Now hoop earrings have become cultural appropriation

October 19, 2017 • 12:30 pm

Among the venues becoming Authoritarian Leftist (actually, it’s been largely like that for a while) is Vice News, which now cements its ideology with an article called “Hoop earrings are my culture, not your trend.” It’s written by “Anonymous author,” which shows both the cowardice of taking this risible stand, but also the willingness of a supposedly respectable news site to refuse to divulge who writes their pieces.  What kind of journalism is that? This is not a leak from an anonymous source like Deep Throat. (As we’ll see below, the author has been identified.)

Anonymous, however, makes this argument. She could have stopped after the first sentence.

In the grand scheme of things, hoop earrings may seem insignificant. But seeing white women wearing them is unnerving. White girls did not start the “trend” of over-sized hoop earrings and yet they’re the ones being praised for donning the “edgy” style. Meanwhile, women of colour who wear them face racial stereotypes or the assumption that they’re participating in a disposable trend. Last month,Vogue declared up-dos and gold hoops to be the ultimate summer pairing. They credited a bunch of mainly white models with starting the trend and even proclaimed that “bigger is better.” Never has that been the case when it comes to women of colour wearing over-sized gold hoops. A style that links so heavily with identity is not taken seriously until it is seen on a white woman.

I’m not sure what it means to “be taken seriously until it is seen on a white women”. Another interpretation would be “the fashion industry just noticed that hoop earrings look cool, and have declared it a ‘thing‘.” That has nothing to do with the marginalization of women of color, only that there has to be a time when some appealing aspect of culture gets noticed and touted if it’s to spread to other cultures. After all, there was a time, long ago, when Chinese restaurants didn’t really exist as places for Americans to eat. Did their new popularity reflect that fact that their growth meant that they were finally taken seriously by white people? That’s one way of looking at it, I suppose, but it has nothing to do with the denigration of Asians. It has to do with finally noticing that Chinese food happens to be good! (I am a creditable Szechuan cook; does that make me extra guilty?)

The anonymous author goes on:

Earlier this year in the US, three latina students painted a mural urging their white classmates to take off their hoops. White confusion ran rampant, prompting one of the creators to explain that “This is about how women of colour can’t wear their own style and culture because they are looked down upon when they do so… But on the other hand, white females are allowed to appropriate the fashion when it is beneficial to them or makes them look edgy.”

I do try to keep my ear to the ground, but I’m unaware of black women or Latinas have been denigrated a lot for wearing hoop earrings. In fact, I’ve never heard of a single instance. Was that some kind of bigotry that I missed?

Actually, as The Claremont Independent reports, what was  painted was not really a “mural” but graffiti created by three Latina students at Pitzer College in California. Here it is:

One of the “artists,” a student at Pitzker College, notes that these earrings, and other decorations, are “symbols of resistance” that cannot be appropriated:

“[T]he art was created by myself and a few other WOC [women of color] after being tired and annoyed with the reoccuring [sic] theme of white women appropriating styles … that belong to the black and brown folks who created the culture. The culture actually comes from a historical background of oppression and exclusion. The black and brown bodies who typically wear hooped earrings, (and other accessories like winged eyeliner, gold name plate necklaces, etc) are typically viewed as ghetto, and are not taken seriously by others in their daily lives. Because of this, I see our winged eyeliner, lined lips, and big hoop earrings serving as symbols [and] as an everyday act of resistance, especially here at the Claremont Colleges. Meanwhile we wonder, why should white girls be able to take part in this culture (wearing hoop earrings just being one case of it) and be seen as cute/aesthetic/ethnic. White people have actually exploited the culture and made it into fashion.”

This issue was also taken up by the Independent (is that place going downhill, too?) in the following article (click on screenshot to go there), which identifies the Vice writer as Ruby Pivet, a Latina writer. How did they find out?

The Independent basically regurgitates the Vice piece, so you don’t need to read it. But when did reporting at a place like the Independent consist on pointing at and regurgitating an article from another news source?

At any rate, I seriously doubt that hoop earrings were originally worn as “symbols of resistance”: they are only declared so post facto to prevent others from wearing them.

And winged eyeliner? Amy Winehouse, clearly a cultural appropriator par excellence.

Gold nameplate necklaces? Fault Iggy Azalea, wearing her Twitter handle!

