Cultural Appropriation

Screw Cultural Appropriation and Let Your Daughter (or Son!) Be Moana for Halloween

Cosmopolitan isn't very cosmopolitan when it comes to costumes.


Screenshot via Moana / Youtube

Should little girls avoid dressing up as Moana for Halloween if they aren't, like the character, of Polynesian descent? Cosmopolitan and Redbook, two magazines dedicated to the mission of helping women alter their appearances, say yes.

"You're the parent here, and the onus of what your child wears falls on you," wrote the editors of Redbook, in a piece that ran on the websites of both magazines. "If your kid wears a racist costume…you're kind of wearing it too."

By "racist costume" you might picture a kid dressing up as a member of the KKK. But no, the editors are talking about Moana. For little white girls, the kick-ass protagonist of the 2016 Disney film is off-limits:

To clarify: No one is telling you to ban your child from belting out Moana songs in your living room. They're good songs! Moana is a powerful, phenomenal Disney heroine who relies on more than just her CGI perfection to save the day. But there's no better time than when a kid is in their formative years to teach them that it's not OK to mock other people's cultures. That's the sort of attitude that will ultimately bleed into the way they behave and think as they get older—do they respect the personhood of those unlike themselves, or is their only concern doing whatever they think is fun? (For what it's worth, Fijian Emmaline Matagi suggests using a kid's desire to be Moana or Maui as an opportunity to teach them about actual Polynesian culture. She concedes that she understands why kids would want to dress as Moana, but instead suggests that they make their own outfits, without attempting to recreate "designs [they] think are Polynesian." After all, she writes, "my culture is not a costume.")

But little girls aren't dressing up as a generic Polynesian stereotype: They are dressing up as a specific fictional character. The culture isn't the costume; the character is. And it seems to me a good way to encourage respect for the culture is to let the kid dress up as the character. When we can imagine ourselves as other people, we gain empathy for them.

On the other hand, saying no to a child who wants to be Moana could sabotage the cause of greater racial inclusion and sensitivity. Why can't I be Moana? What's so different about Polynesian people? They're really so fundamentally different from me that I can't pretend to be one of their heroes? How is this a productive or encouraging line of thinking for a child to entertain?

This is the mixed-up logic of cultural appropriation, which ought to be opposed by all people of liberal, cosmopolitan (heh, look at that?), multicultural persuasions. It's a joy-killing, curiosity-shaming, inclusion-discouraging theory that divides people naturally inclined to cross boundaries that ought to be crossed.

As Lionel Shriver, an author and friend of Reason, put it: "People with different backgrounds rubbing up against each other and exchanging ideas and practices is self-evidently one of the most productive, fascinating aspects of modern urban life."

Practically speaking, cultural appropriation is too confusing and contradictory to even be enforced. Would the editors of Cosmopolitan and Redbook try to stop a little black girl from dressing up as Moana? Is it only white girls who can't appropriate other cultures? What about little boys? Cosmopolitan positively profiled James Charles, the first male "CoverGirl," calling him "just gifted AF [as fuck]" at make-up. Given Cosmopolitan's opposition to appropriation, I might have expected some handwringing. Is Charles not guilty of appropriating traditional aspects of the culture of womanhood?

To be clear, I fully support having a male CoverGirl. (I described Charles as "fierce as hell" in a Tweet, noting the social justice left was attacking him for making a stupid and relatively inoffensive joke about Ebola in Africa. Pitchforks, pitchforks everywhere.) I just don't see how Cosmopolitan can be wildly in favor of this while at the same time deciding that other line—a non-Polynesian kid wanting to be Moana for Halloween—is the line we can't cross.

Redbook and Cosmopolitan take their cues from an article by Sachi Feris, a mom who blogs at Raising Race Conscious Children. Feris, whose daughter is of Argentinian ethnicity, sounds like quite the concerned parent. First, she was worried about letting her kid dress up as one of the Frozen princesses for Halloween, because they are white and, "we see so many White princesses, her character sends the message that you have to be a certain way to be 'beautiful' or to be a 'princess'…that you have to have White skin, long, blonde hair, and blue eyes." Mom eventually relented, and even made her daughter a "long, blonde braid" just like Princess Elsa.

But Feris was also concerned about the possibility of dressing up her daughter as Moana the following year:

First, I considered whether my daughter and I could find Polynesian artists that made traditional clothing and both learn about and support their work—but I wasn't coming up with such artists…and, moreover, it still felt problematic to "dress up" as another culture, (even while trying to learn about and honor it). So much for idea #1.

My second idea, which I shared with my daughter, involved thinking about different qualities that Moana exemplifies, like bravery, strength, love of family, and caring for the environment, and using those qualities as inspiration to dress up as "Moana's sister".

My daughter was not impressed. "No! I want to be the real Moana!" she said with a scowl on her face.

