Cultural Appropriation and Why I Don’t Give A Fuck.

As a former tumblrite, Cultural Appropriation is an issue near and not-so-dear to me. As a microblogging platform primarily utilized by the teenage set to share photographs, many of them fashion and trend related, it is a pretty obvious stage for this issue, giving rise to blogs such as My Culture Is Not A Trend and many others.

First of all, let’s give a little rundown of what Cultural Appropriation is from the folks over here.

Now, most of this I agree with. For example, I’m sick of seeing pictures like this every time I go online:

Seriously. Drew, I love you, but you look like a dumbass. Sorry. Headdresses are like Purple Hearts, in a way. You don’t just wear it as a fashion statement. It’s an honour and it is worthy of respect, not something to wear to a drunken hipster party.

My problem is not with the concept of Cultural Appropriation. It’s definitely a worthy effort. The struggles of the past as well as the current struggles of various minority communities need to be remember, learned about, and changed.

However, as usual, Social Justice is not about helping people. It’s about loss of free speech and the idea of a stepping-on-eggshells society where the idea of being offended by ANYTHING is legitimate, and the only people who disagree are obviously bad whities who want to control everyone.

A few quick looks through the tumblr  ‘cultural appropriation’ tag, and you’ll find this image:

As usual, instead of dealing with the problem through education and reasonable action, SJ does what it usually does: finds a villain, 99 times out of 100 a white person.

THE GIRLS IN THIS PORTRAYAL ARE NOT BAD PEOPLE.

As I posted to my tumblr (of course, after I was bombarded with hate as per usual xD):

“God this fucking picture. SICK OF SEEING IT.

Yes, because first of all every white person has ivory skin and blonde hair and light eyes. None of us are different and unique, or anything.

Second of all. Those girls? Maybe their ancestors weren’t in America at the time? Cuz, you know, MOST WHITE PEOPLE IMMIGRATED AT ONE POINT, not all at the same motherfucking time. 

I get that wearing a culture as a costume to a party is rude. It’s disrespectful. Don’t do it. I would never do that.

But you know what? Be mad about that. Don’t act like a fucking silly high school girl making a dumb decision is actually making an attack on your race in any way. 

Or, you know, SAYING HER ANCESTORS WITH ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING YOUR ANCESTORS.

Also, even if her ancestors DID do that, or my ancestors, for  that matter (which they didn’t. They were all in Greece…), I FUCKING DIDN’T. My parents didn’t. My friends didn’t.

NO ONE ALIVE TODAY ACTUALLY PARTICIPATED PHYSICALLY IN KILLING AMERICAN INDIANS.

Most decent people think it was fucking disgusting. I sure do. I will never say it was okay or excusable. But every white person the world over didn’t do it….”

I stand by all of it. White people are not all the same. Just like you guys want us to see various minorities as unique and different people, white people want and deserve the same thing. Equality is never going to happen as long as we keep picking a racial villain for everything that happens. But this post isn’t even about that.

Yes, as usual, the bullshittery just gets deeper.

I give you, a list of things I’ve heard described as appropriation if the person is white. If they’re a POC, it’s promptly ignored in 99% of cases because POC have political correct immunity:

  • Dreamcatchers
  • Tattoos in other languages
  • Any tattoo representing anything construed as stereotypical
  • Football teams with Native themed mascots (agree, but it’s not changing.. Get over it.)
  • Any print that can be regarded as indigenous
  • Lolita
  • Dreadlocks
  • Ear Stretching
  • Henna
  • Saris
  • ‘Bollywood’ garb
  • Irish stereotypes
  • Moccasins
  • Tribal tattoos
  • Kimonos
  • Crosses
  • Other religious symbols
  • Paper cranes
  • Most other shit you do, to be honest.

Note, this does not take into account whether or not you care and know a lot about this culture, it was given to you as a gift, etc. Nope. Your intent, apparently, never matters. Of course, exempt from this list is anything that can be construed as ‘white’, supposedly due to the white privilege in this society. But of course, actually hypocritical.

That said, I’m getting sick of being told ‘research your own culture!’

‘White people’  – the pale skinned, blue eyed, controlling, evil, rootless and heritageless don’t have any fucking culture.  What is the inherent ‘WHITE’ culture?

Redneck trucks? Monster energy drinks? American flags? Christianity? Beer pong? Hollywood? Diets?

Oh. Could you perhaps be talking about a more british-esque culture?

