Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 43
  1. #1
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    In the heartland of the USA
    Posts
    4,761
    Post Thanks / Like

    Question Cultural appropriation, or plain old racism???

    Most of you might have seen this article already on Facebook. I try to be careful to show respect to all cultures, especially the Arabic culture, since I am learning bellydance. However, this article seems very hateful and counter-racist. Although the author does make a few valid points, where is the line drawn when it comes to cultural appropriation? As a woman of Hispanic heritage, I don't get my tortillas burned when I see people of other races dancing Latino/Hispanic dances.

    In the article, the author had no problem when non-Arabic guests danced at Arabic weddings, but she freaks about "white women bellydancers, stating (in NO uncertain terms) that "white women bellydancers" are guilty of appropriation. I could understand if a dancer is taking the dance, putting her own twist on it, and still calling it "bellydance," but I felt the article was an attack on Caucasian women who practice and perform bellydance:

    Why I can?t stand white belly dancers - Salon.com

    What is everyone's view on this? Are we truly doing bellydance a disservice just because we may not be of Arabic heritage, or is this a hate article?

  2. #2
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Kyabram, Vic
    Posts
    4,470
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It's not counter-racist. It's just plain racist. Counter-racist would be welcoming of all people no matter the colour of their skin. Racism is racism no matter the colour of the people being bigoted or being discriminated against on the basis of their colour (or lack thereof).

    As for my personal view - she can shove that attitude right up her bigotted, narrow-minded posterior.


    A quick sidetrack - who else here has their cultural heritage hidden by the immigration of family members a few generations back? As Aunt Rocky says, making assumptions makes an ass of you & me! I certainly look white, don't I?
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
    Skype classes a specialty.
    Email kyabrambellydance@gmail.com for more information.

  3. #3
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sussex, England
    Posts
    4,847
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Well pardon my lily white ass and excuse me while I get back in my hermetically sealed cultural isolation booth. God forbid I should want to learn and appreciate anything from anyone else's culture.

    I absolutely agree that brownface and Arab drag is a bad thing, as is misrepresenting anyone else's culture. But the colour of your skin does not determine whether you are aboard that particular wagon, or what context you dance in.

    Whatever.

  4. #4
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Rocky Mountains USA
    Posts
    15,108
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    And here I thought that kind of organic compound only issued from bulls following a large meal of good grass hay.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  5. #5
    Member Kartane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    93
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Been seeing this article EVERYWHERE and reading a lot of responses. This is my first post on it.

    I get it - she's angry - (In my opinion, I am more concerned with women in the world who aren't, but that's another post...), and she is not wrong about there being issues with cultural appropriation in the belly dance world, but the tone of the article is purely confrontational and illogical. Just the title tells me that this is not going to be an article about an important issue, but a personal rant. Even in mentioning the dancer she sees in the restaurant, she seems more concerned that the dancer is 'skinny' than that she can dance. So, while I understand the urge to lash out over an issue that IS important, this piece of writing is useless as a tool to promote understanding and education and change.

    Does it get people talking? Yes. Does it get people more ranting than thinking? Even BIGGER yes. Sadly, she slams the door on useful discussion with her rage. It is clear she has a strong opinion, too bad it does not seem to take into account the idea that people of all genetic backgrounds can care for and learn about something in a caring and respectful way. Honestly, it just makes me sad.

  6. #6
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,942
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I wonder if the fact that she is living outside her birth culture is part of the issue. She is feeling disconnected and sees others trying to connect and there is this ... anger. (Sorry, my dear, back home most of the women don't do raqs sharqi - they just do raqs) I tried thinking about it as a Hungarian living in New Zealand. How would I feel if a bunch of Kiwis opened a "Hungarian" restaurant served substandard or fusion food, used Rom music, and dressed the waitresses up like Heidi? I would be royally pissed. If I was visiting I might be more inclined to find the whole thing a good laugh.

  7. #7
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Kyabram, Vic
    Posts
    4,470
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I can see your point there Kashmir. I certainly feel peeved when people use the word 'gypsy' indiscriminantly and dress up in big swooshy skirts and romanticise the hell out of it, and the Rrom part of my heritage is such a huge family secret that I don't even know where we originally came from!

    Actually, coming to terms with that anger is a big part of what persuaded me to give tribal another chance.
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
    Skype classes a specialty.
    Email kyabrambellydance@gmail.com for more information.

  8. #8
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Rocky Mountains USA
    Posts
    15,108
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It is a good point, Kashmir, though that level of rage suggests the writer needs to seek some counseling to work out her frustrations.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  9. #9
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Monterey, Ca
    Posts
    2,488
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Goddess knows what she'd think of male dancers, but given that she likes Fifi, I can guess...

    A load of PCBS as far as I'm concerned - maybe just plain BS.

  10. #10
    Member Kartane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    93
    Post Thanks / Like
    Last edited by Kartane; 03-07-2014 at 08:55 PM.

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •