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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Goths and ignorance, part two

The second thing that has annoyed me lately is a thread on Yahoo Answers. Or rather, the comment, "A Muslim Goth... there's an oxymoron if I ever heard one. Muslims cannot be Goth."


I am already aware that there is a lot of misunderstanding regarding Goths and race, let alone religion. In fact, I was recently having lunch with someone I'm very close to, who remarked, during a conversation about this blog, "You should find out if there are any black or ethnic minority Goths," and then laughed. :-/

But I find it irritating that people whom, as far as I can tell, are neither Muslim nor Goth, feel able to comment with such arrogant authority on a subject they clearly know nothing about.

I would have thought that it was up to the individual to decide whether their faith, be it Islam, Christianity, or any other, was incompatible with Goth culture.

Goth, as it happens, is highly versatile, and I suspect that a lot of Goths from many religions find this helpful when integrating Goth fashion with their own culture. Goth can be modest - you don't have to show any more skin than you feel is acceptable, it doesn't have to be skintight or revealing - it can be understated and simple, it doesn't have to involve any symbols such as crosses or pentacles.

And you're most definitely not 'less Goth' if you wear a hijab, for goodness sake! Part of the point of Goth fashion, and the reason why it is so wide-ranging and varied in style, is because it can be, and should be, adapted in any way to suit the person who wants to wear it.
Source: Google Images
A Goth Muslima... yes, they exist.
I have a theory that many people who follow a religion and who are also intrigued by Goth are uncomfortable about integrating the two because they have heard some of the typical myths about Goth: you must be a Satanist, you must listen to Marilyn Manson or some form of anti-Christian or anti-religious music, you must file your teeth into points or drink blood.

Well, none of the above are true.

Anyone can be Goth. Yes, anyone. Any size, age, race, religion, gender, ability, sexuality, nationality, etc. Goth is not specifically 'for' white people, atheists, women, skinny people or people without disabilities. It's a subculture, not an exclusive club with a dress code.

31 comments:

Laurence 'The Beard' Williams said...

What I love about goth as a subculture is that anyone, provided they have the right ethos, can be a part of it. It doesn't matter what the colour of your skin is or whether you wear a crucifix of a veil, you can still be part of the scene regardless.

Those people who say otherwise fail to realise one of the most essential aspects of being goth is being open-minded. That and the fact that goth itself is a state-of-mind that cannot be restricted to physical garments. Common sense people!

SaryWalrus said...

That thread was ridiculous but what can you expect from Yahoo answers..

I have a muslin friend that's a Goth. She's the best that I know at sewing victorian skirts.

NoxArtemis said...

Thank you for the wonderful post. I know some people are baffled at people of African descent being into goth, but Muslims???? That's entirely unheard of(!)

I just don't understand this stance against Muslims, nor do the handful of residents in the metropolitan area that I live in, since we have the largest population of Muslims who live outside of the Middle East, as well as a lot of other people of Middle Eastern descent. It's annoying how every once in awhile some conservative talking head (I don't mean to get political, but it's usually someone from FOX News who says this crap) claims that the area has enacted Sharia Law or is concocting some terrorist cell to overthrow America. And let me just say that reason why this metropolitan area is looked down upon on so many levels is because ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAPPENS HERE. Aside from drive-by shootings and a butt load of arson (which are not good things at all), nothing happens on a level to gain such media attention - except for fundamentalist Christians who nationally announce that they plan to stage a protest in front of the Islamic Center of America or the Arab American History Museum in order to make a name for their "cause." *rolls eyes*

(I entered another rant. I'm sorry.)

Anyway, with Muslims and goths, there are none on my campus that I have seen (though I have caught sight of a girl who appeared to be a fan of Megadeth, judging from her hoody), but when it concerns me, they are the most open about their opinion on my style, and it's positive, coming from both men and women. And speaking of the Muslim dress (since not all Muslims follow the same dress code conduct, unbeknownst to ignorant America) the women have some very admirable outfits, what with the long flowing lace skirts and lace hijabs. Very goth positive if you ask me. B)

MissVermilion said...

Stereotypes never helped anyone,it only cause more and more prejudices around us.

Great post as always!

Ashlee said...

People are so weird. Saying you can't be Goth and Muslim or something is so stupid. It's like saying that you can't be am Asian prep.

You added link within. I'm sure if I'm ever going to make it out of your blog, lol.

Nenedhel said...

I'm glad you wrote this, well summed up, I am sick of arguing such a point with people ^^.

akumaxkami said...

Well said.

Angel of Darkness said...

I for one also think that Muslims can be goth is they choose, just like a Christian can. And let me tell you I get a load of junk from people about being a Christian, and I don't need other goths putting me down (which has happen). I really dislike stereotypes.
Great post! :)

Sara said...

<3 !

Anonymous said...

Well... Peter Murphy's Muslim... Er...
Whoever answered that yahoo answers is clearly an incompetent person who clearly didn't do their research.

Mara said...

Oh my gosh Amy!!!!! Thank you for writing this topic!!!! I'm a muslim, a religious one, I'm wearing hijab, and I'm a Goth!!! Yaay!!!
And no, I'm not Goth for those "Evanescence" type of bands that every mainstream teens think as "gothic". I'm a Dead Can Dance and Lycia (and other darkwave) big fan. God, I'm not the only one in universe being that "muslim goth", hahahaha

Maeam said...

