Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I felt a sense of deja vu reading the blog discussions of cultural misappropriation,

and I've finally realized why; I'd heard the same arguments from one of my brothers:

He: It's not their ritual; they have no right to it. It can't possibly have the same meaning for them.

Me: They draw their own meaning from it. And anyway, what skin is it off your nose? It doesn't affect your use of it.

He: But it does! It distorts the whole concept, makes it meaningless!

The only difference is that my brother was referring to gay marriage.

1 comment:

Steve Caldwell said...


Your brother is ignoring the differences in power and privilege for those who are gay and those who are straight in our society.

If our society were one where heterosexuals were a marginalized and excluded minority and homosexuals were the dominant group, this "gay cultural misappropriation" argument would have some merit.

That would be my answer to your brother's objections.

A lot of this comes back to who is empowered and who isn't empowered by the culture and structures of society.