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.


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. 


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.


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?


About Stefanie MacWilliams

This entry was posted in Introducing this bullshit, Other blogs I don't like, Racism & Cultural Appropriation, Social Justice Blogosphere, White people and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. Kristin Z. says:

    The best part is they never complain that Western Culture is “appropriated” in non-Western countries all over the Goddamn planet. And are people never supposed to adopt things from other cultures? Are we all supposed to just have the same savannah hunter-gatherer culture we started out with? These people have no understanding of the society they complain about so much.

    • jesaves okuefuna says:

      you clearly dont know what assimilation is. Western culture was forced on POC when Europeans invaded and colonized most of the planet. western culture isnt appropriated because it is the dominant fucking culture that everyone has to be part of to be successful

      • Joseph Ahner says:

        The reason for that is that it was the most effective culture for influencing technological advance. Which allowed that invasion and colonization to occur. The only reason it still is the Dominant culture 60+ years post-colonialism is due to the fact that it is profitable to those who adopt western culture and its associated values.

      • Sheepywashere says:


        The Mongolians under Genghis and Kublai Khan Fucked up half the globe right into Europe and they actually tried to appropriate aspects of other cultures to improve their own. Eat shit you fucking moron

        • ENDPCNOW says:

          Well said. You can’t hear it, but I’m applauding you right now. I’m so sick of SJW pansies arguing against facts with made up shit they heard on Tumblr

      • Ugh says:

        “Western” is not a monolithic culture and “Europeans” did not colonize the rest of the world. The VAST MAJORITY of European nations had no colonies whatsoever outside of Europe. Strangely enough, this does not stop people with no Irish background from getting piss drunk on green beer on St Patrick’s Day, nor people outside the Orthodox church from painting eggs on Easter.

      • Like Ben Carson said the best thing that ever happen to him was to be born in America and having come to know Jesus Christ as the one and only true and living God.

      • Valentina says:

        lol you don’t think greek people know what assimilation is??? my family was forced out of their native land by the Turks. Greeks, Assyrians, and Armenians raped and murdered by the thousands after living in the region for hundreds of years. Why? Because they were not muslim, and if they did not convert, they were forced to leave, or be killed. But you don’t hear anyone talking about that, even though it happened in the past 150 years. On top of that, how many thousands of stupid college kids do you see every year living “Greek life” in their frats, dressing in togas-because yes, that’s how all greek people live their life. No one wants to be associated with that nonsense. But I’m also not going to sit there and cry about it on the internet every time someone wears a toga or a lace up sandal.

  2. Kristin Z. says:

    Oh and I totally get what you’re saying about not all whites being the perpetrators of genocide. I mean I’m Armenian and my ancestors didn’t even get here tell the mid 20th century, they were actually the victim of a genocide themselves.*

    But for all those English- and German-Americans, it’s not like they ever stole the land from the tribes or ran down the buffalo.

    *It was actually not really a systematic thing, more of a huge ethnic war, and many Turks were killed too. Just everyone killing everyone really. Not like a Holocaust thing.

    • Stefanie@SJN says:

      ^LOL this is horrid because I’m pretty sure my Greek ancestors would have been involved in this >.<
      but yeah, definitely. I think people need to differentiate between remembering and respecting history and blaming ourselves for history.

    • hilal says:

      Wow, thanks for acknowledging that there was not an actual “genocide” of Armenians, in the sense that they were not systematically murdered by Turks. There were just heaps of revolts and clashes, and the deportation of Armenians (because they sided with the enemy :Russians), which lead to alot of their deaths.

    • Arlene says:

      I’m Armenian too and I really think you need to do some more research on your own culture. The Armenian Genocide was a systematic massacre of the Armenian people designed to wipe out our race and it was exactly like the Holocaust. It was the genocide that paved way for such a thing as the Holocaust to occur. Because the Armenian Genocide was not recognized and easily ignored, the Holocaust was seen as something that Hitler could pull off. He said so himself, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” I just needed to comment on that considering you’re Armenian yourself and make the genocide seem like it was a mutual war, and it definitely wasn’t. I don’t mean to send any hate, just passionate about the near extinction of my people.

    • Babs says:

      Actually, the Armenian genocide was by definition a genocide. It was the one that horrified Raphael Lempkin, the man who decided to coin a term for such a horrific, systematic killing with ethnic bias. It was as organized as it could’ve been at the time, with the infrastructure in place. And in the Holocaust, plenty of non-Jews were also targeted, including anyone with a physical handicap, or those that were simply not of the “Aryan race.” So, by all means, feel free to give the horrors that your family went through their proper and horrific designation. I spent years studying it, taking to people who has family members go through it, and it was one of the reasons that I vowed to dedicate my life to the full ratification of the genocide convention in the United States.

    • Martha says:

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  3. fuju says:

    this is the most beautiful thing. it should be all over tumblr, or even better yet, THE INTERNET.

    seriously, i just found out about culture appropriation today and it is bullshit because according to it, instead of wearing the t-shirt and jeans i’m wearing now, i should be top naked with scars on my cheeks and a black line splitting my face.

    cultural appropriation will happen: that means that the world is advancing, getting closer. cultures are mixing and people are getting to know one another.

    of course there will be mishaps along the way, but people will learn and become accepting.

    but of course tumblr wouldn’t want that to happen, oh no. they want the world to stay apart and cry oppression.

    ugh, i’m so mad right now, i’m probably not coherent, but let me just summarize that i agree with everything said here.

    you are amazing.

    thank you.

    • jeffffff says:

      “Cultural appropriation” is the mortar binding the cobblestones on the long road to the singularity. It is as unavoidable as it is unremarkable, and it happens in all forms from all peoples. I’m typing this on a computer designed in america and built in japan that i purchased with money based on the Chinese concept of cash that was counted in arabic numerals. I live in a country that uses the british imperial measurement system and is based on traditionally greek democracy. i bought french wine earlier, and i watched a swedish film last night. By heritage I am Filipino/Spanish/Irish/German/Chinese (seriously.) and i am a goddamn citizen of Earth, and if anyone told me I was/was not allowed to do something based on my race, i’d laugh them out of the room.

      I was raised around a lot of white people, and they’ve been absolutely wonderful to me from birth through the current day. I was raised with some black friends too, and it never mattered, we just wanted to hang out and watch dragonball Z.

      The people who whine about cultural appropriation are honestly some of the more racist people i’ve ever dealt with. tl;dr>>> cultural appropriation is bullshit and who cares lol

      • spamber says:

        Thank you! In my opinion if people getting their panties in a bunch over dreadlocks is an actual issue then we’ve come a long way.

      • Martyn Giles says:

        I know your comment is old but I’m koping you get this.
        Those Arabic numerals you mention? They weren’t Arabic. They were Indian, when Arabs lay waste to parts of India they stole different things and passed them off as their own. We call them Arabic because the Arab claim of investing these numerals has passed into common acceptance.
        This is one of the few times that I think that cultural appropriation is bullshit.
        Honestly, I’m not making this up.

      • Joseph Ahner says:

        Correction a combination of Greek Democracy and Roman Republican representation. Greek Democracy was and is today in many cases as tyrannical (if not more so) as any King or Dictator could’ve been

    • ENDPCNOW says:

      Thank you. It’s nice to know that the entire fucking world hasn’t been infected by these SJW losers. Personally I love and respect all cultures, and yes, I eat ethnic food and wear clothing that other cultures created. It’s not because I’m racist, it’s because I think other cultures are awesome

  4. I was a bit irked at certain points but your last couple stuff fixed it up and has me satisfied. Very cool article. 🙂

  5. Iconoclast says:

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

    Where are YOUR CRITICS’ freedom of speech? If you dare call me a gook then I have MY FREEDOM OF SPEECH to call you a racist arsehole.

    If you cannot the character”Ββ”‘s name in modern Greek to be /vita/ and not /beita/, then every Greek man has HIS (see, no PC here, I only use “man” inclusively meaning a human being, similar to German “Mensch” and not “Mann”) FREEDOM OF SPEECH to call you a rootless ignorant moron.

    If you don’t know that “Я я” is a Cyrillic letter and vowel which is used in many languages, named and pronounced as /ja/, then my Mongolian or Russian friends HAVE THEIR FREEDOM to call you a culturally ignorant and myopic retard.

    No apology!

    Whose ego’s shell is as thin as an egg here? The bigoted and stupid you or your better-informed critics who know their own culture better and and criticize you because you sound like moronic arsehole? It’s only fair. Get on with it!

    • But he’s not being racist so why refer to him as such?

    • Wow, youve just completely missed the point, havent you?

    • Nik says:

      “If you dare call me gook”

      Who called you that? Didn’t see anyone on this page throwing words like that around. We’re not talking about racial slurs, which actually are racist and I would mmediately come to your defense if I witnessed it. We’re talking pretty over-reactions to a white person taking an interest in someone else’s culture.

      “Where are your critics’ freedom of speech?”

      1) This article is a response to Tumblr posts. If those people on Tumblr didn’t have freedom of speech, there would be no discussion of “cultural appropriation” in the first place and this here post you replied to wouldn’t exist.

      2) Anyone stopping you from commenting on this article? No? There is your free speech. People don’t have to agree though. That’s the beauty of a debate, and if you can’t handle a mature debate then the internet isn’t the place for you.

      People from both sides of the debate over-use this “where is my free speech?” argument. The fact that you have a mouth (or a keyboard) and can say anything you want to say shows you have free speech. If you say something controversial or plain dumb however just don’t be shocked when you get people disagreeing with you.

    • someguy says:

      As a Russian guy, I would rather explain to you what letter “Я” means than call you a culturally ignorant and myopic retard though, beacause that would be kinda dumb.

    • Babs says:

      Except your comment is also making grand, sweeping generalizations. I am extremely pale, and half Irish, half Italian… Except my family is so old that even just 4 generations ago they wouldn’t have said “Italian,” because Italy wasn’t unified yet. I would never criticize someone for attempting cultural aspects considered a part of my cultural background. In fact, I love the effort in of itself. Even if they call my dancing “river dancing,” because there is no hate behind it–just a sense of wonder. Also, I have traveled the world from age 13. I’ve lived in many countries, and have always strived to attempt to see a country in the way that its residents do, not like a tourist. And yet? In trying to experience it as such, you do “borrow” cultural aspects. And I will say this: in all my travels, I have never encountered someone who felt indignant towards my efforts. They have always appreciated the sentiment behind it, and helped me to better adhere to it. Never once was I told not to try to immerse myself in their cultural, because they are proud of their culture and think rightfully that I should want to be a part of it too.

