Cultural Appropriation is taboo in today’s world. You can’t do it and if you decide to do it, you will be called out for taking something that doesn’t belong to you. “White Privilege” accusations will rain down on you like the pigeon droppings that cover my backyard. God, I hate pigeons.
A white model in a field wearing moccasins and a headdress?
Bring on the shame.
Dressing your non-Asian child up as her Disney hero, Mulan?
What is wrong with you?
Justin Bieber wearing dreadlocks?
Tell ‘em Greta:
Even food is now considered that which must not be appropriated, as evidenced by two women from Oregon who opened a burrito truck after being inspired by a trip to Mexico. Yeah, that didn’t last long: “Oregon Burrito Shop Run by White Women Shuts down Amid Accusations of Cultural Appropriation.
Cultures and races are taking claim to what they believe to be theirs and theirs alone. And while there is a difference between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation, if you are the one being accused, you don’t get a say. We can argue till the cows come home about it, but, for sake of argument, let’s take the stance that Cultural Appropriation is wrong and we shouldn’t do it and we should speak up when seeing it carried out in society, because you shouldn’t take what doesn’t belong to you.
But a strange thing happens when you enter the realm of GENDER Appropriation, namely, all the “rules” suddenly change.
See, when it comes to GENDER Appropriation, women of all cultures and races are told to sit down and shut up, ‘cause THAT kind of appropriation is okay.
And this appropriation of gender is confusing to me for many reasons. And all of those reasons are because I am a woman.
See, gender appropriation reinforces stereotypes that females have worked for a long time to eradicate. It validates that to be “female,” one must wear lipstick and jewelry and paint one’s nails and speak in a soft voice and wear dresses and high heels. You know, “be a girl.”
What the hell? Isn’t that the VERY stereotype we women have fought to overcome?
Why do guys get to come in and change that?
I mean, we women have fought long and hard for equality in a man’s world. We burned our bras and left the secretary pool and rose up through the ranks, all the while declaring, “I am woman!” We have shattered glass ceilings and refused to “speak softly” and stood defiantly in our insistence that a man will not make our decisions or be in charge our bodies or tell us what to do.
But now, in the ultimate feat of male power, men can declare themselves women, just as if they had been born with a uterus, and we women can’t say boo about it without being labeled hateful.
WHAT THE WHAT?
The very notion of gender appropriation flies in the face of feminism. Good gravy--Estrogen Brigade…how are we okay with this?
But the insult doesn’t stop there.
See, even in the midst of living in a male world, we women still had one card to play: we can grow a human life inside our bodies. Yes, in a male dominated world there was still the knowledge that ONLY A WOMAN could give birth. No one could argue that, because, science. Take that, men!
Turns out, they DID take that. Men have taken over pregnancy, too.
OMG. STOP TAKING ALL OUR STUFF, GUYS.
Listen, you want to challenge gender norms, fine.
You want to challenge gender stereotypes, absolutely.
You want to challenge expression of gender by bending it? The fabulous legacy of David Bowie will show you how.
Be a feminine man. Have at it. God bless.
Just, please, don't appropriate our gender.
’Cause like the white model wearing a headdress from another culture, you guys are stealing our shit.
It belongs to us. We fought hard for this.
We love you, really, we do…
but go find your own thing.