Cultural Appropriation

Madeira Madeira
What does everyone think of this subject? I think sometimes it's extended to places it really doesn't belong, but I do think for example a white girl wearing a Native American warbonnet is messed up. What do you think?
07/23/2011
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Elnoa Elnoa
Society was built on cultural appropriation. Does that make it right? Not necessarily. Rock music, for example, is a direct consequence of cultural appropriation. I can't say that I care much, either way, but I don't like to bother people so I don't make a big to-do about wearing "cultural" clothing.
07/24/2011
Miss Voluptuous Miss Voluptuous
That is a big topic in my world, and I don't feel like I can do it much service in a forum post. Like that would be a good topic for college level creative non-fiction writing class I'm taking next term.

On a personal level, I used to be really down on cultural appropriation as I was down on many things that I saw as unjust. My views have softened since then. Now I see cultural appropriation as incredibly intricate. The justice or injustice of it hinges on the particular people who are involved in it. People stealing art from others to sell it and make money is wrong. But there are other forms of cultural exchange that are more respectful than that.
07/24/2011
Sex'и'Violence Sex'и'Violence
Some things bug me more than others but it's not something I think about on a daily basis. I suppose if I were to see a white girl with African tribal scarring I would have to do a double take, but I'm not sure I'd be overly bothered by it.
07/24/2011
Ansley Ansley
There's no way anyone could possibly know someone's bloodline without detailed DNA studies and a traceable family record, so I don't think it's my place to judge what others are doing. For all I know their great-great-great grandmother was a Cherokee princess.
07/24/2011
Madeira Madeira
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
There's no way anyone could possibly know someone's bloodline without detailed DNA studies and a traceable family record, so I don't think it's my place to judge what others are doing. For all I know their great-great-great ... More
Um, well it's about culture not about genetic origin, basically if you're not currently a part of that culture it's messed up, as well native American war bonnets are male religious garb, and wearing one as a woman is actually quite disrespectful
08/01/2011
Aoibheal Aoibheal
Quote:
Originally posted by Madeira
What does everyone think of this subject? I think sometimes it's extended to places it really doesn't belong, but I do think for example a white girl wearing a Native American warbonnet is messed up. What do you think?
I think it is messed up Madeira. Cultural appropriation is cultural rape. There is no gentler yet truthful way to put it. This is a hot-button topic for me because I've just seen too much of it.

Culture is a living entity in it's own right, and cultures do *NOT* belong *TO* people. The People belong to their culture(s), and culture is easy to ascertain by heritage - *NOT* DNA.

Heritage is your own family, your own genealogy, in combination with the historical and cultural times in which your ancestors lived.

You have to search for and find the culture(s) of your own heritage(s) by doing your own genealogy, and then learning that/those cultural languages, and then meeting those cultures on their own terms.

Culture is passed on in person from elder to young-un, from family member to family member, and it is also passed memetically by behaviours and customs, language and music. Language is the heart and soul, primary definer and primary preserver of culture. As long as the language lives, the eyes with which to see and the hearts with which to apprehend are present.

Cultures evolve over time because They are living, conscious, sentient, ensouled entities in Their own rights, and They conduct their evolutionary activities in unison with Their own People and out of their own authentic cultural matrix.

So, even European-descended people can recover the culture of their heritage and ancestors by first tracing their own Genealogy. We get really tied up in the idea of First Nations Peoples here being indigenous, and forget that Europeans had their own indigenous cultures and languages too. People of European heritages are no more homogenous that the First Nations Peoples of any other continent. We forget that.

Cultural religions are *embedded* in the cultural whole and are *NEVER* fungible from that cultural whole. And this is the area in which cultural appropriation tends to happen because most Euro-descended people are still operating on the learned behaviour systems of plug-n-play religion, usually some stripe of Christianity. Here's what I mean by that:

Because Christianity, and Islam, are plug-n-play religions, they were able to adjust to, absorb, and/or over-write indigenous cultures wherever they went. Anyone from any culture could adopt these religions and be fully accepted into them, regardless of their cultural or tribal affiliation. But these religions never eradicated the original underlying culturalities of those areas.

Female circumcision is a prime example. This practice is best known in some heavily Muslim areas of Africa and yet, this is NOT a practice of Islam. It is *cultural* and indigenous to those cultures in those areas that were there before Islam arrived. And that is the difference between culture and religion.

I'm *NOT* saying that ancient elder religious "pagan" practices of the Europeans somehow survived only to re-emerge now. That's not it at all, and even if it were anthropoligcally true, it would be immaterial anyway.

I'm saying that the cultures are still alive and well and have been carried along all along by learned behaviours, cultural values, customs, and etc. All you have to do is simply pick them up and re-employ them, but that takes work and is not nearly so romantic as simply grabbing a First Peoples' ceremonial headpiece that looks cool and calling yourself a "shaman."

Please, please, can we please leave the First People's alone? Please? Haven't we taken everything from them already?

As to the appropriation of culturally specific terminology, that too is cultural rape. Every culture's language has specific words that convey the idea of specific kinds of culturally embedded social/spirituo-religi ous technology and practice. The word "shaman" is specific to one Mongolian culture. Neo-alternative New-Age "spiritual-but-no t-religious" types claim they use that word as a common term so everybody will know what they're talking about, but it's not true. They use that term "shaman" because they just don't know the specific terminology because they don't know the specific cultural languages of the specific cultures of their own heritages, because they aren't part of those cultures and because they have failed to search for, and meet their own cultures of their own heritages on the cultures' own terms. Not the individual's terms. The culture's own terms.

So, they fall back on the only "religious" behaviour they know because let's face it, Western culture is still strongly shaped by Christianity, and that is a plug-n-play religion.

I could say much more but have probably said too much already.
08/11/2011
briluminary briluminary
Quote:
Originally posted by Madeira
Um, well it's about culture not about genetic origin, basically if you're not currently a part of that culture it's messed up, as well native American war bonnets are male religious garb, and wearing one as a woman is actually quite disrespectful
Agreed
08/14/2011
oldman oldman
I would travel back to when people learned about war and stop it!! It is near impossible I guess.
09/08/2011
Kush Kush
Quote:
Originally posted by briluminary
Agreed
Agreed
01/15/2012
Total posts: 10
Unique posters: 9