Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Cultural Appropriation

Transgender vs. Transracial: Is There a Moral Difference?

Recently, Caitlyn Jenner has been in the news–Jenner is a former Olympian who is transgender and recently decided to transition from expressing traditionally male characteristics to expressing traditionally female characteristics. Aside from a few on the right, the media response was generally one of acceptance. By transitioning, Jenner realizes her vision for herself, she achieves a measure of self-actualization. This is good for her and it harms no one else. All of that seems pretty obvious to me, and I wasn’t going to bother writing about Jenner at all, because I think it’s pretty straightforward. But then this other thing happened–a woman named Rachel Dolezal showed up in the news. Dolezal is genetically a white person, but she chooses to present herself as a black person and to identify as black. The media response was very different–Dolezal was accused of pretending to be black when she is in fact a white person, of “faking it”. Many people are accusing Dolezal of appropriating black culture, of being a liar, and so on and so forth. Why are the reactions to these two women so different? Is there a difference, and if so, what’s the difference?

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Leave Iggy Azalea Alone

Australian rapper Iggy Azalea is being threatened by Anonymous, an organization of internet hackers. Azalea got into a public spat with another rapper, Azealia Banks. The short version is that Banks objected to Azalea’s silence on the Eric Garner protests, Azalea said that Banks should not “judge another’s support or lack thereof solely on if they have ranted on Twitter about it,” and claimed that Banks is using world issues to promote fan battles. Banks responded by accusing Azalea of cultural appropriation, and Azalea essentially dismissed Banks as a jealous hater. All of this is fairly run of the mill stuff, but then Anonymous jumped in.

Anonymous said:

F— you, @IGGYAZZALEA. #ICantBreathe…We have so much shit on you, your scandal would be bigger than Bill Cosby’s …You are guilty of misappropriating black culture, insulting peaceful protesters, and making light of Eric Garner’s death…You have exactly 48 hours…to release a statement apologizing to @AzealiaBanks and the protesters in NYC.

So now, just a few days after Sony was threatened by Guardians of Peace and intimidated into shelving The Interviewwe have yet another rogue hacker organization threatening a person (or group of people) in an attempt to control speech. This is not okay.

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