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Friday, 29 April 2011

Prejudice, part 1

This series of posts was originally designed as an e-mail, which right now is hopefully whizzing around the world, creating awareness of discrimination against Goths. But as I wanted to add more and more quotes, I thought I'd begin posting it here so that I can add to it whenever. Many of these quotes are taken from shoutboxes on the old Piczo site.

Where's the crime in looking like this?
Source: We Heart It
Racism. Sexism. Ageism. Society is full of prejudice and intolerance. But after the brutal murder of Sophie Lancaster, a beautiful girl who was killed just because of the way she chose to dress, another form of discrimination came to light.

If you’re a Goth, an emo, a punk, or a member of any other alternative subculture, then chances are you’re one of the people who have to endure hate, fear or abuse every single day. If you’re not, then consider this – what if this was you? Your child? Your best friend? What if every day, you, or someone you care about, was threatened, spat on, intimidated and humiliated by people at school, at work, or in the street? What if some members of your own family treated you like some kind of freak? What if you were blamed for causing trouble because of how you look when actually, you were the victim?

The quotes here are just a few, collected from Goths of varying ages all around the world, from shoutboxes and chatrooms on various websites. As you read this, I’d like you to keep just one thing in mind – how would you feel if this was happening to you?

"My school has done nothing more than producing hell's spawn whose only delight seems to be making fun of me. I'm really not that interesting but everytime I walk down the hallway all I hear is catcalls of "hey sup emo" or "go slice goth girl". The only thing I can do is pretend I don't hear it, but this has been going on for 2 years. Hell, even before i was 'officially goth' these SAME kids (on the most part) are the ones giving me a hard time. It just keeps getting worse. They corner me after school and circle around me like vultures. One time they cornered me and pulled up my sleeves - they thought that was hilarious. So far that's as physical as it's gotten asiden from the occasional 'friendly' shove, attempt to trip me or stealing my books etc. I go home from school as fast as I can because I'm afraid of what they will do next."

"As we got older things got worse, and although I had friends I was still the most alternative person at my school. Every day I would have things thrown at me, ranging from food, to stationary, to bricks. One particular day, a group of girls in my year threw a baked potato at me, which exploded all down my front, and when my father complained, the teachers said I deserved it for looking different on purpose."

People who victimise Goths are acting on misconceptions, false facts fed by the media and the world around us. Goths are not homicidal. Many Goths are in fact pacifists who shun violence. Why do we think Goths are potential killers? Because of Columbine? Well, the Columbine killers were not Goths. Wearing a black trenchcoat and listening to Marilyn Manson does not make you Goth. Avid fans of Manson are, in fact, Mansonites, who often dress in a similar way to Goths but are generally ignorant of true Gothic music and culture. Yes, SOME Goths do listen to MM. But Goth music originated in the 80s, and Goth bands include Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, The Cure, The Cruxshadows and The Sisters of Mercy. Ignorance of Goth culture is partly what has led to Goths being so internationally hated and feared.

"I'm just shunned by most people in my school. When we're wearing our uniform I get stick anyway because I wear a lot of eyeliner and I have naturally pale skin, and this usually includes having my books stolen and graffitied, having stuff thrown at me in class and basically being either ignored or made fun of. Home clothes days are even worse because firstly I get petty remarks like "devil worshipper", "vampire" and "freaky bitch" and all the rest but then I get chairs thrown at me and I get tripped up in the lunch hall when I'm carrying my tray and stuff. It's gonna be even worse when I go back after the holidays cause I've dyed my hair. I don't get it....how is it hurting anyone else?"

"A group of boys were throwing pencils at me, and when the teacher told them to stop they said, "Oh but look at her! Can we just throw one more?" And the teacher let them. They threw a sharp compass at me, and when I left the room out of sheer anger and indignity, and refused to attend the rest of my lessons, I was suspended for a week, whereas my bullies were never punished."

Goths do not worship the devil. Goths are not all Satanists (and by the way, Satanists don’t worship the devil either…). Actually, many Goths are Christians, although many follow peaceful alternative religions such as Druidism and Wicca, or are atheist. Goths do not always wear black. Goths are not all depressed and suicidal. Whilst there are some Goths who may suffer depression or who may self-harm, it is NOT something related to the subculture as a whole. ANYONE can be depressed, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you wear. Being depressed does not make you Goth, and being Goth does not mean you are depressed.

"I am constantly at odds with my parents. They tease me even worse than the kids at school. Then when I try to correct them and tell them that being goth hasn't made me a depressed, homicidal maniac, they just yell at me and tell me that they have obiously failed as parents since they have produced such a fucked-up offspring."

"A mother who happens to be a punk drops her child off at a primary school in Preston. She is then beaten unconscious in the entrance of the school and hospitalised by another mother who doesn't like her clothes. The deputy head, having informed the police and ambulance, then informs the staff of the school in the staff room that 'It serves her right for dressing like a freak.' The rest of the staff (except me!) nod their agreement."

Goths CAN, and DO, smile and laugh and have fun. Just like other people do.

