Saturday, June 23, 2012

Is Goth A Choice: Your Thoughts

Thank you all very much for your understanding about the events in my current life. It's been a little rough but I think I'm ready to get back into the swing of things. With that, I'd like to take the time to reflect on the results of the poll I set up last time and muse a little bit. As of three o'clock this afternoon, the poll results are as follows:

At time of posting, 85 people have participated in the poll. The majority of my readers believe that being Goth is a combination of decision/choice and nature, or something you can't help. To be honest, that's about what I expected. However, I didn't expect some of the thought provoking comments on the post (shame on me!) and I'd like to reflect on some and respond.

I believe Gin had a great point in her comment when she said that Goth is "it's simply a word that makes it easier to describe ones self." It, to me, evokes that notion that we as a subculture have been pushing that says that you shouldn't have to try to be a Goth. You either are, or you aren't, just by your actions. In the same vein, Morticia Merle says "I do think however, that you can choose whether you do or don't wan't to be labeled AS a Goth or not." Unless you happen to be Andrew Eldritch, you might find that a great many people will respect your desires to not be a part of the subculture. Of course, others may not, but it's not like their opinion matters that much anyway, right? Julietslace discusses those "NotAGoth" people in her response: "I know a few people who could easily call themselves Goth based on their taste but simply don't. I think you have to consider yourself Goth to be Goth, along with music taste etc etc." This is definitely true, so the consensus here that being Goth starts out as an uncontrollable tendency toward elements of Goth and then the decision of actually accepting the Goth label.

On the other hand, Charlotte the Terrible calls it an issue of "nurture more than nature", which is equally valid. Often times, people's likes and dislikes are linked to memory and association. If, for example, I heard The Cure playing sometime while I was happy, it would follow that hearing The Cure would bring back that good memory and make me happy again. For myself, that works out perfectly as my mother is a lover of Goth music and was before I was even born.

I am glad some of you brought up what happens when you do not act on your desires. While for some, as Jade says, do it to avoid conflict (very reasonable in your circumstances, dear,) it can cause conflict of its own. People pick up on your "weirdness", no matter what you express on your outside, so the best thing you can do is try to be happy with who you are (Goth or not.) Merrihel Wednesday points that out, and I thank her for it.

The article itself, for the sake of clarity, was not discussing taking "off days" from the subculture, but rather about taking days off when you don't want to fuss about with your wardrobe. I just kind of latched onto that one sentence. I apologize for any confusion on that part, and urge you to read the article if it's available to you. It does make some lovely points.

Bridget and June however, I think sum up my whole thought on the issue: it's an issue of happiness. Whether you consider yourself a born-Goth or a born-again-Goth, as long as you're happy to be in or out of the subculture, that's all that matters.


  1. Hey there, just letting you know I've tagged you on my blog! Xxxxx:)

  2. I love the way your posts really make me think <3 and i nominated you for the Liebster blog award xx

  3. Mary, I've tagged you for a Liebster Award! It's here:

  4. Thank you very much! I'll do it in my next post.

  5. goth is obviously a choice. christ alive.

  6. When it comes to those traits which we generally consider to be Goth, I think of it as something akin to maybe being Gay in a way -- you probably can't really change that that's the way your interests ran, though you do have some influence over how much of it you will express and you can even deliberately choose to act in a contrary manner (even if you might lose out on some happiness due to its concealment.)

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