Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Open-mindedness and hypocrisy: a rant

Here's another of my angst-ridden rants from the Piczo site. Melodrama aside, there might be a couple of good points here.

Source: YouTube
Today's subject - Goths and other alternative types who complain about how they're being discriminated against, and then do exactly the same thing to other people. For example, I know a couple of Goths (naming no names here) who were calling emos 'freaks' and 'losers', and then got upset when someone else said pretty much the same thing to them.

Aren't we always saying that we wish people wouldn't judge us by the actions of one or two (mallgoths)? That calling us freaks, weirdos etc., isn't fair? That judging us by the way we look or dress isn't fair, either?

Just because you don't like the way someone's dressed DOES NOT give you the right to comment on it. Goths and alternatives should know this better than anyone. We're on the receiving end of that kind of comment, day in, day out. It's irritating. It's spiteful. It can be hurtful. We don't like it when people do it to us - so why should we turn round and do it to other people?

Just because one 'chav' or 'bogan' picks on you doesn't mean they're all the same. Two of my very closest friends are chavs. One of my chav friends was horrified when I told her about what Goths and other alternatives sometimes have to put up with from ignorant people. Just because someone belongs to a mainstream subculture doesn't mean they can't be a nice person or a good friend.

Goths pride themselves on having open minds. So why are there a few who can't seem to extend this so-called open-mindedness outside their own subculture? Other people deserve the same respect that we do - UNTIL they prove otherwise. Sure, if they're hurling abuse at you, then you shouldn't waste your time on them. But WHY do some people think it's OK to stoop to this level? Why, when there are organisations fighting for our rights - the Gothic Liberation Front and the S.O.P.H.I.E campaign - do we undermine them by acting as badly as those who pick on us?

If you don't like the way someone dresses, why don't you exercise that open-minded attitude that is intrinsic to our scene, and look past it. You can't know what someone is like by what's on the outside. If everyone stopped being so prejudiced and judgemental, this world would be a far better place to live for all of us. But it needs to start here. If we go round picking on them, then we're not just as bad as them - we're worse. Because WE are the ones who complain about discrimination. We are the hypocrites, if that is how we're going to behave.

If we change - if we keep an open mind - then maybe it won't go unnoticed. If even one person thinks, "Hey, maybe those Goths aren't so bad after all - they're a pretty tolerant, unprejudiced lot," then that's one more person who might step in if a Goth is attacked in the future. One more person who might support one of the campaigns I mentioned above. It makes a difference.

/end melodrama.

Advance warning! New thing, starting soon... Darkside International will be my cheesily-named series of interviews with Goths around the world, focusing on their personal style, the scene near them, their interests and inspirations. I've already rounded up a first victim... if anyone else would care to volunteer to be blog-stalked (so I know what questions to ask!) and featured as part of Darkside International, let me know - drop me a comment with your URL and e-mail, please. Also, I've had no takers for a guest post this month - if anyone thinks they can scribble me something before August 1st do let me know!
Yesterday's outfit!
Tights: no idea, self-ripped (the amount of little old ladies who come up to me and, with genuine concern, say, "Did you know you've got a hole in your tights, dear?"...)
Skirt: New Look sale, £3
Belt: random alt shop, £25
T-shirt: Primark, £6
Omen shirt (worn underneath): charity shop, £8.99
Necklace: British Heart Foundation new goods, £3.99
Hair extension: Claire's, £15
Hair clips: Thriller, £1.50 each


CatacombKitten said...

I completely agree! I have a friend who studies something that seems to attract a lot of alternative people, but there's one 'Barbie girl' in her class. She keeps laughing at her and wondering 'what the hell she's doing there'. I really don't get how you can bully someone after going through being bullied yourself.

Oh, and I'd like to participate for the interviews! ^^

Lilly Peppermint said...

This does get frustrating and, like you said, it's so counter- productive. Australians typically will do this as a way of bonding and that really does upset me.

Oh yeah, and I'd be in the interviews too.

Xanthy said...

Interviews? Me? Please? (to formulate it a bit differently)

This hypocrisy has indeed bothered me a lot as well. Luckily, I spent most of my youth between 'normal' (ahem... choir) people, so I know not to judge too much.
But yes, I've heard goths say stuff about other subcultures/nationalities/..., making me think they don't deserve tolerance themselves...

Dalestair Ophelia Zodiac said...

What sort of article you looking to be written? I can probably probably pull something together.

I notice Alternatives attacking other Alternatives before. Its the whole "I am more Goth than Thou" thing.