Tea and crumpets? Sweater vests?

Of course, our culture doesn’t matter, because since we’re white our culture must all be the same. Especially annoying for those of us who come from ‘darker’ countries who don’t fit the pale white ideal. For example, I’m half Greek. I’m white as white could be, but that doesn’t change the fact that most of my ancestors had darker olive skin than I did. That’s not to say Greek people aren’t white, but guess what? My culture is not a ‘british-esque’ one, either.

Where is my culture?

Oh fucking wait. 

It’s everywhere. Greek people have had a huge influence. Hear yourself speaking? I bet you use thousands of Greek-based English words every single day. But guess what? If a fucking Greek person complained about the use of the Greek alphabet in Sororities, I’d laugh in their face.

Because it DOES. NOT. MATTER.

Culture is appropriated no matter what. It’s something I love about the world, and I’m getting pretty fucking sick of being called a racist because I enjoy other cultures. Every time I disagree with the idea that anything the supposed ‘oppressed’ culture decides to be offensive must be so, I get called a racist. Which is a surefire way to make me want to smack you. Or at least get balls mad.

So, to those of you complaining about 99% of ‘cultural appropriation’, I give you the solution:

Shut the fuck up, stop whining, educate people about your culture, and move on. 

You mad? Stay mad. You’re not helping anything at all but reinforcing the bitchiness of Social Justice.

What are your thoughts? Where is the line when it comes to Cultural Appropriations?

Posted in Introducing this bullshit, Other blogs I don't like, Racism & Cultural Appropriation, Social Justice Blogosphere, White people | Tagged , , , , , , , | 179 Comments

Creationism. I mean, uh, the Fat Acceptance “movement” – An Introduction

They really are not as different as you might think. They certainly have characteristics in common – the unyielding willingness to bow to a leader/leaders, a mentality of seeking acceptance for one to stagnate in their current state of knowledge, etcetera. Most of all, however, these movements both reject science in favour of their own idealogy. When you place a source in your mind as ‘true north’, nothing will sway you from this set-point. We see this in the creationism argument every day in how literalist Christians view the Bible.

Kate Harding, of Shapely Prose (The champion of the current fat acceptance movement, at least in the ‘fatosphere’ – a group of FA bloggers, despite the closure of Shapely Prose) has become true north for many people.

Now, I really dislike trying to shoehorn a good, brief description of something when countless ones have been made before me. So I give you one of my new favourite blogs, Unfatblog, and their introduction to ‘The Fat Acceptance Movement”.

http://unfatblog.wordpress.com/2008/03/29/fat-acceptance-quackery/

Now, read it please! Seriously. It won’t take long, and it’s a dopity-dope blog (too bad it’s now no longer updated!), but I’ll bullet point some views from the fat acceptance movement if you’re feeling busy 🙂

  • Working towards ending  discrimination and prejudice towards fat people
  • Working on loving yourself and your body, no matter your size

This is pretty much awesome and I agree with this. It’s a common way to feel when you stumble upon this movement – that you can finally find like minded people who actually think you’re beautiful and want you to be happy with yourself! But that’s where my acceptance of Fat Acceptance ends. This is also, unfortunately, pretty much most of the fat acceptance that the media reports. They don’t talk about the bullshit! I’ll continue.

  • Everyone has a ‘genetic set point’ for their weight
  • You can be healthy at any size whatsoever
  • Weight has nothing or very little to do with health
  • All you can tell by looking at a fat person is that they’re fat and nothing to do with their health is visible
  • All diets do not work
  • All lifestyle changes are still diets, and still do not work
  • If you can lose weight and keep it off for five years, you’re a freak of nature
  • That your body knows what it needs and everyone should ‘eat intuitively’
  • You can’t talk about losing weight in the fatosphere
  • Being fat has no impact on anyone but yourself
  • Binge eating isn’t really an eating disorder, but anorexia and bulimia are only caused by dieting
  • Dieting is worse for you than being fat

The Fat Acceptance movement is quite literally defeatism. It is telling people that it’s too hard to change, therefore we should all just be okay with how we are.

I fucking hate this movement. It truly disgusts me.

Hopefully, in reading the links above, you feel like screaming ‘BULLSHIT!’. The sheer denial of science and evidence is astounding – as noted in Unfatblog’s post above, the FA blogosphere is mainly women in their twenties to thirties with no scientific or medical background. Because of the young age of the bloggers, it’s easy for them to use their own lives and lives of friends as anecdotal evidence to how they feel ‘better than ever’  with their current body size – usually, morbidly obese to the tune of at least 100 pounds overweight.

