No one has the slightest idea what is and isn’t cultural appropriation

Freddie DeBoer

The noble purpose of moral critiques is to try and inspire better behavior. The destructive purpose of moral critiques is to elevate the person making them in relation to those being critiqued – “you are bad and I am good and saying so gives me power over you.” Most of the time, I sincerely believe people are operating based on the first purpose, even when I disagree with them about what right behavior entails. But I have never encountered an argument about cultural appropriation that does not fall squarely in the second group. Not once.

Read this complaint (in Cosmopolitan, which is funny a number of levels) about how a Nepalese woman being inspired by other cultures for Victoria’s Secret is an act of shameful  cultural appropriation. Then let’s ask ourselves: what vision of better, alternative behavior does the writer suggest? If this is indeed cultural appropriation, what would righteous inspiration from other cultures look like? In other words, what would it take to get to a place where you don’t get the righteous satisfaction (and clicks) of finding other people below your moral standards, but where people are no longer guilty of the behavior you say is immoral?

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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1 Response to No one has the slightest idea what is and isn’t cultural appropriation

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