Rethinking cultural appropriation

In my article ‘The trouble with cultural appropriation’ I took a critical stance against this concept and it’s popularisation through social media. I argued that the use of the concept, and much of the online bluster around it, often employs moralistic and essentialist presuppositions. Since I probably came across as a mansplaining arsehole I’ve written this follow up piece to take a more sympathetic angle. It’s always worth guarding against the cheaper arguments against so-called ‘identity politics’. For starters, it’s good that there is a debate around this issue. Social media has many faults, but it has allowed new spaces … Continue reading

The phony outrage of white men

In recent months, the mass-media has been watching events at Goldsmiths University with a particularly close eye. What could’ve sparked such interest? It wasn’t the fastidious standards of contemporary art. Nor was it the occupation of Deptford Town Hall. Never mind the occupations at LSE, UAL and KCL. You would think that this is worthwhile news. But no, none of that! It’s all down to Bahar Mustafa, the Welfare and Diversity Officer of Goldsmiths Student Union. Mustafa posted a Facebook message asking white men not to attend an event for black and ethnic minority women. The conservative elements of the … Continue reading

The Year of the ‘Aggressive’ Homosexual

Last week the US Supreme Court has overturned the Defence Of Marriage Act (1996) which effectively blocked the recognition of same-sex marriage. As a result California has swiftly restored same-sex marriage and it is the thirteenth state to do so. Many more states could follow the Californian example and remove the obstacles to marriage equality. The UK has made the steps of introducing civil partnerships, as well as gay adoption and now the full legalisation of same-sex marriage. The Belgians, Danish and French have legalised same-sex marriage and it looks as though the Germans may well follow the lead. Even … Continue reading