September 2017: Summer Internships
May 2017: Senior Exit Survey
April 2017: What major do you wish Wellesley had?
March 2017: Wanna Grab Coffee? What to Drink on an Awkward Tinder Date
February 2017: Favorite Iconic Music Montage from the Shrek Franchise
December 2016: Weather Phenomena
November 2016: Wendy or Wanda
October 2016: Seven Deadly Sins
September 2016: Pokemon Go
May 2016: Senior Exit Poll
April 2016: Straightness by Class Year
March 2016: Pubic Hair Habits
February 2016: Harry Potter Houses
December 2015: Clean Underwear
November 2015: Makeup Habits
October 2015: Culturally Appropriative Halloween Costumes
This month, we asked you about whether or not you’ve ever worn a culturally appropriative Halloween costume (knowingly or unknowingly). 324 people responded, of which 39.5% said yes, and 60.5% said no. Beyond yeses and nos, however, we received a multitude of questions about the meaning of cultural appropriation and the nuances that term encompasses.
We as a staff thought that this could be a great opportunity to raise awareness about cultural appropriation around Halloweentime. We’ll share some of the questions we received below (verbatim, so don’t judge us for the typos!), and then we’ll share a round-table-esque discussion we had as an org in response to these questions. So, the questions:
1. “What counts? And isn’t the point to dress as someone or something you’re not? I don’t think it’s disrespect to dress up on Halloween. Not everything is a political stance. I think saying it’s only okay to dress up as animals or occupations is dull and misses the fun of halloween, to dress and be someone else for a day. Why does dress up and eat candy day have to mean I’m hateful. I’m not hateful. Not everything I do has to do with other people. I don’t think most people take the day to make fun of or demean people, so why act like people have malicious intentions or have wronged others, when clearly that was not the intentions nor the actions. Like if someone wants to be Pocahontas for Halloween it’s probably not because they think Native Americans are lesser people.”
2. “A question for you: What seperates the difference between celebrating someone else’s culture/history and what is being protrayed by you as negative ‘culturally appropriative’. Are we limiting people on what they can wear based on what their cultural heritage is? For example, is it ‘cultural appropritiation’ for an African American to wear a Belle costume from Beauty and the Beast because Belle was European? Is it ‘cultural appropriation’ for an American of European heritage to wear a Pocahontas costume, which she might see as part of her American heritage even though she herself is not Native American?”
3. “What’s the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange?
4. “Does it count if it’s your own culture?”
5. “I don’t believe in culturally appropriation.”
6. “To what extent is dressing up as Disney princesses specifically cultural appropriation? It seems like a lot of the answers are those princesses, as opposed to generic ‘native american’ or ‘japanese person.’”
Check out the Writing section of our site to see the staff discussion on cultural appropriation (and for answers to these questions)!
September 2015: Shy Poopers
May 2015: Senior Exit Poll
April 2015: Sleeplessness by Major
March 2015: Grading President Bottomly
February 2015: Societies vs. Sororities