Mar
06
2014

Salon.com goes Full Mundane.

You never go Full Mundane.

…Oh, sorry: ‘Mundane’ is a specialized slur found in the fandom/SCA/geek community: it translates to Not a fan/SCAdian/geek.  Mundane is in fact a rather rude slur; you’re not supposed to call people by that in public.  I may get yelled at, in fact, for calling Ms. Randa Jarrar a mundane, but I don’t particularly care.  She started it:

Why I can’t stand white belly dancers

Whether they know it or not, white women who practice belly dance are engaging in appropriation

Let me just head off this rant of hers at the pass, since I happen to belong to the SCA (a group that numbers belly dancing among its past-times): contrary to Ms. Jarrar’s sneer, it’s been my experience that ‘white*’ belly dancers are perfectly aware of the culture whose past-time they have adopted. Yes, adopted: ‘appropriation’ is a semantic null word that means I don’t like it when white people decide that other cultures’ stuff is neat.  This is why the word is mostly used in this fashion by the radical Left: God knows that group is purely down on anything fun that fails to match their overly rigid definitions…

But I digress.

Normally, I would take this opportunity to suggest that Ms. Jarrar spend some time on actual problems facing women in the Middle East, like human trafficking, honor killings, female genital mutilation, gender-selective abortion, child marriage… oh, the list goes on: but I suspect that the woman would simply be dismissive of such a commonplace observation.  So instead I will simply note this: Ms. Jarrar has done some ‘appropriation’ herself.  To wit, she has ‘appropriated’ Western expectations and attitudes towards the place of women in society – expectations and attitudes that are both far more expansive and supportive than those commonly found in, say, the Palestinian Authority, as well as (forgive me for noting this) largely worked out by Western women.  If we’re going to divvy up cultural stuff by who came up with it first, does Randa Jarrar really want to trade Western feminism for belly dancing? – Because I’m not going to sign off on that trade, even if she would.

Via Instapundit.

Moe Lane

PS: I’d also like to note that belly dancing in the SCA is one of those activities that women who are not 23 year old girls with 2% body fat can feel comfortable performing in public.  So if we’re going to discuss Ms. Jarrar’s sins against her own ideology, we should probably add ageism and body shaming to the list.

*Irony alert: Ms. Jarrar would probably get huffy and offended if I lumped in her, a Saudi, a Lebanese, and a Moroccan as all being ‘Arabs.’ Caucasians have ethnic, cultural, and even a couple of physical distinctions, too.

25 Comments

  • Finrod says:

    You say mundane, I say idiot. Viva la difference.

    • acat says:

      Not so fast. Idiot, or more accurately, “Fool” or “Jester” is a somewhat honorable societal position.
      .
      Mundane is closer kin to “parochial” or “closed-minded”, with overtones of “bigot”.
      .
      Mew

      • Luke says:

        It also used to be a euphemistic classification for someone with an IQ of 25 or under.
        (Granted, we’re two generations of weasel-words past that point.)

  • Jeffstag says:

    With a world view that can’t stand to see cultural appropriation, I suppose she views Marco Polo as one of history’s worst monsters (or perhaps shes pays for things only in gold and silver coins). Geez, ‘appropriation’ also known by its more common name of ‘civilization’.

    • Herp McDerp says:

      Don’t you just hate the way those people have appropriated and taken over basketball?

  • Jeffstag says:

    What are her views on white people listening to Rock & Roll?

    • acat says:

      That gets a little complex because Vanilla Ice and Eminem…
      .
      Mew

      • Jeffstag says:

        Yes, and Debbie Harry makes it harder to parse out just who owns rap, but I’m sure we can work this out so that the races don’t use each others stuff. Being Dutch, I lay claim to wooden shoes, advanced hydrology and ..um..euthanasia of old people I guess…(oh yea, hookers standing in store windows, I get that too)

        • acat says:

          Eh, and I’m a cat, so I get singing loudly at 2:00am and looking good while wearing fur in July.
          .
          Mew

        • midwestconservative says:

          I’m Dutch, English, Scotch Irish, Irish ( there is a difference), German and French. So I get to lay claim to a whole bunch of crap!!!

  • Erin Palette says:

    I’ll just leave this here, k?

  • Luke says:

    To appropriate something, you must first remove it from someone else’s use.
    A form of dance cannot be appropriated. By definition.
    .
    Granted, I don’t like “white” belly dancers. They tend to be into essential oils, crystal power, and idealizing matriarchies that may or may not have existed.

  • Catseyes says:

    So who gets the beer?

    • qixlqatl says:

      Beer is one of the cornerstones of civilization. I think every culture has had beer almost from its inception, so all cultures can share it. Except the muslims, of course….

      • acat says:

        Don’t forget the Mormons. They may have a genetic claim, but they sort of abandoned it.
        .
        Mew

        • qixlqatl says:

          The Mormons are teetotalers? I did not know that….. I knew I liked them for some reason: they’re saving more for me!!

  • Herp McDerp says:

    The author has a Ph.D. in Grievance Studies. And when you see her photograph, you can understand what her grievance encompasses.
     
    The most disturbing thing is when these women take up Arabic performance names — Suzy McCue becomes Samirah Layali. This name and others like it make no sense in Arabic. This, in my estimation, completes the brownface Orientalist façade. A name. A crowning. A final consecration of all the wrongs that lead up to the naming.
     
    I’m sure the author would be far more comfortable dealing with a Person of Authenticity who had a racially appropriate name, like, oh … “Michelle Robinson”?

  • midwestconservative says:

    I am pleased to see that a significant minority(or potential majority) of salon commenters are suitably shaming the author of this article.

  • Cameron says:

    I wonder if she has a list of approved activities for white people.

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