Cultural Appropriation?

Kilt-based fashions, both traditional and contemporary. Come on guys, bring on the pleats!
Dust
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Cultural Appropriation?

Post by Dust »

So I was recently accused of "cultural appropriation" by a woman (who was wearing jeans at the time) at a party. I was in a khaki Utilikilt. She seemed to have no real understanding that this was not a "traditional Scottish kilt" but just saw kilt and thought that I must be wearing it out of Scottish pride. When I told her I wasn't Scottish and just liked it (comfort, etc.) she thought this was unacceptable! She even felt the need to tell me that it was "a kilt not a skirt"!

I've avoided tartans in part at least to not deal with this crap, and while I will sometimes cuff socks under my knees in a nod to tradition (I wasn't wearing socks during this incident) I don't ever go with the specialty kilt stuff like sporran and the whole nine yards.

Anyway, I felt like I was caught flat footed at the time, and wanted some input from others here. I've had back and fourths with guys who occasionally wear kilts before, but this felt different. It wasn't light-hearted (or flirtatious) at all. Even most guys who decide to act as "kilt police" don't take things this seriously. And they are never in kilts...
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Re: Cultural Appropriation?

Post by STEVIE »

Hi Dust,
I really must apologise but as a Scot, who has no time for the whole Kilt crap, I really do find that story so amusing.
Oh wow, where would I even begin.
Cultural appropriation, oh I really would love to have a chat with this person to set her straight on a few facts.
First of all, the UK is a skirt, a kilted skirt but it is not a Kilt!
I doubt that she has the slightest idea of how remote the Kilt is from real Scots culture, myth two.
The sporran, hose and all the other baggage just emphasise myth two with no great connection to tradition.
The worst of all is the tartan and families and clans. When we have a Virgin, a Koala and probably a Mickey Mouse tartan can it get any less ludicrous.
I'd love to meet the chieftains of those three but perhaps she already has.
Thanks, you have just cheered me up so very much.
Still chortling.
Steve.
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Myopic Bookworm
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Re: Cultural Appropriation?

Post by Myopic Bookworm »

Not sure whether to laugh or cry at this combination of bigotry and ignorance.

I've had people start dropping comments about Scotland when I wear a utility kilt: I've generally just ignored it.
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Re: Cultural Appropriation?

Post by crfriend »

Myopic Bookworm wrote:
Tue Nov 08, 2022 10:26 pm
Not sure whether to laugh or cry at this combination of bigotry and ignorance.
That sums the situation up in a nutshell. "Cultural Appropriation" is P.C. B.S through and through and needs to ne tossed into hte dustbin as certainly as P.C. itself does.

Cultures, like languages, borrow freely from one another which is a natural reflection that we are one species that's spread worldwide, and still have intimate connections with our fellow humans..

Toss the notion aside as you would a used tissue.
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Re: Cultural Appropriation?

Post by Coder »

This made me laugh - sorry! I just don't see how you argue with - dare I say a Karen (hate using that term) - someone who is so wrong on so many levels. They will be so sure of themselves, and any corrections you give them that just won't listen. At the first sign of this I would just politely go quiet and leave the conversation. "Oh, I have to get something to drink..."
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Re: Cultural Appropriation?

Post by ScotL »

Dust wrote:
Tue Nov 08, 2022 8:22 pm
So I was recently accused of "cultural appropriation" by a woman (who was wearing jeans at the time) at a party. I was in a khaki Utilikilt. She seemed to have no real understanding that this was not a "traditional Scottish kilt" but just saw kilt and thought that I must be wearing it out of Scottish pride. When I told her I wasn't Scottish and just liked it (comfort, etc.) she thought this was unacceptable! She even felt the need to tell me that it was "a kilt not a skirt"!

I've avoided tartans in part at least to not deal with this crap, and while I will sometimes cuff socks under my knees in a nod to tradition (I wasn't wearing socks during this incident) I don't ever go with the specialty kilt stuff like sporran and the whole nine yards.

Anyway, I felt like I was caught flat footed at the time, and wanted some input from others here. I've had back and fourths with guys who occasionally wear kilts before, but this felt different. It wasn't light-hearted (or flirtatious) at all. Even most guys who decide to act as "kilt police" don't take things this seriously. And they are never in kilts...
I was raised to comprehend that imitation was the highest form of flattery. Cultural appreciation occurs if someone does something characteristic of a culture they are not but in a way that denigrates or mocks that culture.

Before I started wearing kilts, I looked online about this exactly and found that Scots just didn’t think this was a reason not to wear the kilt as long as you were respective.

You ran into a bîtch.
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Myopic Bookworm
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Re: Cultural Appropriation?

Post by Myopic Bookworm »

crfriend wrote:
Tue Nov 08, 2022 11:03 pm
"Cultural Appropriation" is P.C. B.S through and through and needs to ne tossed into hte dustbin as certainly as P.C. itself does.
There I would no go as far as you would. P.C. is a deliberately negative term for what in many contexts can be what some people call "common courtesy" or "not being a dick". If you are a member of a dominant culture, you may have no idea how insulting you can be to other people by wearing something that has a specific cultural meaning. I'm not talking about superficial cross-cultural fashion influences, where to parrot "cultural appropriation" is indeed BS. But would you wear (say) American military uniform and decorations to which you are not entitled?
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Re: Cultural Appropriation?

