Saturday, 14 May 2011

Prejudice, part 2

Goths can be any age, any race, any colour, any religion. I’ve heard rumours saying things like ‘Goths aren’t allowed to fall in love’, ‘Goths are only allowed to date other Goths’, etc, and none of that is true either. Goths are just normal people. They don’t drink blood or sacrifice virgins at midnight.

You can’t know someone at a glance just by looking at what they’re wearing. You can’t judge someone by what colour their hair is, what music they listen to, what tattoos they have or where they shop. Goths are not melodramatic teenage outcasts. They’re creative, intelligent, fun-loving people. How can you look at someone and then judge them without knowing what’s going on in their life, or even who they are?

"Shortly before Christmas 2004 I was attacked for being gothic by three individuals. I was badly beaten by all three. Being disabled didn't seem to stop them either. I suffered from broken teeth, dislocated shoulder, many lacerations and bruises, a lot of my hair torn out, etc. The list goes on. The police were sympathetic at first, but then they turned against me when they heard the made up story two of my attackers told them (I'm on a walking stick, how am I supposed to run up behind someone and punch them I'll never know). I did escape the attack, but was caught again and beaten once more. Needless to say, I was a mess. Ever had a DM collide with the back of your skull? Trust me, it hurts a lot."

"Once my maths book got scribbled over by someone,and they wrote stuff like 'Goth skank' and 'No-one would miss you if you died,you emo bitch' which really hurt me alot. It's totally unfair people get bullied because of how they dress,what music they like and even what colour their hair is (i dyed my hair red and people actually threw stones at me)..."

"When I was 14, I was waiting for a train with a friend of mine. I noticed that a girl was staring at me. To be quite honest, I never thought anything of it until I somehow made eye-contact and she started approaching me. First off, she started shouting in my face that I should be ashamed of myself for the way that I dress, that it was "disgusting" and I was a "gothic piece of shit", then next thing I know she'd pulled me down to the ground by my hair and was kicking me in the face repeatedly. Thankfully, my friend managed to pull her off of me and all I suffered from was a burst lip, bloody nose and a few chunks of hair pulled out. The thing that really pissed me off was that there were other people at the train station, about 6 other people and no one came to help out! I think I even noticed one guy smirking a little bit at it! Oh and the girl? She got away with it."

"My worst experience in Gothic-style is having been cornered by three boys in a backstreet. They looked pretty drunk, and while nothing much more potent than 'fucking freak' was said, they made it pretty clear they were quite happy to beat on me when they were done cussing. Thank goodness, however, another man came along and chased them off before they could do anything more than insult me. I like to think of that incident as positive, though; it proves that there are some good people in the world."

What gives you the right to be violent to someone who’s done nothing except walk past you in the street? And perhaps you should stop and think, if you see a Goth or an emo crying or upset, before you think 'typical depressed loser' maybe they were having a good day before someone came along and called them a freak, or pushed them around, or the good old, ‘Go kill yourself’. No one wants to be abused or called names.
Source: Tumblr
I hate to be vulgar, but if you waste your time bullying people because they dress differently from you, then this is the offical Goth Guide opinion of your opinion.
"I'm 27 and you'd think people would have grown up a bit by my age but though I find people in general are a little more accepting, the people who hate do it with a lot more passion. I have been followed by security in too many shops to count ( I am more likely to report a shoplifter than even consider shoplifting), I have been treated badly by shop assistants because of the way I look, and you can tell when they look you up and down in disgust, been threatened mostly by drunken idiots who seem to think not wearing a polo shirt and trendy jeans means you are obviously mentaly ill in some way, and once I even had a woman with a baby stroller turn and run in the opposite direction while looking over her shoulder at me intotal fear whilst I was admiring a bush in a botanical garden one sunny afternoon, it is sad and ridiculous."

"At school, we were having a discussion about random stuff blah blah blah. Everyone had to say an opinion and I said mine. I’d finished, and then another girl shouts across the room “Well you're Goth, so your opinion doesn’t matter.”"

"I'm always getting picked on because of what i wear,and when i report it, the teachers do nothing because they think I'm the one starting the trouble...."

