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Proud to be different! campaign


Struff Bunstridge

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Struff Bunstridge

Back in March, I posted a topic in Gen Chat regarding the murder of Sophie Lancaster, a so-called "goth" who was beaten to death in a park in the UK by a gang of youths. The motive for the attack, and ultimately her murder, appears to be her appearance and lifestyle, i.e., dressing in black, excessive make-up, piercings etc.

 

Spurred on by this, Bizarre, an alternative magazine based in the UK which covers such diverse subjects as body modifications, outsider music, horror films and the global fetish scene, launched its "Proud To Be Different!" campaign. This urged its readers to write in to the magazine with stories of how they've been assaulted, verbally or physically abused, or discriminated against, purely based on their appearance.

 

I should qualify what I'm about to post: I am a huge fan of all things rock, from punk to metal to psychobilly. I have had numerous piercings, most of which I have removed because of my job, and I am currently planning a series of artwork for tattoos. I dress and generally look like what I consider to be reasonably "normal" by society's standards, yet my lifestyle and interests could be thought of as similar to most of Bizarre's readership. I also have a monthly subscription to the magazine.

 

I received this month's copy in the post yesterday, and read the eight or so letters printed in the campaign section of the issue, most of which described a range of injustices, from attacks and abuse, to discrimination in job interviews, despite qualifications, healthy social lives, and a real lack of the depressed, antisocial personalities stereotypically associated with people within this subculture.

 

What really struck me was that every single person who wrote in, and the editorial staff of the magazine, repeatedly stated their disgust at their treatment, and the fact that their tormentors had no right to do the things they did. I began to think that, while I live a very similar life to many of them, I don't come in for the abuse directed at their appearance, because I don't dress that way, or act that way, or whatever.

 

My point is this, and sorry it's been such a long one, but I'm very passionate about it: regardless of whether or not people deserve to be judged or abused due to their appearance, it happens every day, and will always continue. Gang members are killed for displaying the wrong colours, sports fans clash over their shirts, and goths/chavs/any other subculture are often instantly recognisable by their clothing and mannerisms. Now, I applaud and champion people's right to express themselves any way they wish, but, forumers, is it worth compromising this to avoid persecution, or is it better to stay true to oneself and wear one's colours, whatever they may be, with pride?

 

I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts. Sorry again for the long post!

 

 

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In my opinion, many people dress and behave in the anti-society way because they crave the attention, and have the drive to be different in extreme ways. I've seen cases in my friends where they'll dress in such a way just to achieve a negative reaction. I'm guilty of it also; I own a T Shirt with the word "c*nt" proudly broadcast across it and I only wear it when I know it will cause offense and upset. It's not right, but by doing this, I'm rejecting society's morals and replacing them with my own. Freedom of expression goes a long way, but there are some which are intolerant of such behavior and image. In a way, I suppose it works both ways. Sorry if my post was rather ambiguous but I'm on the fence in a way. I do support freedom of expression, but not when you're merely doing it to provoke another subculture or to just claim "you're different".

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Struff Bunstridge
I own a T Shirt with the word "c*nt" proudly broadcast across it and I only wear it when I know it will cause offense and upset.

Not the Cradle of Flith shirt? Some kid got arrested in the West Country somewhere for wearing that.

 

What I meant was, seeing as I listen to the same music, go to the same clubs and hang out with the same people as a lot of the goth/metal/punk/whatever subcultures, and don't necessarily dress or look like them, I don't get abuse. Obviously the majority of individuals don't want to compromise their style, but I can't help thinking it'd be easier if they did.

 

Stand tall and take the beats, or give in and spare yourself the abuse whilst still living exactly the same life?

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Personally I've always felt that dressing in a certain style was used by people that didn't have any style of their own. On top of that, it seems like the majority of people that subscribe to the style you mention are just attempting to send some kind of message about who they are, and shape the idea of themselves in other people's minds. I don't really understand the desire to do this myself, but the one thing that I can say for sure is that it certainly doesn't seem like they're trying to be true to themselves, but just try to be as "cool" or "different" as possible with their particular attire. I don't think I'll ever understand this, so I really don't see what the point in taking beatings for it is. The only problem is that since people are being persecuted for this, then even that is appealing for some who want to be the persecuted, so they can act as if they're stronger people for choosing to wear their style of clothing despite what threats may come against them. I can respect and understand that more than whatever reason it was people were dressing like this in the first place, but I still think it's kind of pointless.

