i also posted that picture of me on facebook and someone commented on it that i look like a hobbit
glad to see it’s not just tumblr that thinks...
tears off my clothes and runs down the street screaming “STARFLEET WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT SAVING WHALES”
Today I found out both that a) gyzym has written rule 63 good omens fanfic where crowley is a bitter activist lesbian and b) irisbleufic actually...
oh god the first reboot movie is on tv and i’m watching it with my parents and we just watched the new movie this afternoon so naturally i’m fucking...
I really wanted to post something clever about appropriation and paganism but I have several issues that keep me from from doing so. The following list is something that’s been sitting on my mind. Ideas that fluttered through my skull and I feel the need to say them. I’d also like to say, this is based on appropriation in America because that’s where I am. Also, I’m as white as white can be - no, really. If still interested, keep reading. I’m also not defending appropriation. I’m really not. If I am - and you’ve read the whole bloody thing - call me out on it.
First off, I’d like to say that I’m an anthropologist - I study cultures. I’m not saying I know everything (shit, I wouldn’t say I know anything, at all, ever) and I’m not saying I’m the wisest bitch around, but I know enough to know I don’t know. That being said, I’ve still be taught to study other cultures as well as their spiritual beliefs. I’ve done a lot of studying, a lot of research over the years and once or twice been accused of appropriating. Really? Studying for my finals is appropriating? Holy fucking shit, how did this happen and why wasn’t I informed? It is really my fault that I’m taking four classes that are teaching the same subject, the same topic, at the same time? Or that all of their research is based on one of my professor’s work? Are you kidding? Seriously, are you fucking kidding? Appropriating is not the fucking same as studying. Just because someone asks about your spiritual beliefs or cultures doesn’t mean they want join in. Maybe they just want to know what it is that you’re doing.
Continuing on that note, converting is also not the same as appropriating. I’m just throwing out an arbitrary number that might actually be correct, but isn’t half of the world’s religions based on converting people? If a person is converting to a religion - then back off. It’s converting. Not appropriation.
Further onto that point: some gods and goddesses pick people. Who know why? Sometimes that person is not from their culture or spiritual background. First thing ask yourself, has this person has well in truly done through the checks to make sure they are not 1) crazy 2) medically ill 3) a juvenile trying to get attention 4) not appropriating in any other way 5) not on some type of drug (prescription or otherwise), drinking, or had some really funny tasting food 6) they have not tried to get in touch with these gods or goddesses in any way (or in more than just a single ritual) 7) has had these long-term communication with said god or goddesses and it wasn’t a one-time thing. If this person is really getting communications from a god or goddess that is not from their cultural background leave it the fuck alone. Distressing someone that has been chosen to commune with a god or goddess is not your concern and don’t make it be yours. Unless that same god/goddess is working with you and said, “hey, that guy’s a lying sack of shit. Stop him” leave it alone. If the person really is lying, have no worries. Someone, somewhere will be able to call them out on it. Or the god/goddess will strike them down. One or the other.
To be added is this: People are accepted and adopted into foreign cultures. It isn’t common. Shit, it’s beyond rare, but it does happen. Jumping down someone’s throat right at the get-go can land you in a world of trouble because you might be talking to someone who was adopted or raised by that culture. If they were, who are we to say: “Well, you were raised among this African village for the first eighteen years of your life but your parents are English, so stop appropriating.”
Exploring a personal background and one’s ancestors would be helpful it one knew who your ancestors were. Let’s be honest, many Euro-centric folks have no idea where their roots lie. They might be French, they think their great aunt was German. If no one keeps records - or, gods forbid, you have no family - how are you suppose to know?
How far back and to what extent is appropriation versus actual heritage? I think I can trace my father’s line back to the Iroquois, Newfoundland, and eventually Wales. My mother? German and French, I think. As far as either of them know. Where do I stop? Should I start contacting people with shared last names and find out what their spiritual beliefs are? Or try to figure out where my ancestors might be from, if I can find anyone who knows anything? Where do I start? Should I just jump back and go, well, I guess I this is relevant because this sect of witchcraft is German and I’m partially German, good to go? No? Explain to me what I should do.
Now, let’s go on to what appropriating means. Late in the 14th century, it first appeared and meant “taking (something) as private property,” from L.L. appropriationem (nom. appropriatio) “a making one’s own,” noun of action from pp. stem of appropriare” (see: etymologyonline.com - I’m not able to access the Oxford English Dictionary but I’d be interested in seeing what it said on the subject.) Okay, well, making one’s own doesn’t sound too bad. Everyone interrupts their religion a bit differently right? Well, what everyone’s talking about it cultural appropriation. Ah, well, that’s a little different. Cultural appropriation “is the borrowing, or theft, of an element of cultural expression of one group by another.” (Wikipedia, which is not a scholarly source I know but for this post, it’s good enough). Cultural appropriation is when one group looks at what another group’s doing and goes, “hey, that’s fucking cool. I don’t give a shit that you’ve been doing it for 1000 years, we’re taking it now, k? kthxbye”.