Do we really want a society where people are afraid to leave the house in case they get their head kicked in? Do we really want to all look and dress and act the same? Why do we, as people, have to be so intolerant of each other? So you don’t like the Goth look? That’s fine. You don’t have to wear it. But why can’t you respect those that have chosen to dress that way because they DO like it? How is it bothering you?

"People who dont even know me give me horrible looks and avoid me. I'm proud of who I am but some people judge on what others look like and it's just so wrong."

"I get insults yelled at me, literally every school day. 'Emo/freak/loser/loner', and other such inventive things like 'Go cut/kill yourself' Honestly guys, at least think of a new one. And god it gets annoying when people call me a goth, BUT they mean it as an insult. I even got spat on the other day on my way to Science. I'll give you fifty dollars if you can find anything offensive or strange about going around to my classes like everyone else. I regularly get shoved up against walls and lockers."

"A group of boys slammed me against school lockers (They have two rows so the handle of the top row hit my head, hard.) and one grabbed my arm and started drawing red lines across it saying "Cut yourself emo? Look theres a cut here and here and here" (keep in mind I have no cuts or scars on my arms at all) while the others held me against the lockers. Then after both of my arms were covered in ink they pushed me to the ground and said "merry christmas, goth trash". The teachers didnt even do anything, they just looked the other way."

The murder of Sophie Lancaster came as a shock to our society. But I have read news stories about Goths – particularly in America – being beaten, raped, having their children taken away, even shot at, for the way they look. And I think it’s sick. Following Russia's intention to pass legislation to ban emo and Goth music by the end of the year, and barring people dressed in emo or Goth-style clothing from entering schools or government buildings, how long will it be before the rest of the world follows this example?

Not Goth? Imagine if there were laws put in place to say that YOU can’t dress how you want and listen to the music that you like. Doesn’t feel good, does it? This is pointless censorship at the highest level. And if the authorities keep trying to convince us that Goths are dangerous, volatile freaks, then there are going to be more attacks, more Sophies, more lives snuffed out because people are too close-minded to accept those who are different. How long will it be before killing someone for how they dress is no longer considered shocking or wrong?


SaryWalrus said...

I don't understand how someone can judge someone by the way they dress, at all. And even so, I don't understand how someone could ever possibly think causing physical harm to someone who dresses differently could be doing a good thing.

I was walking in the mall, minding my own business when a thirty to forty year old women came over, while I was shopping for a mothers day present with my mother, and called me a 'sleazy whore'. In what sort of world does a thirty year old women call a seventeen year old they don't know in the slightest that, especially in front of their mother.

Sara said...

Wow, some of these stories really shock. People having their children taken away from them for being goth? That's crazy.

I don't get how people accept Lady Gaga's and Rihannas looks and not goth looks. It's the same thing.

Dirgesinger said...

Usually I am not that rude and do not write down such words, but reading these stories and thinking of my own stories make me say: FUCK brainless prejudices! Just think: I am 30 in a country where being goth is very unusual even among the younger ages - being an older goth is something that people just cant seem to understand. If this was everything! I was never assaulted physically, but mentally always (even by my own family members - and that was the most painful part). I am considered an idiot, a child (in the worst of its meaning), a rebel without a cause.

The only consolation for me is that my husband, who cannot be more far from the goth scene than he is, loves me this way, he said, he loves me especially for this freaky twist in me.

Haters cannot think and grr... it makes me so angry.

Kitty Lovett; A Charming Notion said...

I do have this unrelenting fear that one day, because of how I look, DoCs is going to come and take my kids.

And then be confused that they aren't all named Obsidian Ravenbird McNight. They'll be perplexed about this scary goth woman's kids, William, Lucy, Sam Vimes and Evangeline.

(I think part of me does it for the anti-shock value)

Rather than ramble, I just posted a video that summised my feelings towards this on my blog.

Loupie said...

I have always been really lucky in this regard. Insults are all that have been thrown at me.

Then last weekend I was in Cambridge to vist a friend,she had her bike with her and the pavement was narrow so I started walking in the road to give her some more space. Two guys pulled up right behind me, I was over by the curb and there was plenty of space for them to get past, beeped causing me to jump, understandably, then took off as close as they could to me and shouted something incomprihesible out of the window and laughed.

