On Wednesday morning I woke up to the news that, horror of horrors, a white girl in America wore a qipao/cheongsam to her prom. Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) on the internet were lambasting and criticising her for culturally appropriating a traditional (actually classical: it only came into existence in the 1920s) piece of Chinese clothing. Notwithstanding the fact that cultures mixed and traded words, cuisine, and fashion for the entirety of human civilisation, and that she looked amazing, I was offended. So offended, I decided to go on a social justice crusade again, after an 18-month hiatus.
I ruffled through my cupboard and found I had a Malay sarong in it. I was appropriating an element of Malay culture. I also realised that my entire cupboard was made up of T-shirts, jeans, my Uniqlo Heattech inner clothing, shorts, collared shirts, and dress pants, as well as a blue suit. How dare I appropriate American, European, and Japanese culture! I took everything up to the roof of my building and set fire to it. I was left with one samfu and my underwear. There were also hardly any shops in London selling traditional Chinese clothing. I don’t think I planned this out well.
“I was offended. So offended I decided to go on another social justice crusade”
I then sent a message on WhatsApp to my mother to burn all my clothes in my room in Malaysia. Not only did I have more articles of American and European clothing there, I had a kurta as well! I ran to my Indian flatmate’s room, knocked hurriedly on the door and apologised to his sleepy and confused face about my appropriation of his beautiful culture. Right after that, my mum replied, asking if I had gone stark raving mad. I was disappointed by how brainwashed she was. She has much to learn.
Realising that I needed to spread my social justice crusade to Malaysia, I typed a frenzied article, posted in on Facebook and sent it to every newspaper and news website in the country. I wrote about how people should stop speaking any language other than their mother tongue, stop eating food from other cultures, stop wearing traditional clothes of other cultures, and burn all of their Western clothing like I did. Some people criticised me for trying to disrupt the harmony between races. Some people accused me of insulting Malay culture. Some people called me a race traitor. Some people cursed at me in Tamil. Mostly people called me a blooming idiot. My job done, I decided to go to university.
“At graduation, I screamed at everyone for appropriating both Western clothing and education”
That day was Postgraduate Commemoration Day. Thousands of people were celebrating graduation with their families, wearing – gasp – suits and gowns! I screamed at everyone for culturally appropriating not only Western clothing, but education as well. Some people were offended, but mostly people didn’t understand why there was some guy in his underwear screaming at them in Chinese. You see, speaking in English was a form of cultural appropriation too, and I needed to stand in solidarity with the English people. Security came to escort me out. I didn’t want to be caught, so I ran across Queen’s Gate and was hit by a car.
I woke up in hospital to see the same nurse who tended to me the last two times I went on a social justice crusade and ended up in hospital. She refused to speak to me, except to say that my injuries were minor and that I’d be discharged in a week. She then threw a copy of the Daily Mail at me, with the headline “HALF-NAKED CHINESE MAN SCREAMS AT EVERYONE AND GETS HIT BY A CAR”. I was proud. My crusade was getting media coverage. Soon others will join me, and a movement will rise, telling people to focus on real or imagined forms of getting offended instead of actual important things like terrorism, climate change, or getting a job. Long live social justice! End cultural appropriation! Make that girl rue the day she bought a nice dress!