 

So, I mean, until I can understand why people wish to dress a certain way at all, I don't think I can really accurately comment on this. However, I do respect people who won't change their ways of life despite persecution; it's just, you kind of have to stop and ask yourself what it really accomplishes. I mean, a lot of people think that the way they dress says something about them, but honestly whenever I see most people's styles I think, "This guy is telling me he likes blue," and, "This guy is telling me he's not a fan of metal detectors," but it never gives me an idea of what actual type of person they are, so as much as I think it's cool people want to defend what they wish to do, I still have to question just why they want to in the first place.

QUOTE (K^2) ...not only is it legal for you to go around with a concealed penis, it requires absolutely no registration!

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Ph3L1z14n0

I don't want to turn this topic into an emo-bashing rant, but i'd like to use precisely the example of emo people, most of them dress and act in that way because they seek to find an identity of their own, something to make them original and different, problem is that identity today in society is defined as "what and how you consume" wether it's clothing, food, hobbys, etc.

 

My point is that there is actually less different people than there really is, there are less goths, emos, punks, etc. than we think there are, i myself love rock and consider myself a metalhead, but out there on the street i don't dress black or dye my hair, in my opinion that's something that people do to get attention, as someone before said, and as i say, to build their identity, but it doesn't mean that they are different, those are the people that really are on a phase.

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i myself love rock and consider myself a metalhead, but out there on the street i don't dress black or dye my hair, in my opinion that's something that people do to get attention

Well what do you wear and why do you wear it? You like your clothes and feel comfortable in them? Maybe thats why goths and emos wear black. I listen to rap and I wear baggy pants sometimes that doesn't mean I'm trying to be different when standing beside all the metalheads in this town (and there are alot) its because I just like baggy pants and they're comforatble. I used to have a chain hanging off of my pants too, I wasn't trying to be different then either, I just like it.

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Ph3L1z14n0
i myself love rock and consider myself a metalhead, but out there on the street i don't dress black or dye my hair, in my opinion that's something that people do to get attention

Well what do you wear and why do you wear it? You like your clothes and feel comfortable in them? Maybe thats why goths and emos wear black. I listen to rap and I wear baggy pants sometimes that doesn't mean I'm trying to be different when standing beside all the metalheads in this town (and there are alot) its because I just like baggy pants and they're comforatble. I used to have a chain hanging off of my pants too, I wasn't trying to be different then either, I just like it.

Well, i actually do wear black, in the sense that i wear my favorite band's shirt which is a black shirt with the band's symbol stamped on it tounge.gif

 

But compared to anyone else some people wouldn't think i look like a metalhead, i think the more rocker you are, the less rocker you look.

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But compared to anyone else some people wouldn't think i look like a metalhead, i think the more rocker you are, the less rocker you look.

Perhaps they know that but they choose to still wear it because they don't care. They're not trying to be different, they're trying to be comfortable (turn.gif) everyone just assumes they are trying to be different.

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Personally I've always felt that dressing in a certain style was used by people that didn't have any style of their own.

Nailed it in one. Also, I have always felt that some people make themselves look outwardly interesting because they are so God-awfully boring to talk to. Most of the people I know who have a great brain ticking away behind their skull don't bother with dressing a particular way -- their personalities make them interesting enough.

 

As far as the initial question goes: I think people should be able to wear whatever the hell they want without fear of abuse. However, if they are merely dressing according to their interests, is it actually a freedom they are practicing, or have they become a slave to their sub-culture?

vbSWr1A.gif


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Struff Bunstridge

OK, so most people seem to have a certain amount of disdain for people within these particular subcultures, with Ph3L1z14n0 in particular bringing it round to "emo" kids, everyone's favourite whipping boys. What if you, Ph3L1z14n0, were receiving similar levels of abuse for your band t-shirt that you like to wear? or you, Seachmall, for your baggy jeans and hip hop attire? Or anyone that's posted in here, for whatever you like to wear?

