What Does the Fox Say? – Prejudice

Manic Fox 2013Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to “What Does the Fox Say?” . . . Steampunk Agony Uncle advice from Yours Truly, Mr. Aloysius Fox . . . apparently some people are under the misimpression that I have the answer to just about anything, like having a real British accent makes you an authority on everything . . . when will this prejudice and stereotyping that British people are smarter than everyone end? It’s a hard burden to carry knowing that there are PLENTY of stupid people in Britain . . . and it is prejudice that we deal with today with our very first letter seeking my infinite British wisdom . . .

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Reacting to feeling prejudged.

So recently I was at a social gathering.  I was in my steam attire as I usually do.  Then someone asks me. \”Do \’you people\’ have Steampunk weddings?\” At first I just answered the question with something like I have never attended one but they exist etc.  Then I got to thinking about it.  Was I being marginalized? Am I being prejudged as some type of nerd.  What were they saying about Steampunks?

My concern here was the use of the phrase \”you people\”.  Was I a victim of a prejudice? How would have handled this situation? Am I being oversensitive?

Thanks

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Dear Prejudged,

Let us first start with the question of whether you are being “marginalized” for being “some type of nerd”? Yes! And isn’t it awesome?! Presumably these people who were doing the marginalization were men and women who tend to conform to social normality? The type of people whom we nerds like to marginalize ourselves by labelling them “mundanes,” “norms,” “muggles,” and such? They are not necessarily bad people, but their tastes and comfort levels are not the same as us unabashed nerds who are prepared to wear our fabulous “steam attire” out in public. Being marginalized to an extent for self-expression is part of what makes being weird so special . . . if the majority of people were all weird and artistic freaks then it would be the conservatives who would be the non-conformist rebels.

Of course the big downside is when conformists get nervous about your freedom of self expression . . . most people don’t consider themselves conformists, and when they see liberated people it forces them to reconsider their self expression . . . many people censor themselves for fear of being marginalized and banished from the tribe of normality, and this can lead to resentment of those who do have the same anxiety that prevents them from being the creatures that they always dreamed of becoming. This sentiment was perfectly expressed in the 1969 movie Easy Rider . . . 

Moving on to the phrase “you people,” and a more serious look at prejudice. The real ugliness of prejudice, marginalization, and discrimination is when a power dynamic is involved. If the marginalized group is denied the same rights and opportunities as the majority because of their differences, then this is when matters become very serious and the stuff of civil rights movements. The phrase “you people” is most commonly hurled as a term of verbal abuse when discussing racial differences and sexual orientation. In both these cases it is the group with the power making some sort of accusation against the marginalized group in an attempt to justify the mistreatment of the oppressed group at the hands of the normalized majority. With the reference to Steampunks as “you people” there is not a threat to the civil or legal rights of people who like to dress in fabulous clothing, so this is not really something with which to bother the ACLU. Quite possibly the best exploration of the phrase “you people” can be found in the 2008 film Tropic Thunder . . . 

. . . or not, that was just funny 🙂

So, in conclusion, if you value this group of people’s opinion more than you value your own path of self expression, then perhaps it’s time to hang up the “steam attire” and trade it in for your local football team’s jersey . . . but I suspect that this is not the case. As long as you’re not getting physically attacked or having your legal rights taken away from you, just hold your head high, politely smile, and be thankful that you’re not an envious muggle looking on at all those fabulous Steampunks who look so great and don’t care what the rules of social conformity dictate . . . be free! Be fantastic! And be excellent to each other!

Sincerely,
Aloysius Fox

P.S. – Might just be that the person thought the idea of a Steampunk wedding would be really cool?

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keep-calm-with-aloysius-foxIf you have a concern with which you need guidance on various topics such as problems with fashion, relationship, artistic inspiration, mental health issues, existentialist angst, and so forth and you value my slightly sarcastic opinion, then by all means CONTACT me with your question(s).

In keeping with the “advice column” etiquette, NO NAMES will be published (either real or persona) but you are encouraged to pen some creative alias with your question . . . it’d be nice to have some noun with which to address you in my reply.

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