There are too many white women with lined lips to show, but, as the ultimate cultural appropriator of hoop earrings—who in fact has made them part of her image—I submit this for your disapproval:

Anita, take off your hoops!

Now here we have a real dilemma: which woman of color dares to call out Anita Sarkeeian for culturally appropriating their symbol-of-resistance jewelry? Or will Sarkeesian simply admit her ideological misstep and stop wearing her hoops?

Want more cognitive dissonance? Here’s feminist activist Emma Watson wearing the Earrings of Shame.

Emma, take off your hoops!

But—as with dreadlocks—hoop earrings, while they may have been adopted by Latinas, have also been adopted over the course of history by many groups. WUSA-9, a CBS station and site, says this:

So what is the origin of the hoop earring?

There is no pinpointing who was the first to rock [JAC: please excuse the preceding infelicity] a pair of hoop earrings, but the popular jewelry piece can be traced back to Ashurnasirpal II, King of Assyria (884-859 BCE), according to the Cultural Encyclopedia of the Body.

There is a depiction of the king wearing thick hoop earrings in a palace in the ancient city of Nimrud, which is modern day Iraq.

Hoop earrings were evident in the major cultures of the ancient world including with the Greeks and Romans.

Pirates and sailors also often wore gold hoop earrings. Seaman often wore the earrings as a mark of their travels, according to LiveScience.

Pirates also used hoop earrings for superstitious reasons since it was believed the metals in an earring contained magic healing powers. Others believed the earrings would keep them from drowning or sea sickness.

When a seaman died, the earring would pay for their funerals or to pay for their bodies to go back home. Pirates would even dangle wax from their earring to use as ear plugs for when firing cannons.

Even Wikipedia backs that up:

Ear piercing is one of the oldest known forms of body modification, with artistic and written references from cultures around the world dating back to early history. Gold, Silver and Bronze hoop earrings were prevalent in the Minoan Civilization (2000–1600 BCE) and examples can be seen on frescoes on the Aegean island of Santorini, Greece.

Here’s an example from a fresco on the Greek island of Santorini (Wikipedia caption)

A Fresco depicting an elegantly dressed woman with hoop earrings from Akrotiri, Thera (Cyclades) Greece, ca. 1650-1625 BCE.[2]
Did Latinas themselves culturally appropriate hoop earrings from ancient Greeks and Minoans? Who cares? As you know, I object to cultural appropriation only in the rare instances where it actually damages a group by degrading their image or reducing their livelihood without recompense. That’s not the case for hoop earrings, which are simply one more aspect of dress that has spread among groups because people like it. Cultural appropriation, a sign of flattery and admiration, has been turned into a grievous sin among Leftists.

But here nobody has been harmed. People have been offended, but that’s ginned-up offense, and I don’t take it seriously.

138 thoughts on “Now hoop earrings have become cultural appropriation

    1. Me too. They were part of the look with long, straight hair parted in the middle. All the great looks get recycled. Back then, nobody had heard of cultural appropriation.

    2. I wore them in the ’70s. There are a lot of ’70s fashions coming back. They mostly look old-fashioned to me.

      As Jerry says, most accusations of cultural appropriation are stupid. But this one is just plain ridiculous!

      Who ever actually knew that this was a cultural issue? I sure didn’t.

      It’s my birthday in a few weeks. I’m going to ask for hoop earrings now!

      1. “Who ever actually knew that this was a cultural issue? I sure didn’t.”

        I’m starting to think that’s part of the point with a lot of the supposed offenses regressives claim are being perpetrated by people just living their lives normally: they just decided now that it’s an offense, so you couldn’t have known, and therefore couldn’t have kept from offending. If they just keep making up new offenses, eventually everyone they want to denigrate or ostracize will have multiple offenses of which they can be accused.

        1. I think a lot of people are just trying to find ways to increase their victimhood score. The higher the score, the more kudos they get in the intersectional world.

    3. Yes. ALL women have been wearing large hoops for as long as I’ve been alive.

      It’s moronic for the “urban” community to claim priority.

      The (moronic, juvenile, male) trope when I was a youngster was: The bigger the hoop, the easier the girl!


      1. Yes, they were a 70’s thing. Us old bastards had best start complaining that the youngsters are offending us by culturally appropriating our past. Next they will be wearing flared pants!