12 comments:

Audronasha The Countess said...

That's terrible. when I was attending school it wasn't like that. And I'm glad. I wasn't a goth at that time but I was a creative person, intelligent and smart. Art project, poetry, articles to school paper. Teachers liked me because of that and other children were afraid. I was never bulled. The few who tried were beaten by me a little bit :P
But now it's awful when I hear about accidents at schools. I would be afraid to let my child to attend school. And I will be that kind of mother who would smash any one who would touch her child. and it doesn't matter it's a child or a grown up human...
It's just sad that things like that still happens...

Becky said...

Jeebus. All I can do is promise that I won't tolerate bullying in my classroom. Fortunately, my students are pretty tolerant. They may not like each other, but they don't seem interested in tormenting each other (unless they're friends - that's a different story!).

Saskia said...

Wow, some of those quotes are absolutely awful. I was also bullied in high school, but mostly ignored. No one wanted to sit next to me in class and when we had to work in groups, I was always the last one left. Even the principal scolded me once, even though I was a very good pupil, and I was always very shy and quiet. I was absolutely shocked after he'd yelled at me. After three years, I changed schools. Thanks to the bullying, I didn't really dare to wear my regular clothes anymore. I usually just wore jeans and a girlie shirt.
Now I'm in college, no one really cares what you wear, it's such a relief to finally be able to dress the way I want to.

GenevaEbony said...

This is off topic, but I was catcjing up on your other posts and I just wanted to randomly ask if you watched the royal wedding?? ....bye!!

DEATH OF A RAVEN said...

I've been treated badly by Goths. They just do not like my dark views at all. And yes, I do hate humanity when they do not understand me. I have a disability that you cannot see. It's called Asperger's syndrome. And yes, I have been discriminated against many times in the past. Not just by Goths and goths. But also by other cultures too.

Joe said...

Wow I'm glad my highschool wasn't like that. I wasn't really goth there (still don't like "fully goth" ) but I had quite a few gothic friends who weren't really bullied (one of my friends did get in trouble for something he didn't do though, and even though it was clear he didn't do it he still got suspended). I feel bad for those people, nobody should be attacked or bullied. I'm glad the people at my college don't seem to care what people wear (besides the old man that I heard say "oh god" under his breath when he looked at me, I thought it was funny).

Emily Lynn G. said...

I'm VERY LUCKY to be going to a super-loving and accepting High School now, mostly because Our principle would never put up with that. But Middle School was pure torture. All the other "alt" kids were basically lesbians. I didn't mind of course, many were my friends, and we would get made fun of ALL the time for the way we looked, our interests, and our sexuality (never minding that I am straight sense, well, all of us emo kidz r gay, right? *sigh*)and people threw things at me. Some jerks pick fun now but it RARELY happens and I'm complimented far more then anything. My Human Geography teacher, a male, goes all "*points to my lace stockings* So Cute! I have a pair just like that!*clearly joking, but nicely*" Me: "really? I bet you look better in them!" Us: "ha ha ha<3!" We poke fun in a nice way. If only more people could do that. Laugh WITH US, not AT us :( However, I know that I'm lucky to live where I do and be where I am; my heart goes out to those that have had to suffer far worse for being who they are in subculture and having to continue living in that kind of Hell.

Anonymous said...

Amy im a babybat and people give me a hard time about it calling me emo people saying that i cut myself people check my writs. it is very hard and whay type of goth are you? ~Scarlet Johnson~

Jade Adams said...

Amy, I, too, am a baby bat. At school I was tesed and violently pushed into lockers just for wearing black. I never said a word to anyone for I was in fear of being punished for speaking my mind. I sat there and let myself be pushed down stairs, my books taken from me, my locker broken into, and my clothes being ripped and torn from the people in school. It got so bad to the point that my mom took me out of the school and home-schooled me. And when she complained to the school system, they said it was my fault for being different than the other kids. But now when i walk down the street and the kids from my old school see me, they shout insults like "You fucked up satanist!" or "Why don't you just go home and kill yourself." I hav;t escaped it. And my own dad tells me hes messed up as a parent cuz im so effed up. Does nobody understand? Are we really that horrible for being who we are? I think not. I think I have every right as a Goth to walk down the same streets as a preppy kid does. Why can't they just leave us alone? ~Jade Adams

Aliza said...

Satinists don't worship the devil?
Then what exactly is it about??

ashes fall down said...

i mostly recive greif from one of my teachers
the other day i was wearing an outfit simillar to alice and wonderland an she said i looked inappropriate and she made me take off my make up and kept repeating how disgracful i was being to others

Anonymous said...

When I first started my babybat phase in high school it was the other "goths" who picked on me. They would shout "goth reject" and hide my bag or chase me. One of them spat in my face slapped me on two separate occasions slammed a door in my face and choked me and the rest just left him to it each time. This went on for two years then the next two years they made a point of ignoring me completely. I did nothing to stop it because I didn't want to make it worse. They were all MM fans and none of them are still into goth.

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