SEPARATE BUT EQUAL, AMIRITE?
Rant time! Ready?
This is what ticks me off about cultural appropriation flavor Sallies. There is nothing inherently bad about borrowing from other cultures! Those morons automatically assume everything that’s foreign is sacred. Or that everything that’s sacred should not be accessible to the curious. Or, worst of all, that everyone should just stick to their own culture and never reach out to anyone else’s. If you ask me, that’s plain wrong.
Sure this is just my opinion, but: I personally believe that as long as you show respect, that you’ve done research, that you’re open to learning more, and that you actually try to understand whatever foreign element you’re borrowing, there’s nothing wrong with showcasing it even if you don’t belong to that culture. Most sane people appreciate it when an outsider shows a rational interest in their culture and wants to share it with others.
True cultural “appropriation” (I wish people would use a less broad term— is “misappropriation” a word that exists?) is seeing something that looks exotic, slapping it onto yourself or your work and bandying it around with no actual knowledge or interest in what its cultural significance is.
I think I’ll use weeaboos as an example, as they’re perhaps the most well-known for being infamous culture-manglers at this moment in time. See an anime, find it mysterious and unique because it’s unfamiliar, and then… go around pretending they’re Japanese without knowing a single damn thing about Japan aside from a few pronouns.
Just as it’s not fair to lump in everyone who uses Japanese elements as inspiration in their works or personal style with the weebs, it isn’t fair to accuse someone using another culture’s elements of appropriation just because they’re using another culture. You have to step back and take off the SJ blinders.
I think the true path to equality is accepting other people’s cultures and creeds. Part of that is showing a healthy interest in other societies. And that’s not wrong in the least. End rant. P:
That all said and done, there does come a part where understanding that culture means that a person understands that the culture in question wishes to be left alone and not put up on display/incorporated.
All depends on the culture, what part of that culture, and for what reason.
Not to mention the feelings of the people from that culture towards whatever is being “borrowed.”