“Wannabes, Goths, and Christians”

Amy Wilkins’ “Wannabes, Goths, and Christians” is a text that reflects on these subcultures on subjects like gender, race, class, and cultural projects. A major comparison within the goth and Christian community was how both groups like to exclude themselves from the social norm. Goths enjoy embracing their “freakiness” where as Christians embrace emotional and physical restraint that align with the morals of the community (ex. abstinence).  Both subcultures are more likely to hang out with people within their subculture. At one point in the text on of the goths that Wilkins was interviewing stated he did not even associate with people that did not have a single piercing or tattoo. University Unity Christians are more likely to hang out with people in their own group to not feel tempted to drink or have premarital sex.

A major difference that was observed between the groups was sex. Premarital sex is considered wrong to the Unity Christians and abstinence is preached to “save yourself” for marriage. Many of the interviews that Wilkins had with the Unity Christians agreed that premarital sex was wrong and abstinence was the path they had chosen to take. Although I thought that there was an unfair advertisement of abstinence between men and women. The text made it seem as thought the women were forced into it to avoid ruining their reputations but was more of a choice to the men since it downplayed their masculinity. The goths on the other hand were very open with sex and often engaged in polymerous relationships and many considered themselves to be bisexual. The bars even had places called “sanctuary” where it was okay to touch people in what would be an inappropriate manner anywhere else. Although this seems to be a very sex positive atmosphere I feel as though many people were saying they were bisexual for a sexual advantage. I know with my own experience that people fetishize bisexual people and often aligned them with wanting to have several sexual partners at the same time. I feel as though that might be the case with a few of the people that Wilkins interviews; using bisexuality as a sexual advantage for multiple partners.

Overall I found this read to be very interesting in comparing two polar opposite groups. I would also like to applaud the author for writing this book while being a single mother. I found this to be very eye opening that many groups have similarities that might not be so obvious.


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