Sophia Bush she’s a feminist and was tweeting about ferguson

Olivia Wilde (“”)

Kat Dennigs (“”)

Mark Rufflo because he’a a national treasure 

Ellen Pompeo same as the first three

Joseph Gordon Levitt (isn’t he a person of color?)

Jon Stewart is a national treasure 

Connie Britton <3333


I suspect that this would fall under “unpopular opinions” but, yes, I think you can be culturally appropriative of food. I’ve never heard/seen anyone talk about food specifically as being culturally appropriated, but I highly doubt that my thoughts on this subject are unique. I suspect I just haven’t seen some wonderful work done by others. Also, I am relying on the theories and work of others who talk about food justice, even if they haven’t actually connected it specifically to cultural appropriation. *Also remember: This is just my own opinion. There are people in marginalized and oppressed groups who may completely disagree with me.*

So let’s begin with what I *don’t* think constitutes cultural appropriation of food, to get some of the angsty stuff out of the way. I don’t believe it is cultural appropriation to

  • eat food from another culture
  • to learn how to cook food from another culture
  • to modify recipes from another culture for your own enjoyment
  • to eat at restaurants, authentic or otherwise, that serve food from another culture
  • to enjoy learning about another culture thru the traditional and/or modern foods of that culture

So no, I don’t think you are a racist asshat because you love guacamole or pad thai. I don’t think you are a privileged douchefuck because you sweated to learn how to make a killer tagine that is now the centerpiece of your family’s holiday meals.

“What’s left?” you may ask. “I can eat what I want, cook what I want, share what I want… okay… then how dare you say that it is possible to appropriate food? Where are you going with this?”

When we talk about food justice we are talking about a few different things. What I will concentrate on here are:

  1. Access to the foods and ingredients that are meaningful, traditional, and wanted within our culture.
  2. Access to high quality and fresh foods and ingredients that are available to low income people in low income neighborhoods.

One way that food can be appropriated is by making it difficult for those of the culture from which it stems to gain access to it. For example, quinoa has become very popular outside its native home of Bolivia, but with that popularity comes a price to the Bolivian people that what was a staple of their diet is now too expensive for them to eat. It’s fair to assume that it will be replaced by less beneficial alternatives, most likely imported and pre-packaged. I’m not saying that everyone should throw out their quinoa or feel useless guilt for eating it. I am saying that it is a good example of where access to a traditional food has been appropriated by people in such a way as to make it inaccessible to the culture from which it comes. We can think about how much of it we eat, if there are more fair ways to get it, and look for ways to support policies and practices that help Bolivians to be able to make an income off of this seed while still maintaining their cultural practices and access to their own food.

Put another way for U.S.ians, can you imagine not being able to eat an apple or have your July 4th homemade apple pie because the government decided to export most of them, thereby raising the prices of the few available here? Sure, you might see some increase in your income, but it wouldn’t be enough to buy you those apples you once took for granted. And it wouldn’t be enough to help you to retain the centrality of the apple to your diet. Oh, but hey, apples are a pseudo-cultural marker of the U.S. (“American as apple pie”, Johnny Appleseed, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, etc.) but aren’t actually a staple for most of us anymore (though perhaps they should be).

Another way that I feel food can be appropriated is by fetishizing it, especially when it includes commercializing it. Privileged white people who visit an “exotic” country and learn all they can about the local cuisine, only to come home and write best-selling books, appear on Martha Stewart, and eventually parlay the experience into their own television deal are a good example of this. Haven’t you ever wondered why the food stations are so overwhelmingly pale even as “festive” and “steamy” meals from “far-away lands” are being cooked up using modern technology? How much of that money do you think makes it back into the hands of the people who generously shared their family recipes with the soon-to-be celebrity chef? When the “experts” of our food are people from outside our communities, that is a form of appropriation.

In a lot of ways food becomes the symbol of a culture. Take fry-bread for Natives. Who hasn’t heard a joke about fry-bread? Do I think it’s wrong for non-Natives to eat fry-bread? No, I don’t. But I do think it is wrong when non-Native dieticians etc. point to fry-bread to explain all the health ills of Natives. I also think it’s wrong when non-Natives refuse to acknowledge the painful history and creation of fry-bread, and the poverty and scarcity of other food that it also symbolizes. And it is wrong when Natives are reduced to “fry bread eating, commodity taking freeloaders”, just as it is wrong when Mexicans are reduced to “beaners”, Arabs to “goat grillers”, and South Asians to “smelly curry eaters”. When our traditional foods are pointed to as jokes or ways to further oppress us, to mark us out as different in a way that is mocked, that is not respectful.