            1. I gave all my old hippy clothes (they were in excellent condition) to the young daughter of a friend – hippy clothes are all the fashion today among certain youths!

  1. “Cultural appropriation” drives me crazy.

    I attended a meeting yesterday at the nearby University, representing our neighborhood association. At the meeting the University rep mentioned that they were coordinating a “clean up the neighborhood” trash-collecting event for Halloween where students were being asked to come in costume. She made point that she would be involved with the intent of policing costumes for “cultural appropriateness”. I just rolled my eyes.

    The level of ignorance about what culture is and how it works is profound.

    1. I hope someone turned up in a black SS uniform, complete with jackboots and swastika armband, just for the hell of it.

  2. I’ve seen women wearing hoop rings since I was a toddler. I myself own a dozen of hoop rings of all sizes. The person who wrote that article has a problem… My son has several small ones, too – very popular among artistic men.

  3. Ffs, my friends and I wore hooped earrings back in the 60s and 70s all the time. Yay, I was a cultural appropriator before it was even a thing! What’s next? Can I not wear my caftan around the house? My sarong to the beach? Is it inappropriate to drive my Japanese-made car? Do people with no Irish/Scottish heritage have to swear off whiskey? I bet J-Lo doesn’t give a flying fuck if non-Latinos wear hooped earrings. We are descending to the depths of ridiculous ludicrous-ness.

    Any woman with hooped earrings in her jewelry collection, put them on today. I’m going to wear mine on my daily walk, with my runners, sweat pants, and ball cap.

  4. “There is a depiction of the king wearing thick hoop earrings in a palace in the ancient city of Nimrud, which is modern day Iraq.”

    Damned women everywhere stealing men’s fashions.

  5. This has got to be clickbait, right? I mean, just come up with the most ridiculous stories possible, for clicks? I would feel better if it were that, rather than _someone actually feeling this way_.

    Women have been wearing hoop earrings for as long as I can remember – going back to the 70s.

  6. If people are marginalized and insulted because of a fashion choice, and then the majority adopts it, wouldn’t that mean that the choice is no longer “ghetto” and thus, the marginalized people would no longer be insulted and looked down upon? That would be bad because….?

    1. “If people are marginalized and insulted because of a fashion choice…”

      …then they should either grow up or shut up.

    1. If only we had specific fashion accoutrements for each ethnic and racial group to wear! I’m thinking little colored triangles might do the trick.

  7. Even conceding for the point of argument that hoop earrings are a ‘colored girl’ thing, designating a certain fashion expression as allowed only to a certain group, is cultural ghettoizing.

    The regressive left claims to be fighting racism & sexism, but every single thing they say & do fosters segregation.

    1. You know I’m usually sympathetic to a lot of these cultural appropriation issues, but not this one. This is just ridiculous.

  8. “I object to cultural appropriation only in the rare instances where it actually damages a group by … reducing their livelihood without recompense. ”

    This seems to me never a legitimate objection. The best recording of Strauss’s Four Last Songs is sung, in German, by Jessye Norman, an American soprano who learnt German and German diction. She is competing with lesser recording by German sopranos and so reducing their livelihood without recompense.

    1. That’s not exactly what I meant; I’ve explained it in more detail in previous posts. Germans are not “marginalized groups” nor is Norman “appropriating down”.

      By the way, that’s my favorite recording of Stauss’s songs, too–by far. Beim Schlafengehen is among my top five classical songs. Oh hell, here it is:

        1. Jessye Norman is a also brilliant singer of Wagner and Mahler, here is one of my favourites from his third symphony.

            1. Jeremy, I would like to think the story goes like this. Jessye Norman says: “Sorry I am late but I had to appropriate these on the way.”

              Plus thanks to PCC for reminding me of her, have got out my collection of Mahler Lieder and am currently listening, she really is amazing.

  9. I do try to keep my ear to the ground, but I’m unaware of black women or Latinas have been denigrated a lot for wearing hoop earrings. In fact, I’ve never heard of a single instance. Was that some kind of bigotry that I missed?

    Exactly my thoughts. Where in the world are these nazi fashion-hunters denigrating black women for wearing hooped earrings? This is not a thought that would cross the mind of anyone I’ve ever known in my life, nor have I ever even heard it expressed anywhere.