Here was Feris's response:

"Anyway," I added, "I don't like the idea of dressing up using the same traditional clothing that someone from Moana's culture may have worn because that feels like we are laughing at her culture by making it a costume. A child whose family is Polynesian could dress up using that type of traditional clothing but Moana's culture is not our culture. If you want you could dress up as someone from one of your cultures, you could be a tango dancer from Argentina…(or as Che Guevara!). Otherwise, maybe you could be a modern-day Moana and dress up in the clothing you think Moana might wear today."

Emphasis mine. It's not okay to dress up as Moana, but it's okay to dress up as Che, a brutal murderer who executed hundreds of political prisoners, gay people, religious dissidents, and anyone else who threatened Cuba's totalitarian regime? I'm sorry, but if cultural appropriation means it's in bad taste to wear a Moana costume (if you're not Polynesian), but perfectly acceptable to wear a Che costume (if you're Argentinian), it's a useless concept. Happy Halloween, everybody.

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  1. Helen Gurley Brown would be sad to hear her magazine has been taken over by indignent white mouseburgers.

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    3. I can’t come up with anything better than what Iowahawk said over a year ago, so I’m just going to quote him:

      1. Target a respected institution
      2. Kill & clean it
      3. Wear it as a skin suit, while demanding respect

  2. Sachi Feris is a terrible mother.

  3. Frank J. Fleming??Verified account? @IMAO_ ? 14h14 hours ago

    ? More

    Frank J. Fleming Retweeted Cosmopolitan

    “To fight white supremacy, I’ll have my kids idolize someone who’s not white.”
    “No, that is also problematic b/c everything is problematic.”

  4. Fun fact: in Argentine slang, “che” is an essentially meaningless filler sound that was apparently a sort of verbal tic of Ernesto Guevara’s. If he’d been born in Canada, he’d be known as “Eh Guevara.”

      1. oh, my bad. I Gilmore’d that. even here!

        (i go to the box and i feel the shame)

        1. GILMORE bears all our shame.

          1. He’s like Jesus, if Jesus had strong opinions about the wearing of shorts.

          2. At least you didn’t italicize everything this time.

        2. At least you didn’t turn all the fonts to italics this time. Progress!

          1. I have no idea what you’re talking about

            1. *dammit!* foiled!
              (shakes fist at webmaster)

              apparently they fixed the “post twitter-handle-emojis, blow up the comments” problem

              1. I was going to accuse you of having an eeevil plan, but blowing up Robbo’s comment threads isn’t so eeevil as well deserved.

    1. I thought someone sneezed when they were introducing him.

    2. So in the US he’d be Umm Guevarra, I guess.

      1. In many areas he’d be Yo Guevara.

        1. Or Like, Guevara.

      2. Um, from Umbrage.

  5. If Sachi Feris isn’t Celtic, her celebration of Halloween is problematic.

  6. Excellent rebuke to this kind of mentality.

    1. TY for the story – you’ve restored my faith in humanity and I will immediately deactivate my Nibiru attractonator.

    2. Wow…reading that gave me a boner…for the rebuke of the SJW drone

  7. the wearing of a costume of a traditional dress of other cultures is not the same as mocking the other culture it can be but it can also be an affirmation of the culture. I don’t know of any pre teen kids wearing costumes as a political statement, they just want to have fun.

    1. “I don’t know of any pre teen kids wearing costumes as a political statement, they just want to have fun.”

      According to the members of the teachers’ unions, who parade them around while the teachers ask for a bigger space at the public trough, they all have well-developed political views and every one coincides perfectly with waht the teachers’ unions want.

    2. It’s the job of the parents to turn every childhood activity into political statement.

    3. ^This. The way the Left always assumes evil motives – even in children – is very telling.

      1. So Redbook editors go all SJW, and now it’s “The Left” thinks children are evil?

        This is how you poison the minds of impressionable people.

        1. The Left loves socialism. Socialism, ab initio, hates people. Ergo the Left hates children.

          1. Poorly constructed truth tables are my favorite, and are NEVER used to bludgeon libertarians.

            1. Libertarians are for Freedom, therefore they are for the freedom to murder minorities.

              p -> q.

              1. The ones resulting in grandma eating cat food are particularly fun.

              2. But freedom is the absence of coercion, so there can be no freedom to murder. Authority to murder is an entirely different matter. Ask Seneca solicitor Chrissy to explain how shooting an unarmed youngster is self-defense and she’ll bend your ear.

          2. You are assuming children are people.

            1. I’m not even sure most adults are people anymore.

        2. How many more examples do you require before I can confidently ascribe this nonsense to the Left? Dozens? Hundreds?

          1. Once you can find evidence that the plurality of a group support a specific position you’ll have my ear. Until then, your just seeking confirmation bias and tilting at windmills.