 

Would any of you stop wearing any of these things, that obviously represent something dear to you, if you knew it would stop you getting abuse for your taste in music, or fashion, or allegiance to anything you folllow?

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There are obvious variations in just how far people go with fashion and supporting what they believe in through such representations. Some members of all subcultures have a reluctance to tone things down simply because they believe they shouldn't be told what to do by others.

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I don't feel the need to dress to show people what music I like or what lifestyle I live. Some people, indie kids, goths and emos spring to mind in this case, dress like they do to be "different" but they achieve the opposite really by categorising themselves. Charvs, on the other hand, dress like they do simply because, in their opinions, it is comfotable, looks good (questionable) and is cheap, although recently the new upper class Charv has reared his (very) ugly head.

 

I just dress in what is comfortable and doesn't give a negative opinion of me from other people. Normally a cotton, smartish shirt with a zipped sweater, jeans and Stan Smiths (sounds radgie, but isn't tounge.gif). If it's sunny then a white t-shirt and three quarters/flowery shorts.

 

But if you really feel the need to identify yourself with a certain group of people, then by all means wear what you want but be prepared to face heckling, although assault/murder is horrific and obviously unexpected. However, it isn't the goths/emos who suffer alone. Charvs, gangster-style people like Crips or whatever, also experience discrimination by other people and in job interviews, etc.

Edited by mark-2007
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Some people, indie kids, goths and emos spring to mind in this case, dress like they do to be "different" but they achieve the opposite really by categorising themselves.

Why is everyone assuming they are doing it to be different? They wear their clothes for the same reason you wear yours, A) Looks good (matter of opinion) and B) comfortable (at least I'd assume so, I doubt anyone would willingly wear anything uncomfortable).

 

Noone here is an emo, goth etc. so no more assumptions!

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I had a discussion about this on another internet forum a while back.

 

All of this subculture bashing and discrimination has got to stop. After all, we have the right to be different. Sophie Lancaster's murder was very upsetting to me. I hope the damn kids who did this bleed from their eyes, and burn from the inside out.

 

I know a lot of people who dress differently, I myself wear black all of the time, and contrary to popular belief most people who dress differently are not trying too seek attention, unless of course they are poseurs.

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Some people, indie kids, goths and emos spring to mind in this case, dress like they do to be "different" but they achieve the opposite really by categorising themselves.

Why is everyone assuming they are doing it to be different? They wear their clothes for the same reason you wear yours, A) Looks good (matter of opinion) and B) comfortable (at least I'd assume so, I doubt anyone would willingly wear anything uncomfortable).

 

Noone here is an emo, goth etc. so no more assumptions!

So what about expanders in the ears and stuff like that? They might think it looks good, but it sure can't be comfortable as your ear tears a hole in itself.

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Actually, with ear gauging, as long as you don't speed through the process, it's relatively comfortable.

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HolyGrenadeFrenzy

This is a totally a moment for

 

user posted image

 

Oh....I could go on but the truth is that I

 

user posted image

 

 

Selective Apathy:: When Apathy Cares

 

-------------------------------------

 

Seriously, the way your dress is a personal choice. Sometimes that choice is to get a reaction from others and sometimes it is because of what you are attempting to work out with yourself and sometimes it is just how you feel like dressing without any strings attached.

 

Placing the concept of norms works only so far for groups and much of the aurgument about such dress is between two separate groups that share the same or part of the same territory as well as their own respective territories.

 

So, what I am really attempting to point out is that the clan, tribe, club, order, multi-subcultures and the main stream culture will always find things to dislike about one another and it comes down to grouping outsiders as separate from insiders and that is all there is to it.

 

It doesn't matter what reason or excuse you have. It doesn't have to be rational nor is it normally rational and often the disputing groups are in existance because of each other in the first place when it all comes down to it.

