Eternal panic response
Cultural Appreciation Is NOT Appropriation



Sent to inherhipstheresrevolutions:

So, I’ve been seeing you posting some pretty ignorant, racist, and culturally insensitive stuff about cultural appropriation. And I am pretty peeved by this.

Let’s take your interest in henna. While the plant and paste itself isn’t appropriation, it’s the designs that are in question. Henna is a very auspicious part of Hindu weddings. There are huge henna parties held for the bride and the girls in her family in which a henna artist adorns the bride in symbolic and historical designs on her arms and feet. A Hindu bride wearing henna symbolizes the love and strength she has in the marriage, the darker the henna, the deeper the love. So yeah, you are completely erasing the cultural significance of henna by saying that by wearing henna, you are expressing your femininity and spirituality or whatever. Henna is a very sacred part of Hindu weddings. Choosing to take henna in your full white privileged glory to represent your femininity and spirituality is pretty damn racist.

(I have no idea what your other anon is talking about. Henna is very culturally significant. Indian girls don’t just wear henna for the hell of wearing it. It’s got some deep meaning to it.)

Hear me now. All cultural appropriation is racist. Appropriation means taking an element of another culture, erasing the cultural significance behind it, altering it to fit your Western white standards, and wearing it as a crown of your individuality and uniqueness. This is a part of MY culture. Do me a favor and give this a read:

I, an Indian girl, feel oppressed by you appropriating henna. If I were to wear henna, people would tell me that America is for Americans. Your white privilege enables you to wear henna without having racist comments shot at you left and right. I find it very disrespectful that you are so oblivious of how much your white privilege plays into this.

Why do you feel compelled to pick and choose what parts of the South Asian culture to take and create a new meaning for? Look, someone even made a post about people like you!

And in all seriousness, it’s people like you along with cissexists that make me want to not associate with the feminist movement. Isn’t it a bit unnerving to you that so many people are raising their voices about this? The amount of white privilege abuse going on right now is unbelievable. I’m willing to talk to you more about this if you’ll realize that you cannot go out and take aspects of other people’s cultures, create new meanings behind them, and wear them as your own.

Another thing, when Indian “brides” wear henna or mehendi on their hands, we’re absolutely forgetting how many of them have no choice or agency when it comes to marriage, their sexuality, even the person they’re marrying. Here mehendi becomes a symbol of patriarchal expression (read possession of the feminine body), so it’s not *always* a celebration or a depiction of love. 

Mehendi is a cultural experience for us, as little girls we put it on when we attend weddings in the family, the room and space of this ritual is purely women-specific. Here, in these gaps between patriarchy’s omnipresent eye and the chromatic heteronormativity, this space becomes a medium for queer identities to express themselves, without the fear of being ‘discovered’ or ‘ridiculed’.

So when nice imperial peeps like this person mentioned here use mehendi, you’re erasing this shared-live-experience. You will never be *forced* to put mehendi without your will, it doesn’t become an oppressor to you. AND YES! This is all because of your ‘skin colour’. So no, you cannot express your femininity through mehendi without being a douchefucketty racist okay? okay. 

Karma is a BAMF. Jaded is a BAMF. HELL YEAH.

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