    • Victie Powell says:

      Ewwww Someone mad…… But I am not sure about what.

  6. Tiffany Le says:

    This post is sad. You demonstrate the exact type of disgusting white privilege that tumblr users are pointing out. It is not about the fact that YOU feel discriminated against when we point out white people’s cultural appropriation. As usual, it has to be brought back to you. The majority of your article sickens me and you sound like the exact type of privilege white girl who believes she can do whatever she wants(again white privilege) while the rest of the world has to deal with the fact that “it’s never going to change”. We’re not blaming you for something your ancestors have done, we’re pointing out the sick idea that you don’t have to regard someone’s culture as sacred and that once again, white supremacy means you get to do whatever the hell you want.

    • Marc says:

      Tiffany Le…… We can do whatever we want and it IS never going to change. Lol u mad bro? deal with it.

      • jeffielovesparty says:

        I’m sayin. my problem with tumblr activists 90% of the time is the sheer quantities of WAHHH coming out of them at any given moment. I couldn’t imagine ever inviting them to a party, let alone a costume party, my god.. can you imagine the amount of “OFFENDED” that would occur?

    • jeffielovesparty says:


    • Mayhem says:

      I know you feel deeply empowered, now that you’ve run to WordPress to feel better about yourself. But you got half the point anyway, why not just be with it and tell people about your culture – move the hell on yourself? Excuse me if I’m wrong, but your post is the big WAH you point out Tumblr is. One big whine that folks are bothering to comment on something you yourself don’t even like. Here you are taking it personally for the folks who are blatantly and disrespectfully appropriating other cultures’ sacred expressions, after pointing out what you don’t like yourself. What?!?

      Maybe you should decide which direction you want to be in, then recognize WP for what it is. A little “Yes,” corner of the universe.

      How did I get that? Take a look at your comment section, heck…most comment sections on here. People on WP are more concerned about being liked than thinking critically.

      Well, you’ll probably be staying since you’ve got a cheerleading squad of other butthurts here….

      • 'Ello says:

        Since when are paper cranes sacred?

      • 'Ello says:

        Seriously, since when are paper cranes and tacos sacred? The fucking sticks on the ground are not sacred.

        And maybe everyone’s agreeing with her… Because she’s right? You know, because they’re not a bunch of bossy, hypocritical SJW Tumblrinas?

        • Moira McVey says:

          I’m no arguing, I’m just informing. Paper cranes are all through out te Japanese culture such as, a thousand paper cranes are traditionally given as a wedding gift by the father, who is wishing a thousand years of happiness and prosperity upon the couple. They can also be given to a new baby for long life and good luck.

    • Norton says:

      Shut the hell up Tiffany. Check your Victim Identity Privilege. “Were not blaming you for what your ancestors have done”, no you’re blaming us by placing all of us “crackers” into one category, destined to pay for the sins of a few select and now-defunct colonial powers. You know what’s funny? You’re practicing cultural appropriation right now. You, like the vast majority of everyone else, are probably wearing clothing that are of European origin. Not to mention this pesky lil’ European invention known as the computer that gives you the privilege to whine like the little sycophant you are. Kiss my white ass, and stop appropriating MY culture *unplugs your computer*

      • sarah says:

        Yeah but when has any PoC experienced any negativity for wearing western clothes or using western clothes? You’re the ones who tell us we should assimilate into western culture. But now you’re telling us not to? Which one is it, cracker?

        • Adam says:

          Nobody said anything about assimilating into our culture, porch monkey. Also, those Western clothes are made and designed by Westerners, we just send them to those shithole countries because it’s cheaper.

      • sarah says:

        Also western clothes are made in China or India.

    • spamber says:

      Whaaaaaaaa. Ps. Ignorance is a human problem. Not a white girl problem.

    • 'Ello says:

      What about the Japanese? Would it be wrong for them to wear Chinese clothing? After all, THEY INVADED AND TRIED TO COLONIZE CHINA. But I’m sure you have some explanation as to why that’s different.

      • Babs says:

        As an Irish dancer, 1/2 Irish human, when Spanish schools started popping up and kicking Irish kids butts at Irish dancing, I didn’t hear a single person get upset over it. I’m galaway Irish, so honestly, by all means, we could’ve. Except all I heard was praise and excitement about the “bridging of the gap.” I know it isn’t all the same. But at the same time, my oldest sibling is marrying a Filippino (talk about changing a culture–the people of the Philippines didn’t even have the “F” sound in their culture before the Spanish colonized them and named them as such). Yet, in planning their wedding, she has voiced a desire to have Filipino cultural traditions, and it’s going to be a lot of Irish and Italian people attempting those traditions (since all of her family members are in the Philippines, and cannot attend because of immigration laws). Are we evil? Or considerate?

    • BLake says:

      Simply mincing an aspect of a culture is not inherently wrong. The author themselves said cultural insensitivity is a bad thing

    • ahphaque says:

      “White Privledge”

      I’m sorry but as soon as you said this I automatically just saw your argument against this as trash.

    • 'Ello says:

      “white supremacy means you get to do whatever the hell you want.”

      Lol, and yet POC can like and enjoy whatever the Hell they want?

      Also, would you like some cheese to go with that whine?

    • Clutch says:

      How does this demonstrate “white privilege” you complete dumb ass?

      “White privilege” is nothing but a made up imaginary concept that was invented by the feminist Jew Peggy McIntosh in the late 1980’s. It was invented so Negroids and non-whites such as yourself can have an excuse for your failures. I swear that is the only thing you people spew along with male privilege, sexist, homophobic, and the word racist. It’s just the same old bullshit repeated over and over again to shut people down.

      The majority of her articles sicken you? Then why are you here you brain dead bitch?

      I also find it hilarious that you said:

      “you sound like the exact type of privilege white girl who believes she can do whatever she wants(again white privilege)”

      and this.

      “white supremacy means you get to do whatever the hell you want.”

      White people can do whatever they want now? In what country? What planet do you live on? Because it sure as hell isn’t Earth.

      I also love how you keep repeating “white supremacy” over and over again when the Zionist Jews or should I say Khazars run the United States, Europe, Israel, and pretty much every bank on this planet.

      • sarah says:

        This is such a racist, sexist comment. You are literally doing everything that you say you’re not doing.

      • Jonathon Trevor says:

        You’re a fucking idiot. For the most part I think cultural appropriation is bullshit in big way in how a lot of idiots wield it, but white & male privilege have been & still are huge parts society. Are you saying that white enslavement of other races & dominance over women have just been the fault of women & those other races? YOU are exactly what some activists try to make all white people out to. (coming from an 18 year old white guy, though its not like that should matter.

        • Kyle says:

          Male privilege has been disproved over and over again. You have not one shred of proof that it exists.

          White privilege exists, on the other hand, to an extent in some certain areas of the Western world. What do you expect whenever white people literally built this Western world that you live in and enjoy the benefits of? Yes, we (white people) used to oppress the non-whites. But so far we’ve been unbelievably nice to non-whites in Western countries, and for the most part they’ve shown not one shred of gratitude, and in many cases they kill us, racists whites cover that up, and they demand more while sometimes flat out admitting they want us all to die. Why should we bend over backwards to kiss your ass whenever you’re so fucking nasty to ass, especially whenever you’re dealing with non-whites who aren’t even a part of this country*.

          *Talking about America and the violent lunatic immigrants. Most black Americans have been here longer than most white Americans, percentage wise, and their culture is more American than African, despite what Afrocentrists say (Afrocentrism itself is pretty American). Amerindians themselves, are, obviously, distinctly American as well. If you were a moron, you could almost seriously believe that violent, crime ridden, dangerous, thieving, immigrants that drive down minimum wages (which disproportionately affects black people) would be good for black Americans and Amerindians.

      • Tia says:

        No, I’m pretty sure you are the one who is braindead. So much ignorance wow, yes white privilege does exist, if only you were open minded and could manage to let go of your pride for a second and do just a small bit of research on it, shit 5 minutes on google can’t hurt , but no, you seem like one of those people that can’t handle anything that makes them feel uncomfortable, so forget it. Wishing you the best for the future even if you do have a closed mind.

    • Cold says:

      Tumblrs are cold dead sad people who arent satisfied with there own shitty lives so they reach out in hopes of bringing everyone else in to their guilt ridden sad excuse for a life. All the while being hypocrites to their own “beliefs.”

      • TheOneGirlWhoDoesn'tGiveAShitAboutYouWhiningAndWishesYouWouldShutUp says:

        Technically I am on Tumblr but I’m not a cold dead sad person.

    • Mike the Privileged Cisgender White Guy says:

      When your argument devolves to “you’re white, so your opinion doesn’t matter” you’ve essentially just showcased what an idiotic, racist and bigoted person you are. No one will take you seriously when you say stupid and asinine shit like this.

    • ASonicYouth says:

      Is culture sacred?
      I didn’t know that it “belonged” to anybody. Like “this is my culture not yours we invented it not you so you can’t have it unless you do it the right way”

    • Ayo says:

      Hahaha nice joke.
      White privilege doesnt exist. cry me a river bitch. white supremacy doesnt exist.
      A costume is a costume. stop being offended at nothing.
      “you sound like the exact type of privilege white girl who believes she can do whatever she want”
      You do know you’re racist for even bringing race into this, right? What if it was a black person who wrote this, would it be different? smh go back to tumblr with your non-existent oppression. you should be damn lucky you dont live in africa nor cope with mental illnesses so youre already privileged as fuck

    • Someone says:

      Ever worn tartan? If you’re not Scottish that’s classed as cultural appropriation. Culture is always borrowed. That’s life, that’s what being human is, it’s not offensive. Unless we can wear whatever the fuck we want there’s always going to be a barrier between us and others. Being “offended” is stupid because they’re just wearing it, they’re not doing anything disrespectful with it. If they were burning it, or stamping on it YEH it’s bad but they’re not they’re showing they LIKE it. And this is coming from a British Asian who looks completely white and has been told off for wearing kimonos. Even if I wasn’t Asian, it wouldn’t matter!!!! Fashion, language, it all changes. Evolution.