            1. OK, Tulpa.

              1. Tulpa doesn’t choose boring sockpuppet names like Eric.

                1. That is exactly what Tulpa would say.


  8. Meanwhile people are still dressing up their tykes in MY culture without ever bothering to learn it. Fuckers. Don’t dress your kids as vikings, dammit! No funky Scandinavian folk costumes either.

    1. Yeah, Vikings don’t beg for candy, they break down your door and take it.

      1. They rape the candy and pillage the women.


    2. But the Vikings were white so who really gives a shit about their culture, eh?


      1. Vikings also represent Scandanavia, a region with universal single payer healthcare, mandatory hyper-tolerance, and welfare for all. So despite being among the most homogeneous of homogeneous white enclaves, they must be assumed to be fully woke and worthy of honorary otherness.

    3. And don’t dress your kids like starving econazi mystics after a hurricane. That’s an affront to Puerto Ricans.

  9. Cosmopolitan and Redbook, two magazines dedicated to the mission of helping women alter their appearances, say no.

    Robby, I think you’re supposed to end this sentence with ‘yes’. They do want you to avoid ‘being racist’.

    1. Thanks.

    2. Thanks.

      1. Robby is appropriating Server Squirrel culture here, and that is Not Okay.

        1. The Coif is full of hidden nuts.

          1. To be sure, I’m pretty certain Robby and squirrels have a common furry ancestor.

        2. I always thought he was a closet fuzzy. Finally we have irrefutable proof!

    3. Should little girls avoid dressing up as Moana for Halloween if they aren’t, like the character, of Polynesian descent? Cosmopolitan and Redbook, two magazines dedicated to the mission of helping women alter their appearances, say yes.

      The sentence indicates that the magazines think little girls should AVOID the undesired behavior. I do not think the author has misphrased his intent. I did have to reread the sentence, so the structure was problematic.

      1. That’s because you read it after he corrected it.

        1. Oh farts! Pierced by Time’s Arrow yet again.

  10. Come on, the entire Disney Princess franchise is the greatest exercise in cultural appropriation ever invented.
    We have characters like Pochahontas, Mulan, Princess Jasmine, and now Moana because of the awesomeness of capitalism (as manifested in the Disney Corporation) and it’s ability to appropriate literally anything and turn it into something mainstream and culturally American. I mean, how fucking authnetic is Mulan, really? Not very. All of these characters are bastardized whitified versions of their ethnic origins, and why not? Letting asian girls dress up as Mulan turns them into little Americanized disney princesses, and letting white girl dress as Mulan lets them identify with Asian girls as role models, and both of those things are great. Same goes for Pochahontas and all the others.

    I mean I could write a longer comment about how retarded and sexist the whole Disney Princess franchise is, but at least it’s ethnically non-demoninational, and everyone gets to be a doll of any race they want.

    1. For once I agree with you Hazel. The idea that any of the Disney Princesses are in any way a realistic depiction of other cultures is pretty laughable. But, it is for little girls. They like it. It would be nice if adults could manage to have the maturity and perspective equal to a seven year old girl. But, though a low bar, it is one that many adults apparently cannot reach.

      1. Aren’t they mocking mutants if they dress up like Elsa, a girl who can freeze stuff without a freeze gun?

        1. Isn’t having a hot blond girl be able to freeze things enforcing a sexist and racist stereotype? Showing a hot white girl as an ice queen is no different than showing a black person eating fried chicken and watermelon.

          1. All the lesbian incest subtext goes against the grain so hard as to obliterate all other stereotypes.

    2. I mean I could write a longer comment about how retarded and sexist the whole Disney Princess franchise is

      Current bullet status: dodged

      1. Meanwhile Nintendo Asia-fies European culture. I could write a longer comment about how retarded and sexist the whole Princess Zelda franchise is.

        1. What about all of the Italians who are insulted by the Mario franchise? Imagine if they had a black character who looked as stereotypical as Mario does for Italians?

          1. Sorry, Mario. The racists are in another castle.

        2. I’m pretty sure I have written a short essay on that once. But I have become anti-Nintendo to a jokey degree over the last ten years or so.

      2. Zing. If only she had led off her comment with that. I need to remember to look at the commenter’s name BEFORE I read the post

    3. I feel like I’m browsing Stormfront.

      1. I feel like I’m storming the browsefront

    4. A liberal hating on Disney. Another prime example of lefties eating their own.

      1. You can’t win with these idiots. Make the characters mutli racial and they condemn you for cultural appropriation. Make them all white and they condemn you for being racist. Make them alien and of no race, and they assume all of the villains really represent minorities and say the entire thing is just a dog whistle, that oddly only the woke nonracists can hear.

        They are just fucking lunatics. The entire point is to be offended and condemn someone. Truth or rationality has nothing to do with it.

        1. The whole point of reporting this shit is to stir outrage and further divide us. You’re consistently right-wing but I would expect you to be thoughtful enough to know when you’re being manipulated.