The fat acceptance movement truly did not occur to me as a thing that was anything like this until recently. I assumed what I’d always heard – that they were fighting prejudice and discrimination and promoting self-love. I had no idea of their denial. I had no idea of their need for high self esteem at the expense of their health. I had no idea of how they treated those who still wanted to participate in Fat Acceptance while losing weight.

 Just because fat is a majority doesn’t make it acceptable. 

Posted in Fat Acceptance, Health, Introducing this bullshit, Other blogs I like, Social Justice Blogosphere | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

It’s not a question of “Does society need to change?” It’s a question of “How?” and “How much?”

It is very clear to all of us (well, maybe not the right wingers, but I digress) that society as a whole needs major upheaval. It’s clear that we live, at least in the west, as a primarily white/rich/able-bodied/straight/cis/Christian controlled society. Look around: Who makes the decisions? Who controls our speech? Who gets attention? As a white/cis/straight/able-bodied person, I own this privilege that other people don’t have like I do.

I want things to change. I want society to be comfortable for people to be different more than it is now. There are so many things that average people go through in life without difficulty that some people really struggle with. Think about it! As you walk around, go to work, hang out with your significant other, or walk down the street, put yourself in the shoes of someone else, and things can change drastically. I don’t want such a drastic disparity between lives. I want LGBT people to be free to marry who they love. I want police to stop arresting innocent black males because of their skin colour. I want people to have the freedom to be in public without being made fun of for being deaf or mentally disabled. Etc fucking etc.

Sounds reasonable? Everyone being able to coexist? But wait.

The thing is  that the social justice community has, as they often do, taken the issue and spun it to a ridiculous degree, wherein no change will ever occur. They have turned to the unrealistic idea that human beings are all able to be cogs in a machine. The human element is nonexistent, especially if you’re ‘normal’. There are no small changes. There is no bipartisan effort. It’s ‘Social Justice’ versus ‘Everyone who disagrees’. It’s an Us vs Them mentality that has not worked whatsoever.

I’ll give you a big example here, because there are many other situations I could talk about but it would take forever. And this instance represents the core of my point.  Take the ludicrous “fat acceptance movement” (It’s not as great as you think it is, believe me. Basically, obesity is acceptable and beautiful yadda yadda there will be many posts about it, because it pisses me the fuck off). It’s really my current ranty anger focus. I mean, I am sick of how fat people are treated. It sucks ass. Honestly, I don’t know. Until my brush with Tumblr, I kind of thought fat acceptance just wanted to stop prejudice over weight. Fair enough.

And then.

That’s not what they want. Not at all. They are quite simply telling society that it needs to change entirely to accommodate their obesity. Now, I have a problem with that. Take, for example, this article, wherein a thin woman is booted off of her flight to accommodate an obese fourteen year old who required two seats. That’s terrible. If you use two seats, PAY FOR TWO SEATS. I am, btw, horrified that a fourteen year old needs two airplane seats anyway.

Now, this probably isn’t the norm. I dearly hope not. However, NAAFA (National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance) supports the idea that fat people should be accommodated on flights without incurring extra fees. This is completely unfair. This is the idea that just because the USA has an obesity epidemic that we should allow and encourage their lifestyle. 

Now, I’ll give a lovely little post I made on my soon-to-be-destroyed tumblr that drew some ridiculous comments. Yeah, I was a bitch. MEH.

Okay people.

I’ve seen so much fat acceptance bullshit and it’s making me super super pissed. REALLY NOW.

FOR EXAMPLE.

I’m not a bad person for not wanting to share my AVERAGE SIZED bus seat with a 400 pound person. I don’t give a FUCK. 

For example.

When Jordan spent a week in the US, he spent a fifteen hour bus ride with a 400-450 pound obese woman. 

After spending an hour while they installed a fat seat for another woman.

She was a rude bitch, too, but that doesn’t have to do with her weight so whatever.

Anyways. He had to spend the whole ride shoved against the window, while this woman used BAGGIES FULL OF RANCH DIP to eat MULTIPLE FULL SIZED BAGS OF CHIPS.

And Jordan is supposed to accept this?

I’m supposed to accept this?

Jesus christ. I’m well aware that hopefully that’s not the norm, eating grossly in public, but even so.