    • Lindsay says:

      You’re right and the vitriol against your comment was disgusting

    • Joseph Ahner says:

      And yet cultural mingling has created Western/White culture as it is today. Western
      Culture grew from the Fall of the Roman Empire when Germanic people assimilated Roman ideas and “appropriated” them into their own culture to create Medieval European Culture which was again Changed after the Fall of Constantinople in the 1400s which sparked the Renaissance when Greek Byzantine immigrants to Italy sparked the Age of Enlightenment which created the Genesis of Western culture and the very Concept of the “Individual rights” that you now enjoy to complain about the same Cultural Integration that created American culture from that of Western Culture coming into contact with African, Middle Eastern, and Asian Culture the result of which is the most Diverse and culturally accepting nation in the World.

    • Victie Powell says:

      No, they sound like the type of person that will stand up for their rights and AGREE with you that you have the same rights they do. There is not such thing as “sacred”.

  7. Lara says:

    No matter what your cultural background or ethnicity, we should all be respectful of one another. Stop living in the past and focus on how to make the present and future better. We should be living as a world, just because our countries are seperated by water or belieds vary between distances doesn’t mean that we are completely different beings. We are all built on the same skeletal structure so the only difference is mind set. NO you don’t have to DEAL WITH IT. STOP BEING SO DAMN ARROGANT AND IGNORANT. Grow up world, be better men and women instead of talking about black this white that yellow this red that.. there are things bigger than colour to worry about, get your head out your ass and be respectful of others heritage.. NO MATTER WHAT COLOUR YOU ARE.

  8. LJ says:

    I agree with everything you have just said.
    People just want something to complain about and this is the new fad

    • Amy says:

      I’m from Britian, I live just out side London in a town where the immigration rate is something like 25% higher than national average. Or perhaps 15% I’m not entirely sure the point is about 50% of my primary school (Elementary) belonged ethnic minorites. And I swear to god everything we did according to tumblr wisdom was cultural appropation. My friend Haleemah’s Aunties came in and did Henna for us when it was Eid. My school had a huge emphasis on multicultrualism so there were loads of workshops on Diwali and we made dream catchers and did African weaving. There was lots of stuff, but the only time any one was offended I think was some parent who complained when we did a christmas show on peace and not on the nativity. Obviously some things are rude and terrible, but seriously except from online I’ve never come across anyone who finds C.A ia issue. Culture really is a melting pot, I am ethnically british and half Greek-Armenian and I have tradtions from countries in my life as well as as a millions other thanks to Britian’s bloody past. As long as you treat people with respect and go to things with a open mind… most people I’ve met are actually very eager to share their cultures.

  9. Jo says:

    Just because someone is white doesn’t mean they aren’t ethnic. There are white blue eyed people who have a black culture. Mix races are everywhere and cultural appropriation is everywhere. I think it was an issue when whites got famous and well-known on the backs of other cultures, but those same cultures were ignored. Like blues/jazz/rap etc. I think it annoys people when Miley gets notoriety for using black culture – but its really becoming irrelevant now. There are many black artists out there. When you look at a white person it doesn’t instantly mean they are white, they could be mix race with a mix race family – the same for any other colour (but with whites it is assumed that they are ‘white’). I just think these days we have to be really open minded and wary about assuming anything about anyone. Educating people about others cultures (which aren’t often talked about, shown on tv, which again is another matter entirely) will probably take time. Often when youngsters appropriate other cultures they are doing it out of love or silliness. Yes it can be ignorant – what can you do? I am ignorant of my culture – and I actually find that sad, but saying I have more right to wear my hair a certain way that someone else who may look different to me, but has deeper knowledge in my culture than I do – that is ignorant too!

  10. 'Ello says:

    THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSS. 99% of supposed cultural appropriation is just telling people what to do.

    • 'Ello says:

      To clarify, I do agree that taking something ACTUALLY sacred and (like those headdresses) is cultural appropriation and wearing ordinary clothes as a costume is offensive. The former is obvious, with the latter being that wearing it as a costume suggests that it’s unusual. But most of what SJW’s claim is appropriation is overreacting. Like wearing a Kimono or EATING MEXICAN FOOD.

      Wearing a Kimono shouldn’t even be appropriation by their standards. Japan was and is not an oppressed country. During the 1800’s it became as powerful as any European country and BECAME A COLONIAL POWER ITSELF.

      And on the matter of countries actually being oppressed or not, Ireland should be off limits for that reason. It wasn’t until less than a hundred years ago that it gained independence from Britain and a few hundred years ago the Irish went through horrific trials.

      • GAC says:

        As a white person in Japan, I can tell you that Japanese people LOVE when you wear kimono/yukata. Everytime I wear one, people stop me and tell me how pretty or cute or wonderful I look. Keep in mind this is a culture where people just don’t talk to strangers on the street. In my experience whenever a westerner ‘appropriates’ Japanese culture, they are proud of it and that someone else is enjoying it.

  11. Caitlin says:

    This post needs to be spread out on the internet for everyone to see. Because I swear, every time someone screams “Appropriation” at me for doing something completely innocuous, I’m always tempted to tell them “I can’t enjoy anime, admire Navajo jewelry, or eat Mexican food? Fine. Then that means you can’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, not unless you have Irish ancestors.It was appropriated from my ancestral country and turned into a celebration of debauchery and drunken revelry.”

    • 'Ello says:

      Most people screaming about the majority of what gets called cultural appropriation just want to innocent people what to do in some misaimed vengeance.

      Not that cultural appropriation isn’t a real issue, but it’s just that most of what people get in a tizzy about is not actually a bad thing. I have seen SRW’s jump down a whitemale’s throat for being inspired by some black women, claiming that he was “appropriating their inspiration”.

  12. JP says:

    All I can say is thank-you. It is nice to finally read something that accepts that cultures blend and mix and change and grow and it’s not always someone “stealing” something for the sake of purposefully insulting everyone or shoving it in their face. I am tired of the idea that their is this homogenous group of “white” people who are out there and all think the same. That is like saying all the Eastern European countries are basically the same or the French and the English are are all the same or that you shouldn’t read about Enlightenment era thinking if you weren’t there for the French Revolution. I, for one, am glad that I can be exposed to new ideas from new cultures and learn things. That I can try different foods, speak multiple languages, and practice martial arts. In a world of “cultural appropriation” no one should be using medicine or science that their culture didn’t invent and we would spend eons reinventing the wheel. I am sure I will take crap for this post but frankly I, like you, don’t think it matters as much as the other big issues out there.

    • 'Ello says:

      *in SJW language* “You’re getting confused with cultural DIFFUSION. Cultural diffusion happens at a natural rate and from a respectful place, whereas cultural appropriation is about stealing.

      It’s not my job to educate you.”

      (Now allow to me translate that into normal people language.) “Medicine and the wheel are things I benefit from, so therefore it’s cultural diffusion. ‘Cultural appropriation’ is something I can use to try and induce white guilt and control how white people live their lives.

      I don’t care enough about making the world a better place to educate you, so I’ll just insult you and then smugly tell you that you don’t deserve to know what you did wrong.”

  13. Sophie says:

    SJWs couldn’t give a fuck if their ‘white people’s clothes’ come from sweatshops, but if they see a white girl wearing a poncho that’s RACIST!!! I’m mixed race – am I allowed to have dreadlocks? Can I listen to rock music, or is that appropriation? What about the dreamcatcher my Najavo friend gave me – I suppose I should throw that away, although wouldn’t that be kind of disrespectful?

    • 'Ello says:

      Well if you’re mixed race, it would depend if you’re white PASSING. If you could PASS for a white person, then yes, you have to live your life according to the childish, petty demands of SJW’s. But if not, then you can do whatever the Hell you want, even if you make a complete mockery of the culture in question, because it’s only a bad thing whenever white people do it.

  14. Alli says:

    Oh I love this whole page! I’m just glad we are addressing this topic because I recently found out what ‘culture appropriation’ was too, and it just rubbed me the wrong way. As human beings, no matter what race/culture/gender/ you are , you should have the freedom of expression. I love other cultures and learning about them. I should not feel ashamed to like a different culture from my own. Aren’t we expanding? Advancing? Or becoming more accepting – because to me that is the ultimate goal. In the future we will all be more accepting of our cultures, that is equality. And I agree with the whole disrespect thing, like if you put negative emotions towards another culture… then yeah no, don’t do that, but as far as I’m concerned, everyone should be able to do what they love. I think it’s an identity thing, people just want to hold onto that one thing that makes them different from everyone else. If someone comes along and likes the same thing, their intentions are not to steal it , but hopes that they can share it, and that’s how we will spread the love and grow as human beings.

  15. IO says:

    I really, really loved this post. I also only just found out what ‘cultural appropriation’ was. Mainly because I have always surrounded myself with open-minded, respectful, creative people from all different cultures and walks of life and had barely even realised it was an issue (In this extreme sense of course, I realise we do not live in a perfect world where everyone has been brought up in a liberal an educated way, and ignorance,of course causes huge problems but I won’t go in to that right now). But I have recently moved to a new town where I was first taken in by the mirage that it is a place of well-educated, liberal cultured people like the ones I am used to back home. I have unfortunately come to realise that, contrary to my first impression, it is full of self-righteous pricks for lack of a better time. That particular kind of white middle class feminist (I am not belittling feminism, I am proud to call myself one in public- but there are those who give the rest of us a bad name) who would rather spend there time starting facebook petitions to get people to write to urban outfitters for selling t-shirts with ganesh on them, than using their time and popularity to promote one of the thousands of worthy amnesty international causes for example. And shouting strangers for things they find mildly offensive rather than calmly explaining how or why they find it so, whilst conveniently excusing the ohm tattoo on the back of their neck! Who are they to say what a hidhu would find offensive any more than I am to assume they are not hindu simply by the colour of their skin?! the realisation that I have to spend the foreseeable future tiptoeing around sanctimoneous, post-adolesent, pedants riddled with white guilt lest I be branded a racist is disheartening to say the least. I’m not shy nor am I afraid to speak my mind but I don’t like getting into pointless debates with pointless people and I am dreading the first time I find it too unbearable to bite my tongue on this issue.
    I personally feel that all this nit picking and silliness actually undermines the really serious issues we have between cultures and could even be counterproductive in the scheme of togetherness. Culture is fascinating and interesting and should never be a problem but why has it suddenly become acceptable once again to label people and tell them what to wear, believe and like based on where they were born and who their parents are? People don’t even seem to be educating themselves as a result of it which would be a positive outcome, it’s become cool to band about the term an accuse people of offense without even knowing WHY it’s supposed to be offensive or even WHAT cultural appropriation is!
    Sorry for the rant, I have literally never posted on one of these things, on any website ever. I pride myself in keeping out of online debates but on this occasion I just had to vent!

