Put a letter from A-Z in my ask and I’ll tell you 1 thing I love which starts with that letter.
THIS IS CUTE PLEASE
Don’t worry. Some time ago I had no idea what it was as well. And then I sort of had to ask around and google it and then take what was really the message apart from the insults. I’ll do my best to explain but I might be wrong so please don’t hate on me guys.
From what I gather, cultural appropriation is basically somebody doing something of a different culture like its really cool or really hip without understanding the cultural significance of the process, thus essentially reducing it to mockery and “westernizing” it. People usually give me examples of wearing Native American headdresses and other ritualistic dresses without actually being Native American. Or white people wearing Indian Bindis (usually worn by Hindu women before and after marriage). Or dreadlocks which come from a variety of cultures like India and Africa.
I think there is a really thin line between integration and appropriation. I think the main problem people have with cultural appropriation is that its only “cool” when white people do it. Like if a white, blonde girl wears a bindi and has Polynesian tattoos, she’s considered a global citizen and is so great for bringing different cultures together. But if you see an Indian girl wear a sari and a bindi to work, she’s considered really primitive and village-like and should just “get with the western style”, even though that’s also accepted formal clothing in India. When we bring this up, the standard response is usually “Well, we don’t do things like that here. If you want that so much, go back to your own country.”
People mock and degrade other cultures for using and doing their own cultural things while happily appropriating them into their lifestyle and pretending its the coolest thing. Like if you are attending an Indian wedding and want to wear Indian clothes and stuff, that’s totally fine. You understand and respect the culture. I think the same is with other cultural things like dreadlocks and tattoos. If you want to integrate different aspects of different traditions into your life and have equal respect for the native people who do those things as part of their daily routine, then it doesn’t count as appropriation. It becomes integration and that is a really good thing.
That’s the thing actually. There was a time when people understood this difference. But now, there are people who use the terms so freely and don’t really understand the difference and just start nitpicking, especially on tumblr. I think people have lost sight of that and that’s making humanity take a step backwards. We should be integrating and educating people more.
The hypocrisy is unbelievable. There are so many people really interested in other cultures now, especially in the 21st century, and social justice workers just shut them down and say they have no place in trying to integrate in to the world. They tell them what they are doing (genuine respect mind you) is actually cultural appropriation when it’s not. And then they go around and scream about not being understood and nobody caring and nobody bothering to try integrate with their cultures.
Yes, let’s totally send all the Japanese people in America back to internment camps like in WW2 and have schools of segregation again. Let’s totally make a step BACKWARDS for humanity. White people can learn bharatanatyam just as much as black people can learn ballet. Oriental people can learn capoeira just as much as Hispanics can learn Kung Fu.
So in a nutshell: Appropriation is taking something from another culture and making it seem cool when you really don’t respect that culture when a native does the same thing. Integration is genuinely respecting people of that culture and traditions from it and understanding and accepting all races. One is wrong and the other is really right. I hope I made that clear in the best way possible, and I hope I got it right. If I didn’t, please send me a message telling me where I went wrong and I’ll edit this.