    It seems in the “If I feel it, it’s true” style of argument these days, all manner of evidence-free claims can be made and are just to be accepted.

    1. If they fit the narrative, they must be believed. If they don’t fit the narrative, no amount of evidence can make it acceptable to be believed.

  10. Having some experience as a parent, the graffiti artists sound exactly like young teens desperately seeking attention.

    I guess I’m officially a Cultural Appropriator now. I’ve worn a hoop earring since I was 14 or 15 years old. I’m ashamed.

    1. Most of the time I just wear “sleepers”. Do they count as baby hoops? Am I an evil person? I hope so!

      1. Good question. I may be overstating things. My hoop is only about 3/4″ (1.9 cm) diameter. Not particularly small but not on the same scale as the ones above, but I’ve always heard earrings like it referred to as “a hoop earring.”

        It is my favorite because my mother gave it to me. When I first got my ear pierced several friends and family didn’t approve. Admittedly that was one of the reasons I did it. The rebelliousness and desire to be cool of youth.

        But not my mother. The first time she noticed the earring in my ear she got excited. Nearly jumping up and down excited. She ran into her room and started going though her jewelry box and picking out all of her single earrings whose mates had been lost. One of them was a gold hoop made of two thick gold wires twisted together. Though I’ve had many earrings that one became my standard earring for decades.

        All the cool people are evil it seems!

        1. That penultimate paragraph, Mr Darrell, is just precious !

          I have a bagazillion singlet – hoops and – dangles and – huggies and, m’personal favored: the rectangular emerald – cut in every single hue known to adorn a lobe. I shall go about collecting ’em all together now for an upcoming grandkiddo’s presentation come Solstice. He is only seven; and if permitted by his parents, I’ll conduct his lobal – piercing myself !

          btw: (Certain) piercings are not ‘the same deal’ as … … (certain) flesh – cuttings. Some of which, o’course as we all know, are .only. and .quite. evil.


          1. Ahhh. I see now that you are a “Disturber Of The Peace”!

            Most of the earrings from my younger days have been appropriated by my young teen daughter. Battle axes, skulls, a shark tooth.

        2. What a cool mother! (My mother almost never wears earrings and doesn’t have her ears pierced.)

          The first time I got my ears pierced was at the school swimming sports when I was fourteen. A friend used an ice lolly to numb my ears and a compass to pierce them. Of course, they got infected! I had sores then scabs instead of earrings for a while, Very cool!

          1. Dang Heather, that is pretty hardcore! I went to a jewelry store.

            I’ve got a similar story to yours, but it wasn’t my ear. One night at university a few friends and I were having an impromptu party and were quite drunk. My one friend says, “Hey, I want an earring, right now!” So I went back to my room and got an old starter post stud that I still had and brought it back. We couldn’t find anything like a needle. Egged on by the guy who wanted his ear pierced RIGHT NOW, another friend, I refused, took the starter post stud and forced it through his earlobe. I thought I was going to be sick. I mean, this took quite a bit of force. By the next morning the guys earlobe was black. Surprisingly it healed perfectly fine.

            1. W h o a, Mr Darrelle ! W H A T stories you have !

              May I suggest ( I never “should” another so
              I shall only “suggest,” that is. ) that you
              collect together these fabu stories and place
              them, maybe inside ( literally ) One Page – Memories. For your kiddos.

              And if the children are grown and gone, why,
              then you can, ya’ know, put each One Page
              into an envelope along with a couple of your
              favored tea bags, say, and usps – send off
              to ’em ! Like was done in yesteryear from
              parents !

              These two o’yours … … so far … …
              are just darling ! Kiddos ‘ll love ’em,
              I am thinking !


              1. Thanks Blue. The kids do enjoy listening to my stories, at least some of them. I think. But they are sort of a captive audience!

        1. Oh dear, I’ve been a horrible person for more than thirty years! Now I know why God gave me such a crappy life! I’m lucky he didn’t force me to be born in Syria or something!

  11. I was young when I learned just how comfortable white people are taking from other cultures. Back in primary school, my family went on holidays to the Grampians. An outgoing child, I made friends with another girl my age. like me, she was named after a gemstone. Unlike me, she was skinny with pale white skin. The day her family was set to leave, we played in the pool all afternoon. The earrings given to me by my grandmother were wrapped up securely in my towel. When I got out of the water my friend was gone, and so were the earrings.