  16. Thank you so much for posting this. No, seriously. I’ve been waiting to see a post like this for a while.

    It’s inevitable: the appropriation of culture happened, is happening and it’ll keep happening. It’s not a thing people can’t stop from whining and crying like children. Of course, there’s also a fine line between that and being a douchebag. There are some things that yes, they are wrong. But even if they are and even if people get offended by that: we can do nothing. If they are doing or using something that is wrong, of course we can tell them an advice or even say that “hey, it’s wrong”. But if advices were good they wouldn’t be for free. Plus, it’s their lives. We have something called free will and we can’t exactly change other people’s free will.

    As for the cultural appropriation in general, as I said, it happened and happens everywhere. But it isn’t a bad thing; somehow it helped and helps people from different sides of the world to get together. For example, I’m Brazilian and yet I use flip flops which originally were inspired in the Japanese ones. I use a computer that was originally built in another continent. My language derives from the European Portuguese and so it goes on. It is only natural that it happens and the world get to know each other’s culture. As for liking a culture, liking it doesn’t make you a bad person either. I love Japanese culture, does that make me a bad person? No. I even study their language, will that make me appropriate their culture? Yes. Will that be a bad thing? No.

    People should just stop being so angry about that matter. If someone does something that can be HONESTLY judged as offensive, just tell them. Don’t be angry; don’t shout, don’t go cursing the person and all of their ancestors. Because if you do that, you’ll be worse as the person who’s using or doing something that can be considered offensive. You’ll be an asshole. And no one likes assholes. Calmly telling and trying to have a constructive conversation is the key; instead of going “THIS FUCKING DUMBASS IS SO OFFENSIVE LIKE OH MY GOD I’M TOTALLY BUTTHURT” just go there and say “Hey, I’ve seen you’re doing something that can be considered offensive. Can you please try using another words instead/delete the post/don’t use this type of clothes in a situation like this?” That would work.

    Just don’t be angry and shouting on the internet like a 12 year old girl. Not only it is ridiculous for you as people will probably laugh at you and not take you seriously instead. Just talk. It helps. And if the person keeps insisting on making the same mistake: Let them. It’s their life, not yours. Everyone decides to do what they want with their lives, and if someone wants to keep insisting on the same mistake, it’s not your problem to take care of. Just chill. This is just life and it happens everytime. Take care of your life instead, I’m pretty sure you’ll feel a 100% better.

    • 'Ello says:

      Aahhh, but you see, if you said all that to a Dumblr SJW, they would say “that’s not cultural appropriation, it’s cultural DIFFUSION”. What’s the difference, you may ask? Well, cultural diffusion, in their minds, is whatever they like and benefit from, whereas cultural appropriation is whatever they can use to induce white guilt and tell white people what they’re not allowed to do with their lives.

      Or they would say “you’re a POC, and therefore you’re entitled to do anything you want”, including acting like a drunken, violent asshole in Irish garb on St. Patrick’s Day.

  17. Adriana says:

    I love your post. As a Latin American I find the concept of “cultural appropriation”, well, politically incorrect. We are so mixed in my country that every other thing may be deemed cultural appropriation. I myself am half Costa Rican (with German, Basque, Spanish and Native American ancestors), and half Mexican (which probably means partly Spanish, Native American and French). My last name is German, except I look nothing like a German woman is supposed to look like. Maybe because of this mix, I’ve always been interested in learning from other cultures. I speak for languages, I travel a lot and I know people from all over the world. My closest friends have also a very mixed ancestry (Cantonese, Taiwanese, Russian…). So, the thing is, I enjoy and respect other cultures, I want to learn from other cultures. For instance, I own two saris, one was tailored in India (where I went for a scholarship for 2 months) and the other one in Nepal (where I visited a dear friend and her tailor made the sari for me). If I ever wear them to a party, it would be because they are beautiful, stunning! I wouldn’t want to be automatically labeled as an ignorant racist because I’m not supposed to enjoy any kind of beauty outside of my own culture… And then, what is my own culture? My culture is a melting pot. Maybe SJW would be more comfortable watching me playing a stereotype on what Latin American or Costa Rican culture are supposed to look like. I hate dancing to music like Salsa or Merengue, but maybe it would be more appropriate for me to do that. Or maybe they would want me to dress like a Mexican charro, would that be OK since my mom comes from the region where charros and mariachi originated? I am not a stereotype, so I am not offended if someone wants to dress up in a charro costume. If you like it, please do! I don’t even care if it’s for Halloween, really. Rather, I think it shows interest in my culture. Whatever brings us closer can’t be bad. Culture is ever-changing, cultures are alive. Cultures mix and there’s nothing wrong with that. If anything, it brings understanding because people are able to look beyond their perceived differences.

    Now, what I don’t like is a culture (or geography!) being portrayed ignorantly, like the scene in Jurassic Park where San José (Costa Rica’s Capital City) is an oceanside rural town, with monkeys, chickens, and palm trees galore, and with Mexican music playing in the background. I mean, sure! Costa Ricans enjoy Mexican music, don’t get me wrong. But if you want to portray a real city or town, or a certain place in time, please do your research. I can only blame Jurassic Park for the time when a teenager in California was surprised to learn we do have computers in Costa Rica. My sister offered to help him run a program on his PC and the teen could not believe it.

    Hollywood is especially ignorant when portraying foreign cultures and places, and it is truly annoying.

    So, IMHO, one is allowed to incorporate foreign cultural expressions into one’s own life. Culture and ideas are meant to be shared. However, there is no excuse for being ignorant and wanting to stay that way, but that’s an entirely different issue.

  18. Jen says:

    I like this post. I agree with your points on not wearing things that have extreme cultural significance (ie Purple Heart, Headdress, certain henna designs). All of culture is appropriated. It’s extremely hard to exist without appropriating something. I recently purchased a shirt with a cat wearing a feathered headband, and I was worried I was “appropriating” something, until I realized it was a headband, not a headdress. It’s extremely difficult to make art/ design things when you’re constantly being censored.

  19. Nik says:

    I’m in the “get the hell over it” camp too. Good post.

    Ok, I kinda do see the point when it’s the REALLY deep stuff, like the Native headdresses. Native headdresses are highly honourable garments, you don’t just “put one on”, even if you are Native yourself. That would be akin to wearing a modern military badge because you think they look cool, when you’ve done nothing to earn one.

    I can also see the distinction between white people doing it, and things other races take from white people that some white people always try to say are cultural appropriation but really aren’t. For example, black people straightening their hair isn’t cultural appropriation, that’s out of an oppressive pressure to fit a western (white) standard of beauty. That is ACTUAL racism, so if you really want to campaign, address things like that. Also Japanese people wearing “western” clothes isn’t really western at all, it’s just modern. Jeans, suits, hoodies, T-shirts etc aren’t exactly traditional dress in western culture either, so we need to stop thinking of them as “western”.

    Beyond that, I don’t understand what the fuss is about. I think some of these Tumblr “special snowflakes” are really just boring people, who have nothing going on in their lives, so they have nothing better to do than sit around moping about petty non-issues. There is nothing wrong with white people – or anyone else for that matter – taking cultural and physical influence from other cultures. In fact it shows just how far some white people have come, that they now feel they can look to other cultures as inspiring and something cool. It doesn’t have to be seen as a negative thing.

  20. Jay says:

    This bugs me so much.

    I have a Pakistani friend who complained about people wearing Bedouin scarves cos they’re not Arab.

    I was like, “You wear them, and you’re not Arab.”

    But it’s okay for her because she’s not white. I just said, “Don’t ever let me catch you wearing tartan.” (I’m Scottish)

    In cases of religious clothing or jewellery, I agree. I think it’s annoying when I see people wearing t-shirts with crosses or crucifixe necklaces.

  21. hey says:

    get a load of these dumb, liberal honky hipsters:

  22. M111 says:

    I always can’t help but wonder how many of these people that are just soooo offended, are really, truly, actually offended. I think they just convince themselves that they are, or like to make themselves feel important on the internet, & are the types that aren’t going to be happy no matter what. For example, let’s imagine we lived in a world where everything was totally different, people would refuse to do anything outside their own culture because it was cultural appropriation (I guess for those that are adopted & don’t know their background at all & have a ‘racially ambiguous’ look, you’d just be out of luck & have to walk around naked, or perhaps in a burlap sack). Now if that were the case, then they likely wouldn’t like that either & accuse the person of being racist too. You can’t make people like that happy, & quite honestly, I’ve come to the conclusion that many of these so-called activists don’t want to be happy. Being that they get off on lecturing people, making themselves feel self-important, being pretentious, & trying to sound holier-than-thou, if the thing they claim to be fighting for actually happened, then they’d no longer have any need to act like that. And that would be their worst nightmare in life. Another thing that a lot of people don’t realize, at least in the US anyway, which is where I’m from so I’m writing from that point of view, is that to alot of the rest of the world, they’re American. The rest of the world doesn’t care who their ancestors are, nor do they care how they got here, if they came on their own or were forced. If they’re expecting to go back to their ‘homeland’, & think the local population would embrace them as being one of them, they’re in for a rude awakening, because they aren’t going to care that they share DNA, have common ancestors, or are the same color. So when I’ll see one AMERICAN fighting with another AMERICAN, both born & raised in the same country, both having families that have been here hundreds of years, that ‘you appropriated that from MY PEOPLE!!!!’, I can’t help but laugh, because chances are they don’t know jack about ‘their people’, only that they physically resemble them, & ‘their people’ certainly wouldn’t see them as one of them. But, I’m just a Caucasian, so according to a lot of people, my opinion doesn’t count in this. Opinion being the key word here-issues like these, there really isn’t any right or wrong, despite what many want to believe, usually you just get the one that’s loudest & most domineering, so they think therefore their opinion on the subject is the only correct one.