Sorry since when did threatening to run someone down become a joke!!

Desdemona said...

Wow considering peoples reactions are fairly mellow here, nothing much beyond the usual remarks and glares, it is hard to comprehend that these thing happen.
I mean, what the fuck. I can somewhat grasp the "why" behind people's apathetic nature when they see someone else in trouble, it's usually fear. But what motivates the assaulter, especially the extreme cases, is beyond me.
I still assume that every person possesses some grasp on logic, it surprises me over and over again when that logic turns out to be non existent.

Sal Kaye - Still Dark @ Heart said...

Is that really true about Russia? How terrible!

I think we Germans are very lucky - the goth movement is pretty large here and widely accepted, I think.
Gothic band "Unheilig" even manages to be played on every station daily - further adding to general acceptance.

Android APPS said...

i love this post, and i completely agree with everything the post has to say, bullying because of a difference in opinion is sophomoric at best.

Violette B. said...

I consider the Russian ban a truly serious subject. Extreme conservative parties in Europe have been increasing the last years as a direct consequence of the economic crisis. Honestly, I cannot see the diference between banning an aesthetic and artistic expression and banning a religion or a sexual tendence. For me they are the logical next step. This attitude constitutes an aggression against civil rights and I don´t care if It is passed as a law or not.

undderb said...

Wow that was hard to read, how can people in this world be so cruel? Why would someone beat up another person just because of how they look? I'm grateful that where I live nobody cares that much. High school was decent since nobody cared about how others dressed (I did go to the 2nd best school in the state though, so it didn't have many assholes in it lol). College is great though since nobody seems to care either, plus there are more gothic people (not many where I am though :( ).

Why is Russia even passing that legislation is so stupid. Why would people want to take away freedom? If I was in Russia I'd definately protest this by going to a school or government building dressing extremely goth, and blasting The Sisters of Mercy.

Maeam said...

I've had insults thrown at me. Just had "FREAK!" shouted at me yesterday. Fortunately, name calling never phased me, but...well, you get it.

I can't imagine 90% of these things happening to me or anyone else I knew...or anyone at all! I know it happens, of course!, but that doesn't stop the shock when it does...

Ashlee said...

Human species = major fail and an embarrassment.

Posts like these just further prove to me that I'm right.

Lady Euphoria Deathwatch said...

Your differences challenge their choices.

They want to be right.

So you must be wrong.

And they are so insecure that they can do little else than strike out at what made them feel bad in the first place. (You)

Very sad state of affairs.

BallerinaDark said...

I'm left open mouthed by what I read. I can't believe how SICK people can be. This behaviors are surely caused by ignorance, and envy too. Because we can show who we really are and they can't.

Just SICK. We are in 2011 and still these things happens. Unbelievable.

Eurofighter said...

There's been another murder of a goth - in Sweden, about a year ago. His name was Pelle Nordkvist as far as I remember, and he was also attacked by some teens. The latter are probably the most cruel creatures ever...

I'm often called nasty names and receive comments like "Go kill yourself" from students of the Institute of international relations that is in the same building as the Institute of Journalism where I study. it hurts but another question makes me sick: these people who are more than far from being tolerate are going to be representatives of Ukraine in the worldwide society??? It's just sad...

Qwack said...

I was called emo a lot when I was in fifth grade, which was almost two years ago. I actually did self harm, because of the labels pinned on me. Sometimes I'm called emo and goth, but only in a joking manner from an acquaintance of mine. My parents both watch NCIS and like The Cure and Siouxsie, so I don't get anything from them when I have a Robert Smith phase with my hair.
I've never really received any dirty comments or looks, because just about all the teenagers where I live are starting to think that being a mallgoth is a cool thing...
My homeroom teacher understands the whole goth thing, and jokes about when it's "black day" (one of the spirit days...) neither of us have a problem with finding black. My other teachers smirk at how impractical my combats are, but hey, I don't blame them.
But still, a year ago, when I was only ten years old, I got picked on from my hair in my face (that is naturally a very dark brown) and the way I chose to dress, which ended up with me self harming.

