Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Well, technically it's the day after Halloween (and the start of my birthday month!), but this message will work for whenever.

Halloween is a fun time of year when you get to dress up as somebody/something else, party, and get free candy. However, it's rife with sexism, slut-shaming, racism, and culture appropriation.
Let's start with the racism and cultural appropriation.

Despite the obvious racial issues with the third costume, these are all guilty of racism and cultural appropriation. Native American head dresses nowadays are cool, hipster, and iconic-- of Lana Del Rey. However, they're very important, and not to be worn by the average Joe. They're reserved for the most powerful and influential tribe members. 
The problems with Native American costumes: We're erasing their culture and taking an important show of bravery away, so that we can be so cool. Then again, we're really good at erasing Native American history. I mean, open up a US History book. We're constantly moving them off of their holy land, massacring them when they don't obey us, and robbing them of everything they own. 
And don't you dare give me the "Well, I'm 1/64th Native American, so it's OK." You can't speak for all of one culture when you are one person. And, if you really are Native American, you should have more respect for your culture, history, and ancestors than to tout an important part of their lives so you can look like Lana. You are also not "borrowing" their culture. Why? Well, let's say that you are Christian. I take a very important cross necklace that your grandmother gave to you. But I'm just "borrowing" your culture. Even if I have no respect for it (I do respect all religions, by the way), it means something to you. 
Now onto the classic definition of racism: African American culture. Afro wigs are not appropriate to be wearing. You are taking a beautiful, confident woman that chooses to wear her natural hair, and turning it into a mockery. Dreadlocks, too. Since, you know, all "proper" stoner/70's/hippie outfits have either an afro or dreadlocks. So, essentially, you're taking natural hair, turning it into a great big joke, while adding a stigma.
To put it into layman's terms, imagine that I put on a blonde wig. I begin to act ditzy, self-centered, and shallow. You know, because all blondes are dumb and shallow. Oh, wait? I'm being unfair? Sorry, it's just a costume!
I shouldn't even have to talk about parodying people of color. It's not acceptable to be Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, or anybody else. You're parodying an entire culture. Yes, you're incredibly witty (dripping sarcasm, of course) when you dress up as Diana Ross and begin to scream at the top of your lungs, and get over-emotional about some things. Oh wait, you're not. You're being stereotypical and racist.
Muslim culture is not filled with terrorists. In fact, according to an Islamic website, there's no violence at all. Surprising, right? I mean, a religion whose practices are as violent as a declaration of faith, prayer, charity, fasting, and pilgrimage.... Wait, what? That sounds a lot like Christianity... Hm, well, Christians must be savage, too, then. But, I know a lot of Christians and they aren't savage at all. Get my point, guys?
I'm going to leave you with a video on cultural appropriation and Halloween racism. I'll return to slutty costumes at a later time! Bye, guys!

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