Trying to get white female ravers to understand why you can’t fucking wear a headdress is annoying
There’s this disgusting picture on here and on pinterest that keeps getting shitloads of attention from white female ravers. It’s about the grossest example of native appropriation I’ve seen in the rave scene, and there are lots of examples to choose from re: headdresses.
This isn’t fucking…
Racism is only racism when people make it out to be a bigger problem than it is. Want to get rid of racism? Stop giving a fuck about what other people do/think/say and worry about yourself instead. The girl isn’t hurting anyone. I’m pretty sure she’s not wearing it make fun of a race or culture. Fuck I dressed up as Cleopatra once and I’m white. Does that make me racist? No it doesn’t.
lol that is literally the most privileged thing I’ve ever heard anyone say. Racism is only racism when people make a big deal out of it? lol what the fuck. Yeah, you sure can say that when you’re part of the dominant race lol.
The girl IS hurting people, not on purpose I’m sure but she is. She’s perpetuating racist stereotypes. She’s dressing up as a race that she does not belong to. And everyone acting like that isn’t a big deal is hurting Native Americans more than this girl’s outfit does. If she was wearing a grill, chains, sagging pants and was holding a fucking watermelon, we’d all understand the problem (I hope). IT’S LITERALLY THE SAME FUCKING THING.
This is not me being overly sensitive or “making it out to be a bigger problem than it is.” This is me calling out fucking casual racism in white people, AND calling out blatant hypocrisy from the rave scene. Plur my fucking ass.
So here we go. Reason #1 she’s hurting people, straight from a Native American:
"Headdresses promote stereotyping of Native cultures.
The image of a warbonnet and warpaint wearing Indian is one that has been created and perpetuated by Hollywood and only bears minimal resemblance to traditional regalia of Plains tribes. It furthers the stereotype that Native peoples are one monolithic culture, when in fact there are 500+ distinct tribes with their own cultures. It also places Native people in the historic past, as something that cannot exist in modern society. We don’t walk around in ceremonial attire everyday, but we still exist and are still Native.”
Reason #2 she’s hurting people:
Headdresses, feathers, and warbonnets have deep spiritual significance.
The wearing of feathers and warbonnets in Native communities is not a fashion choice. Eagle feathers are presented as symbols of honor and respect and have to be earned. Some communities give them to children when they become adults through special ceremonies, others present the feathers as a way of commemorating an act or event of deep significance. Warbonnets especially are reserved for respected figures of power. The other issue is that warbonnets are reserved for men in Native communities, and nearly all of these pictures show women sporting the headdresses. I can’t read it as an act of feminism or subverting the patriarchal society, it’s an act of utter disrespect for the origins of the practice. (see my post on sweatlodges for more on the misinterpretation of the role of women). This is just as bad as running around in a pope hat and a bikini, or a Sikh turban cause it’s “cute”.
Reason #3 she’s hurting people:
It’s just like wearing blackface.
Playing Indian” has a long history in the United States, all the way back to those original tea partiers in Boston, and in no way is it better than minstral shows or dressing up in blackface. You are pretending to be a race that you are not, and are drawing upon stereotypes to do so. Like my first point said, you’re collapsing distinct cultures, and in doing so, you’re asserting your power over them. Which leads me to the next issue.
And Reason #4 she’s hurting people:
There is a history of genocide and colonialism involved that continues today.
By the sheer fact that you live in the United States you are benefiting from the history of genocide and continued colonialism of Native peoples. That land you’re standing on? Indian land. Taken illegally so your ancestor who came to the US could buy it and live off it, gaining valuable capital (both monetary and cultural) that passed down through the generations to you. Have I benefited as well, given I was raised in a white, suburban community? yes. absolutely. but by dismissing and minimizing the continued subordination and oppression of Natives in the US by donning your headdress, you are contributing to the culture of power that continues the cycle today.”
But yeah, you’re right. Racism is only racism because people make stuff a big deal when it really isn’t. Lol I can’t even believe you said that. Yeah, I do want to get rid of racism. That’s why I’m posting this, so people can learn and realize that their “cute” fashion choice for festivals is incredibly racist and offensive. Sorry but “not caring about what other people think” doesn’t stop racism lol. (Again, that’s an incredibly, incredibly privileged thing to say.) That does nothing. Because if I didn’t care what you thought, you’d continue thinking that this isn’t a problem and continue doing this. That’s the opposite of stopping racism. That response, much like this girl’s ridiculous outfit, perpetuates racism and racist stereotypes.
Much PLUR, very respect. Wow.