Cultural Appreciation, Lets preach it.

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With many of our previous post and media attention around cultural appropriation, its all about what we can’t do. Hoping to educate and inform people about the issue and in return be respected and understood, there instead has been a back lash of complaints and brash comments of “well we might as wear nothing cause you’ll always be offending someone”. And hey its hard to be told what you’re doing is wrong. No one likes being told the faults.

So its no surprise the attempt to educate others about cultural appropriation hasn’t be received with open arms. Instead we’ve decided instead of cultural appropriation we’re here to tell you how to appreciate all cultures with out the implications of appropriation. However remember that sometimes whether its cultural appropriation or appreciation is contextual, assess the situation with common sense. We’re only hoping to act as a helpful guideline (and even then we’re not always right).

Cultural appreciation is what it is. An appreciation of a culture, an act that does so in a truly respectful way. Often this can be seen in an act of cultural exchange, as Jarune Uwujaren (2013) describes it “an exchange” must be a mutual act of sharing (more than just a “here’s my culture, let me have some of yours”). Unlike cultural appropriation which only sees a dominate culture taking aspects of a minority.

So how can we appreciate a culture? 
– Do your research! Really go and find an understanding about the culture, understand the history behind the item which you’re thinking about wearing. Find the purpose of it and ultimately is up to you to take an educated step to decide if its appropriate to continue with your act.

– Other avenues! There are always other ways to appreciate a culture other than just by wearing their clothes. If people of that culture are adamant that you don’t do so then be respectful. Instead ask them how can I learn more about it? How can I truly immerse myself and appreciate your culture without being offensive? More often then not they’d be happy to share with you! Showing an interest is always awesome.

When is it appreciation and not appropriation?
– Immerse yourself! If a friend or someone invites you to participate, do so! They’re inviting you to a cultural immersion and exchange. I’ve seen friends go to Indian weddings wearing Saris as requested by the family. And there was nothing wrong with that. They did so with respect. Understood the situation to be appropriate, an act of celebration. They we’re invited, found the correct and respectful outfits and most of all both parties had fun!

These aren’t much to go off on but they’re a great way to appreciate culture in a way that doesn’t cross the boundaries of appropriation. But remember we can not speak for a culture as a whole and there will always be people who may not be as eager to share, or even see this as being too sensitive. To that we can only suggest a bit of common sense. Back off if you need to. Best of luck!

R.C.W – Stopping Cultural Appropriation

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Uwujaren, J (2013). “The Difference Between Cultural Exchange and Cultural Appropriation”, Everyday Feminism. (x)  

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3 thoughts on “Cultural Appreciation, Lets preach it.

  1. celebratedifferencenow October 29, 2015 / 12:04 am

    We love reading things like this! Such an important issue, and addressed in a way that is easily understood and relevant to the here and now. Just in time for Halloween! SE

    Liked by 1 person

    • stopthecult October 29, 2015 / 12:53 am

      Thanks for your comment! It is such an important issue and we hope we can preach appreciation as opposed to appropriation!

      R.C.W

      Like

  2. STFilmmaker December 23, 2016 / 9:50 am

    Wow you all just don’t get it do you? No matter what you do to stop cultural appropriation you are still doing it. Look at the clothes your wearing. Silk, originated from Asia, that means anytime you are gonna spice up your sex life in the bedroom by wearing silk clothes, you’re stealing from China and India’s culture. Wool, originated from Iran, you’re stealing from Muslims congratulations. Cotton, where do I begin with this, you’re wearing the same clothes that slaves have broken their backs extracting the very cotton that still goes into those shirt. So not only are you appropriating culture by wearing that, you’re also encouraging slavery when you go to a store and say “Is this 100% cotton?” But let’s say you figured that one out and decided “You know fuck it I’m gonna get nude. It’s not appropriation if you got nothing on.” If one were to do that, even if there was no way to associate it with appropriation. Social Justice Freaks are just gonna use another tactic and say you’re a rapist. And that’s just clothes alone. You want to know what real cultural appropriation is? When you paint your skin a different color to mock a race that’s not your own. When you decide to adhere to the stereotypes of your own race, along with the race you plan on mocking. Why should Anita Sarkeesian get a free pass when she herself is appropriating the cultures in her ordinary women videos by doing the very things she and the other SJWs have accused others of being. Either practice what you preach or do what you tumblr freaks have stopped doing ever since this shit became a thing: Use your brain.

    Like

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