And, interviews - I'm keen.

The Green Fairy said...

I have a real issue i've been made aware with political correctness. I mean, I know that not all 'bogans' are horrible, I know many that aren't but I still use the collective noun 'bogan' to describe large groups of ..well, for want of a better term, meanies :p

As for being a bit of a gnob (goth/snob), I'm generally pretty cool with anyone whatever level of development they're at in the subculture; the only time this changes is when they're start trying to lecture me. I then start to get me ghetto on 'Nu-ah' *shakes a finger*


Maeam said...

I completely agree. UGH, this annoys the crap out of me on gothic/alternative forums and the like. Not to mention real life. What the heck is with that? I honestly think we alternatives can all get along really freaking well, be we emos, goths,punks or whatever. Sure, there are a few bad apples out there, but every culture, religion and subculture has its share of really bad eggs.

Can't go around judging them all just because of a few...

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

I volunteer myself for the interviews.

And the only issue I have is when girls where tights as pants. Tights are not pants. Tights are not pants. And girls who wear foundation far too dark for them so they look orange and generally sluttish. And guys in shorts. MEN HAVE CREEPY HAIRY LEGS. D:<

The Green Fairy said...

I wear tights as pants all the time :P

Dalestair Ophelia Zodiac said...

Amy, there a way I can send you my email privately? for the interview thing, if you want me? haah haah

I feel that people fear those different to the "norm". Or out of jealousy of something they have or do.

Loupie said...

Completely agree with you on this one, acceptance needs to work both ways.

On another note, I'm going to the Voltaire gig in London on Friday if you want another guest review. if your interested

Ghoulina Bones said...

I don't have anything to say that hasn't already been said. Why do people feel so insecure about themselves that they need to judge other people? (Just a rhetorical question mind you).
And if you need someone to interview at any point, i'm up for it!


Gibson said...

That outfit kicks ass! >_<

Anonymous said...

i know this doesnt have to do with the topic but, i need help. I want to get into goth but I can't because I'm a tomboy and I don't want to lose that. I cant stand girl clothes because there too tight so I am lost! and the worst is that I really like the medieval style fashion(witch is loose) but its girly. Any help?

Tenebris In Lux said...

I love everything about that outfit, Amy ^^ And I wouldn't mind be "blog stalked!" :-)

And you DO have some good points. I know good jocks. This is why I don't spit out bad thoughts and negativity about jocks all the time: because there ARE good jocks! Too bad the majority of them in my school aren't that great, but just sayin'.

I have no clue what drives people to get into my face and say that I'm ugly or a freak. I really don't know why people are like that or why they do it. Me? Just walk away, remove myself from the situation. *sigh*

Bixie Willow said...

I'd be willing to be interviewed...but I'm generally kind of boring...I think.
About the article, I really liked that rant. It's just so true. A couple of times I've caught some of my friends and I making fun of the "normal" people at our school (never to there face, we always just talk amongst our selves) and I try to put a stop to it as fast as possible. After all, you should treat others how you want to be treated.

Ashlee said...

I'm willing to be interviewed. Email = yourworst.nightmare at hotmail dot com.

I don't really have anything to say about the rant except that it's true and pretty much everyone, even non-alt. types, really need to read it.

ultimategothguide said...

Thanks to everyone who volunteered to be interrogated - ahem, interviewed! You're all on the list, please expect to be bothered in the none-too-distant future. XD

@ Dalestair - Lifesaver! You can e me regarding both a guest post and interviews at beautiful(dot) any ideas you've got for me I'm happy to discuss.

@ Ashlee - thanks ^^

@ Bixie - if you were that boring, you wouldn't be here ;-)

@ Anonymous - reader request post on 'tomboy Goth' coming right up in the next few days. ^^

@ Gibson - why, thank you! =D

@ Loupie - that would be great! I'll drop you a line asap.

@ Kitty - I'm glad you volunteered because I wasn't going to give you much of a choice. XP

@ The Green Fairy - *adds 'gnob' to vocabulary*

GothicGuy said...

Amy you are beautiful. :)

Fae said...

Gothic guy we are in agreement. :P

ultimategothguide said...

@ GothicGuy and Fae - d'awww, you guys are so nice!!! <3333

@ Fae - how are you doing hun? I don't know if you caught my reply to you on the other post but you can e-mail me if you wanna talk.

Angel of Darkness said...

Very well said!

Rora Monroe said...

