According to a Western European student at the University of Washington, the choker-necklace trend in the U.S. is cultural appropriation, and girls should learn the history of the necklaces before wearing them.
In a piece for the school’s newspaper, The Daily, Joy Geerkens writes that she’s been seeing Americans disrespect the the cultural traditions of her “home countries,” Switzerland and Germany, since she left them for the United States last year . . . by doing things like wearing chokers without knowing that chokers are “part of traditional dress of Switzerland.”
Geerkens writes that although she does love seeing people wearing a necklace style that reminds her of home, she does not love the discussions about them.
“Wear them, but know the history behind the trend, and for the love of God, please do not keep spreading these offensive jokes about women being ‘whores’ for wearing them; it’s dehumanizing, sexist, and ignorant,” she writes.
Taking offense that people did not Google ‘history of the choker’ before buying one at Forever 21 is absurd.
Sorry, but it’s completely normal to put a piece of fabric around your neck because you think it looks cool; you don’t need to conduct a fabric-placement research project first. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that Geerkens is sharing what she knows about chokers with the rest of us — knowledge is power! — but taking offense that people did not Google “history of the choker” before going to the register at Forever 21 to buy one is absurd. After all, if people had to stop and research every single thing they put in their mouth or on their body before they ate anything or wore anything, then none of us would ever have time to eat or get dressed again.
For the record, Geerkens has had to deal with much more than just ill-informed choker-wearing. For example: ill-informed Oktoberfest.
“Stop using Oktoberfest as an excuse to get drunk off of cheap, terribly watered-down beer or to wear our traditional clothes to make your boobs look nice,” she writes.
Yeah — she sounds fun.
– Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.