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Showing posts from December, 2019

Where A Fist Ends And A Nose Begins

I talk to hundreds of people about their ideas for burlesque acts, and I have to talk to them about cultural appropriation all the time. Having had so many of these conversations, I've reached a conclusion: cultural appropriation isn't always the problem.

To be sure, cultural appropriation is as much of a problem as many people say it is, and I absolutely do not endorse it, and won't knowingly help anyone develop an act that I understand to be appropriative.

However, I think the issue -- and the range of accountability -- is much, much bigger. I've started to use the term "cultural sensitivity," a term I learned while studying decolonizing fashion history.

Cultural sensitivity includes understanding and eschewing cultural appropriation, but it includes so much more. A simple example is the Confederate flag. For a white southerner whose ancestors fought under that flag in the US civil war to wear a costume that incorporates it is NOT cultural appropriation, but i…

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