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What is Straight Edge?

Originally Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Written by: Anonymous

There are many definitions of straight edge. Most include the following three tenets:
No Drinking
No Drugs (including smoking)
No Casual sex. (some abstain completely others disregard this “rule”)

Straight Edge is a more philosophical offshoot of the punk movement, a reaction to the hedonism and self-destruction that characterized punk. The basic tenet of the philosophy centers around the issue of self-control. The goal is to regain as much personal control over your own life as possible. sXe is the only youth counter-culture to actively discourage drug use, alcohol use, and casual sex. Straight edge is a lifestyle centered around personal development and well being while encouraging fun and togetherness. sXe is not just about being into contemporary punk music acts and being against drugs. It goes deeper than this. The movement wishes to attract people away from dependency lifestyles centered around drug habits (legal or illegal) and unhealthy and exploitative eating and general living habits common in modern cultures. sXe is not dogmatic, there are no hard rules, these are for you to decide. Nobody should dictate like the police, or preach an ideology like the church or state.

The term itself is believed to have been coined by the band Minor Threat of the punk rock/hardcore scene in the early ’80s. Their singer Ian MacKaye eschewed the nihilistic tendencies of punk rock, promoting instead the simple (almost simplistic) philosophy of “don’t drink/don’t smoke/ don’t fuck.” [4]

Out of Step (with the world)
by Minor Threat, 1981 [3]

(I) Don’t smoke
Don’t drink
Don’t fuck
At least I can fucking think

I can’t keep up
Can’t keep up
Can’t keep up
Out of step with the world

In the years since the demise of Minor Threat, these simple beliefs have transformed the minds of scores of teens worldwide. Increasingly disenchanted with societal ills, young men and women adopt the straight-edge doctrine as a blueprint to better first themselves, and then the world in which they live. While the original definition of straight-edge only included the rejection of mind-altering substances and promiscuous sex, modern interpretations include a vegetarian (or vegan) diet and increasing involvement and awareness of environmental and political issues. There are a lot of sites that define and give accurate and sometimes inaccurate histories of the philosophy. Below you will find links to such sites.
Straight Edge on the Wikipedia 
Straight Edge LifeStyle
 Straight Edge on Myspace
Mother, wife, small business owner. www.justbuttons.org

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