Is Cultural Sharing Out of Fashion?

A fashion show, sponsored by Victoria's Secret, has sparked a wave of objections in the Native American communities. In an article titled "Hey, Victoria's Secret: Cultural Appropriation Isn't Hot. It's Wrong," Chelsey Luger, a journalist originally from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, publicly scolded the retail chain for introducing a line inspired by African and Native American cultural dress.

 

It amazes me that with all the important Native-American issues: brutal policing and mass incarceration, reparations for land grabs and ethnic cleansing, educational policies, poverty, tribal sovereignty, mineral rights, etcetera, and the Native-American leaders are focusing so much energy on the "patent" rights to their former cultural dress. Is this some cynical version of "pick the battles you can win?" Jeez.

 

When this battle is won, what will actually be won for crying out loud. Do Native-Americans gain by preventing their culture from inspiring creative expression in other cultures? And going after the fashion industry? The fashion industry has an attention span of several weeks. They will be tired of this fashion sooner than Native Americans can organize against it.

 

My heritage is Irish. I constantly see mock-Irish culture, cuisine and clothing everywhere. Should I spend my time and energy to end it? Should I be small enough to feel undermined by it? Cultures are shared and constantly re-interpreted in other cultures and it has been this way throughout history. We share and "adapt" each other's cultural dress, lifestyle and cuisine. Would the Hispanic community gain by picketing Taco Bell for their mock-tacos or other Mexican restaurants that hand out mock-sombreros at birthday lunches?

 

Maybe it's time that Native American cultural leaders and journalists focus their attention on issues that actually make a difference in peoples lives and avoid the typical "window dressing" issues that tie up so much of our cultural narratives. 

Comments

The Burghal Hidage Added Dec 4, 2017 - 7:31pm
It is yet another instance of a demographic group being "represented" by some (usually) self-appointed advocate who presumes to speak on their behalf.
 
Brings to mind the flap that erupts periodically over the NFL's Washington Redskins.  To begin with in most parts of this country one has to put forth some real effort to first find a Native American. From that very limited pool it becomes even more difficult to find one who holds any strenuous objection to the use of the American Indian, or colloquially "Redskins", as a mascot for the franchise.
 
I live in close proximity to Notre Dame, where ironically there are relatively few Irish. Within the Irish American community there is likewise no strenuous objection to the use of the "Fighting Irish" as a mascot for the Notre Dame athletic program. Anyone who has ever attended an Irish Catholic wake can understand why. 
Newman Added Dec 6, 2017 - 1:25pm
I'm not sure if "Redskin" can be considered merely a cultural appropriation. For many years the word "Redskin" was used as a contemptuous and pejorative term. I can understand why the Native American community would have issues with a sports team using the name. My article was intended to support the freedom of cultural sharing. 
Jeff Michka Added Dec 6, 2017 - 3:16pm
Newman sez: My article was intended to support the freedom of cultural sharing. - Good article from that perspective.  Don't mind TBH, he's a rightist that doesn't like most save those that agree with him or praise him.  He's "clever," just ask him.
Ian Thorpe Added Dec 6, 2017 - 4:03pm
Burghal, I know what you mean. My wife's family are anglo Irish. Her cousin died recently and the funeral was something of a disappointment as there wasn't a proper fight so we had to make do with a very noisy verbal altercation between two women, one 70 the other 78. I guess they're getting a bit too far away from their Irish roots to fully observe the traditions..
Dino Manalis Added Dec 6, 2017 - 4:30pm
Multiculturalism is beautiful, it should bring us together, not divide us!
A. Jones Added Dec 6, 2017 - 8:18pm
In an article titled "Hey, Victoria's Secret: Cultural Appropriation Isn't Hot. It's Wrong," Chelsey Luger, a journalist originally from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, publicly scolded the retail chain for introducing a line inspired by African and Native American cultural dress.
 
Did Ms. Luger administer the scolding in her culturally native Sioux language of Lakota? Or did she culturally appropriate the white man's language and use English?
Billy Roper Added Dec 7, 2017 - 8:33am
It's not "cultural sharing". It's "cultural appropriation". For example, any race other than Whites using a written alphabet are practicing "cultural appropriation".
Jeffry Gilbert Added Dec 7, 2017 - 10:40am
any race other than Whites using a written alphabet
 
Not to pick nit Billy, How about Thai? Written alphabet with 44 consonants and 21 vowels. :)
 
 
The Burghal Hidage Added Dec 7, 2017 - 10:44am
Huh! I thought the sincerest form of flattery was imitation. No longer true? Horrors! Another illusion shattered.
 
Since the First Nation has been introduced into this thread perhaps we should be talking about continental appropriation. History is ugly. I get it. I no longer get excited when yet another individual or group "finds" something to get offended about. 
Tamara Wilhite Added Dec 8, 2017 - 5:21pm
The cultural appropriation mantra comes from people who don't realize how bigoted their demands are.
 
They are saying that you are morally obligated to dress, eat, speak and live in accordance to the stereotype the moral peacocks say you should.
 
I prefer living in a world where identity is your decision. Where I can (and actually do) discuss women's rights with an ex-Muslim atheist, eat Chinese food in a restaurant staffed with as many Mexicans as Asians, wear and act and believe as you choose.
 
The tyranny of liberal bullies acting in the name of various oppressed groups is that there is no limit. If they can monitor and punish you for wearing the wrong clothing, the wrong hair style, using the words they banned last week, there is nothing that is out of bounds.
 
These liberal bullies use the same "safety in conformity" mantra to exclude and abuse those who don't fit their narratives. For example, white guys can be conservative but various other groups (women, homosexuals, blacks) are supposed to be liberal. So per their identity politics, conservative women, blacks and homosexuals are considered traitors to the group and to be punished as such.

The Four Stages of Conservative Female Abuse
http://michellemalkin.com/2008/09/03/the-four-stages-of-conservative-female-abuse/
 
TLDR: We're handing over the moral authority to liberal bullies who say "live out the belief systems and stereotypes we give to you or you're worse than an unbeliever" down to shunning, shaming and threats of violence.
Jeff Michka Added Dec 9, 2017 - 7:40pm
Billy the Nazi sez: For example, any race other than Whites using a written alphabet are practicing "cultural appropriation".-Yeah, and Billy's NAZI state will take the alphabet back to Make the Alphabet Great AGAIN.
Jeff Michka Added Dec 9, 2017 - 7:42pm
Tamara Wilbwhite doesn't know the irony, given Billy the Nazi's statement the irony of: The cultural appropriation mantra comes from people who don't realize how bigoted their demands are.-Wow.  So Billy is a bigot, eh?
John Minehan Added Dec 11, 2017 - 7:45am
"My heritage is Irish. I constantly see mock-Irish culture, cuisine and clothing everywhere."
 
Irish CUISINE??!!
 
One hundred and one uses for the potato . . . .  
John Minehan Added Dec 11, 2017 - 8:03am
"My heritage is Irish. I constantly see mock-Irish culture, cuisine and clothing everywhere."
 
My father's people are from Scotland and my mother's from Ireland.  I am annoyed to hear a bag pipe band on St. Patrick's day playing Cock O The North/Heights of Dargai. 
(It would bother me as much at a Scots event to see a Pipe Band playing Ensign Keogh.)
 
The thing about those things is they commemorate events in those nation's respective histories that cost lives and injuries.