  23. Laura says:

    I think this is funny. And obviously ppl are entitled to their opinions (and it won’t change). I honestly think if slavery it ended at slavery, at the mass killing of American Natives, there would be some validity in this argument, but seriously… We had Japanese people in concentration camps during WWII (speaking of WWII, we might not have been successful if it weren’t for the few Navajo people who managed to retain their language). We turned Jewish people away during the Holocaust. Schools were still segregated until the mid-50’s. The last known lynching of a black man was in 1981. So no, maybe it isn’t you or your parents… But quite LITERALLY your grandparents were at least alive and if they weren’t some of the ppl who marched, lived and died for human rights, then they were most certainly apart of the problem. This isn’t our distant history. Just because there are kids that don’t know what 9-11 means doesn’t mean that there aren’t families that are still mourning the deaths of their loved ones. I’d really like you to tell them to just “forget 9-11 and move on” so that in 20 years al-Qaeda can start adding American flags to their uniforms. Literally it isn’t that hard. Once you know it is offensive, why keep doing it? Is getting or not getting henna really going to change your life?

    • Ugh says:

      1. Both of my grandfathers did fight in both world wars. I’m not sure what that has to do with anything but it’s good to know I’m permanently off the hook for cultural appropriation!
      2. If Jane Whiterson from Whiterson, California gets henna, will that change the life of any Indian person? I bet it’s more likely to change Jane Whiterson’s life than anyone else’s.

  24. Jenova says:

    So here’s the thing. I’m pretty left-leaning, and I’ll all for social justice. I’m also a person who is sick of hearing about everything being “cultural appropriation.” I’m white, married to a person of Asian decent, and I’m a costumer. I don’t like to re-create Western clothing, because, well, it’s boring to me. I’m fascinated with the beauty of Eastern historical clothing. I do this from a place of respect – I try to be as accurate as possible in my recreations, and I do lots of research. But I get accused of appropriation, too. No, I won’t venture into religious subjects that I don’t understand. But I’m also not going to sit here and pretend like I don’t want to wear Lolita fashion or the sarongs I purchased overseas, just because I’m white. Get over it, I appreciate other cultures.

    There is cultural appropriation in costuming (the actual perversion/sexualization of costumes), but there is also appreciation. We need to stop being offended at everything and start doing about stuff that is ACTUALLY oppressive and dismissive of other cultures.

    • Ugh says:

      The irony of this is that the Lolita fashion and subculture is a Japanese take on Victorian-era British culture! So if we’re going to get up-in-arms about appropriation, it’s the Japanese who would be at fault. Yet I doubt you could easily find either a living-in-Britain British person or a living-in-Japan Japanese person who thinks there is a problem on either side.

      Stupid people will be stupid, I hope the craze of calling people out for “cultural appropriation” ends soon.

  25. Hey says:

    it bothers the fuck out of me when these CA tards use the term “white people” as an insult like it’s the worst thing you can be, and they use it frequently.
    I wonder if they realize that they are still being racist and hurting their cause…

  26. nigger says:

    As someone who gives some fucks about social justice I wholwholeheartedly agree about this subject, this is where I leave my friends because they are acting like fucking twats, cultural misappropriation as they ccall it has been a broken and bruised miscarriaged autistic horse that people still bitch about for no fucking reason, however when someone is told to shut the fuck up because they are acting like a fucking crackden full of baby lemurs it is insensitive and suppressing their right to express themselves.

    If someone can’t have a fucking part of an animal or share beliefs with someone because that person doesn’t like it why can’t I give someone legitimate advice by telling them to stop vomiting shit into my earholes.

  27. pavlosgats says:

    Greek people, we got common sense yo. Damn, if it wasn’t for us the world would be fucked. I think about a world without Greek people and I’m like damn, that’s fucked up.

  28. kw says:

    I love this post so much. I agree with it all. It’s so funny, because people want you to appreciate other cultures and be knowledgeable about them, but you can’t ever participate. Why should something as small as the color of your skin, or where you come from, determine whether you can like something or not. I just read an article complaining about white girls that belly dance. I can’t believe people think that’s “stealing” culture. To me, cultural appropriation would be if you tried to pass it off as your own.

    • Ugh says:

      Most foreign cultures I’ve had contact with are very welcoming. The people who complain are usually not members of the culture. They are distantly-removed descendants of the culture (i.e. they have “heritage” but have never even visited their “homeland”) or they’re third-party busybodies. IME most people are proud of their culture and enjoy sharing it with other people.

  29. Annienttnt says:

    ” Not all white people are bad”- said the black female whose parents CHOSE to come to this country. Tumblr is one of the places where I feel bad for the white people they hate but idolize in pretentious movies .-.

  30. I found your post to be cathartic. “Cultural Appropriation” is 98% bullshit. Sure, dressing up like a Shinto priest, wearing a war bonnet, or donning the Pope’s outfit is offensive, (and weird)–but for the rest people need to mind their own business–and I speak from experience. My wife is from South India, but I’m “just a white guy”; my kids should “qualify” to embrace Indian culture. My daughter, however, takes after me and doesn’t look a bit Indian, so guess what happens when she and I go out and she chooses to wear a bindi (dot)? The number of times I have been forced to explain to some sanctimonious stranger that my daughter’s mother is from India is depressing. And it doesn’t end there–my wife’s mother gave my mother some Indian fashions and she has to explain the whole story (again to strangers!) when she wears them. My blond-haired, blue-eyed niece received some silwar-kameez outfits which she looks very good in, but can she wear them without being bothered by strangers who assume that she is ignorant of her white priviledge or something?
    Bottom line, “Cultural Appropriation” states that a white person cannot wear something emblematic of a POC’s culture unless they’ve been “invited”. However, there is no way to find out if they’ve been invited except by butting in where it isn’t your business and asking. Most crybabies don’t bother to ask, they just assume the worst. That is why “Cultural Appropriate” is a misguided dogma.

    • Martyn Giles says:

      Stop explaining to complete strangers why you or your child is doing anything.
      Tell that stranger to fuck off. If they persist, hit them until they fuck off.
      People have no right to get in my face or act in an aggressive manor around my child or yours and these cultural appropriation arseholes always use aggression as their main tactic to try and intimidate you into compliance. Don’t be intimidated!

  31. Kawa says:

    I agree that there are some cultural items that should be hands off, no matter what – e.g. Native American headdresses. I also understand POC’s anger because here are white people wearing clothing or a hairstyle from there culture and are getting praised but simultaneously if POC were to wear that same item they would be mocked, disrespected or made fun of. So I get why they might not be jumping up and down at the chance to share their culture with the same people who disrespect them.

    BUT it also gets fucking ridiculous sometimes. Someone literally said my fiancé must be a self-hating Japanese for dating a white girl. Like what the actual fuck. And no I’m not going to stop wearing my yukata which was given to me from my Japanese host parents who were so excited to see me where it, who taught me the proper way to put it on and how to respect it. I don’t wear it as a costume, I wear it only to the appropriate places (summer matsuri) and I don’t make a big LOOK AT ME I AM SO SUGOI DESU spectacle when I do. I am not going to not participate respectfully in my future family’s culture just because I’m white. If I was being a complete weeb-assface about it then maybe. But I’m not. So stop telling me I’m racist and that my fiancé must subconsciously hate Japan and hate himself for falling in love with me.

  32. Rachel says:

    I think along the same basic lines as you. If we ever want to be seen as equal, then we have to allow ourselves to blend. When our culture becomes one big mess of traditions, food, dress, etc, then you won’t be able to tell one from another, and therefore won’t be able to hold one above another. I don’t see anything wrong with most forms of what others wold call appropriation, and I’m about as far left on the political scale as you can get without being a Vegan. What our culture is now is entirely due to appropriation. Everything we have is appropriated and it’s not just white ppl appropriating from people of color. Any person that spends time in another culture will adopt the culture they’re living in. To avoid that would to be avoid people around you. I do believe in social justice, and fight for it, but even I have my breaking points. I see the hypocrisy of those who scream out against appropriation when they complement my tattoos and gauged ears. I see it when they eat my yummy Japanese food or when they bop along to my hip hop Pandora station. These are the same people that, if I were to dred my hair or wear jewels on my head, would shame me for being racist and stealing their culture, but I just like it. I love the colorful Indian saris and the asian cuisine. I love my south pacific and aboriginal tattoos and piercings. I’m not trying to be like anyone, I’m just doing what makes me happy. If I were any color other than white, I wouldn’t be shamed for it. And yes, I understand that that sounds like I’m crying “racism!” But I’m not. I get why ppl get angry. When white people have held the culture capital forever, it’s easy to see every white person as insensitive, privileged, and ignorant of individual cultures. But I love those cultures, and I see so much beauty in them that I want to feel that in me. Besides, like you said, if we don’t appropriate, what kind of culture would exist in the white community? I don’t want to be boring vanilla. I want to ingest culture and enjoy the splendor of it all.

  33. Jaden says:

    Okay so I’m from a mixed family
    Half white and half Indian (as in my father’s family is from India). I don’t give a rat’s ass about all if this pc racist bullshit. You know which side of my family is racist? The Indian side. ..I love them but they are closed minded and racist. I’ve even had aunts and uncles say TO MY FACE that their kids have to marry full Indians. Please stop blaming ALL white people for every racist thing. My white mother wears saris and suits to please my Indian grandma but according to idiots addicted to being victims, she’s appropriating Indian culture.

    Furthermore, I play basketball, baseball, and hockey. All sports invented by white guys. Is half of me appropriating? I also notice a lot of black female opera singers…they’re good but aren’t they appropriating Italian culture ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY SING IN ITALIAN? Honestly I could go on but it’s a waste of energy to try to state the obvious to people who will never get it. Thanks for this article though. It gives me hope.

  34. Janine says:

    I am a blonde haired blue eyed woman married to a man whose family comes from India. We have two sons and they are going to do whatever the hell they want to when it comes to culture. People don’t own culture. ..and unless they directly came up with whatever cultural item they’re whining about they too are appropriators. I wear Indian clothes if I feel like it just like my in laws wear western clothes. There’s nothing better than seeing a guy wearing a turban and a hockey jersey or a a white person appropriately wearing Indian clothes. People just need to be divisive so thanks for writing this.

  35. Aimee says:

    Thank you for posting this article. Very tired of seeing 20-year-old girls of non-white cultures saying “WHERE WERE YOU WHEN MY ANCESTORS WERE SLAUGHTERED FOR THEIR TRADITIONAL DRESS?!?!?” And I’m sitting there like……. You weren’t even fucking born or THOUGHT OF yet.