    The author openly admits a single incident prejudiced her against white people, and the whole of the article implies she hasn’t recovered from this and it’s affecting her in the long term.

    Quite a sad study of stunted development.

      1. I love the assumption that her friend took her earrings. Didn’t she say they were in the pool together all day? Were there no other people there?

    1. Who said that?

      Okay, I googled it, it was Pivet. She seems to be an Australian writer.

      Is she aware that the Grampians are a quintessential Scottish mountain range and stealing their name for some hills in Australia is blatant cultural appropriation? (No matter how homesick the Scot who named them might have felt, or how blatantly imperialist and colonialist it is to not use the Aboriginal name of Gariwerd?)

      For shame.


  12. I was going to ask why people put holes in their ears for the purpose of hanging items from their ears or for that matter, decorate their outer bodies with all kinds of permanent designs but no response is necessary. I don’t really want to know.

    1. For the same reasons people get their hair cut, buy certain clothes instead of other clothes, use (or not) antiperspirant, cologne, perfume, listen to certain music rather than other music, cultivate certain speaking and writing habits rather than others, etc., etc. . . .

        1. I don’t necessarily disagree, but I don’t think that’s relevant to the question “why do people put holes in their ears and hang things from them or get tattoos.”

          Regarding permanent alterations, some people have hangups about the “permanent” aspect and some people don’t. One things for sure though. You live for a certain amount of time and then you die. And that’s it. May as well have some fun.

          1. “You live for a certain amount of time and then you die.”


            Oh bugger. You just spoiled my day 🙁


        2. You’re right, I didn’t recognize that my tattoo was permanent when I got it. In fact, I just found it.

          Also, I didn’t get it as a “fashion.”

    2. Like darelle said: for the same reason you do all sorts of things. The things you mentioned just aren’t, in particular, things you personally do for the same reasons.

  13. I know a few musicians and all they do is appropriate things from minority cultures.

    They’re not enlightened enough to understand the harm they’re causing.


    1. Hey, I’m sure you remember what happened to that scientist who wore a shirt gifted to him by a female friend to work one day…

      He ended up having to give a tearful apology on television after the internet sent him all sorts of threats and harassment, and internet media wrote tons of articles about what a horrible sexist he was, harassing his coworkers with his shirt and literally keeping women out of science.

  14. This is so stupid that I don’t know what to say. I see men from India wearing hoop earrings. If the history is correct, then only Assyrian men, and women from Thera have the right to wear hoop earrings.

    Here’s an interesting case of what? Cultural appropriation? A Japanese American writer, who grew up in South Central LA, in a black environment, he says that he considers black vernacular English to be his ‘native language.’ Now he’s written a detective novel that’s getting a lot of buzz, the main character is an African American, and lots of black dialect. So far, I’ve not seen any accusations of cultural appropriation. People seem charmed — maybe these are the wrong people because I’d bet he’ll soon get all kinds of flack. Yet, that is his environment.

    from Amazon
    John Sandford and Joe Ide In Conversation About IQ
    John Sandford: Joe, you’re neither a 20-year old nor an African-American, so where you’d come up with all that South Central language? Where’d you get the language that runs all the way through the book? Where’d you get, “Deronda was leaning her world-class bedonk against the hood, smothering the headlight and part of the grill. She wasn’t quite a Big Girl but damn close in her boy shorts and pink tube top two sizes too small.” Where do you get that?

    Joe Ide: I grew up in South Central LA and most of my friends were black. Like most kids, my primary aspiration was to belong, so I co-opted their style, attitudes, taste in music, as well as speech. And at a very young age, I was fascinated with language. I couldn’t articulate it then, but the idea that you could make someone laugh, cry, or kick your ass with just with the way you put words together seemed like magic. So I listened. To cadence, syntax, word choices, inflection. I always had a stack of comedy records (and still do), and I played them incessantly: Redd Foxx, Moms Mabley, George Wallace, Richard Pryor, Bernie Mac, George Lopez, Flip Wilson, Bill Cosby, Paul Mooney, and a bunch of others. What I learned is that the vernacular isn’t so much about jargon (I use it sparingly), as it is about characteristic rhythms, just like James Brown, Al Green, or Marvin Gaye singing the National Anthem at the Lakers playoff game would be for music.