That being said, you might ask yourself. Well, I’m only one person. Wrong. It’s still appropriation. Well I’m just taking this one element from a culture and basing or adding loosely to my practice, is somewhat appropriation? Yes. Is it really that bad? Yes - especially if you’re claiming it as 1) entirely your own 2) that culture which you do not belong to. If you say, “well, I do XYZ because I really like the idea that this South American tribe has but instead of what they do I do ABC.” Still appropriation. All of this I am not disagreeing with.
What I am disagreeing with it to what extent we police this. There is going going to be appropriation in America and in the rest of the world. Ta-da, you’re using the fucking internet. Futher more, America is a melting pot. Everybody’s here. It’s not Iceland or Japan where the countries are isolated, most people are Icelandic or Japanese, and they’ve been doing pretty much the same thing for the last thousand years or so until recently. America - save for the First Nations and First People whom I am not even going to try to discuss here - has been collecting and melding together. There’s going to be appropriation. There’s has to be. It’s fucking America. Land of appropriation, oppression, and the destruction of individual cultures. But, keep in mind, that America has it’s own culture, we’re just getting around to it. Culture takes a long time to develop, especially spiritual cultures.
Now, as a recap - taking a goddess from a South American pantheon without any connection to that South American culture (nor being called upon by that goddess) and doing your best to assimilate to her rituals? Appropriation. Exploring the Celtic and Norse tradition because you’re Irish-Swedish and you just don’t know? Not appropriation. Wearing feathers in your hair because your want to connect to your inner Algonquin? Appropriation (and fucking wrong). Wearing a feather in your hair because your spirit guide left it as a gift and you want to honor him/her/it? Not appropriation.
So chill. I’m not agreeing with appropriation at all - that doesn’t fucking mean people shouldn’t explore and learn. Jumping down people’s throats with the chant of appropriation isn’t helping your case. Calmly explaining yourself and your opinions does. I know I appreciate it a lot more when people tell me to go fuck myself politely rather than shouting it.
And now, for the hate mail!
I’m bringing this back. This was written as a response to a now long-lost post. There’s some things I would tweak with this, the wording is a bit off but I’d rather reblog it as the original and clarify upon request.
Just as a reminder: Cultural appropriation is wrong. End of fucking story.
I also want to bring up the difference between appropriation and misappropriation. If you have permission from a valid figure of authority, and have been taught or instructed by a similar figure of authority so you won’t mess anything up, or do anything really insulting; that is cultural appropriation, but it’s the lesser of two evils. It’s certainly not as bad as just starting to do something without research or training, or permission.
And as someone who has been approached by gods and spirits from different cultures, all because I have a a particular talent that’s of use to them, let me just say, you can’t help who starts talking to you. Sure I could have ignored any or all of the these entities who came knocking, but that’s 1) rude and 2) not in my nature. So back off if you can’t prove my statement of being approached first false.
RAR. I’m going to go to work and fix computers now.
I love how articulate the OP was with this, and I agree with rebootthememe on appropriation vs misappropriation.
Please read the entirety of these posts before replying.
There’s no such thing as any of this, since all cultures are and will forever be influenced and morphed by other cultures. It has been this way since mankind’s beginnings, so stop being bored on Tumblr and go fucking do something with yourselves
Oh hi. You don’t think that there’s such a thing as appropriation? Really?
White girls with Anglo heritage from Boston can totally wore war bonnets traditionally worn by Plain Native Americans men of great distinction? Or war paint worn by warriors during battle? Despite the fact that we are still to this day selling land that is held sacred by these very same tribes?
So it’s totally cool that a white dude from Milwaukee can break into a Hoodoo ceremony and say he has every right to be there? Despite not practicing the religion at all? Or having the cultural background? Or the necessary training required? Or being invited to this closed religion?
Anna can totes be a gypsy if she wants to. They’re just nomads right? And do magic, tell Tarot, dance, and dress salaciously? They don’t exist any more right? Wrong. The Rromani people live all over the world and were just this month kicked out of France. They are victims of the Holocaust. The Olympics committee moved an entire neighborhood of Rroma people for the stadiums to be built without a care to the petitions for the Rroma to keep their homes. The Rroma people want exactly what we want - be be accepted and live without racism. They became nomads because they were forced to. Gypsy, by the way, is a racial slur. And the Rroma people aren’t the ones you see on TLC. The Rroma people have spoken out against that. Most Rroma are dressed in layers, many wear headscarves, and don’t tell Tarot or do magic. But Anna doesn’t care but she want to be gypsy~ and live wild and free~.
And everybody loves Bob from England who watches tons of anime and visited Japan once for a week and decided now and forever that he is a onmiyoji and has the power to call shikigami into existence even though onmiyoji is a dying practice and was pretty much only used in a historical context?
That’s all totally cool right?
Stop your white-washing bullshit. That’s what you’re doing. You’re saying everything the same. You’re saying that none of the history that has brought us to this very point of me scolding you for being a fuckwit matters? Slavery didn’t matter? The genocide didn’t matter? Fuck you and fuck that. That’s racism you’re spouting right there. Racism. Everyone should just be the same~. No.
People matter. History matters. Cultures do change and adapt but the traditions are there too. Just because change is happening doesn’t mean we have to let go of the past.
I do believe you need to go out and find yourself some reality. Because there’s a lot of bullshit in the world and people are still get shit on and killed for their racial history and culture.
I think its time to stop arguing. Crown is an anthropologist. Crown knows what Crown is talking about.