  36. sr214 says:

    watch yourself and check your privilege. you’re overstepping. i dont know why you are trying to trivialise and diminish this?????

  37. Steve says:

    I’d like to comment. .. but I am a white Australian heterosexual male… and therefore nothing I think matters.

  38. sr214 says:

    y’all are deadass so dumb astaghfirullah

  39. Kyle says:

    Social justice people want to destroy society. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, as social justice is really just Communism when the speaker wants to make Communism sound like a good thing. If you don’t believe me, look at what the actual goals of social justice people are beyond just the vague, nice feeling of “equality”, which they don’t want, or else they wouldn’t be so bigoted and hateful, and admit that they want to punish whatever minority their delusions tell them are oppressing them. Then look at what Communists have wanted and always wanted. Oh, don’t look at their *results*. Look at what they *say*. Look at their theories, their speeches, their talks on culture, their talks on “equality”, wealth redistribution, oppression, etc. And then you’ll realize it’s exactly the same fucking thing, only social justice people usually greatly deemphasize class in favor of whatever demographic they can get benefit the most from/majority they hate the most.

    Communist have always wanted to destroy the society that they reside in, and when they succeed, they always set up a dystopian Hellhole and kill lots of people. Sometimes they try to kill lots of people even when they don’t succeed. The Communists in the 60’s wanted to and tried to assassinate American politicians. Look up that Vietnamese rapper who wrote a song called “Fuck Communism”, and now his Communist government wants him dead. Funny, that alll the pampered people living in Capitalist countries want Communism, whereas people living in Communist countries can’t stand it.

    You want to know why social justice “warriors” are so hateful, evil, vicious, and frothing at the mob of monsters? Because they are all children of Karl Marx. They are exactly the same as the followers of Mao Zedong, John Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, and all the other glorious Communist leaders who murdered their own people and killed circles around the other great leftist, socialist, progressive tyrant of the last century, Hitler.

    They are no different than the French Revolutionary peasants who dragged nobles to the guillotines and laughed as they cried and begged for mercy, and jeered as they slaughtered the nobles’ pets in front of them. They are no different from the black, South African who stabbed and beat to with rocks white anti-Apartheid activist Amy Biehl to death and stole her things, and then laughed when they heard that she cried out in pain.

    They even admit how they are alike. They love at talk about white genocide, the genocide of cisgenders, genocide of Christians, and how they WILL succeed someday. They’re even allowed to get away with it and say “it’s okay because we pretend to be victims”.

    They are a vicious pack of rabid dogs. They are no different than any other violent, racist, genocidal, fascist, leftist, Communist revolutionaries throughout history. It’s time people stop coddling and spoiling them.

  40. Natalie says:

    So does that mean that black people should wear kaftans instead of t-shirts?

  41. Bookworm Beauty says:

    Yeah either it’s land of the free or it’s not. America is a melting pot in which case cultures are going to melt together. What next? Kick me out of a sushi place because I am not Japanese?

    • Ugh says:

      Yes, you are culturally appropriating from the Japanese if you eat sashimi because everyone knows they invented raw fish. Please ignore the gravlax and carpaccio in the other corner, sir.

      (It’s almost as if we all originated from the same place, and we all had contact with other cultures as our own cultures evolved, and we all had similar resources to work with and challenges to overcome as we invented new things. If anyone suggests to you that something as basic as FOOD is cultural appropriation, give them a smack in the face for me please.)

  42. Sam says:

    EXACTLY! Stfu about appropriation UNLESS its something that hold significant meaning to a group of people. EXAMPLES: religious paraphernalia (bindi,burqa,cross,etc), something awarded for a good deed and therefore of earned and respected (head dress,etc), or something that is obviously stated to be only for a specific culture (like skin tone… So no blackface duh). NON EXAMPLES: hairstyles (yes, I’m taking dreads. This isn’t offensive or “appropriation” because dreads hold no fucking significant meaning to black culture), clothing with no significant emotion attached (lolita), and other shit that we ignore like food. If everyone stuck to their item cultures, we’d all be living in a Sylvia Plath novel and we’d be bored as hell. Exploration helps acceptance. So let’s use this for good eh? Instead of fighting! Btw: EVERYONE (YES EVEN THE SACRED POC) USES CULTURAL APPROPRIATION ALMOST EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! so of were gonna call out whites for merely doing something another culture invented , let’s call out POC too. (*cough, cough* I’m looking at you Brazilian weaves)

  43. Zosha B says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. I’ve often thought ‘cultural appropriation’ was often directed at policing women’s fashion choices rather than any desire to actually acknowledge racism or sexism.

  44. Pingback: Wednesday Link Up | The Colour of Pomegranates

  45. 1. Tumblr is full of angry young people who are currently being bullied for their culture and see it glorified on the people who hurt them or it
    2. Anger is not nice. So angry people aren’t going to be nice
    3. When you see someone wearing a symbol of your cul-

    wait a minute, you don’t have one. so I don’t expect you to understand the rage we feel when significant parts of our culture we are maliciously attacked for are taken from you by the attackers and turned into a fucking costume piece. don’t tell us how to feel. don’t tell us how to protect OUR cultures. do NOT police us!

    4. The desire to preserve sacred cultural artefacts/symbols represents self-love and importance. We simply don’t want another swastika situation going down. Just do your OWN shit, and leave OURS alone. Fucking white people have the world by the balls and y’all don’t wanna leave this shit for us. Not like y’all haven’t taken everything already. No one polices ANYONE’S fashion choices by being asked to. fucking. respect. sacred. ancient. oppressed. cultures.

    • Sam Fairless says:

      Guess you should stop celebrating Halloween then, cause my whitey Irish ancestors invented that shit, and yes, it was initially very sacred. It was a time to remember the dead and be thankful, a super somber holiday. But you know what? it doesn’t matter, because things change and cultures evolve. White skin does not equal “never oppressed ever so they can’t possibly understand.” The Irish were very oppressed for a long time in history and they were even enslaved. You know what they do now with leprechauns and rainbows and “kiss me I’m irish” crap every St. Patrick’s day? They get the fuck over it and enjoy the damn festivities.

    • Ugh says:

      Does it count as irony that I clicked through to your Tumblr and the most recent post was literally a gallery of twenty different European classical portraits? That’s not “your shit” Jasmin, and your inability to recognize European cultures is not the same as European cultures not existing.

  46. thank you, fro saying exactly what I think.Oh please do not forget other white people supporting this concept blindfolded, just cause they think they will look less rascist by doing so

  47. Ebonylove says:

    I love being white and I dont give a shit. If I had a time machine and I could go back and be anybody, I would be a white person. If i could change races every 4 years, I would choose white every time, not that I dont like other races, I just like being white. Its okay to hate the big dog on top, thats what people naturally do and they find any way or reason or word play or whine, bitch, moan they can find to do it. People are just jealous of ol whitey. Much love to muh peeps of color, keep it real son, with your corn rows, bumpity music, and saggin pants. Peace out homy. xD

    • Kdawg says:

      It’s dumb ass statements like that that everyone hates. `it’s OK to hate the big dog on top` the fact t ha t dumb ass white people believe that they are `on top` Is so ducking dumb and ignorant that I have no words. You Dott want to acknowledge an of the negative shot but want to constantly ppint out how `sulerior` your people are. You a fuming retard. Your nother on top of anything. Economy- no, brain power- laughably no, physical ability- no. The only thING whites have over anyone else is body fat.

  48. Lidielu says:

    Thank you for taking the time and using the energy to articulate something I have wished I could say for years now. I’m Native American and Italian Jew and I have been attacked often , basically for liking , wearing, eating, engaging in the things that speak to me bc my background doesn’t matter, the fact that I’m pasty as fuck apparently does. Anyway time to go eat sushi , not bc I genuinely like it but bc white privilege ! Yeah. This article really resonated with me.

  49. Anonymous says:

    What a garbage article.

  50. nk says:

    I personally feel so irked when i tell other Indian girls that the appropriation of bindi doesn’t bother me . But it is because I see the bindi as a dominant culture’s influence on every minority. It is a Hindu symbol worn by a lot of south asians who are not Hindu. But we aren’t told anything because in this case it is their authority over us. I also feel irked when sikhs look at a cap and say the are appropriating turban. As a a sikh myself I have seen other culture’s wear turban. As long as they are not impersonating the same turban as ours, it is not an issue. i think cultural appropriation rises due to low self confidence because of being called out for wearing your ethnic symbol. It is also an issue when a white person gets a go ahead for wearing the same thing that a poc gets called out for.
    But personally I am tired of being labelled as a bad person appropriation of my own culture doesn’t bother me. I have experienced people of my own culture treat me bad too. So maybe it is some sort of hate towards that. But i am genuinely not bothered by it.

  51. Sam Freer says:

    Amen! I couldn’t agree more. Finally someone has the balls to say it

  52. Terrence says:

    Good post, people need to stop playing the blame game and move on with their own choices, then take responsibility for them.

  53. Ali says:

    This is everything I have thought, felt and been unable to express. Thank you so much for posting this.

  54. zap says:

    This is the most retrograde concept I have ever seen.
    Futures are DESIGNED to be appropriated.
    It’s called soft power.

  55. brielopez says:

    THANK YOU. I am Puerto Rican and black, but over the course of my 19 years on this Earth I have become deeply interested in Buddhism. I meditate, do yoga, practice holistic healing (to an extent though), and have multiple tattoos related to the religion. One time someone accused me of cultural appropriation because I like Buddhist culture and what they believe in. It’s irritating because I don’t understand why SJWs can’t mind their own business and stop jumping to conclusions all the fucking time.

    • Ugh says:

      It’s their own form of religion/spirituality, except its core tenets are self-flagellation and flagellation of others. If they can root out every inch of impurity from their mind, body, language and culture, they’ll be good people and the world will be saved. 🙂 Unfortunately it’s a never-ending treadmill that does more harm than good, but you’ll never convince them of that.

  56. Heather.D. says:

    I love you. You have pretty much defined my whole view on this crap and I’m sick and tired of hearing angry fem argue about this topic…..

