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