I have made good choices with my body and if you’re so overweight you can’t fit in a plane or bus, LOSE WEIGHT.

It’s not societys job to fucking coddle everyone.

I know many nice overweight and obese people and their weight doesn’t make me not like them or anything.

They also WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT.

They may not always act on it, but at least they try.

I’m so sick of people telling other people being fat is okay.

Being curvy is okay.

FAT DOES NOT EQUAL CURVY.

Marilyn Monroe is curvy.

Roseanne is fat.

Big difference.”

And check out some responses!!

Chubbyshe: “COOL STORY BRO. Just because you hate yourself doesn’t mean all fat people should.”

My response: “Actually, I don’t hate myself at all. I struggle with my body like everyone, sure, but I don’t hate myself. If you loved yourself, you’d try to get healthy. This goes for everyone from underweight to obese. Period. It’s pretty clear who respects their body more here. STFU.”

Chubbyshe: Aw, look, a fat person hater speculating about someone else’s diet/exercise habits with no legitimacy simply because they’re fat.

Haven’t seen that one before!”

My response: “I don’t hate fat people. I hate being expected to be okay with stuffing my body next to someone who is three people wide who refuses to do anything about it.

And again, bullshit.

Unless you’re one of the ONE PERCENT of overweight people who have a medical condition (even though most medical conditions such as thyroid problems usually only cause 10-30 pounds extra weight), you’re wrong.

IF YOU HAD GOOD EATING AND EXERCISE HABITS YOU WOULDN’T BE FAT.

You people are delusional. If you look obscenely fat, you’re not as healthy as you should be, period. Body size is indicative of health to some degree, and I’m sick of people saying ‘THE ONLY THING YOU CAN SEE BY ME BEING FAT IS THAT I’M FAT’.

If you were eating under 2000 calories a day and working out, you WOULDN’T BE FAT.”

Chubbyshe: “You’re just so concerned about my health that it’s bringin’ a big fat tear to my eye”

Bodyimageblog: “BAWWWW Jordan had to ride the bus next to a fat person!? And they were – holy shit – EATING!? And they were also a rude bitch which is totally unrelated, but necessary to bring up anyway you see because we all know fat people are secretly all rude bitches. Well I for one am frankly shocked that this person survived such an appalling ordeal.

So nice of you also to say that you’re fine with the good, self loathing fatties though. How generous of you.

No one gives a shit who you want to sit next to the bus with or what you think of fat people.

GTFO.”

By this point, I’m sure you can see how these ‘fat activists’ behave. They’re free to be cunty swearing assholes like I am, but at least I have, uhm REALITY on my side.

My final word: “Actually, the woman being a bitch was mentioned because it added to the disdain. Not because it’s because she’s fat. Ridiculous. Don’t accuse me of shit that never happened. (Note: Exactly what I bitch about in my About page, TL;DR if I disagree with one thing I must disagree with everything and be an agent of Satan)

If you think it’s appropriate to eat three bags of potato chips out of ranch dip baggies on a public bus, next to a person who was FORCED to sit by your fat ass, there’s something wrong with that. PERIOD.

When you see me complaining about a 180 pound ‘fat’ person next to me on the bus, feel free to bitch because that’s ridiculous.

But 450 pounds people?! Not acceptable, period.

I have no choice but to live in a part of the world filled with obesity. Why don’t thin people get a choice? Why do we get to be uncomfortable, smelling gross food, and being stuffed in next to a window so that the *~precious fat people~* can have ‘self love and acceptance’

If you want to be fat, go for it. Get the fuck out of my physical space.”

Yeah. It’s harsh. IDGAF, GTFO.

But you know what? Where are my rights? Why can’t I sit on a bus without fear of an enormous food vacuum engaging in their unhealthy addiction and getting in MY space? Yeah, as I discussed above, in many ways society is made for me. But guess what? With 68 percent of Americans overweight or obese, I’M A MINORITY. I can’t go anywhere without facing a high number of obese people.  Funny how minorities, when it comes to people who are thin, don’t get to decide what offends them (The idea that all minorities can wave their wands and declare anything offensive is another post for another night). Not that I think your minority status gives you the right to say what is offensive, but it’s certainly some major hypocrisy.

What do you think? Should society bend to people who are overweight because of their majority status? 

Stef

Posted in Fat Acceptance, Social Justice Blogosphere | 6 Comments