  57. riri724 says:

    And yet, here are several commenters using racial slurs while trying to prove they are not racist. I completely agree with this article. Unfortunately, society has not matured enough to handle discussions about race without making it personal. Everyone is offended by everything because we have nothing else to bitch about. Our lives are too damn good. I often compare racial “issues” in America to a spoiled, trust fund kid complaining about a tiny scratch on his new Mercedes. It is just something to occupy our time. I would rather enjoy life and all its beauty than criticize it through a biased scope. If it were possible, I would invite several of you to go back even one century, live life without a toilet or a damn microwave, and see how often you accuse others of some kind of cultural appropriation bullshit when you have real struggles to deal with.

  58. Kdawg says:

    You had an interresting point until you got to the part about, (oaraphrase) `even if their parents killed them so what? It was their parents not them`. I’m not a social justice faggot but your train of thought is way off. If a culture horribly destroys another an then basically mocks the destroyed culture, it has EVERYTHING to do with the fOlli wing generatons. The whole thing ababiut is being here is due to the fact that we till this day stand on the bones of the destroied. And for the next generation to say `don’t look at me I didn’t do it` is an ignorant statement that white Americans and Japanese people share in phrases. Ever hear of sins of the Father? I could go on and on but I feel that I’d e wasting my breath on a fool that has no common sense. Is such an obvious point and if you don’t see it, my explainging will not help.

    • Ugh says:

      Yes, I have heard of the sins of the father. MOST modern cultures recognize that the sins of the father ARE NOT the sins of the son. For example, it used to literally be that if your father racked up an enormous debt before his death, and the estate could not cover the balance, then his sons (or other next-of-kin) would be responsible for paying off the balance. This is no longer the case. “The sins of the father” went out of style around the same time as forcing raped daughters to marry their rapist.

      Besides that, yelling at white people for wearing dreads isn’t going to fix any lingering problems created as a result of black slavery (to use an example). Reparations, social programs, sure? But the complete segregation of “white culture” and “black culture” does nothing but set us back. Have YOU ever heard of “separate but equal”?

  59. This is so well written and I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m following your blog and sharing on Twitter. Great piece! 🙂

  60. culbia says:

    I am a German living in Scotland, and I can identify with this very well. TV uses Bavarian (!) traditional dress to mock *all* Germans, and TV in Germany uses the Kilt in the same way to ridicule a Scotsman.

    In the Royal Mile, Edinburgh`s most touristy street, you find shop after shop selling cheap kilts as a fashion item to women (incl. micro minis), next to red haired wigs with a traditional Scottish hat on top. All of this always looks cheap. Never been in Bavaria, but I bet they have the same shops there, because foreign tourists may want it.

  61. romasurprise says:

    Freaking bra-vo. I gave up on Tumblr because the attitudes were really just slightly horrible. I am what you’d call a mutt. I’m whiteish with a lot of German and English and everything in between, as well as part Roma. I was actually really excited to get on Tumblr and find other Roma because growing up all over the US and US bases in Germany, I didn’t really meet many others outside of my own family. Most Americans don’t know what Roma are and I’ve been told more than once that we’re “extinct.” Gypsy, while derogatory, is a term everyone’s familiar with and gets categorized as a stereotype that’s perfect for Halloween and Ren Fair. It’s annoying, it’s cliche, but it is what it is. Not gonna go chase down strangers and chastise them for what they’re wearing to an event that’s lighthearted and silly and really not meant to be taken for any historical seriousness.

    I was very quickly the unpopular kid at the table when I said I didn’t mind my non-Roma friends dressing up for such things, or that I’d even help them look more accurate. I don’t mind because it’s not meant to hurt and while I’m doing so, I’m taking time to teach them and answer questions and paint a picture outside of what you’d see in Disney representations. Fight for equality and teach about your culture and bring people in to include them, not say “you can’t wear my skirt or my scarf, it’s insulting!” It’s clothing. Borrowing things from other cultures has been the crux of human trade for centuries. It’s how we expand, learn, and explore. This whole mindset of “my side, your side” and being insulted by everything is far more segregating potentially damaging to people. I’d much rather people be curious and ask me odd questions about my family, my life, or my religion and be given the chance to teach rather than just assume everyone thinks we steal babies, bring disease, and other silly things. And if you wanna go through my closet and prance around in some of my favourite outfits? Let me help button the back up for you.

    Kushti bok~

  62. Cori says:

    Thank you for saying this. I’m “white” but I come from a Native American, Hispanic, African, and English family (we’re a melting pot) and I don’t know what people want from me anymore because I’m pale as a ghost with freckles and people see my Native American artifacts and automatically assume that I’m appropriating and have no idea of their significance. The same happens with the Hindu practices I carry out. I’ve done my research and understand everything that I have and/or do (and when I don’t understand, I ask someone so I’m not doing anything disrespectful) yet I’m afraid to wear a bindi out or wear my mala or get a certain tattoo because I’m tired of being bombarded by people who think I have no idea what I’m doing. They assume I’m appropriating “their” culture (because most of them are American born and follow none of their ancestrial traditions ironically enough) and want to tear me down instead of trying to educate me or explain why they think it’s wrong or asking me if I know it’s meaning. I’m sick of it

    • Powerful. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ugh says:

      This is another major problem with witch-hunting people for “appropriation” to be sure. You can never be 100% sure what someone’s background is just by looking at them. As people continue to migrate around the world and live in “melting pot” communities, there will INEVITABLY be more and more people who are of mixed-race, and it very quickly becomes difficult to pin down the exact heritage of a person — and why do you need to anyway, it’s none of your business!

  63. Since people commented on being Armenian, I have to say…despite all evidence of the genocide (and the fact that my ancestors were decapitated), I absolutely refuse to hold modern Turks responsible. It’s shitty that their government doesn’t acknowledge it, and the US government, that sucks. They’ve erased history. Regardless, there’s been cultural appropriation of Armenian identity by the Turks, and I’m sure vice versa, and my reaction is WHO FUCKING CARES. Modern Turks might not even believe the genocide happened because they were not educated on it. Am I going to hate them for that? No. What I’ll do is open my heart up to the lovely Turkish people I’ve met, and if I’m close to one I might bring it up if they’re interested, so we can have an OPEN and HONEST dialogue without acting like jerks and pointing fingers, when this modern lovely Turkish person had fuck all to do with the genocide. And by the way, Dick Dale could be said to have “Misappropriated” the Armenian/Turkish Miserlou song for his badass surfer rock rendition that served as intro theme to Pulp Fiction. You know what I say? It’s a killer tune. Thank you for that. Now you’ve brought the joy of the music to the masses who otherwise wouldn’t have heard the great song. Do I care that you haven’t stepped on a soapbox to educate people on Armenian or Turkish culture or the genocide? No. It’s just a song. You’re an artist. You reinterpret. That’s your job. And you did it well Dick.

  64. Silver Fang says:

    I understand some of the basic premise of cultural appropriation, such as disrespectfully using things that are sacred to other cultures, as evidenced by the headdresses and bindis being flashed around with no understanding of their sacred nature.

    However, as with many concepts, cultural appropriation can be taken way too far. Not a week ago, I saw a post on Tumblr that said that white people must never, ever post anything in kanji on their blogs, even if we had learned kanji in Japan or taken a lot of time to research it. It said only Japanese people or people of Japanese descent are allowed to post it.

    So how far should this go? Should only people of Japanese descent be able to have a love of anime/manga? Should only people of Italian descent be able to eat pizza?

    Pretty soon, it gets to the point where you can’t do or enjoy anything without worrying about offending someone.

    • Jenova says:

      I’m pretty certain my Japanese friends would be quite confused if I stopped using kanji to converse with them over Facebook. But omg I’m white, so I shouldn’t do it.


  65. notoftheregressiveleft says:

    Perhaps it’s because I’m not at all patriotic, or I’m an atheist, but I struggle to see why any idea is worthy of sacred status. I’m not even sure what “scared” means, in terms of aesthetic expressions. Culture is an idea, and all expressions of culture, are similarly ideas, and all ideas are the common property of the human race, and equally open to use, criticism or ridicule. Most people who are not assholes avoid ridiculing cultural expressions, unless they’re obviously harmful, but that’s a matter of courtesy, not rights.

    It’s also hard to take the accusation seriously when there are so many examples of cultural overlap; ideas that occurred multiple times in history, independent of each other. Examples might include “corn rows”, or tattooing, or piercing. How can anyone lay claim to aesthetic objects, that occur in many (or all) cultures? That aside, I always regarded art (and ideas generally) as one of the great bridging forces in human history. By exchanging culture, we learn more about each other, we become a multicultural society, that “melting” pot in which everyone benefits. It seems to me a backwards step if we’re going to start isolating people by cultural expression.

    The problem with accusations of appropriation, are that in most cases they have to be based on a presumption about the alleged appropriator’s intent. That individual may be actually honoring those cultural expressions, or they may be “entitled” to them by being a descendent. Yet few accusers bother to find out. And even if they aren’t, even if that individual has no “right”, and someone is offended by that, so what? You’re offended? There is no right not to be offended. Criticize other people’s obnoxious behavior, that’s a right, but no one gets to dictate another individual’s self expression merely because of “offense”.

    The other problem, is that so much of this discourse is Americocentric. It’s built on American experience, and specifically American experience of slavery. Too many people draw from this singular experience, a generality. In doing so, they tend to diminish, or dismiss, the historical and cultural experience of other places. The region of the Mediterranean has been exchanging cultural ideas for millennia, with input from Europe, Africa and Asia. None of those regions are a cultural homogenous whole, and the experience in these places is not the same experience as in the USA. Slavery, war, imperialism, the things that America regard as so formative, and so unique, are also part of the historical fabric of Europe and North Africa and the Middle East, going back to the bronze age. But the experiences there are different, and what American’s, even minority American’s consider as true of their culture, is not necessarily true of the rest of the world.

    And finally, and slightly tangentially, can we just dismiss the lie that POC can’t be bigoted, prejudiced and hateful. It’s true that they might be incapable of the (narrow, academic) definition of racism they use, but they most certainly have the same capacity as any other human being to be bigoted and hateful, and much of the SJW commentary on cultural appropriation is informed by nothing other than hate of anybody with “white skin”.

  66. Robin says:


  67. Ugh says:

    I am with you 100%. If something is considered sacred within the culture, be respectful. Don’t wear a clan tartan or a war bonnet or war medals or Maori tattoos or a coat of arms unless you have earned the right to wear it, whatever that means in the host culture.