Lady Alice Arsenic said...

I guess I'm just lucky that I'm quiet and dress very casually. Hell, I don't even speak any of my lesser opinions in public (living in a state where it seems that everyone's religious to the EXTREME and our governor just signed a bill to defund a certain chain of family planning clinics... Just try being an atheist feminist here, can't even come out to friends.) Thankfully, I'm both really poor and really lazy, and half the time I can't even be bothered to paint my nails black when I go off to see the bf. That and I'm generally really cheerful and people tend to love me.
Another reason I think I'm lucky is that I started to be interested in the fashion when I was about 13, in the heyday of the goth boom here in the US. Now, the goths have become emos, and nobody gives me crap about what I wear anymore. That and in high school there were far more interestingly-dressed people than me. I just wear black. But, anyway. Back to the point.
I hope it doesn't sound too cold, but I'm very glad that none of this happened to me, ESPECIALLY when I was just getting into the terrible, terrible babybat phase from Hell. I was plunging from a sweet little girl into adolescence, and found out that *gasp* I had an emotion called anger! And I had problems with it. I was...quite homicidal back then. If I'd encountered anyone like that, I'm really scared of what I may have done.
Also, something that happened when my best friend back then responded to a question of if I was goth:
"She can't be goth, she loves cats!"
...I had no idea what that meant until years later. I guess it's a Satanism animal sacrifice thing. Yeah.
And, also, sorry for being so verbose! I guess this is the downside to being cripplingly shy: extremely long comments on blog postings. Oh yeah.

Lady Alice Arsenic said...

Gah, forgot to comment on something else, too. I'm coming back from the reaches of a deep depression, so I think I have something to say on this topic. Are these people seriously so delusional as to say those horrible things and not think of if anything bad will come from them? I'd honestly be worried of those types of assholes, because knowing my state of mind sometimes, I fear I may actually have done it.
Not that I'd admit that to anyone besides a therapist or very close friend, though. Hell, I'd never admit all the drama over living situations and family drama and technical homelessness to anyone who saw me, because I'd fear that they'd think I'm only dressing that way just for that.
I'm always afraid of being a bad stereotype, really.

Anonymous said...

i was never considered goth till after my high school day's, but i got beat atlest 3 times aday by my class mate's for being different and small. to be honest it only ended after i put one of the kids responsible for tormenting me in the hospital.

sorry to say but sometimes to be left alone violence is the answer, there should be no shame in defending your self. even tho every one discourages it, not a single person here or the people in the post who where attacked did not have the right to defend them selves from physical harm.

my condolence's to the people who where hurt for being different. you did not deserve that in the slightest.

Miss Chaos said...

It's kinda weird for me to read something like this, since I've never encountered anything but giggling and staring, some loud mouths when I was a teenager. I've never heard of any my friends or people I know getting beaten up or anything like that for looking like they do. Then I realized it must be because I live in Finland. I can see why things are different for example in the US. I think in here it's no big deal if someone looks or acts weird. Children may be a bit scared, or they shout "mum look, a troll!" but yeah, I feel I'm pretty safe up here.

That's why it shocks me so much, reading and hearing about these things. It feels so absurd.

Angel of Darkness said...

What's ironic is that it's human nature to want acceptance, everyone wants it... but yet not every many people want to show it.
How the world has become, it's sick.

MissGracie said...

I have never experienced anything like this either and I always wonder what kind of areas these people are living in. Maybe Vermont is just nicer than all the other states?

Emily Lynn G. said...

...Articles like this remind me of how much of a selfish little baby bat I used to be, "Oh, they call me names and laugh at me!"...and these are the stories of people who have REALLY been wronged by how people react to simply how they look. But no matter how miner the offense, people acting on their bias is wrong. We all have biases...but you should talk to the person and get to know them...what you find would surprise you. I'm thinking of sharing this article for Goth Day... What better time to spread some awareness.

Anonymous said...

I've been fortunate enough to avoid bullying for the way I look, but like many others, I was labelled 'emo' and 'goth' and that sort of stuck. Luckily, people at my school aren't that intolerant, and there are a few teachers that used to be part of the gothic culture when they were teens, so I don't have it that tough I guess...