I'm glad you addressed this!!! I'm a young Muslim woman and consider myself part of a whole LOAD of alternative subcultures, especially the gothic community!

Thank you for mentioning this! I've done HOUR-long searches online for Muslim goths and I'm disheartened at many of the things I find. There seem to be so few of us...but I agree. It's probably because they're uncomfortable to integrate the two. *Sigh* But I'm not going to stand for that. I know what I'm doing. I know who I am and I know where my head is at. :)

Now for a job so I can buy some goodies....!!!

ultimategothguide said...

@ Ashlee - ha! I added LinkWithin after seeing it on YOUR blog. Revenge is mine! ;-D

Anonymous said...

im also a muslim goth thank god you posted this i sorta thought i was the only one

March Hare said...

Ironically I've had the opposite, being told I must be a goth because I have pale skin and dark hair, both are natural and yet it makes me a goth. People love to stereotype but alas it is everywhere, I totally agree though religion should not come into it, it's up to the individual what lifestyle choices they make.

Emily Lynn G. said...

My only fellow Goth friend is black, actually-oh yeah, they also exist to! I imagine more orthodox Muslims couldn't be goth due to their own beliefs-but that's with any religion, AND it's UP TO THEM to decide what is immodest or inappropriate. People are so stupid...

ReGreta said...

I personally find the way traditional muslim women dress to be very gothic. I mean, they dress in head to toe black burial shroud-like veils. Very gothy imo.

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

Minority Goth?

My mate Edward. He's Iranian. Brown goth lol. :P

Anonymous said...

I am not a Goth, but I am contemplating becoming one. I don't even know if that's necassary, though, because my hair is dyed, and I wear black an awful lot, and I like creepy stuff and Emilie Autumn, amongst other things. But as I was saying, I donot think it is the myths that is the reason why said Christian\Muslim\Jew\Other religion-individual-interested-in-becoming-goth isn't becoming goth, as so much the people around them believing in the myths.

I believe that that is one of the main reasons why I donot 'label' myself as goth, because I know that certain close-minded members of my family will think that I am becoming a satanist or something of the like, just because I label myself as 'Goth'. It's stupid, really, but it's the sad truth. That is also one of the things I just CANNOT tolerate, someone saying I am not a Catholic, or someone saying that I am drifting away from my religion. Fortunately, about %95 percent of my family will not react immaturely and verbally abuse me everytime there is a family reunion when I tell people that I am Goth. Sorry for the long post. :)

Anonymous said...

I don't want to troll, but...
People, don't 'follow' a faith: they have faith, and they follow a religion. Two very different things.

ultimategothguide said...

Apologies, Anonymous. You're right. Will edit now.

Telsa Morgan Lupe BellaDonna said...

I like this subject on Goths in Muslin World, Orange County,Ca esp;where I live in Anaheim has a strong Middle Eastern and Muslin areas,along Germanic,Asian and Latino communities in my area>>>Ok back to the Fashion topic.....Some people can be ostriches most of time. For me I love the goth styles and in different cultures. The gothic style is universaly just as Music, sports and Junk food. I do not like when The Blahs,Blahs Heads don't understand things well and just sit, and stare into space of their media fables.Good luck on writing more articles!

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

Telsa - muslin is a kind of fabric.


Also amy, anon. is wrong. "faith" refers to religion as well as "having faith". If it didn't, the interfaith movement would make no sense.

Natalie Jeanae Sheppard said...

I have a question. Have you thought of making a post about diversity in the goth world? I am black, and I have not seen any pictures of black goths anywhere. I really want to start a goth style (I have had a goth mindset for years now), but I don't really know how to do it, and it would help to get some inspiration seeing cultural pictures. You know what I mean? If you want you can email me back at bluerose91@live.com : )

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

Natalie, amy made a post recently (about parents and poison or something) and it had a black goth chick in it.

I think it would be awesome. Go for it! Usually a heavy/industrial look is what black goths go for, kind of a bit like Adora BatBrat but with less being skinny and white.

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

Oh! And my friend Edward is Persian and goth. :D It's a great look.

ultimategothguide said...

@ Natalie - I do use pictures of black Goths on this site, I will try and find the ones I have already used and e-mail you some links. ^^

Anonymous said...

I'm a gothic muslim and in my community many people muslim or not call goths satanic or say that we follow witchcraft. I'm so happy that I found this website because I now can be myself and be goth without other peoples opinions and comments in my way. Thank you so much!!!

InfiltratorN7 said...

I'm so glad you did this post! It's important to dispel these kinds of myths and stereotypes. Has anyone read the article 'No Label Needed' on Mookychick:
http://www.mookychick.co.uk/feminism-politics/feminism/no-label-needed.php

It challenges these kinds of stereotypes. I've come across people with stereotypical attitudes before and have known people (Muslim included) who have broken these stereotypes, much to the chagrin of people outside of goth.

Gothic Charm School did an article ages back which gave advice to those with darker skin tones and how to achieve a gothic look. I can't remember what it was called though. It gave good advice, including the always wonderful, just be yourself and don't try to change who you are.

Gothica Gothique said...

I've often wanted to wear a burqa just because I personally think they look nice (and would offer really good sun protection) but I'm too afraid of being abused if I do so.

Gardenia said...

Thank you sooo much for posting this. I am actually a Muslim & a Goth. Sometimes it can be hard to make explain to people or make sense of the distinctions but I like & believe what I want & hope & pray the rest falls into place. :)

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