So in my sexual science class I saw quite the sight.
Some white girl came in with dreads, her head looked like a fucking rats nest. she had a cherry blossom branch going down her leg and on her shoulder she had a sugar skull, then on the other arm a…
I never said it was cultural appropriating so thanks for pulling that out your ass
Then, what exactly was the main idea of your post? Don’t call me a dipshit in your tags like I can’t read that stuff. If I misunderstood you, then please explain that to me in a respectful fashion, as I never attacked you.
It just seemed to me that your post was yet another “cultural appropriation; lol white girls” kind of post. I mean, you mentioned a “cherry blossom branch” which I take it is an appropriation of some sort of Asian cultures, a sugar skull which is an appropriation of Mexican culture, and a dream-catcher which is appropriation of First Nations/Native American culture…So, what exactly was I supposed to think you meant when you made fun of her dreads?
just because “all hair” can be put into dreads it shouldn’t be. The main idea of the post was that she look so damn ridiculous.
The tats I found to be a bit appropriative though I wasn’t sure.
Upon research I did, it is racist for white people to wear dreads.
If you honestly don’t believe it’s not racist, that’s your problem.
Your sources have failed you. Please let me enlighten you on cultural appropriation:
FIRST: There must be a specific culture in mind to be appropriated. “White” is not a culture. “Black” is not a culture. “Brown” is not a culture. These are races. So, Culture: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/culture Race http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/race
Now, and this is going to BLOW YOUR MIND: RACE IS IMAGINARY! Well okay, so our perception of race is very real, in that it does in fact exist in our heads. However; the prevailing idea that white people are biologically different than black people, who are biologically different from brown skinned people is false. In fact, other countries believe there are races that we (westerners from North America and Europe) don’t recognize. In Brazil (Brasil) there is even the belief that one’s race changes, depending on sun/tanning bed/tanning spray exposure. Check the chart under “controversy” for example here, sorry for not posting a better source but if you are interested, the Internet is full of useful information from places much more scholarly than Tumblr and Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_ethnicity_in_Brazil )
In Japan, one can be of a different race, not because of skin color, but because of the work done by ancestors (funerary work, work revolving around refuse and other unsanitary/undesirable jobs.
Biologically, the only difference between races is melanin production. Melanin is what makes some people’s skin darker than others, gives some people freckles, allows us to tan, etc. Even that can vary more within a race than without. Think about the lightest black person you know and the darkest black person you know. Does the person with lighter skin look more like say, the darkest white person you know, or the darkest black person? Chances are, it is closer to the darker white person. In fact, there is a good chance that white person may even be DARKER than that black person! And what about other variations, like height? The Baka people of Africa near the Congo Basin (often incorrectly and offensively referred to as Pygmy people) are known for being very very short (less than 5 feet tall) and stalky. Their short stalky stature serves them well in their environment in the dense vegetation in which they live, where being tall would result in more limited mobility. However; there are other places in Africa where it is more advantageous to be tall, the Maasai/Masai people, are very tall and lanky individuals, with women and men alike towering over the 6 foot marker. This much variation is not indicative of “race” but of a process called “Natural Selection” in which organisms over time adapt to their environment in a ‘survival of the fittest’ type way. There are more biological variances between the Baka and the Maasai than there are between myself and my friend Mitch, who is a black man of similar build, height, stature, shoe size, etc.
So maybe you are thinking “but where does continent of origin fit into all of this? Obviously even if there no biological differences, black people come from Africa, white people from Europe, oriental people from Asia, etc.” And you know what? You are right! However, the word we are looking for here is neither culture nor race, but ethnicity. Ethnicity can refer to many things, not just origin, but it all has to do with our ancestry. For our purposes here, it is not relevant however; it is a good term to be familiar with, especially in college as we continue to expand our mind.
It is good to learn to differentiate these three terms, especially if you ever take a class dealing with anthropology, folk studies, sociology, culture or race. I won’t even charge you thousands of dollars of tuition. :)
So where do dreadlocks and cultural appropriation stand in this? Now that we have gone through the basics that they will teach you in any 100 level ANTH class, we can dig deeper into the issue at hand!
