"MSmittyThis article was too politico-academic for my likes.
The arguments against cultural appropriation reflect an insecurity amongst native people. Head-dresses in of themselves are symbolic of anachronistic clan-based societies and military chiefdoms. The "Big Man" wore the biggest head-dress. Not much different than any other clan-based society to be honest. It is not an insult, it is what it is. Us Anglo-Saxons came from a long line of filthy barbarians who never bathed or shaved but made good steel. Our barbarian "big man" also wore the biggest hat. We changed along the way...
In any case, aboriginals do not own a right to use feathers as fashion accessories. So suck it up on that one.
Her argument that indigenous women are 'hyper-sexualized" was nonsense. The "vanishing Indian" myth had little to do with sexuality, though one of its more ironic and interesting stories did involve a woman, in the Eastern US. The "Indian Princess" I will concede. However, every culture has its own sexualized feminine ideal. Seriously, the naughty nurse, the sexy librarian, the cheerleader, the geisha, etc. Her argument that this somehow puts women in danger is specious and actually insulting to the intelligence of those of us who know about the violence FN women can face and know it generally starts at home on the rez!
I can deal with saying this was "not OK", or "inappropriate". However, I think we would be wise to save the word "racist" for those moments where the racism is all there.
Being insensitive is not racism. Racism requires more than cultural appropriation. It requires hatred. Mere ignorant stereotypes which do not promote hatred and are without malice are not racist. It cheapens the word to call them racist."
Why the 'Cowboys-and-Indians' photo is not OK - Aboriginal - CBC:
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