But seriously. Reading about some of those cases where people were beaten and bullied for being different really lowers my faith in humanity even further...if I even had any left. Sigh.

Lady Ruby said...

-sighs softly- I can't even begin to recall how many times I've been beaten, cornered, isolated, and whatnot. I'm not just a goth- I'm a fat girl, and have a lot of scars as a result of family abuse. I can relate to most every story here time and time again. There's just no point to it anymore. On the other hand, if I catch ANYONE hating on another goth, they're gonna get it from me. You damn rights I'm not going to let another person hate! Especially here in Vancouver (anti-goth central, junkie capital of the world, gangster land) goth is hard. Even the cybers have more respect than the few of us who choose to go our own way. My upside is that my friends and family accept, and I hae a loving buyfriend of 2 1/2 years who loves me BECAUSE I'm a goth who's comfortable in her own skin.

Lady Ruby said...

I failed to add a few things. One, sometimes the only way to deal is to put one of the more extremist idiots in the hospital. I have had people attack my FRIENDS simply because of who I am. Literally, my boyfriend and his best friend got maced in front of my house a few months ago. I am always, always getting jumped, or stalked, or something. I can't leave my home, but still do often! They're never going to get me down. However, if I finally snap and put one in the morgue, it'd be well worth it for the years of abuse I've put up with at their hands. And the few friends I've EVER had.

Anonymous said...

I have been looking into the goth coulture lately for many have called me goth but i didnt know what it had meant. I would be in class or sit under a tree and other students would throw things at me such as pencils, rocks, erasers, and other unknown objects in middle school. But after reaserch on goths so far I dont find as insult and I wish to be part of the subculture.

Morcega said...

Thanks to bullying I have a deformed leg bone(the bone near to the foot, I don't know his name)and problems with my wrists that give me a hard time every time the wheater changes.

Anonymous said...

i find it extremely nerve racking when people act all sweet and people loving to "normies" but when it comes to alternative people, they just treat them like a disgusting bug. honestly, i think that people who sneer and glare at goths could just be jelous or their just total asses who dont have any morals.why would someone call a goth a "fag" or "homicidal maniac" if they have enough courage to live their life and dress how they choose, and wouldnt hurt a fly? i believe in karma so if someone did something vile like the things listed, i would probably end up punting their head off of their body. i am a goth and i was walking with my emo friend around the gym at school, when a bunch of boys PURPOSELY threw a bunch of basketballs at friend was wearing a skeleton dress and was walking past a graveyard when this lady behind her sneers,"who opened up the coffins?" so she turns around and says, "who opened up the plus sized section at dillards for fat c*nts like you?" i have gotten notes in my locker saying 'you smell like shit, and your emo!' (i take a freaking shower everyday, so i dont know where that came from.) yeah real mature of that fly.there was also a very poorly drawn knife on it.people seriously need to take a pamprin and calm their tits (pardin my language)

Anonymous said...

Morcega, I feel so sorry for you. I really hope your situation improves...
Anyhow, I have found one issue that is really covered by members of the gothic subculture on the Internet is prejudice at the hands of older people. I think that this is because the gothic subculture just was not very popular when they were younger so all they see is people (i.e some or one oft he ones that they know) dressing in black, listening to some modern, "rah-rah-rah" style music, reading some gory fantasy c*** (in their opinion!) and watching some disgusting, gruesome c*** (again, their opinion, not mine) on the TV.
I convinced that my granddad still thinks that is just a phase and that I'll grow out of it. I even know one teaching assistant who thinks that it's all disgusting and that adult goths should "grow out of it". This same person also, at one point, seemed to think that the only sort of job that might interest such a person would be working as a mortician! What nonsense!
I am currently writing a fictional book that has a goth girl as its main character and I am hoping to get a mixture of readers, right the way from other goths who will almost certainly praise it for breaking the stereotypes and having a good, caring goth as its protagonist to people who were prejudiced against goths beforehand and now realise that they were wrong. Because of what I was saying about above, I will be having Georgia, my main character, experience at least some degree of prejudice from elderly characters.

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