    But people now take it WAY beyond this! White people are getting shit on for wearing dreadlocks (which originated in ancient Greece) and kimono (which is simply standard formal wear in Japan; the literal translation of the word is “a thing to wear”). Funny thing though, it’s never Rastafari or Nihonjin who complain, only people who have at best a tenuous connection to the culture they’ve decided has been victimized. (If you think you have a claim on Rasta culture because you’re African-American, or Japanese culture because you’re a sixth-generation Japanese-American, all I can say is… try taking a vacation there and see how much of a “native” you’re treated as!)

    ALL the criticism seems to come from misinformed American POCs who have no real understanding of ANY culture. Not the historical European cultures that they forget ever existed, not the modern-day cultures they live in, and not the cultures they’re trying to defend. The other day I read that some American POCs now believe three-strand braids to be cultural appropriation! If you have 1 or two large braids, it’s “squaw braids” and you are appropriating from native Americans. If you have many small braids, they belong to black culture. Never mind that people all around the world have been wearing three-strand braids for as long as we’ve had hair! That braid thing was the last straw for me. These people have long since jumped the shark.

  68. says:

    agreed! people are just looking for reasons to be get offended and complain. i don’t know what kind of weird world this tumblr activists want to live in. can you all imagine world where you can only wear items based in your culture? you can only listen to artist of same color as you? you can’t get inspired by different countries and cultures without being called thief? you can’t even speak different language than your parents because it’s not yours? i’m slavic and if i was like those “activists” i would scream from the rooftops that “you can’t wear flower crowns! it’s from my culture! you’re rasist! ban coachella! it’s cultural appropriation!” but i’m not doing it.. you know why? becasue it’s fucking stupid! if you like it, wear it! of course it would be nice if people knew background of things they are wearing but if they don’t they still look cute and if that makes them happy i’m cool with it. the only way i would find it problematic it would be if that person was anti-slav. i’m sorry for any mistakes. english isn’t my first language and i’m still learning.

  69. John Bay says:

    To be quite frank, I’ve seen certain degenerate journalism sources such as Vice stating using chopsticks in someone’s hair is a form of cultural appropriation in which I heavily disagree. Being Singaporean and Chinese, I’ve been raise in a melting pop of cultural fusion heavily inspired by Victorian values in addition to multiple cultures ranging from native Malaysian to American and to an extent, Japanese culture has made its way in Singapore’s media discourse as well. Realistically, cultural appropriation is a building block for cosmopolitan cities and ever since I came to Canada and studied in an art university, I’ve been constantly bombarded and indoctrinated by certain ideologies stating it’s wrong to adopt aboriginal designs, it’s wrong for a white person to embody oriental cultures. Progressive as they sound, they’re more or less being the opposite, more like- utterly regressive.

    In addition to all that jazz, what these silly white liberals fail to realize is that western civilization aren’t the only things that appropriate from the Chinese. Historically, the Japanese appropriate many things from the Chinese in the past, from Katanas derived from long swords created by the Tang Dynasty forge masters to Chopsticks and even Ramen (Shina Soba) that have a incredibly racist connotation of “The Consumption of China” when the Japanese were all about trying to make parts of China its property. Heck, without the Chinese, the Japanese would not even have a language to begin with, it is true when they say Japan is one of the largest representatives of Chinese Culture at best. So what can I really say? People are more keen on acting upon emotions, criminalizing imitation as a form of bigotry just because- I still stand by my word as an Immigrant, I really do not care if white people consume my culture and embody it in any way they please, and neither do I give a damn about aboriginal pasts, people who fondle the past will fine the future quite slippery. If inspiration and imitation is a form of thievery, then I am a proud criminal.

  70. You talk about the cultural appropriation nonsense as though it is the problem. It is not. It is just a symptom. The real problem is negative people construing all sorts of innocent things into something negative, getting all upset about the little monster they just created in their own minds, and then blaming some group that they hate for the mental pain they just created for themselves.

  71. Rory M Kennedy says:

    Man I don’t see how you can say your ancestors were not involved in genocide. Even if they were not physically in North America they were probably involved. Back in the day donating money to such efforts in North America and the Congo was considered philanthropy and a massive amount of wealth coming from Europe was raise for such efforts.

  72. BrigettaBarone says:

    I cannot find strong enough words to express my agreement.

    As I child I was enchanted by the Spanish language, so I taught myself to speak it fluently as a young adult. Now I guess I need to apologize to somebody? Also, mY favorite recipes are all Indian food. So, do I need to stop making dishes from other countries? What is more basic to a culture than the language and the food? (Hint; nothing.)

    I am not a religious person but I have religious ornaments from every major religion in my home. Guess I can keep the cross, even though I am not Christian and it’s the Buddhist stuff that appeals to me the most.

    I guess meditation is out, along with yoga. Better research Pilates to see if I am still allowed to do it without becoming a racist swine.

    WAIT! What if I get a comprehensive DNA test done? Do I get to pick from, say, the African American culture if I find a trace of AA in my DNA?

    BULLSHIT. There is a time and a place to call it how you see it, and I see some steaming BULLSHIT.

  73. IndigoX says:

    If it’s a cultural aspect, like mocasins, then it’s not really important. Mocasins are just shoes invented and typically worn by a certain group of people out of what materials they had locally. A Dutch person probably wouldn’t get mad if you wore clogs, and at least clogs have more cultural meaning than mocasins (i.e. Traditional attire and dances.) Now the Native American headdress is different because there is a cultural significance and meaning. It was reserved for tribe leaders only so unless you earned the title of chieftain of a Native American tribe, you probably shouldn’t be wearing it.

  74. Sara says:

    I’ve actually been tired of hearing the word culture appropriation as well. The main issue is the people who are offended are looking to get offended. They are not even from the culture that they claim is being appropriated. Here’s a good example. I am middle eastern and yeah, I wore a traditional middle eastern clothing. Instead of fucking asking me. A bunch of dipshits start leaving comments accusing me of appropriating my own culture. That’s how uneducated these people really are. White or not. They see all culture as a bad thing and most of these things that they claim are bring appropriated arent even “scared” or “meaningful” to the sense that it’s important and no one else can dare wear it or do it. Most of it is like for events, weddings, parties,etc Its not even anywhere close to it being such a viral thing that people of other backgrounds can’t touch.

  75. kid3t3rnity says:

    Um, it looks like you still give a shit. I don’t care about cultural appropriation in general. The staff wearing Chinese uniforms in Chinese restaurants, in America, might as well be wearing button up shirts and trousers. Cultural appropriation is also, in some ways, being open to other cultures. If traditional wear is used for something like porn, then that would make me upset. But foaming at the mouth? Then maybe you need to schedule with a therapist.

  76. Apollonia says:

    I completly agree with you on pretty much everything, the cultures should be shared and enjoyed as much as possible, this feels like kids who don’t want to share their toys, you just want to say “It’s still going to be yours but can I borrow it because I think it’s interesting and beautiful and I swear I won’t scratch it.” And the thing that actually annoys me the most is the “White people don’t have a culture” thing, nope white people in a all don’t have a culture but countries with white people in it do, I’m half greek half german, born in France. Greece, Germany and France have different cultures they are not the same kind of people, they don’t eat the same food, they don’t create the same kind of music, they don’t have the same traditional dances, they don’t have the same history, they have their own culture, and these cultures needs respect.
    About our greek ancestors my mom (which is the one who’s greek) told me the Ancient Greek were white and they became a little bit more tanned when the Greek from Crete came on the continent which are the ones with olive skin. Anyways that doesn’t matter my mother and her family consider themselves as white. I’m white, neither proud or ashamed of it, I’m proud of my Greek, German and French culture on the other hand.
    (Sorry for my english… Bad english from France not rare.)

  77. Renée says:

    People need to start focusing on the real issues that are occurring with people of different ethnicities and cultural background. There are Natives living in poverty on reserves that are rigged with drug and alcohol problems, as well as severe crime issues. There are Syrian families walking miles and for days with minimum food and water, trying to escape a war and to find home within another country (and ultimately keep being turned away). There are people being publicly executed in North Korea for being catholic. It sickens me that what with all of these REAL issues going on, the only thing people choose to complain about are white people wearing dreadlocks and getting tattoos of chinese characters. The whole idea of cultural appropriation is ridiculous, and is just absolute bullshit. If I wanna collect dreamcatchers, I’m going to fucking collect dreamcatchers. People need to stop being offended over nothing.

  78. NP says:

    I like what you wrote…. from a fellow half Greek.

  79. Kristen Norberg says:

    I really liked a lot of your points.

    I use a hair stick in my hair almost every day for 12 years since I was a kid, a couple of months ago I got flack for being inappropriate for putting a chopstick in my hair and how ignorant I am for doing so. Truthfully it’s better for your hair than elastic bands, it looks nice, and it’s part of my style. I love Asian culture . I never thought I would be disrespecting my Asian American friends for thinking their art is beautiful.

    Indian culture has the most beautiful fashion to me, I grew up loving the bright colors, silk, jewelry, and cosmetics popular in their culture. Does this “new” cultural appropriation movement mean that I can’t wear bangles, bindis, or a sari inspired maxi dress? I was a nanny for some beloved little angels, Ayush and Rhea for 5 years, they were from India, with beautiful parents, I grew very close to them all, and when I would wear their traditional outfits with the children while we were out I felt like I was making them feel like they could be who they are here in the USA. I felt like I was appreciating their culture, nothing ugly was intended.

    Am I supposed to hate my white self? Should I only use pilgrim inspired fashion because I’m a horrible white piece of garbage?

    Honestly you can’t judge someone of how they look even. My father is 100% Swedish, my mother is a mixture of many different ethnicities, including Lebanese, Native American, French, and Polynesian- who knows what else really?
    I am blonde with olive skin and hazel eyes, but because I’m white I can’t wear a feather in my hair either to represent Native American culture -OR NOT TO- maybe it’s just pretty?

    I’m so tired of this , I thought we were moving forward! I guess it’s just my “white privelege” talking ,
    But if we would just stop this stuff , this “ooh you’re the reason the world sucks $hii*” maybe we could focus on loving the other cultures and being united.

    Bottom line to all of the “people of color”

    We aren’t doing anything to hurt you or anyone, I think we are trying to make you all feel beautiful because we are , and sharing cultures and beauty standards etc. is a small but lovely way for us to unite.


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