Let us first look at dreadlocks/dreads/locks/locs/vines/etc., and what they actually are. Dreads (my preferred term) are very interesting, because it is the only hairstyle (or anti-hairstyle) that happens when you do not intervene. If you stop touching your hair, it will not turn into a flat top, layers, stacks, mohawk, pompadour, duck tail, mullet, braids or anything else for that matter. It will, however; inevitably turn into dreads (or possibly a Polish plait, which is similar but not quite the same in which the hair forms into one big mass, imagine a very large flat dread). This is because of what dreads are: a series of tangles and knots that combine locks of hair. Over time, more hair is incorporated, and these locks of hair grow together, and eventually a tangled “rats nest” turns into what would undeniably be known as (insert preferred term for what I am calling dreads). This phenomena is not unique to any one culture or ethnicity. In fact, pretty much every “race” has dreaded hair for one reason of another, either for fashion, spiritual reasons or simply because they didn’t have combs. It is not even unique to humans. One need not look beyond a long haired dog or cat that hasn’t been brushed to find matted hair (matts are for all intents and purposes the same thing as dreads, tangles and knots), other long haired primates, the mane of some male lions, etc. This process is completely natural. In fact, it is the ONLY 100% natural (the definition of natural meaning without human intervention http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/natural ) “hairstyle” there is.
Well, obviously one cannot rightfully claim a cultural claim to something that is something that naturally occurs. That would be like claiming that body hair belongs to a culture, because they do not shave theirs off.
However; for differing reasons, dreads do have relevance to some cultures, past and present, and this should not be ignored. Many of these cultures have a religious or otherwise spiritual basis behind them as well. So lets list some of these cultures now: Rastas (the most well known), Hindus, Celts, Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Native Americans (not a very concise term, but it was popular among many groups and I am not familiar enough with which groups had them and not, so I apologize for that lack of specific knowledge), vikings, visagoths, Wicca, Pantheism… The list goes on but I think the point has been made.
So, we are back to cultural appropriation. Obviously some of those cultures would include white people, some are exclusively white (as well as about any other skin color, but since white people with dreads are the ones being called into question, this is where the focus lies). Are we saying that if you do not belong to one of these cultures, then it is appropriation to have dreads? Well, if that is the case then race has nothing to do with it. This would mean that dreads for vanity sake (no matter your race) is cultural appropriation. The problem there, is that those most often claiming that white people with dreads are very seldom ever a part of any of these groups, because groups like Jews (who have taken a Nazarite vow) and Rastas (both drawing the basis of their dreads from the book of Leviticus, as well as a select few Christian sects) are inclusive. They are not the ones saying only certain races should follow their beliefs or anything. Take Bob Marley, known for his dreads and association with Rastafari (for those who do not know, the term Rastafarianism as well as calling Rastafari a religion are highly offensive to Rastas, so if you encounter someone who is Rasta, please choose words carefully). He abhorred racism. In his song “War” he sings “Until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes, there will be war”. Every Rasta I have spoken to, of any color or ethnicity or geographic location, has been of this similar mindset. That skin color simply does not matter (well it DOES, but it SHOULDN’T).
So what are we left with? An argument for cultural appropriation, in which we try to falsely/erroneously/ignorantly judge culture based on skin color. A small group of people who are not associated with a specific culture that reveres dreads claiming that one cannot have something that naturally happens because of their skin color. A different group of people who wish to alleviate their white guilt by telling other people how to behave throwing around terms they do not understand like “cultural appropriation” (that is not directly aimed at you, I don’t know your race, and I’m not making assumptions). And several groups of people who have a legitimate cultural claim to dreads, not based on fictitious concepts like race, who don’t care what color your skin is.
For the record, you did not even know what cultural appropriation is earlier today, now you have been to two Tumblogs and are an expert able to call out others? I’m assuming you are a Freshman in college. Get used to this kind of stuff, with an attitude like yours you are going to get schooled by a lot of people until your ego falters.
Also the girl you mentioned, is probably going the natural route with her dreads (not using any product of maintenance, the way consistent with most of the aforementioned cultures who do not believe in making dreads but letting them happen). This rats nest will, in a few months, maybe a year or two, be one of the most healthy crown of dreads you will have probably ever seen, as a result.
There were a couple of other points I was going to make, but I doubt you are still reading this, and I have been typing for quite some time and my dinner has grown cold as a result. I think I will leave it there, for now.