Yale has had a student belly dance society since 2003.
In Salon, Randa Jarrar inveighs against Western Imperialist appropriation of belly dancing which she regards as a kind of cultural property to which only Arab women of color are entitled.
Arab women are not vessels for white women to pour themselves and lose themselves in; we are not bangles or eyeliner or tiny bells on hips. We are human beings. This dance form is originally ours, and does not exist so that white women can have a better sense of community; can gain a deeper sense of sisterhood with each other; can reclaim their bodies; can celebrate their sexualities; can perform for the female gaze. Just because a white woman doesnâ€™t profit from her performance doesnâ€™t mean sheâ€™s not appropriating a culture. And, ultimately, the question is this: Why does a white womanâ€™s sisterhood, her self-reclamation, her celebration, have to happen on Arab womenâ€™s backs?
Eugene Volokh responds by wondering aloud: What would Salon think of an article called, â€˜Why I canâ€™t stand Asian musicians who play Beethovenâ€™?