What’s the Difference Between Cultural Exchange and Cultural Appropriation?

I find this an interesting, and important, article; it should be compulsory reading for everyone, especially everyone with white privilege. In many ways this arguments the same views I have on cultural appropriation, only does it a lot more coherent than I could ever (despite the fact that there isn’t a single semicolon in there, but I’ll get over that.) I’d also contribute that white privilege is one of those things that often prevents the equality that the author purports is needed for cutlural exchange to happen, especially with its link to colonialism and neo-colonialism.

A further (recent) illustration on what cultural appropriation is would be Ms Mindy, who calls herself the “warrior princes” (who makes Xena roll over in her fictional grave, even though Xena herself engaged in her share of appropriation), but then the Maasai version – despite being white, middle class, American, and very very privileged. Some comments on that here:

Kachipande, Sitinga. Mindy’s Masai Mara adventure is an insult to us all. The Guardian 2013-09-19. Retrieved 2013-10-18

The #Bullshit Files: Mindy Budgor, ‘the first female Maasai warrior’. Africa is a Country (2013-09-15). Retrieved 2013-10-18

Voices from Maasai Women: thoughts on Mindy Bugdor’s ‘Warrior Princess’. TMS Ruge (2013-09-13). Retrieved 2013-10-18

Unsettling America

Courtesy of Elephant Journal(Related: “Cultural Appreciation or Cultural Appropriation?” and “Wanting To Be Indian“)

Jarune Uwujaren explains that there needs to be some element of mutual understanding, equality, and respect for it to be a true exchange.

From The Good Men Project

Cultural appropriation is a term that isn’t often heard in daily conversation, which means it’s inevitably misunderstood by those who feel attacked by feminists, sociologically-informed bloggers, and others who use the term.

Many a white person sporting dreadlocks or a bindi online has taken cultural appropriation to mean the policing of what white people can or can’t wear and enjoy.

Having considered their fashion choices a form of personal expression, some may feel unfairly targeted for simply dressing and acting in a way that feels comfortable for them.

The same can be said for those who find criticisms of the Harlem Shake meme and whatever it is Miley Cyrus did…

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