          Or do you think that the opinion of the Redbook editorial staff that wrote this piece is reflective of the entire left? If affirmative, would you agree that A single voice reflects the opinions of the entire right?

          1. It is indicative of a large portion of the left. And Redbook is a pretty large publication. This isn’t some obscure website. Redbook is about as mainstream as it gets. Clearly, the people who wrote this consider this view to be mainstream or else they would not have written it. They don’t run a radical magazine.

            And if there were not about a dozen examples a day of this sort of nonsense coming from the left, you might have a point. Sadly there is. Sorry but engaging in the not a true Scotsman fallacy isn’t being thoughtful. And that is really all you are doing here.

            1. A beat down that brutal shouldn’t be shown on the public Internet – this is a family webzine for gods’ sake.

            2. “It is indicative of a large portion of the left”

              Citation dearly fucking needed here.

              1. The citation is right above you. If it isn’t, then why is it in a mainstream magazine like Redbook. And why isn’t there a large backlash coming from the left over this?

                1. “The citation is right above you.”

                  You mean your statement makes it so because Redbook is mainstream. Therefore the editor’s thoughts can be attributed to the entire left. Who is engaging in an Logical fallacy, me?

                  1. If the left never stands up and objects, then yes it can. Again, show me anyone on the left who doesn’t agree with this.

                    1. Who is “the left”? Does “the right” have to disavow every stupid fucking thing Alex Jones says? Is it fair to categorize every opinion he has as belonging to “the right” unless immediately rebutted by a plurality of conservative media?

                    2. You are so fucked in the head that you think Alex Jones is as popular as Redbook?

                      Fuck me, I know a lot of Team Blue are fucked up in the head but when you see it first-hand, it’s boggleworthy.

                  2. Posing as reflective and thoughtful just makes you even more idiotic. I don’t need any evidence to know that most people are aware of the limitations of grouping people. It’s painfully unnecessary to keep posting on this issue.
                    I also don’t need any scientific, statistical, peer-reviewed studies to know enough about how cultural norms are distributed in contemporary American culture.
                    Any reasonable Reason reader is perfectly aware that not everyone who adopts the mantle of Leftist has a uniform opinion on every issue.
                    You are an idiot. (I also didn’t feel the the need to qualify that statement with the obligatory, “In my opinion”. But, if you find it soothing to do so, then please forgive my egregious effontery.

                    1. Too long. I’ll shorten it for you:

                      “I don’t need no fancy nuanced uppity asshole to tell my brainstem how to jerk my knee…and speakin of jerkin, the best kind is intellectual circle jerkin.”

                    2. It’s easier to view groups as large masses of completely consistent views.

                    3. Ahh, I’ve missed you Tulpa.

              2. Say the internet commenter who clearly doesn’t have any kids in a fucking public school system.

              3. “It is indicative of a large portion of the left”

                Citation dearly fucking needed here.

                How many citations do you need? Articles like this appear all over leftist publications, on leftist websites and youtube channels. They are enacted by vicious leftists on campuses and in primary and secondary schools all over this country–and in many other countries.

                The drumbeat against ‘cultural appropriation’ is deafening.

                And it is sheer, unadulterated leftist idiocy.

                Does this mean that it applies to The Left in general? Yes, absolutely–leftists who act against it are attacked by their fellows.

                Even to suggest that it’s not a leftist trope is idiocy.

                Perhaps you ARE Tulpa, trolling for stupidity

          2. Find some leftists that will go on record disagreeing, and get back to me.

            1. It will happen. The right-wing sites are hyperventalating over it right now. The thoughtful responses will be out over the next few days.

              1. It will happen. You just don’t have any examples of it. But we can trust you it will. Sure.

                This isn’t the first time this issue has been raised. How about you show us some examples of the left in the past thoughtfully rejecting this. That shouldn’t be hard.

              2. It’s been five days now. Where the fuck are the ‘thoughtful responses’ from Team Blue, you shit-spackled muppet fart?

          3. It seems like the main goal of media anymore is to encourage outrage. I suppose that’s what gets them the clicks.

    5. Letting asian girls dress up as Mulan turns them into little Americanized disney princesses, and letting white girl dress as Mulan lets them identify with Asian girls as role models, and both of those things are great.

      Exactly. Cultural appropriation is necessary to create a cohesive multi-ethnic society of immigrants.

      1. Exactly. Both white girls AND Asian girls can emulate an Americanized version of a Chinese fairy tale! It’s what the melting pot is all about.

        1. Hazel, you ignorant slut.
          It’s what Halloween is about.

        2. The melting pot, as a theory, has been roundly debunked for decades.

          1. The Melting Pot, as a theory, has been soundly misunderstood for decades. It has been used as a ‘food metaphor’–describing stews, soups and the like–it has spawned the even more idiotic ‘salad bowl’ idea.

            But you don’t cook food in a melting pot.

