-Hannah Mead, MCPP intern, 2008
Let it be understood that I do not advocate violence of any sort except in self-defense and that I think all types of people should be allowed to express the lifestyle they have voluntarily chosen so long as they do not infringe on others’ same rights.
Most of all, however, the assailants target the emos for dressing effeminately, still a provocative act for many in a macho Mexico. “At the core of this is the homophobic issue. The other arguments are just window dressing for that,” said Victor Mendoza, a youth worker in Mexico City. “This is not a battle between music styles at all. It is the conservative side of Mexican society fighting against something different.”
The emos make a soft target for the aggressors. The vast majority are teenagers, often just 15 or 16 years old. Most are from comfortable middle-class backgrounds with little experience of the street battles in Mexico’s hardened barrios. And by its nature, the emo scene attracts followers who prefer intellectual indulgence to fistfights.
I’d say the second paragraph contains the real source of the clash. It may be narrow-mindedness and pride in one’s own way of life, but it’s not homophobia. Kids who grew up in truly rough circumstances and learned to toughen up to get through understandably don’t appreciate pampered rich kids moaning about… whatever it is emo kids are emo about.
No one likes a whiner, especially people who face much more difficult situations but who just suck it up and pull through instead of complaining. It is kind of an affront when some people gripe about petty stuff while others face serious dangers daily.* Pity-partyers can’t see the world past the end of their nose. But those who initiate violence against people who spend a good deal of the day attempting to look as hideous as possible are not displaying understanding, either. In beating up the pansies, I hold, thugs are guilty of acting on the very thing that fundamentally irritates them about their victims.
*I do, of course, acknowledge that some folks can have traumatic psychological torments that may or may not be as horrible as threats to one’s physical well-being.