Christians have all sorts of privilege in this society. (I’ve honestly never heard of anyone wearing a rosary for fashion, tbqh, but I’m not in that demographic, so that doesn’t really mean much.)
I personally think it’s pretty shitty, but to say that it’s the same as wearing a bindi or a headdress is ignoring centuries of colonization and racism. You can’t equate the two, because in doing so you’re erasing history.
If I can throw in my two cents as a Catholic:
I’ve seen people of both genders, from a few different social groups, wearing rosaries.
Does it bother me?
The rosary is an important symbol of my faith. It marks me not only as Christian but as distinctively Catholic, and it’s a sign of our unique and passionate devotion to Mama Mary.
It’s not jewelry (it’s not meant to be worn around the neck at all - it’s designed to be tied at the waist of a monk or nun’s robes) and it bugs me that people wear it for reasons of style.
It is oppressive? FUCK NO.
There are a couple of reasons why.
First and foremost, I can’t be oppressed as a Catholic Christian. People representing my views have had political, religious, social, and institutional power for almost 1700 years. We are the oppressors, not the oppressed. While Catholicism and Christianity are no longer as popular as they once were, they still dominate, and any trends toward unpopularity are incredibly recent. I might be discriminated against - there might be someone who unreasonably hates Christians or Catholics - but that is an isolated incident of disapproval and in no way can it be compared to the kind of systematic oppression Christianity has inflicted upon people of other faiths.
Of all the people I’ve seen wearing them, a polite conversation about how important that symbol is and an offer to teach them how to pray it the Catholic way has ALWAYS worked. They, at the very least, stop wearing it, and many have accepted the offer of instruction.
This is a powerful sign of my privilege. Claiming something as a religious symbol of mine has power, because my religion and religious views are considered legitimate. Other people feel that they have an obligation to respect them. This is not the case for almost every other faith. When I talk about religion, people listen to me and take what I have to say into consideration in how they live their lives. That is HUGELY, MASSIVELY, INCREDIBLY powerful. Pagans do not have that kind of power - hence their constant battles to end appropriation of their religious symbols. No one has EVER told me “I’m just trying to show respect for other faiths!” or “it just looks pretty, why do you take this so seriously?” When I make efforts to educate people about my faith, they listen. That’s privilege.
So, yes, people wear rosaries, and yes, I don’t like it. NO, it is not oppressive, and it is not appropriative. It can’t be, because of the context in which my faith is rooted.
So yes, I will politely ask people to stop wearing rosaries. No, I will never compare it to the struggles that other religions have against oppression or appropriation. It can never and will never be the same.