            You melt metal to make alloys that are better and stronger that the metal you started with.

            THAT is what the ‘melting pot’ is actually about.


    Robby clearly doesn’t care about how harmful these things are to feline sensibilities. This is not okay!!

    1. I can’t tell whether Citizen X would be aroused or offended.

      1. Citizen X…Citizen X! Why does no one care about my arousal?

        1. Every crowd has at least one person who violates defenseless felines. I have to admit, I didn’t think it would be you. But you never know.

        2. People care about my arousal because they need to know when to duck, Paul.

          1. The stream of tears is legendary.

      2. By a young lady in a slutty costume? Both!

        1. Finally, someone discussing the appropriation of slut’s culture!

          1. Actually, most of fashion is appropriation of prostitute culture.

        2. And frankly, that is what I love about Halloween. Hot chicks in sexy costumes.

  12. No one is telling you to ban your child from belting out Moana songs in your living room.

    If you’re going to be racist colonialists, be graceful enough to do it in the privacy of your own home.

  13. Cultural appropriation is an openly racist notion. It is essentially saying that anyone who would dress up in culturally stereotypical clothing from a culture not associated with their race must be assumed to have malevolent reasons for doing so. If the culture is associated with their race, then the purpose is not to be assumed to have bad intent.

    1. Cultural appropriation is one of the evilest ideas the left has come up with. It basically says any sort of understanding or exchange between cultures is verboten. It is an entire doctrine that says people should not learn from or understand each other.

      1. They start from the principle that you are wrong because of who you are, then just create explanations for why. Like white flight versus gentrification, tell me which direction are you headed, and I’ll tell you why it makes you evil.

      2. I think it’s a wonderful thing. Nothing will turn normies against them faster than these segregationist attitudes. We should encourage it.

      3. Cultural appropriation is one of the most incoherent ideas the left has come up with.

      4. I guess we need to promote segregation again, so no one accidentally appropriates anyone else’s culture.

  14. I have a reliable litmus test on issues likemCultural Appropreation; if the Left is against it, I am provisionally for it.

  15. “Raising race conscious children?”

    Isn’t that sort of the opposite of MLK’s dream?

    1. And didn’t the country once excel at raising race-conscious children?

      1. You know who else?

    2. “Race conscious” versus “color-blind”. I’ll go with the second.

      1. Here, here.

  16. As always, I will stop using shit made by other races when they stop using shit made by white folks.

    Take this “cultural appropriation” nonsense all the way or don’t do it at all.

    This whole “There is black, Mexican, Asian, etc culture — but white culture is EVERYBODY’s culture” mantra is idiotic.

    1. Math is just white supremacy. Straight up!!

      A math education professor at the University of Illinois argued in a newly published book that algebraic and geometry skills perpetuate “unearned privilege” among whites.

      Rochelle Gutierrez, a professor at the University of Illinois, made the claim in a new anthology for math teachers, arguing that teachers must be aware of the “politics that mathematics brings” in society.

      I spent hours earning a B in college calculus. I must not really be white because if I were, I would have just magically known how to solve derivatives by the din of my white privilege.

      1. by the din of my white privilege

        John’s white privilege makes a lot of noise, y’all.

        1. That is just your privilege talking.

          1. I missed your typos, man.

            1. Spelling and grammar are just a racist conspiracy. I refuse to let the man keep me down.

              1. As good as your typos are, no one is ever going to beat my typo, where I praised Radley Balko for being good about keeping on top of police anuses.

                1. Way to not let the man keep you down Chipper.

                2. no one is ever going to beat my typo

                  Are we talking about the same man who once declared with total conviction that the late Colonel Howard had been bludgeoned to death with a blunt *excrement*?

        2. I can’t even tell what the right word is supposed to be there.

          1. “By dint of” is a not-very-common way of saying “because.”

            1. Is that a Canadian saying? Cause I’ve never heard it before.

              1. It is an American thing. I just forgot the “t”.

                1. I dint no that! … Well, now I no!

                  Thank Yew Verra-Verra Mulch!

              2. Read a book sometime, skippy.

          2. Dint


          And the crazy prof who wrote that is pretty damned cute.

          1. Crazy eyes.

          2. I bet she can suck an 8 ball through a garden hose

          3. A friend of mine often says “never stick your dick in crazy”.

        4. Empty barrel, ya know.

      2. I gotta say, you are pretty good at derivatives.

      3. Arabian algebra + Greek geometry = White privilege

        1. The funny thing is the woman is apparently an ethnic East Indian. Walk into any STEM graduate program and half the people there will be Indian. I guess they are just white people pretending or something.

          1. Where do you think the term “Aryan” came from?

      4. Hell, let’s examine this in detail.

        The printing press is a Western invention.

        The mom blogs. Computers are a Western invention.

        The internet, also, Western.

        The idiot professor about math — universities are a Western invention.