Our traditional foods are central to our cultures too. For some of us there are a lot of memories around sharing those foods, and for many others of us the food was part of our journey back to our people and culture. An honest recognition of that by others is necessary to respect that food. There are also traditional times/occasions for certain foods, and taboos, that should be honored. You can share in our food, but there is still an element of privilege, theft, and imposed change that has to be acknowledged at the same time. Minimizing YOUR theft and imposed change, respecting the traditions that guide when and how that food is served, and being thoughtful of what the food represents for us is a good first step to genuine cultural understanding that moves past appropriation.

(via bornabitch-allthedaysandnights)


I think their whiteness and their womanhood is intersecting to produce a particularly obnoxious response to patriarchy and marginalization. I’ve been thinking a lot about this.

So, Aida Hurtado and Audre Lorde both talk about this. And they are way more articulate than I am, so I’m not in any way reinventing the wheel. Both of them make the argument that white women and women of color hold different relational positions to white men, who are the gatekeepers of privilege, resources, opportunity, etc. White women’s position to white men is that they are groomed to be coddled lovers - it’s one of seduction, a promise of spill-over privilege. Women of color are raised to be something else again and are rejected as visible lovers of white men.

The effects of this phenomenon are pretty broad, I think. We can see how this impacts constructions of femininity, beauty, motherhood. It explains the historical distrust of feminists of color towards white feminists. And I think it explains some things about the white feminists who are transphobic binarist radical assholes, too.

One thing I keep hearing over and over from these radical feminists is that trans* folks are just godawful because they are trying to take over women’s spaces. “Why can’t we just have one thing to ourselves?!” is a really common thread here. What I hear when a radfem says this is the following:

Look, I don’t want to share my victimization at the hands of patriarchy with anyone else. I can’t believe you trans* people have the audacity to come in here and try to be included in conversations that are clearly about me and my experiences and how I’ve been marginalized. I am scared that by including you on the fringes of a conversation that is already centered on me that white men will not listen to me anymore and nothing will change for me - but I do believe that white men will compromise with me if they just knew how victimized I am.

And I think this response - this feeling of entitled victimhood and a belief in the power of proclaiming victimhood - is related to the benevolent sexism encoded in white women’s positionality as seduced by white men’s privilege. White women are controlled by being ‘rescued’ by white men over and over - and sometimes they are actually protected. The lines between help and harm, affection and subordination get really blurry until white women are pretty much socialized to think that

a) their voices are heard and cared about by those in structural positions of power, which is probably why white middle class feminists really fucking believe hardcore in electoral politics, and

b) that there is bargaining power in expressing victimhood. And there is for them, because they are coddled and seduced and protected from the big scary world. But it doesn’t work that way for women of color at all.

I think these two lines of thought explain why white radfems get so viciously angry towards trans* people. Defining womanhood as something outside of a binarist biological deterministic framework scares them because the fact of their skin-deep whiteness and femaleness has given them a lot of protections and a close proximity to powerholders. Defining womanhood in a fuzzier more inclusive way threatens their positionality with white men. Hence thereal womanbullshit and the accusations that trans women are really just dudes trying to take over women’s spaces.

The other big thing here, and I think this is where the shit really hits the fan, is that because they are white women, these folksfeel entitled to have their own spacesbecause historically white women have been allowed to have spaces of their own by white men.Women of color have not. But white women have had parlors and sewing circles and shit like that. So there is an expectation that there is and should be something unique and special set aside for white women and a total refusal to question that assumption or locate it in a context of racial subordination.

The bottom line for me is that the spate of radfem awfulness is very much linked to white perceptions of what it is to be a victim - that you have moral high ground that will be respected, that you are allowed a space to heal and recover, that people will listen to you if you speak to your experiences. People of color have been victimized in more violent, more blatantly oppressive ways and have learned that for them none of that is true. For me, this radfem response to the perceived “trans* invasions” of their spaces is an example of an unchecked and very specific form of white privilege embodied by (typically middle class) white women.

(note: I am white, and though I am genderqueer and fall under the trans* umbrella I am DFAB and have been read as and treated as a white woman fro most of my life)


The idea that white, often bourgeois cis women received the same socialization as a 2nd-gen pinoy immigrant living in a trailer home on a mountain simply because we shared assigned sexes is absurd and a clear indicator of white fems’ centering of white experiences and upholding of white supremacy


also annoyed whenever i see white feminist think pieces or poetry or documentaries about how “i’ll never call my daughter pretty cos she’s more than her looks!” and “i’m never buying her princess stuff” like ok you have fun with that keep being white cos if i ever have a daughter u best believe that little girl is gonna hear how fucking beautiful she is every minute every day and if she wants to be a princess i’ma buy her a castle cos i’m sick of girls of color growing up wanting to look white cos white = beautiful in our world but ok keep talking about how ~revolutionary~ it is to not call ur daughter pretty when she is the walking standard of prettiness used to tyrannize our daughters

Sorry I’m not really responding/answering messages right now, I’m not in a great mood.



Agreed. Rant away. ^^^^

Black hair is always beautiful


Agreed. Rant away. ^^^^