    John Sandford: Your main character, Isaiah Quintabe, is a very smart kid nicknamed IQ. Do you know an IQ? Have you ever?

    Joe Ide: I’ve never known an IQ. He’s who I wanted to be: Quick on his feet, an expert at many things with a Steve McQueen kind of cool. I continue to work this, but my wife says I’m wasting my time.

    John Sandford: I’m interested in all the little ratshit crime that your characters seem to bathe in. Is that just an accumulation of background that everybody gets from living in LA? Or did you research it?

    Joe Ide: Like most of my writing, it’s a mash-up of experience, research, and making stuff up. My main concern is making it seem authentic. It’s fiction, after all.

    John Sandford: IQ is a young black LA Sherlock Holmes, which strikes me as a cool concept. Is this just his first adventure? Is another book ready or on the way?

    Joe Ide: I’m editing a second IQ as we speak.

  15. Isn’t there a scene in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles where John Candy’s character sells shower curtain rings as hoop earings in an attempt to make money for a hotel room? Look for that to be banned on college campuses soon.

  16. This is just another example of using the fear of being politically incorrect to control. If you are afraid of being politically incorrect someone will use that to try to control you. Nobody is really offended. It’s just a control device.

    1. I wonder if there is an officially sanctioned maximum radius of earring that a white person can be allowed to wear. Is it a different radius for white men and white women (since white women are lower on the scale of privilege than white men).

  17. Incidentally, if any race is a social construct, surely it’s ‘Latinos’.

    Other races are largely defined by their geographical origin but Latinos are defined as coming from somewhere (Spain) before they came from somewhere else (Latin America, etc.)

    1. I take issue with belittling identification of oneself as Latino. For one thing the American born criollos were disparaged by Iberian peninsulares. Latinos developed their varying cultures in the Americas as they began to assert their own independence from Spain.

      Latinos are a spectrum of so-called races as they have Native American, African, Iberian, and to a lesser degree German, Chinese etc backgrounds. There are also Latinos who descend from Ladino Spanish Jewry escaping the wrath of the Reconquest.

  18. I liked it when the Masai (and other tribes’) men in East Africa wore soda cans through their earlobes. (Standard size: 12oz/33cl)

    Or wires hooked to large logs hung behind their backs.

    1. I really can’t stand nose rings. The association they have for me is controlling dangerous cattle. Nose rings were a method of control. Is that really the image these people want to have?

      Besides that they remind me of drippy noses, but oh, well.

  19. Can I claim cultural appropriation by the Authoritarian Left? Cultural clueless is the sole domain of middle-aged, white males. I’m harmed by all these other groups stealing my ignorant, racist, xenophobic heritage.

  20. My range of sympathy for things like this ranges from 0% to 75% (rarely more than that) and is pretty close to 0% on this one (in strong contrast to my post here a couple of days ago expressing a limited, qualified but definite sympathy for hostility to white savior narratives.)

    You can see plenty of ancient Greek frescoes with gals wearing hoop earrings.

    It’s true that in the USA hoops became popular among African women in the 1960s and 70s. Diana Ross and Angela Davis both wore them.

    They may even have in earlier decades had a stigma attached to them as a “ghetto” look, and later been adopted as a symbol of cultural resistance.

    But hair cornrows are unambiguously and definitely African all the way back to ancient times, so (whether harmful or not) Bo Derek and white gals who wear them ARE unambiguously committing CultAp (for good, ill or neither.)

    But hoop earrings became popular with American minorities only 50 years ago, and have previously been worn by European pirates, Vietnamese, and a host of others. It’s a bit late now to stake a claim.

    Now if mocking of minorities includes remarks about hoops, that IS racism, but mainly one of a double standard. (I am surely not committing CultAp if I eat a watermelon.)

      1. LOLOL!!

        I didn’t realize anyone was mocked for eating collard greens.

        Eating is rarely a fashion statement, nor an act of artistic expression, so one would have to successfully mass market a food previously indigenous to one culture only and establish a whole food brand or restaurant chain around it, to even begin to remotely be considered a CultApper.