        Sacrifice ALL of that and we can discuss moronic Polynesian costumes.

      5. I always thought mathematics was an Asian thing….

        1. Hell, the digits themselves are ARABIC numerals, right?

        2. Yeah, Indians, Arabs and Persians were doing lots of interesting stuff in math before the Europeans really got going on it.

      6. I’d link to some culturally-sensitive math problems, but I was told they’re not actually very sensitive.

      7. Sadly, my son’s white-Anglo-Saxon heritage isn’t helping him any in Math. It’s probably my lazy Irish ancestors fault.

    2. I’m waiting for all these people to stop speaking English !

    3. But white people WANT everyone else to appropriate our culture. We want it so much we invade their countries and force it on them. Of course white culture has proven to be the most successful so…you’re welcome.

  17. Redbook and Cosmopolitan take their cues from an article by Sachi Feris, a mom who blogs at Raising Race Conscious Children.

    To be fair, this helps us identify the REAL racists in the room.

  18. Someone needs to dress up in a Confederate uniform and just go walk around some college campus and film what happens. That would be a great piece of performance art.

    1. I did that 20 years ago in Queens. Most people didn’t say a thing, as there was a Union guy with us too. At White Castle at 4AM a few people started saying shit. That’s when my Russian buddy, dressed in some kind of kimono thing, pulled out some honest to god hardwood and brass nunchucks. Everyone realized at that point that we were drunken idiots, and that virtue signaling any further would be a costly mistake.

      1. Sadly, I don’t think it would work that way now. But I would be interested to find out.

        1. Depends. Queens is not Manhattan or northern Brooklyn. Most parts of it are not terribly woke at all.

          1. Which is why I still love the Q-boro and would consider moving back. Just not to LIC or Astoria (and I’m sure in 5 years that will also include Sunnyside, Ridgewood and surrounding areas).

            1. Yeah I lived in Astoria for years – unbelievable how much it’s changed.

        1. His being Russian was absolutely relevant to the story’s conclusion.

    2. most people wouldn’t know what a confederate uniform looks like let alone on what side the confederates fought for.

  19. All cultures are a costume.

    1. Did you get that from InspiroBot?

      1. “Give up, fingerbang, and you may steal office supplies.”

        Thanks, InspiroBot.

    2. Lefty culture sure is a joke!

      BOOM! I be here all da week.

      1. And you know that because you often take breaks from riding on sleds in the mud dragged behind pickup trucks and chawing on things to hang out with leftists in their natural habitat? Do you and your cousin-wife often go to coffee shops and ballets? Or are you just assuming that what the fat frat rapist on TV told you is real, because he has such a trustworthy ratface?

        1. I prefer monster trucks, myself. And I like to drag leftists in a sled behind me, especially over the really bumpy parts of the road.

        2. I don’t care what your political beliefs are, riding on sleds in the mud dragged behind pickup trucks is fun as hell.

        3. Coffee is so sophisticated.

        4. And how is the Oklahoma ballet scene?

          1. Better than you’d think.

            1. I would hope so. You poor dears need some taste of culture beyond agriculture.

              1. but enough about Tony’s communist heroes

        5. “Do you and your cousin-wife often go to coffee shops and ballets? ”

          Lolololol what kind of fucking idiot says shit like this?

        6. You won me over, Tony. Do I get the insult book free with membership or do I have to buy it myself?

        7. You know, Tony, it’s a good thing that your elitist, elevated level of existence keeps you from stereotyping people.

          1. I am not a member of the PC police and I stereotype people all the time. So stop stereotyping me, jeez.

        8. You’re so cute when you get mad.

        9. Cousin-wife isn’t really an insult because she could be like a 6th cousin or something. Hey even Einstein married his cousin.

  20. This is what happens when you put people in a comfy environment with little actual danger and few actuall challenges. They stop focusing on survival and instead of doing something productive with their free time, they worry about shit like this.

    1. Of course, conflict equals progress.

    2. A wise man I went to see several years ago fielded an audience question along the lines of “What do you imagine people would do once they had everything they thought they wanted?”

      His answer was, “Turn on each other, I imagine.”

      So here we are.

      1. Good thing it’s a totally abstract problem because the only time you won’t have wants or needs is if you’re dead.

  21. “…do they respect the personhood of those unlike themselves, or is their only concern doing whatever they think is fun?”

    Cosmopolitan and Redbook are prolife?

  22. I only wear strictly non-racist costumes. Old-fashioned ghost costumes made with white sheets and eyeholes cut in the top.

    1. No one could have a problem with that. It’s too bland.

      1. Except of course the people who think your ghost costume is a KKK costume…

  23. “People with different backgrounds rubbing up against each other”


    1. I mean, this is exactly why Halloween is the best holiday.

  24. My second idea, which I shared with my daughter, involved thinking about different qualities that Moana exemplifies, like bravery, strength, love of family, and caring for the environment, and using those qualities as inspiration to dress up as “Moana’s sister”.

