You might hate what I have to say and honestly I don't care. This is my article, my voice, my own opinions and constructive criticism is good. I want to first say that my headline isn't me trying to be an asshole; it's saying what a lot of people need to hear. I am a twenty seven year old woman, with Mexican blood running through my veins and an open mind set. Lately, I've been seeing "fights" on Facebook regarding certain topics whether there it's cultural appropriation or gay rights, and immigrant rights. My question is to all or you: Are we now speaking up because there's a keyboard in front of us? Or are we only speaking up because we feel guilty for not doing it in the past?
You don't have to answer it, just think on, actually think. Don't react instantly in a negative way because a lot of you will do that. It's interesting to me because ever since I was a little girl, I was very respectable to all of the above. I was raised by open minded parents who taught me what was wrong and what was right, and also how to love. I met my first gay man when I was a baby: I didn't know what gay meant obviously. That man was my mother's best friend, and he is such an amazing gift to this world. I always wanted to go over his house, to read his Princess Diana's books and look at his magazines. I remember walking into his apartment and seeing pictures of half naked men on his refrigerator and didn't think anything about it. I just remember saying "add more pictures!" The fact that he liked the way a man looked didn't cross my mind as a bad thing, I just knew he was into that and I still loved him the same. One day, when I was about ten years old, I'm sitting on the floor of my living room, either reading or listening to music when he says to me, "Honey, you know I'm gay, right?" I say yeah. Then he says, "Is that okay?" Without a second of hesitation I said, "Yeah, why wouldn't it be?" I remember him smiling, a huge white toothed smile. As I got older I realized that getting validation from a ten year old that it was okay was all the validation he needed. It is okay to love a man if you're a man and it's okay to love a woman if you're a woman. And again, I still loved him just the same. I was used to him talking about other men, and seeing same sex couples as a little girl made me happy.
Flash back to a few years before when Titanic came out on VHS. I didn't know whether to love Leonardo DiCaprio or Kate Winslet. I decided to love them both but I remember when I first laid eyes on Kate and was insanely smitten by her beauty. I would pause the movie when she got undressed for the drawing scene and I would rewind in slow motion just so I could look at her body. I thought I was doing something wrong but I knew I wasn't. My parents never scolded me when they saw that I did that; they didn't want me to find out what porn was at the age obviously but it wasn't a big deal to them. That was probably when I started to realize that men and women were both beautiful and that I could settle with either one.
After a few years go by, I remember my mother getting a phone call and instantly becoming angry and sad all at once. My Uncle, her best friend, who I spoke about earlier had been attacked and brutally assaulted. I had never seen my mother so angry, I could feel her angry and her sadness. And I actually saw her scared. I didn't understand why someone would want to hurt this beautiful man. These people attacked my uncle because he was a gay man and I was furious. I had to calm my mother down because knowing her, she would go find these people and most likely kill them. "Mom, why would someone hurt him?"
"Because some people don't understand, baby."
That broke my heart, what's not to understand? Why is it so wrong to love someone for who they are regardless for gender and race?
On the subject of race: my mother was full Irish, with some other races in there from distant relatives and my father is half Italian, half Mexican. My beautiful Grandmother is full Mexican. She was born in this country and has the cutest accent because she has a slight Boston accent as well. Our ancestors come from the native Aztec Indians and here is where I will talk about cultural appropriation. Aztec women would wear there hair long and straight, with a headdress. Sometimes they would cut their hair short or leave it bald to show their chastity. Now, if I saw a woman with a bald head, embracing Aztec culture, I would not go up to them and say: "Take that off, you shouldn't be doing that. I know you're not a virgin even though your hair is short." Sounds stupid, right? Because that is what some people do OR they just bitch about it behind a computer. If I see you rocking a sombrero on Cinco de Mayo with a fake mustache, I'm not going to call you out on it, because I know you're not doing it to be an asshole. The only way I can see someone being that way is if they had a sign that said: "BUILD A WALL!" Or whatever shit Trump has spewed throughout the year. I would be pissed. I would probably want to rip it off of you but violence isn't my thing. My grandmother is just my grandmother and a beautiful woman, I've never looked at her and said "Hey Mexican Grandma!" She's beautiful and she's kind and she has taught me so much.
I see it mostly from women who will react to the way another woman dresses regarding culture. Many women wear kimonos, many women will put feathers in their hair, many women will wear a headdress if they're at an event that makes them happy and free. We all want women to feel comfortable in their own skin right? So why continue to hurt them more?
You're belittling these people like they're purposely wearing these certain types of clothing as if they're completely shitting on that culture. What if they researched the culture first? What if their ancestors go back to that culture? What if they were adopted into a family of Asian culture, Native American culture, Mexican culture, etc? We don't know that. No one looks at me and assumes that I'm part Mexican and that's because of my pale skin. "You're not Mexican!?" I get that a lot. Sorry folks, I'm not pretending. It's all in my DNA.
Unless someone is yelling out racial slurs while in a specific type of clothing then that's where I think it's okay to step up. Why all the fighting now? Why not back then? We needed more people to step up: Native Americans were still looked upon as "savages" and why? We caused a mass genocide and nearly everyone didn't speak out about it until the past few years. Pocahontas, the Disney movie, which is a very historically inaccurate film, used "savages" constantly in that movie. Also, some women like to dress up like Pocahontas for Halloween. Little girls too, but it's okay if little girls do, right? Why is a grown woman any different? You are free to study any culture that interests you and a parent is free to teach a child about a certain culture and what's right and what's the wrong way of doing so.
As Americans, we are extremely hypocritical people. Even if Trump wasn't in office we would still have racism, sexism, ("homophobia" i.e.: in quotations because it shouldn't even be a phobia, it's essentially having a phobia to humans, which is dumb. Homophobia does make you an asshole. Phobias involving human beings shouldn't even be a thing. You just simply be called Asshole.) We have all worn something of a specific culture, we have all made our voices different to sound like a certain race. None of us are innocent, I will be the first one to admit that but I've noticed no one else will.
I'm also considerate of people. We all want this world to be a better place without hate and fear but instead of belittling someone over something that you don't feel is right, how about you go and start a conversation with them? Ask them what made them to decide to dress like that or what do they love about that culture? In general just stop being mean; have normal and cool headed debate conversations. Take in other people's opinions and actually listen. Have two sided opinions and actually talking is extremely healthy. My cousin and I get into heated debates constantly over everything but at the end of the day we still love each other. I do love our human existence, all humans. Love one another, talk face to face instead of trolling the internet for something to say. We all need it, because this world will crumble if we don't.