        Collard Greens are popular in Kenya, the UK, Portugal, as well as the American South. So no risk there.

  21. The author of the article was listed when the article was posted online. Her Twitter handle is @rubypivet

    Shame on Vice

  22. An auto-bio from the 19th century recounted a young lad’s surprise to realize that his sea captain father was the only man wearing hoop earrings as they traveled from NY’s Finger Lakes to their new ranch in Nebraska. It was entitled “Nebraska Coast”, but the author’s fallen out of my 80-year-old memory. That was long before we had “Talk Like A Pirate Day”.

  23. My opinion is that this nonsense doesn’t merit the effort you spent rebutting it. It doesn’t merit any response at all except being laughed at.

      1. I was thinking when I wrote this that I was beyond caring about people feeling offended anymore, but that didn’t include you. Sorry.

  24. I just have one question for this person.
    What percent color of person do I have to be to wear hoop ear rings? 10% or 50% ?
    This is the line I don’t understand when they say person of color? Or is it the actual color of my skin?

    1. Easy. In america 100% white = white. Hence Obama was the first black president despite having had a caucasian mother. Less than 100% white = POC.

      1. Until, of course, you’re Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone. Then you’re just not black enough. Or when you’re mixed-race Jesse Williams daring to articulate the major planks of BLM in a speech and subsequently shamed for not being black enough. Or if you’re Daniel Kaluuya and, despite being very dark-skinned, you’re criticised for… you guessed it: not being black enough.

        It sadens me that racism appears to be completely ‘okay’, and that pelting others who had no choice over their birth and ancestry with racial slurs, is even considered a moral if you’re a member of the ‘correct’ political crowd. Indeed, any chauvinism is just fine if you’re one of the ‘good’ guys.

        Hence all the racist sh*t lobbed at Maajid & Ayaan; that people like Dan Arel think it’s okay for men to attack and beat the cr*p out of women, with no provocation, so long as he deems them on the ‘wrong’ side; that it’s okay to hurl transphobic comments at Kimberly Pierce; etc, etc, etc.

  25. When complaints like this are brought up, I get the unmistakable taste of ‘not helping!!!’. One might ask these hoop-activists two things about their ‘work’:
    For what purpose?
    To what end?

  26. There are cases of cultural appropriation and blatant insensitivity. Some of the use of Native American themes for sports teams clearly crosses the line. I am looking at you Washington Redskins. A usage of indigenous imagery with a racial epithet on top of that. Priceless. Yet I have been a fan of the FSU Seminoles and the chant. It is wrong when the Atlanta Braves and KC Chiefs do the chant. Cheesy actually. Not sure the range of opinion of the Floridian and Oklahoma Seminole Nations on FSU’s appropriation. I can see how given the history of the Seminole wars that stuff can be taken badly by actual Seminoles. Would be sad to see the team have to change mascots. Seeing Osceola’s pregame ceremony had emotional resonance last year given Standing Rock protests.

    I grew up as a white kid smitten by hiphop. Public Enemy had an impact on me before they collaborated with Anthrax on Bring the Noise. They had something blatantly powerful to say and were pissed off about it. Was my listening to them appropration of black culture?

    Hiphop artists got sued for misappropriation of copyrighted content. Much was sampled back in the day. Puff Daddy destroyed Led Zep’s Kasmir with Jimmy Page’s help. Still sore about that abomination.

    Afrika Bambaataa did a great job with Kraftwerk’s Transeurope Express. Run DMC sampled Bob James. Ice T was a heavy metal fan.

    Kraftwerk (German) and Yellow Magic Orchestra (Japanese) were huge influences on early hiphop breakbeat stuff. Groups such as Korn brought a hiphop feel into metal.

    Culture speads.

    1. Regarding Native American cultural items being used and names of sports teams “appropriating” Native American whatevers, the vast majority of Native Americans either don’t care or feel honored by these things (as is often the case when you talk to people who are actually from the cultures being “appropriated,” rather than activists who have lived their entire lives in American culture). It’s actually other people (and, in particular, white people) who have a big problem with something like the Redskins name:

  27. “The black and brown bodies who typically wear hooped earrings…are are not taken seriously by others in their daily lives.”

    We wish to rectify this situation by complaining about other people wearing hoop earrings. Please take us seriously!

    Yeah, um, no.