    My daughter was not impressed. “No! I want to be the real Moana!” she said with a scowl on her face.

    Sounds like someone trying to bullshit their child to save some money, with typical results.

    1. Mona’s sister is white? Sounds like there was some cultural appropriation going on at one point.

    2. Yup! You’re right

    3. Look, if cultural appropriation of a simple Halloween costume is bad than it’s got to be several orders of magnitude worse to mix the races through sexual procreation.

      /Honest Progressive

  25. I was at a birthday party at a Mexican restaurant, and the staff put a sombrero on the head of the guest of honor, who is non-Hispanic.

    1. Bunch of uncle Tom?ses.

  26. Soave missed the whole argument against this by not responding to this-

    But there’s no better time than when a kid is in their formative years to teach them that it’s not OK to mock other people’s cultures.

    None of these girls (or boys) are mocking Moana! They absolutely idolize her and that should be encouraged. A frat boy who wore the same costume while drinking and doing vile things to stuffed animals while his brothers laughed would be considered mocking but they don’t care what Cosmo and Redbook say.

    1. Is that what they do at frat parties? Dress up as Disney characters?

      1. I think we just learned something uncomfortable about Trainer’s college years.

        1. Sorry, I was no where near cool enough to go to frat parties. I just had the think of a group of people stupid and insensitive enough to do that and they just happened to be the first.

        1. But the drunken hookups are better if you’re dressed as Pinocchio and Snow White…

          1. This is why some women are attracted to men who are liars.

            (h/t Blanche Knott, I think)

      2. Only the Disney character that wears a dildo strapped to the top of his head.

        1. Ah the mythical Uniporn.

    2. A frat boy who wore the same costume while drinking and doing vile things to stuffed animals while his brothers laughed would be considered mocking but they don’t care what Cosmo and Redbook say.

      But this is just plain wrong. But the Japanese don’t care about some crazy gaijin mis-wearing their costumes, so long as they’re buying the product.

  27. Is it cultural appropriation for the Rock to dress up as (his voiced character) Maui for Halloween? He’s part Samoan, (and part African-Canadian), so maybe it’s ok intra-Polynesia. Or is it culturally appropriation of a 2-dimensional likeness by a 3-D guy? Or of the American Hawaiian island’s name?

    1. Given the way he works out, I would not want to be the one to tell him no.

  28. “I just don’t see how Cosmopolitan can be wildly in favor of this while at the same time deciding that other line?a non-Polynesian kid wanting to be Moana for Halloween?is the line we can’t cross.”
    Because if the pearl-clutching hand-wringers didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards at all.

  29. I’m thinking Cultural Appropriation might be my Halloween costume this year…

    1. Best Halloween costume idea of 2017!

    2. From one of my FB friends:

      “My costume this Halloween is going to be a sombrero, Fubu shirt, Chop sticks and one of those indian dots… name:

      Cultural Appropriation Mannnnn

      Because that’s what all the beta male SJWs will be screaming at me.”

  30. Dress your kid in another country’s garb and it’s cultural appropriation. Dress them in drag and you’re parent of the year…

    1. So true!

  31. You have to dress up as someone from your own culture (however that might be defined) because we don’t want you to be unduly influenced by them. The “Other” must be kept separate and at a distance. We can’t risk our children becoming corrupted by other cultures.

  32. I totally agree with you. My son loves Maui and he has curly hair we thought him dressing as Maui would be so perfect! Then when i googles it and saw the opposition i was so shocked. I told my Tongan friend about it and she laughed. How is it different than dressing as Jasmine or elsa or a sumo wrestler? They are all people of other cultures. Why is it ok to sell Hitler costumes? Why is the world so messed up with trying not to offend? People should be able to dress as what they want! Luckily I found a knock off Maui costume for my son on eBay (not as cute as Disney’s but it works) so he’s super excited. But I’m still confused why the Disney store can sell moana and not Maui…

  33. Redbook isn’t brave enough to talk about the true danger. Kids dressing as Zootopia characters and turning into Furries. Shit, Jason Bateman already ships the fox and rabbit, our culture is falling apart!

  34. “Cultural Appropriation” appears to be a major tenet of the Church of the Perpetually Offended, a quasi-religious order whose primary raison d’?tre is to take offense at nominally innocuous things on behalf of another group which the Church deems too benighted to take offense independently.

  35. I would be thrilled if one of my daughters wanted to dress up as Moana! That was one of Disney’s most creative movies ever and certainly its most beautiful to date. My wife could pull it off without anyone accusing her of bogus “cultural appropriation,” but then she’s Hawaiian. Unfortunately, the blonde daughter wants to be Cinderella and the brunette wants to be a vampire.

