Tonight, the first primary in the nation is taking place in New Hampshire. The tension is tense, the excitement exciting, and the political bovine excrement thick, deep and particularly odiferous. So let’s talk about something much more interesting: female feet.
I rather like female feet, but certainly not in a fetishistic manner. All feet can be of Fred Flintstonian character, but female feet in particular can be quite graceful, and serve to remind hulking males of the delicacy and delight of women. So too, for female hands. Living in Texas, one gets to see a great many lovely, feminine feet, and upon occasion, toe rings, a subject upon which I am practically agnostic.
Generally, it’s unwise to call attention to any body part unless said body part is worthy of the attention, and at the very least, not horrifying to the casual eye. Where toe rings are concerned, one probably needs relatively long and slender toes to pull them off, long and slender toes attached to graceful, feminine feet. I tend to be a minimalist where jewelry is concerned, and have never so much as worn a wedding ring, so perhaps I’m not an authority on the adornment of the anatomy with precious metals and gemstones.
This, of course, brings us to the currently hot topic of cultural appropriation. You’ve read, I’m sure, gentle readers, about perpetually aggrieved college students protesting such things as people wearing various items of Mexican clothing, or even eating tacos? Oh yes. At Dartmouth, Stanford, and other so-called institutions of higher learning.
Odd, that. I know it’s been a year or two since I was a full time college student, but the only time I might have been able to devote to a protest about any significant issues might have been a few seconds for a passing word or two as I trotted past a protest in progress on the way to my next class. Oh, that’s right. There were no such protests. Everyone in college back in the 1400s had no time for such self-indulgent navel-gazing.
So what is cultural appropriation? The Stanford Daily defines it as: “actions that trivialize aspects of a culture by not respecting a custom’s symbolic significance or the history of a style of dress or other artifact.”
If that sounds so vague as to allow various “activists” to go berserk over virtually anything, intentional or not, for any reason, you’re starting to get the idea of the social justice movement, particularly on college campuses these days.
It’s such a shame. I’m in no danger of wearing sombreros, or other stereotypically Mexican peasant attire, but I’m rather fond of Mexican food and quite a number of the Mexicans that make it. But I certainly don’t want to be non-diverse, insensitive, culturally inappropriate, and a big poopy face to boot. To avoid cultural appropriation, I guess I’ll be going Italian–oh wait. That’s cultural appropriation too, isn’t it?
Sound silly enough? Check out this one from National Review:
According to a piece in the totally logical social-justice blog Everyday Feminism, it is racist and offensive to wear toe rings or bangle bracelets in almost any situation.
Yep. According to the article’s author, Aarti Olivia, wearing these kinds of jewelry amounts to an appropriation of South Asian culture.
Uh, toe rings?! Racist?! An appropriation of South Asian Culture?! Please, explain:
Olivia explains that in her culture, ‘it has been traditionally expected that married women wear bangles,’ and that although that tradition is no longer ‘imposed upon women,’ they do ‘wear them for religious or festive occasions.
Uh, “bangles?” Websters defines Bangles as: “a large stiff ring that is worn as jewelry around the arm, wrist or ankle,” or “an ornamental disk that hangs loosely (as on a bracelet).” So are bangles racist too, and if so, what about baubles, gew gaws, froo froo, and similar adornments? Who first came up with the idea of cloth, and if we wear clothing, are we being racist toward them?
In pop culture, you have probably seen the likes of Iggy Azalea and Selena Gomez wear them for music videos and performances,’ Olivia writes.
And that, she continues, is not okay.
In fact, according to Olivia, there is only one very specific situation in which a non-South Asian person such as a yucky whitey can wear this type of bracelet:
‘If you are in attendance of a Hindu friend’s matrimonial functions and the dress code is Indian ethnic — but [yes, there’s more!] be sure to check with your host first.
Right. The next time I attend a Hundu wedding, I’ll be sure to inquire.
Her rule for toe rings, which, she explains, are ‘also known as the Bichiya or Metti,’ are even more strict:
When is it acceptable to wear a Bichiya toe ring?
If you are married to a South Asian.
I’m not going to ask about nose and nipple rings. Or rings in other–parts… But like so much else, these twerps have ruined it for me. The next time I see a pair of lovely feminine feet festooned–don’t you just love that word?–with toe rings, all I’ll be able to see is the sad feet of south Asian persons, so long in bondage, so long oppressed, so long trod upon. “Nobude knowz, da trubl mah feet seen…” Do South Asians have that kind of accent?
Maybe I can get the Clintons to start a foundation or something. A few speeches, and…