  28. It’s really just a new and insidious form of racial determinism – you can’t have this if you aren’t from the right race. Most of the people crying out “appropriation” might think they are doing the right thing, but really they’re just trying to lock people into static racial stereotypes that are comfortable.

  29. First of all this article is shit. Sorry but this is stupid why are people annoyed by this. If some person wants to were hoop earrings go a head in my culture back then people wore them a lot and well today they just look tacky and I agree .So instead of getting mad about something like this go focus on more important shit instead of a problem that many peoplem find stupid and could care the least out.

    1. Read the Roolz (before you leave here); you don’t tell me what I should and shouldn’t write about. How incredibly patronizing of a first-time (and last time) commenter like you. Do you really think I CARE about writing what interests you? And of course there are many comments here, for the issue of cultural appropriation is an important one these days for segments of the Left.

      Oh, your writing, spelling, and grammar need some work. I give this comment a D.

  30. Thank you for bringing some common sense into to this pretentious debate. I deeply believe that all humans should be treated equally and respectfully, regardless of their race, religion, sexuality, origins or any other characteristics, but I found the quoted article quite patronising and to be honest slightly racists..

  31. Thank god gor some common sense at last. There is nothing new inder the sun n fashion is the same. I feel people of any race wpuld feel pleased n flattered to share. Rejoice in our shared humaity not the only skin deep differences. And whats sll the hatred towards white people on general eh. Big love from an old white gt.grsndma. childten stop your squabbling n grow upxx

  32. I bought my (white) wife a gold name necklace in Arabic over 30 years ago when I was working in the UAE. Now I feel as if I should castigate myself for gross cultural appropriation and racial insensitivity.

  33. This is getting more than ridiculous.
    People are looking for division and creating division where there isn’t any and shouldn’t be any.
    What if so called white culture starts shaming everyone for culturally appropriating it.
    More division and tribalism.
    Not good.

  34. I’m appropriating oxygen that was breathed by members of Neolithic proto-cultures. I apologize for my insensitivity.

  35. I think we are all missing the big picture here. Clearly all our real problems have been solved and now humans can amuse themsleves by inventing things to be offended about. Rejoice! What an age to live in.

  36. So should only natives wear leather and whites cotton.or wool ?? Tobacco, cars, wooden homes, indoor baths, whiskey, beer, potatoes, lightbulbs appropriation us how we evolve. Get over it.

  37. Ashurnasirpal II, King of Assyria (884-859 BCE), according to the Cultural Encyclopedia of the Body.
    There is a depiction of the king wearing thick hoop earrings

    Hmmm, there’s probably some quite sophisticate metal working going on to make thick hoop earrings. If they were made of solid metal, they’d be horribly uncomfortable and drag the piercing holes out badly. So you need to make the hoops from quite thin-walled metal with appropriate tapering and end plugging. That’s no mean feat of metal work, with hammer, gouge, and forming grooves. Even harder to get it smooth.
    If the Santorinians were doing it (or buying it) nearly a millennium earlier … I’m impressed.

    1. Y’know the weight is a very good point that had never occurred to me (since I don’t wear dangly things).

      I guess these days we’d make copies out of gold-anodised aluminium (or plastic!) and keep the solid originals locked in the safe.

      But in those days – I suppose you’d have to start with gold foil and roll it into a tube. The thing about that is that you need a certain minimum wall thickness to prevent it buckling when you bend it (though the larger the bend radius compared with tube diameter, the less that is a problem). Still, very tricky.


      1. Yep, getting a smooth roll is hard enough to make a cylinder. To make a tapered one … I can only guess shaping it by pressing it into a mould – a miniature version of how they put complex curves onto a a piece of plate armour.

  38. So let’s ignore that the Assyrian Empire (884-859 BCE) was the first empire documented as wearing these. Let’s ignore that Greece and Europe both wore these, and they ranged from pale to tanned. Let’s ignore that Pirates would wear these on the high seas because they wanted to intimate people and show their power.

    No, let’s give all of the credit to ‘Chola’ culture that started in 80’s and tell anyone who is white that they can’t wear them. Despite the fact that their culture might have worn them prior.

    I hate racism almost as much as I hate entitled snobs claiming they own something and invalidating the cultural experiences of others. That’s disgusting and you should be ashamed.

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