Sunday, November 1, 2015

On Appropriation: A Blatant Example

I love The Advocate, I still like them, but this...this was in bad taste.


The politically correct (PC) culture is strong and fierce these days, and it's necessary and important. However, I think appropriation is used so loosely these days, to the point where the PC culture is calling appropriation for just because somebody's wearing the costume, celebrating the holiday that's not of their culture, etc. when that alone doesn't make it appropriation. This is appropriation:

On their Facebook page, The Advocate used "Gay of the Dead" as their headline. So basically....

 - They reduced a sacred holiday into a silly meme. Where's the respect to the holiday?

- They clearly don't know what the holiday is about. The proof is that they posted this when it's not actually Día de los Muertos. That's on November 2. November 1 is where the people commemorate the children that lost their lives too soon. All they had to do was Google search it to know this. Doing that would show that they at least have some respect and sympathy for the culture. Evidently, they don't. Where's the respect to the culture?

- Chances are that nobody on their staff knows any Mexican people. If they did, they would have thought twice before doing this. Where's the respect to the people?

That's appropriation. Taking a culture that's not one's own, stripping away its meaning, and showing no respect to the people. What they could have and should have done was post about LGBT children who lost their lives too young, or make it about LGBT Mexicans celebrating their holiday. This meme will most likely be their only nod to the culture and holiday, and that's...that's not right. I was happy to see that ALL the comments, yes, ALL of the comments, in response to this on their page said that this was disrespectful, tacky, and in poor taste, even "wtf?" worthy. Do you agree?

6 comments:

  1. V. C., it's always appropriation or whatever until someone who is in a marginalized group wants to use the symbols too. Then it's free speech or "well, actually..." or art. They are excuses. It's I'm so over all of it. People seem to do what they want, when they want, when it benefits them.

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    1. With symbols, yes, because it's so easy to call it "free speech" and "art" and have a total disregard to what those symbols stand for. Día de los Muertos is the victim of this every year, and NOBODY cares, because ooh, the skulls are cool. It's just not right. Is it so hard to be respectful to a culture that's not your own? And I'm tired of people being like "I love the culture! But I could care less about the people of that culture. Fuck them."

      And just to be clear with what I meant, one example of something that people keep saying is appropriation when it's not is wearing henna. I've never known or met a single Indian person, on and offline, who finds it offensive when non-Indian people wear henna. PC culture keeps speaking for Indians in saying that it's appropriation/offensive, when Indians don't mind it. Wearing henna and you aren't Indian or from that culture is fine.

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  2. It was just last year that I educated myself about what Day of the Dead was all about, and I was really surprised at what a beautiful celebration of passed-on loved ones it is. People just don't have a clue about the sugar skulls being associated with it. They just think it looks cool, but they're just really quite clueless. Just the other day, I was at my brother's, and he has a new skull, and I asked him, "Do you know what Dia De Los Muertos is?" And he said no, so then I informed him. I think people are just totally ignorant of what it really is.

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    1. That's what annoys, confuses, and bothers me. How can people celebrate something that they know nothing about? It's okay to admire it and to think it's cool, but wouldn't you want to read up on the culture first before donning it? I mean, with that admiration should be a natural, genuine interest to want to learn, right? But most don't. They just take what's cool about the culture but do away with the reality of the world that it's a part of, and don't even think about the people, care less about their feelings. These days, there are just no excuses for this. At our fingertips, you can look up ANYTHING in seconds. This is no mystery or secret club, the history and everything is there for people to look up and know about before doing something ignorant. If want to still appropriate, the least they can do is take the five minutes or less to read up and educate themselves. It's not hard, and it really isn't asking for much.

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    2. I wonder if it just says something about the generation we live in. People are so into themselves that they don't stop to think, "Hmm! Maybe there is meaning and history behind subject a/b/c!" Folks are just brain-dead these days, and if something isn't spoon-fed to them, they assume it doesn't exist!

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