  36. There’s only human culture, and we’re all human. Except for Trump.

  37. Acting racist is like violating a federal regulation: there’s a good chance you’ve done it several times already today without knowing it

  38. RE: Screw Cultural Appropriation and Let Your Daughter (or Son!) Be Moana for Halloween

    Cultural appropriation was a stupid idea made up by even more stupid people who don’t have a life.

  39. Culture isn’t property, it can’t be appropriated. Anyone bitching about what kids wear on halloween is a cunt, and go fuck his or herself. I’ll get a spray tan and wear blackface if I damned well feel like it.


    1. Just make sure it’s a black WOMAN you dress up as. That’ll short-circuit their brains.

  40. A big problem for all of this is that “culture” doesn’t exist. When you are born, you have no culture. It is not genetic. You learn by imitating how people talk, what they wear, what songs they sing, what food they eat. So if you are Jewish you eat chinese food at Christmas (because that is what is open that day). Is eating chinese food on christmas a sacred tradition for Jews? The idea that culture is innate to a people is also to assume that no one can change or does change their culture, but this is obviously false. There are millions of people who were born in primitive villages with virtually no culture who now live in big cities and wear modern clothing and listen to rock music and drive a car. If you tried to make them go back to that village they would put up quite a fight. I listened to Jimi Hendrix live and Led Zepelin when young but now listen to jazz–I changed my musical culture. People do it constantly. Bell bottoms are in then out then in again. Long hair good, long hair old school. Beards come and go. People change their church. The people who want culture to be permanent are the racists who have an essentialist idea of races.

  41. What’s wrong w dressing as someone scary, like Che, for Halloween?

    1. As long as the costume includes enough blood…

  42. I was really trying to enjoy Halloween this year, and Cosmo had to go and have an opinion about something.

    1. The only opinion Cosmo has is “we need to sell more ads”.

  43. People with different backgrounds rubbing up against each other… yes that’s true

  44. What if a boy wants to dress as a girl? Isn’t that appropriation?

  45. Too much is never enough for the Sally Soulcrushers in our midst. How about everyone just let the kids have their fun, yeah?

  46. Shaming white people via cultural appropriation is segregation.

    The more we fear offending other cultures, the further apart we drive ourselves from having true understanding of them and building real relationships. I’m not saying people should be outright offensive, but if a white woman told a little black girl she can’t be Elsa because she isn’t white, everyone would be up in arms. And rightly so. But a little white girl wants to be Moana because she admires her and she needs to sit her ass down and get woke.

    Quite frankly, this extreme PC bullshit of white people being shamed from integrating products or ideas from other cultures only makes white people seem more MORE SUPERIOR. Blacks, Asians, and Latinos can of course borrow from white culture, but white people should be morally superior enough to not borrow from theirs.

    It’s more of the same highbrow bullshit. White people should know and do better because….well….you know.

    1. “…the soft bigotry of low expectations…”

  47. If they aren’t Celts or at least Catholic, they should stop appropriating my culture by celebrating Halloween anyway.

  48. Wasn’t Cosmopolitan the magazine that ran Christian socialist prohibitionist Howells’ “A Traveler from Altruria” in installments in 1892-3? That would put that mag on the map as the protagonists of looter totalitarianism even before Soviet Socialist concentration camps, pogroms and famines OR National Socialist death camps ever became fashionable. Perhaps Robbie expected them to change now, rather than in 1933 or 1945?

  49. Screw cultural appropriation indeed! I’m already looking forward to next May when I will celebrate Cinco de Mayo by donning a sombrero, scarfing down some tacos, hoisting shots of tequila, and if the evening goes well, dancing the Mexican Hat Dance…on the table!! Ole!!!!!

  50. These people are fucking insane. I’ve been meaning to do it for years, but I want to dress like the most stereotypical drunken/dirty/grubby Mexican bandito one of these years, HUGE sombrero and all… And then wait for people to freak out on me. Then I will tell them that my mom is part Mexican, and tear into them for being such overly sensitive ultra PC douche bags.

  51. So, doe this mean you should get in the face of any non-white children dressed up like Anna from “Frozen”?

  52. Minor detail: ‘SHE’ IS A CARTOON!!!!!!!

    There is no culture to appropriate. Just Disney Dollars.

    And in real life, no culture can be appropriated. That is a made up thing by a bunch of Jewish mother wanna-be’s trying to guilt trip the universe. Don’t buy a ticket.

    To quote the great philosophers Hoyt Axton and Ken Ramsey: “travel where you will, and grow to be a man, and sing what must be sung”

  53. Isn’t the idea of black people endorsing Marxism, for example, a form of cultural appropriation? Even the Black Panthers, a radical revolutionary black militant group, acknowledges its entire foundation is based on Karl Marx’s philosophy, in other words, the teachings of white Jewish European man. Talk about your Uncle Toms. Furthermore, should we allow black people to sing opera or dance in ballets? Thanks.

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