s bad when you’re angry about it"

you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar 

We’re not trying to catch flies at all, you ignorant fuck.

I enjoy how that douche was willingly calling themselves a worthless pest
And somehow assuming they could abuse anyone and still demand kindness in return

Fuck honey

Offer up vinegar laced with arsenic

Watch them gag and wheeze while you dance around their corpse

Fuck honey; and fuck the abusive shitstains who ask for it

Since it was requested and I am still so proud of her, here is a pic of my girl.  She was the first pet that was truly mine, and I jokingly called her my daughter.  She got very sick over this winter and this afternoon we hired a vet to help us put her to sleep peacefully in my dining room.  She was still purring as we sedated her.  Thank you everyone for the kind words.  RIP

Since it was requested and I am still so proud of her, here is a pic of my girl.  She was the first pet that was truly mine, and I jokingly called her my daughter.  She got very sick over this winter and this afternoon we hired a vet to help us put her to sleep peacefully in my dining room.  She was still purring as we sedated her.  Thank you everyone for the kind words.  RIP

I was wondering if your followers could help me with something.

My niece is 5 years old and for reasons I will not be talking about online without her mother’s consent even on anon, her father is not in her life. She is now in school and is very self-conscious about not having a father. The daycare she used to go to had lots of single mothers, but there doesn’t seem to be any in her new school and she started noticing. Her grandma was telling me the kids shows she watches are unfortunately very focused on the mommy and daddy, grandpa and grandma family models. 

I was wondering if people could suggest kids’ movies and shows with families that don’t follow the mommy-daddy model and that would be suitable for 5 year old (or 2 year old for my own daughter!). If there was any with a family composed of a grandma, mom and child, that would be especially awesome, but any family model that shows her there are plenty of different kinds of families will work.

Thanks!

[submitted by anon]

Followers?

FYI

My only kitty passed away today, I’m taking some personal time to grieve and take care of myself right now, so I won’t be on the blog much in the next few days.  Take care, everyone <3

But if Misandry isn't real... why do girls sometimes hurt my feelings? D:
Anonymous

maycontainfeminists:

cindyscissorhands:

dilfgod:

me when someone tells me I’m being heterophobic 

Or racist against white people

or sexist against men

16 ways to talk about consent

transcending-anatomy:

thesexosaurus:

1. “Do you like when I…?”
2. “I like when you…”
3. “Will you…?”
4. “How does this feel?”
5. “Do you want me to…?”
6. “Do you want to…?”
7. “Is there anything you want to try?”
8. “Show me what you like.”
9. “Do you want to go further?”
10. “Do you want to stop?”
11. “Can I…?”
12. “Does this feel good?”
13. “Are you happy?”
14. “Are you comfortable?”
15. “Are you having a good time?”
16. “Is this good for you?”

My favorite thing about this list: the mix of statements, open-ended questions, and yes-or-no questions.

albinwonderland:

ediebrit:

oh my fucking god

huge fucking trigger warning but oh my god

lalondes:

>teenage actress’s private nudes get leaked

>teenage actress is reviled as a slut and a whore and a bad role model

>james franco asks a seventeen-year-old girl if he can meet her in a private hotel room

>james franco gets to go on saturday night live and joke about what a silly doofus he is for soliciting sex from a girl literally half his age

I just wanted to say thank you. You’ve helped me so much, both in my evolution as a feminist and in becoming more comfortable with my anger. I’m getting better at standing up for myself and calling others out on their behavior. Thanks for giving me someone to look up to. You’re wonderful!

Hey, I'm just curious, I see lots of resources on Tumblr for women wanting to defy traditional gender roles, but what about men wanting to defy traditional roles?

Part of dismantling patriarchy is working to get rid of the gender roles that bind and effect ALL genders.  Of course feminism would aim to reduce gender roles for men as well as women, intersex and non-binary folk.