One of my friends was complaining on her blog that the counterculture people she knew were critical of some of the things she did which were 'mainstream', that she wasn't being an individual. I posted a really long comment on her blog, and as she and I both loved my use of metaphor in my description of what was going on, and as I in general was happy with my reply, I thought I'd post it here. Not that many more people see this blog that don't see hers... but we'll ignore that for now. ;-)
Basically what's going on is a "mainstream counterculture", and this same thing is going on in other areas, such as "reverse racism" that is sometimes talked about. The counterculture developed as a reaction to what they saw as bad traits of society; and they're certainly right to do so if they choose. But now the "counterculture" is established and defined, and thus if you aren't completely and totally rebelling against the "mainstream" in every way under your control, you're not "one of them", not an “individual”. The same thing has happened elsewhere. Some black communities are just as racist against whites as whites have been against them and would paint a black who is friends with a white a traitor. Some feminists find a woman who decides to forgo her career to become a housewife to be repulsive. These movements become so entrenched in themselves that they loose sight of their real aim. Their originally diffuse mass starts to coalesce and define itself as a distinctive body and, like a planet forming around a star, you can either be pulled completely by the planet, or completely by the star, but there’s no place for balance, as many may see it. Of course, not everyone, thankfully, falls into an entrenched mindset, but it sounds like many of the people you’ve heard from, the part of the counterculture you’ve interacted with, is part of that mindset, and by doing so they’re really just enforcing a new conformity instead of encouraging people to be their own agents. I think you should be proud, because you’re much more of an individual than anyone suggesting you have to be more like someone else.