I deal with this all the time its become a habbit to ignor it. Or results in me tripping my own friends as they walk after insulting someone "different". Cant wait to see the articles with the different goths around the world.
on another note LOVE the outfit! I have a weird thing for Goths in Batman T-shirts.

She Who Has Seen The Eye! said...

I completely agree. Sadly, a lot of alternativly dressing people are mean. :(

I'd like to be interrogated!

Julietslace said...

Urgh the idiots demand respect from everyone but gives it to nobody, sigh.

PS love the batman t-shirt!

Minakitty said...

I think this sums it up nicely:

(I have no idea what the music is like, as I didn't turn it up)

I'd be surprised if anyone here hasn't met someone like her-some goths are the most cruel to 'their own'.

Oxymoron said...

I'm not goth. in fact, I prefer not to be associated with a subculture- it allows me more freedom.

Anyway, I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth. I'm into alternative things so I generally frowned upon anyone who didn't seem alternative. Then I was taught how to be open minded and I met some of the most awesome 'normal' people and 'alternatives' who were absolute pricks.

Now I approach everyone with an open mind. and I just ask that people do the same for me

Fae said...

Amy Im doing fine but he is still being a pain but we worked it out. Even though he said he never ants to talk with me again but whatever he can be like that. And I`ll check that reply

kitty said...

Hey there. Don't know how much help I would be, considering that to my knowledge the scene here close to lexington is.. well.. dead, and has been for years, but i reckon i'd be up for an interview if you need another person.

ultimategothguide said...

@ Kitty - hi ^^ thanks very much! Is there a way I can contact you when I'm working through my interview list?

@ Fae - as long as you are OK *hugs*

@ Minakitty - ha, I have that comic strip in my JtHM book... it's painful but sometimes true :-/

@ Juliet's Lace - cheers!

@ She Who Has Seen The Eye! - you're on the list :-)

@ Rora Monroe - haha, thanks! ^^

Sakara said...

One big difference between say a goth talking nasty about another subculture, is thats usually as far as it goes. Goths/ and alt types are still the ones that get attacked because of how they look. I dont think ive ever heard of a goth/emo/ alt subculture type attacking a chav for no reason other than how they are dressed.

Sakara said...

OOh meant to add. If you want to interview me im cool with it. -
Im in my 30s gothic minded UK lady, wit a chronic pain condition and an obsession with makeup and geeky gaming

Ms. Lou said...

I'm up for being interviewed.

GlumPlum said...

Hey Amy, I've been a little behind on doing my "blog rounds" due to my little surgery. I have to say I found this post to be very interesting and so very unfortunately true.
But anyway, I loved your outfit and that batman shirt is too cute ^.^
And if you want, I'm also up for being interviewed. I don't find myself too particurely interesting but... Anyway, I'm pretty sure you know how to find my blog but I'll give you the addresses anyway ;)

-Kelli <3

kitty said...

Yes! Oh dear, im so sorry about that.
my email is ,
Or you can get ahold of me on yahoo messanger at kitatsu_matimura. :)

Xanthy said...

I had the same thing this week, actually. I went to work at a festival whose reputation is best described as 'techno music and drugs'. It's not really like that though.

People (all of them metalheads and goths, most of which complain about discrimination against alternative people) have been telling me that the festival is nothing but a bunch of stoners and retards all week...

Xanthy said...

Also: =)

Ellen said...

I don't mind being.interviewed.

InfiltratorN7 said...

This hypocrisy does my head in too. It's not fair to complain about people discriminating against you because of how you dress, what music you like etc then do the same to someoneelse! Just because someone's into let's say pop music and chick flicks and you don't like those genres doesn't give you the right to be nasty and spiteful to them, to treat them like that. If you don't even know them how can you judge them? Get to know people first, don't judge them by their appearance and tastes.

One example that stands out to me was when I was starting a new job placement. I dressed up smart, as you do when you want to make a good impression. I was walking to the workplace and there were these alternative looking lads sat on the grass jeering and laughing at anyone 'normal' looking going past them. They even started throwing stones at us. Did they really think they were so special, so superior that they could not only pass judgement on people but hurt them as well?

Then there's the whole goths slagging off other subsets of goths or other alternative subcultures (e.g. emos, moshers etc) and vice versa. It's not on really and yes very hypocritical. Why not instead of being bitchy and snide be more open minded and hell even give different genres of music (among other things) a chance? You might find there are some aspects, bands, films etc you actually like. Alternatively, you might find that while you like different music and fashion to someone you might have other things in common with them like favourite authors, video games, hobbies etc.

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