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Monday, December 16, 2019

It's Miscellaneous Monday Musings: On "Cultural Appropriation"

Hey Hillary, is wearing a kimono
style coat cultural appropriation?
I was eating at a Chinese restaurant with my daughter and her family last week. I asked for chopsticks. Then a thought hit me -- Am I guilty of "cultural appropriation?" Do liberals ask for chopsticks at Chinese restaurants is that culturally insensitive?

Wait a minute!

Do liberals even eat at Chinese restaurants? Isn't eating Chinese food (or Mexican or Thai or Italian or French, etc.) cultural appropriation unless you happen to come from that particular cultural background? Shouldn't Americans be restricted to eating American food and maybe the food of their cultural heritage?

Is it okay to drink French wines? Or Australian if you aren't French or Australian? (Thank God Virginia makes good wines!)

Since I come from a primarily German and Irish background is it okay for me to eat sauerbraten and shepherds pie and drink German beer and Irish coffee, but tacos and enchiladas and margaritas along with moo goo gai pan, chop suey, and rice wine are off the menu?

Am I allowed to go to foreign movies with English subtitles?

If I could afford a Christian Dior gown, would I be allowed to wear one? I'm not French. Are Americans restricted to clothing designed by Americans for Americans? Is it okay for Chinese people to wear Levis?

I collect dolls -- something I started when I was twelve years old. I have an entire shelf of Indian dolls and three shelves of oriental dolls. Is that cultural appropriation? If it's wrong for a little American girl to dress up for a geisha tea party, is it wrong for me to own a geisha doll? Is it okay for Hillary Clinton to don a kimono type floral coat?

I don't fly much, but am I allowed to use Singapore Airlines or British Airways or Aer Lingus? (I guess I can fly Aer Lingus since I'm half Irish.)

Wait a minute! Is it cultural appropriation to even visit a foreign country and speak their language unless it your country of origin? If I speak the language really badly am I insulting them?

Somebody please help me. I don't want to be called a racist for inadvertently disobeying the rules of cultural appropriation.

I looked up the definition and found this:
Cultural appropriation:
the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.
"His dreadlocks were widely criticized as another example of cultural appropriation."
Gosh! What other hairstyles are off limits? Can my granddaughters wear "french" braids? When I had long hair in my young days I used to wear it in a "french twist" occasionally. Was that a sin in the eyes of the cultural appropriation police?

One last it cultural appropriation for rock stars, entertainers, and artists to mock Christian symbols and use them in "unacknowledged and inappropriate" ways?  Is immersing a crucifix in urine or covering a portrait of the Virgin Mary in elephant dung "cultural appropriation" against Catholics?

Really? Can anyone out there give me an answer? Anyone? Anyone?