Post by ScotL »

:alien:
Myopic Bookworm wrote:
Wed Nov 09, 2022 10:07 am
crfriend wrote:
Tue Nov 08, 2022 11:03 pm
"Cultural Appropriation" is P.C. B.S through and through and needs to ne tossed into hte dustbin as certainly as P.C. itself does.
There I would no go as far as you would. P.C. is a deliberately negative term for what in many contexts can be what some people call "common courtesy" or "not being a dick". If you are a member of a dominant culture, you may have no idea how insulting you can be to other people by wearing something that has a specific cultural meaning. I'm not talking about superficial cross-cultural fashion influences, where to parrot "cultural appropriation" is indeed BS. But would you wear (say) American military uniform and decorations to which you are not entitled?
This is a good discussion. Being American, if I saw a non American or Non-service member wearing a US military uniform and they weren’t mocking the US military, I wouldn’t care beyond wondering why.

A high school girl once wore a beautiful Japanese kimono like dress to prom and got lambasted over cultural appreciation. When they interviewed her, she was dumbfounded because she just found the dress so pretty and did not have any notion of wanting to mock another culture.

It’s always hard to know exact origins, but blue jeans were somewhat invented by a German immigrant in America and are everywhere in American culture. Should blue jeans only be worn by Americans and everyone else be charged with cultural appropriation? This is somewhat tongue in cheek but the question remains, where do you draw the line and who gets to draw it? For the prom dress fiasco, many Japanese were quoted as being ok with her wearing it.

I’m all for common courtesy and not being a dick. Too often we all speak negatively about other cultures that are just different than our own. And that should stop. But when it comes to the clothing choices of other cultures, I think along the lines of imitation being the highest form of flattery.
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Fred in Skirts
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Re: Cultural Appropriation?

Post by Fred in Skirts »

I have a problem with people like her! I tend to lose the guard on my tongue and let the crap hit the fan. I would have called on her choice of trying to hit me with BullSh1t by throwing it right back in her face. I do not suffer idiots at all!!
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Myopic Bookworm
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Re: Cultural Appropriation?

Post by Myopic Bookworm »

Accusations of cultural appropriation are always BS when made by people who are not actually part of the culture in question. If Japanese people are happy with other people wearing kimonos, then I'm happy and so should everyone else be. (I've never had an objection to my kilts from anyone, Scottish or otherwise. I don't wear blue jeans because they are a cultural marker of a culture I don't want to be associated with.)
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Re: Cultural Appropriation?

Post by ScotL »

Myopic Bookworm wrote:
Thu Nov 10, 2022 10:03 am
Accusations of cultural appropriation are always BS when made by people who are not actually part of the culture in question. If Japanese people are happy with other people wearing kimonos, then I'm happy and so should everyone else be. (I've never had an objection to my kilts from anyone, Scottish or otherwise. I don't wear blue jeans because they are a cultural marker of a culture I don't want to be associated with.)
Blue jeans are ubiquitous. Jeans may have started in the States, but everywhere I’ve been, they’re commonly seen on men, women, children, rich, poor, business class to working class, left, right, center, pro environment, pro business, climate change activists and deniers etc etc etc. Which one of these cultures is your silent protest against? Not trying to be argumentative but I’m interested in what you mean. I hate blue jeans personally cause I don’t find them comfortable until they get broken in and I’m not interested in breaking in something.
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Re: Cultural Appropriation?

Post by FLbreezy »

I have a good friend who's super into Celtic culture and taught me a lot about kilts when I was first starting out* and she doesn't act like the "kilt police", but those folks are out there. Gatekeepers gonna gatekeep, just ignore 'em.

* she even wore her kilt when I wore mine out in public the first time so I wouldn't feel alone, how nice!

The only time I worry about cultural appropriation is with wearing certain religious symbols or gear that denotes authority in an oblivious or disrespectful way. I wouldn't wear a Native American headdress to visit the Grand Canyon, but sign me up for that breechcloth! :lol:
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Myopic Bookworm
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Re: Cultural Appropriation?

Post by Myopic Bookworm »

ScotL wrote:
Thu Nov 10, 2022 11:50 am
Myopic Bookworm wrote:
Thu Nov 10, 2022 10:03 am
I don't wear blue jeans because they are a cultural marker of a culture I don't want to be associated with.)
Blue jeans are ubiquitous. ... Which one of these cultures is your silent protest against?
Against the ubiquity. I protest against a society in which people are so lacking in individuality or initiative that they all wear blue jeans like a uniform. To wear blue jeans is to capitulate to the global dominance of American culture, its uniformity, its rejection of everyday style and embrace of a shared inelegance. I avoid cola and McDonald's for the same reason. It's the same kind of cultural hegemony that assumes that all men like football and cars (and trousers!), and that everyone watches television shows and Hollywood movies, listens to popular music, and follows celebrities in the popular media.

(I am, of course, inconsistent, hypocritical, and exaggerating!) :wink:
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Re: Cultural Appropriation?

Post by crfriend »

Myopic Bookworm wrote:
Thu Nov 10, 2022 3:58 pm
Against the ubiquity. I protest against a society in which people are so lacking in individuality or initiative that they all wear blue jeans like a uniform.
Why do you think I refer to it as the "Denim Desert"?

"Desert" is actually an unfortunate term, because if one has ever been in (or through) an actual desert things are absolutely amazing! Very unlike the man-made denim-dominated wasteland.
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Re: Cultural Appropriation?

Post by Fear i Sciorta Dubh »

Although blue jeans are seen as being American in origin, the word denim derives from a fabric (serge) produced in the French city of Nimes in the 17th century I.e. serge de Nimes.
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