I'm basically making this post, because of events that have happened to me recently. As you all know, I consider myself an otaku. Yes, I go outside, but I consider myself an otaku. I'm aware that this isn't the "textbook" definition , but I define the word in a different way compared to everyone else.
I've done many posts on what it means to be otaku. I've examined the myth of deciding between anime or success, the stereotypes that otaku face, and other things. Although I've been talking about them, I haven't always been the one in the line of fire when it comes to discrimination.
However, today I was faced with it directly. Not only that, it came from a teacher of all people. It was appalling to think that someone could basically sit in front of the class and label a group of people as inferior due to something as simple as their interests. It seemed so wrong, it made me angry, and I felt horrible. I could feel it building up inside of me, but all I could really do was sit there.
I don't think anyone should ever have to experience that feeling.
It was insane, someone was labeling me and everyone else who fell into the "group," as having something wrong with them. There is nothing wrong with me, and there is nothing wrong with most otaku. We cannot point at a group and say that they need to be fixed. We cannot tell people what they should and should not do. People have to make their own decisions, but they shouldn't be looked down for what they decide.
Sadly, it doesn't seem like people realize this. They don't notice the fact that even though no one says anything, they are not all in agreement. They don't understand that their words may be hurtful to others. Or they may be aware and just not care. They don't realize the effect a simple statement can have on a person.
So even though people may look down on us, call us nerds, geeks, otaku, or whatever other hurtful term they can think of...we are strong. By embracing ourselves we can persevere through such experiences.
Otaku do not always have it easy, as being a deviant in society is not a simple feat. Being one of the few to have the courage to express themselves is not a simple feat. If anything, we might be more courageous and understanding than anyone else. When will people realize this?
Sorry for my late reply, as I've been away on a trip the last few days, but this post really spoke to me.ReplyDelete
It's always really sad when I find someone who takes pride in bashing others' hobbies and interests. A lot of times, in my experience, these people either are afraid to explore non-mainstream interests, or they have a non-mainstream interest themselves and like to make themselves feel better about this by bashing others' niche interests.
While it's not the first thing I bring up with people, everyone who hangs around me will eventually notice my computer's anime wallpaper or me reading manga or something. I don't try to hide my interests, and if my interest in anime (or Japan, or history, or Shakespeare or reading, etc) is too geeky for some people, then I probably wouldn't enjoy being around those people too much anyway. xD
Professors and work colleagues are sadly a different case though. They have too much power over things for me to do something which might annoy them...
Yeah, me too. Exactly, I only really encounter problems like these when my view is different than the norm. I think a lot of people have their own hangups when it comes to such things.
Same here! I've become a little hesitant about it lately due to many people saying different things. At first, it took me a while to open up and express my passion to other people, and when I did I received a lot of negative feedback. Even in college, a few people still looked down on my interests. It's hard but, I'd rather show my love in the open, instead of having to hide and be constantly scared of someone's judgments. Well, if it helps any, I think all of those interests are cool! Geeky, nerdy, otaku, whatever it can be called, I'd rather someone like that then a person who has no brains! That's very true.
Exactly, so I have to try to cope with this for now, and still try to learn what I can from the class. Really sorry about that though, I guess we just have to do what we can!
Thank you for commenting!