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Well seens as we're posting pics I came across this on deviantArt and it reminded me of this thread, its a picture by n0deal, (he's got some other great work too).

user posted image

 

 

While we're on the subject of deviantArt why not check out my gallery: http://seachmall.deviantart.com/gallery/ </shameless self-promotion> colgate.gif

Edited by Seachmall
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Ph3L1z14n0
OK, so most people seem to have a certain amount of disdain for people within these particular subcultures, with Ph3L1z14n0 in particular bringing it round to "emo" kids, everyone's favourite whipping boys. What if you, Ph3L1z14n0, were receiving similar levels of abuse for your band t-shirt that you like to wear? or you, Seachmall, for your baggy jeans and hip hop attire? Or anyone that's posted in here, for whatever you like to wear?

No offense, but screw you, i was giving an EXAMPLE that was universally understandable, i specifically didn't say i was bashing emos, i was making a statement based on my experience about how attires deceive, somebody who dresses in military outfit does not mean he actually is rambo confused.gif

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No, but such is the way of the cruel stereotype. It's always been the case, so please don't be too offended when Struff assumes you dislike those emo subcultures. If you're going to dress to such excesses, you have to accept that you may get some stick off the other, "rivaling" subcultures. The "emo vs. chav" battle seems very common here in the UK.

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Ph3L1z14n0
No, but such is the way of the cruel stereotype. It's always been the case, so please don't be too offended when Struff assumes you dislike those emo subcultures. If you're going to dress to such excesses, you have to accept that you may get some stick off the other, "rivaling" subcultures. The "emo vs. chav" battle seems very common here in the UK.

In Queretaro, Mexico there have been beatings too, the whole phenomenon is ridiculous, and i acknowledge that bored.gif

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Struff Bunstridge

The "screw you" comment was fairly ironic, given that this topic's about unfounded and undeserved abuse based on hurriedly built and ill-informed preconceptions of people's natures. Well done for proving my point.

 

I didn't mean to suggest that you personally have a disdain for anybody, but you appear to me (and stop me if I'm wrong) to be one of a large proportion of our generation who has little time for what you call "emo kids". They're a pretty easy target due to their non-confrontational and non-violent nature, so you're right to use them as an easily identifiable example. It's not really fair, as they don't really hurt anyone, but it's always the meek and quiet who get bullied, I suppose.

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The "screw you" comment was fairly ironic, given that this topic's about unfounded and undeserved abuse based on hurriedly built and ill-informed preconceptions of people's natures. Well done for proving my point.

I'm with Ph3L1z14n0 on this one, you did seem to imply that he was part of that group who dislike emos. He mentioned them because they seem to be the most common of these unconventional groups. I think the 'screw you' comment was definetly founded and deserved. Perhaps you didn't intend to imply it but when I read it thats immediatly and exactly what I thought you meant.

 

They're a pretty easy target due to their non-confrontational and non-violent nature,
Stop generalising and victomising them. I don't think anyone should be abused physically or verbally for who they are and what they are but the emo kids in my school and complete c*nts. They throw ciggerete buts at you when you try to take a piss. I'm not saying they are all like that, I'm sure most of them aren't (this town seems to breed pricks) but don't generalise them to be all non-confrontational and non-violent when you haven't met them all, those two factors are based more on their background and person then the clothes they wear and music they listen to.
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Struff Bunstridge

Hang on, hang on. This whole discussion becomes void if we're unable to use generalisations. We're discussing generalisations. The people who kicked Sophie Lancaster to death, and her boyfriend into a coma, generalised them based on their appearance. Anyone who's posted in or read any of this topic has an image in their head of the kind of person who reacts violently towards people different from themselves, and I bet you any money it doesn't have a floppy fringe, scruffy Cons and a lip ring. I've never met a punchy emo kid, ever, and part of the existing stereotype casts them as quiet, non-violent, loner types.

