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  1. I hope this article is not too excessively political for here... http://everydayfeminism.com/2013/09/cultural-exchange-and-cultural-appropriation/ Because I found it pretty thought-provoking. ... I'm reminded of my high school's a capella group singing Chanukah songs, back in ~2006. That kind of got under my skin. It felt like an intrusion into my territory - not sacrilege or insult, but an obnoxious blunder. Which is really kind of amusing, when you think about it; seeing as I'm only Jewish by ancestry, certainly not by religion, and barely by culture. My last visit to a synagogue was over a year ago (and I'm surprised I didn't burst into flames when I walked in). On the other hand: my family is full of white jazz musicians. I enjoy cooking curries. I listen to all manner of music myself. Is that not a bit inconsistent? ... I have a hard time classifying my feelings on this. Where does one draw the line between appropriation and not-really-anyone's-business? Between being respectful, and being needlessly self-limiting? Between promoting cultural equality, and promoting a kind of cultural protectionism? For my part, I feel that if a Christian chef wants to cook latkes, that's their own business. But Christians singing Jewish holiday songs in front of a mostly Christian crowd feels like a bit much. On the other hand, why don't I feel the same way about jazz and soul food? Like I said: inconsistent. Not good. ... More to the point, I'm a (very amateur) writer of fiction. And I feel like I'm pulled in several directions there. On the one hand: "Appropriation is bad." On the other: "Your default setting is politically counterprogressive." Between those, if I want to be a reponsible writer, there's not much I could write about. (Mind, I wouldn't mind a Christian writing about a Jewish character, culture and all; as long as they actually did the research and got things correct. But how much of a litmus test is that? Different kinds of oppression are not equivalent.) ... tl;dr If I want to at least try to make the world a slightly better place, what are sensible best practices for navigating the seas of intersecting privilege and oppression? (And should I even be asking that here?)
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