I'm curious what people here think of this idea. There are many definitions of 'cultural appropriation,' and many of those definitions do not apply here. I'm looking at it in the context of fiction writing. The issue came up when I heard a writer criticizing other writers who were writing about cultures that are not their own. In other words, if you want to write a story about native americans in a pre-columbian setting, the idea was that if you're not a part of that cultural you are appropriating aspect of it for your own benefit. Same argument could apply to writing a story taking place entirely within black urban culture if you have no ties to it. The argument is not persuasive to me. I feel writers can and should feel that they have the entirety of the human experience open to them, and there is more of that shared than not across cultures. Of course, I think it is important to get this right, and if you're dealing with a culture far outside of your own you have to do research, but the idea that the writer must belong to the culture she's writing about rings false. Thoughts?