 

Also, I'm not the first person to us generalisations in this topic, thus:

 

 

the majority of people that subscribe to the style you mention are just attempting to send some kind of message about who they are

 

most of them dress and act in that way because they seek to find an identity of their own, something to make them original and different

 

i don't dress black or dye my hair, in my opinion that's something that people do to get attention

 

They wear their clothes for the same reason you wear yours,

 

All I originally said was that a lot of the posts in these first couple of pages demonstrate a fairly lukewarm reaction to the idea of "emo" kids getting stick for their appearance, and Ph3L1z14n0, in particular concentrated his argument on that subculture. I'm not implying anything at all.

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All I originally said was that a lot of the posts in these first couple of pages demonstrate a fairly lukewarm reaction to the idea of "emo" kids getting stick for their appearance, and Ph3L1z14n0, in particular concentrated his argument on that subculture. I'm not implying anything at all.

Jesus christ, we all know i did, but i was trying to make a point, did you get it at least?

 

Besides, the topic at hand really has nothing to do about why people think that someone who dresses or behaves differently has to be mauled, what the topic should be about is the fact that someone has issues for beating the crap at some kid who is different.

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Hang on, hang on. This whole discussion becomes void if we're unable to use generalisations. We're discussing generalisations. The people who kicked Sophie Lancaster to death, and her boyfriend into a coma, generalised them based on their appearance. Anyone who's posted in or read any of this topic has an image in their head of the kind of person who reacts violently towards people different from themselves, and I bet you any money it doesn't have a floppy fringe, scruffy Cons and a lip ring. I've never met a punchy emo kid, ever, and part of the existing stereotype casts them as quiet, non-violent, loner types.

 

Also, I'm not the first person to us generalisations in this topic, thus:

 

 

the majority of people that subscribe to the style you mention are just attempting to send some kind of message about who they are

 

most of them dress and act in that way because they seek to find an identity of their own, something to make them original and different

 

i don't dress black or dye my hair, in my opinion that's something that people do to get attention

 

They wear their clothes for the same reason you wear yours,

 

All I originally said was that a lot of the posts in these first couple of pages demonstrate a fairly lukewarm reaction to the idea of "emo" kids getting stick for their appearance, and Ph3L1z14n0, in particular concentrated his argument on that subculture. I'm not implying anything at all.

All those quotes are about the appearance of emos, isn't it the appearance and music they listen to that defines them as emos? By generalising I mean't saying that they're all non-violent and non-confrontational, their personal characteristics.

 

We aren't discussing stereotypes either, we're discussing the attacks people recieve for appearing different regardless if they fit into a specific 'catagory' or stereotype.

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Personally I've always felt that dressing in a certain style was used by people that didn't have any style of their own.

Nailed it in one. Also, I have always felt that some people make themselves look outwardly interesting because they are so God-awfully boring to talk to. Most of the people I know who have a great brain ticking away behind their skull don't bother with dressing a particular way -- their personalities make them interesting enough.

A style of their own? like they are designers/artisans and make their own clothes? I find it a bit puzzling that makeshyft makes it seem so easy to "have a style" that's so original. I mean - I think that's not true at all.

 

I think a lot of smart people have thought a lot about appearances. Oscar Wilde for one I would imagine everyone agrees was an interesting guy and he definitely wasn't exactly boring. Approaching people is a lot about appearances - salespeople have to focus a lot on what they look like, how something sounds - Theater, Stand up comedy - everyone focuses on appearances. Of course Intellectuals are something of an exception - and if you're surrounded with that kind of people, well, good for you - but then you're a small percentage of the population and it hardly makes sense that your ideas have great amount of sense for the people in this discussion board. Most importantly of all is that courtship, dating, is a lot about appearances. Looking different in many things gives you a chance, an opening you would not normally have - in any case fashion/appearance is not new, and it is very important.

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Struff Bunstridge

I started the topic. As such, I know what it's about.

 

The question I asked is to do with compromising personal expression to avoid persecution. That can be as wide-ranging as you want it to be.

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I started the topic. As such, I know what it's about.
Topics evolve.

 

The question I asked is to do with compromising personal expression to avoid persecution. That can be as wide-ranging as you want it to be.
Should they have to compromise personal expression? No.

Will they have to compromise personal expression to avoid persecution? Probably.

Will they compromise personal expression? Probably not.

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