Feminist Disney, Cultural Appropriation: Beginner's Guide
Cultural Appropriation: Beginner’s Guide

So is there a “privileged dummy’s guide to cultural appropriation” out there that helps me start from square one? Because I don’t understand the big deal, but I want to.


hm… good question.   I’ll give you a list of several sites about it but most sites tend to focus on whatever cultural appropriation their site owner is most familiar with- therefore it is hard to find one that is all encompassing.

A good rule of thumb though if you don’t have google on hand or whatever is just asking yourself basic questions about what it is you’re seeing, or doing, that could be appropriative.

  • Is it a religious or ceremonial item not intended for outsiders? (ex: warbonnet)
  • Is it something that misrepresents the original culture and wearing/using/participating in it would further this misconception? (ex: South of the Border costume college parties)
  • Does the original culture find it acceptable for others to use/participate in this thing, or have they asked for it not to occur? (ex. of accepted item: german dirndl)
  • Is your perception of a cultural idea rooted in a deeper cultural conflict/misperception based on you not being a part of that culture? (ex: white people often talk about rap music as if it was never truly/very insightful or about anything other than “bling and hos” until Eminem [a white rapper] came along and made it personal and about his struggles.  This concept says less about actual rap and more about how the speaker has internalized racial conflict and racism)

Good websites to check out:

-the famous article by Peggy McIntosh, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack

-What is Cultural Appropriation?  commentary on The Angry Black Woman site

-Cultural appropriation bingo (shown below).   I think this one is pretty helpful because even if it won’t tell you what is wrong in a specific instance, it does indicate that if any of these are your response, you should be taking a second look into the subject.   I got this off of Native Appropriations

-one of my favorites, mycultureisnotatrend

-Although I haven’t had time to read it all, this is an article on “Appropriate Cultural Appropriation” (in writing, it seems) that seems to match up pretty well with my thoughts on it

-Another site I didn’t have time to read all the way through but seems relevant to your query is this site’s Defining and Identifying Cultural Appropriation

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    it’s also important to consider that if you participate in a part of a culture that accepts you doing that, you should...
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