Hate was here today. From a man. In my blog’s comments section. Hate about women being lesbians, about lesbians being the reason that good men can’t meet decent women.
I’ve had rude and ignorant comments before — I suppose that’s the cost of having a blog about being a lesbian and writing about lesbian things. This kind of hate seems an entirely different thing.
I immediately did two things: wiped the tears and threw the comment in the bin while I decided what to do with it. For a moment, I worried that I might be accused of censorship. I didn’t care. I didn’t particularly want to give a platform to hate and ignorance. My blog is not about getting into fights with haters.
While considering what to do, I visited a Canadian blog that’s written by a Blunnies-wearing, hockey-watching bookshop owner who lives in Montreal. Not that we’ve met, mind you. We just read each other’s blogs. Today she wrote in remembrance of the Montreal massacre of 14 women on December 6th, 1989. After reading what she wrote, I reconsidered the hate comment awaiting my decision.
I’m using it to inform today’s post. It’s here in its entirely, sent in response to my recent post about straight women turning into lesbians.
“women that are turning into lesbians today, are the lowest form of pigs and they are a filthy disease that keeps on spreading. what was god thinking at the time, when he created these type of so called women? they are the reason why us straight men cannot meet decent women out there now. i certainly cannot blame myself for the filthy garbage, that they now have become. there are many of us good men out there, that i know that feel the same way i do. when i go out, i always seem to meet the nastiest women with their fucked up attitude. that is why, men like me will always have a very bad attitude myself for what they are today. women like you were dropped on your heads at birth, and this has been the result.”
I confess to mixed feelings: the hate and vitriol in the comment sent a chill down my spine. It saddened and frustrated me and caused spontaneous tears, a thing that when it happens, I so dislike. But I laughed, too. Dropped on our heads? Wow. It is incredulous that an adult could truly believe any of this stuff and share it with the world. Oh, and bad, bad grammar. That made me sniff, arrogantly.
What this man wrote is a primitive but effective example of how the language of hate works: it dehumanizes the object of hate, it transforms the hated object to the status of other, a being less than human, a being whose existence is marginalized or denied. It shows how the holder of the hate — the writer of the comment — is a perfect, innocent, faultless victim, forced to draw the conclusions outlined because of the hated other who typically prevents the hater from having all that he wants in the world.
The same language is used for other targets of hate: Liberals, Conservatives, Socialists, Communists, Jews, Muslims, Jains, blacks, white, and brown-skinned people, Chinese, Korean, Shia, Sunnis, the untouchables, First Nations/aboriginal people, sex trade workers, gingers, poor people, rich people, the police, the media, tax collectors. Bosnia. Rwanda. Somalia, Christians. Jains. Anyone can be other. Other is not us. There are no similarities, and therefore no need to have positive regard for those who are not like us, can never be like us, and that we don’t want around because they’re gonna steal our stuff and hurt our women and kids.
I called my friend the super high-powered lawyer with deep connections to several sources that I might need to contact. I read it to her over the phone.
She agreed. Yes this is hate. Yes it’s stupid.
“I just don’t get it,” she said. “Why do people write such things? Do you have any information on him?”
I didn’t. Once I copied it here, I deleted the comment from the bin. If I wanted to report a comment full of hate and someone advocating hate, I suppose I could give the RCMP my computer to do what they do to find this guy, likely an older guy, who feels entitled to vent his spleen about his inability to meet women on account of all us non-human lesbians who are taking all the available human women — except the nasty ones.
Perhaps I could also insist they order him to stop sending notes out across the internet, blaming and inciting hate against us powerful lesbians who turn all the desirable straight women into lesbians, because clearly, straight women don’t have the brains to know that they are not lesbians, and they don’t have the brains to know there’s a decent man available who’s god’s gift to women.
There you have it, people. What he really thinks: women are stupid and dangerous and women who are lesbians are competition. Homophobia — a misnamed thing if ever I’ve heard of one — is simply the presenting issue. The issue is about women.
In spite of suffrage and feminism and education, of women working in many places where they weren’t allowed to work and women gaining in education, there remain some men who hate the fact that women do not conform to ancient ideas about how women should be and how women should behave. There remain men who blame women for everything going wrong in their life. There remain men who believe that women have value only in relation to men. And when these men are not successful, they scapegoat women. That’s the thinking that leads this man to conclude that the reason he doesn’t have a woman in his life is the fault of women — women who’ve been hijacked into becoming lesbians because they are too stupid to know any better and because they are now lesbians, they’re animals and infectious diseases, not human.
Confusingly, he states that women like me…were dropped on our heads and this being the result. Women like me..? Brunettes? Quiet? Women like me have resulted in … what? His bad attitude? As in, women like me caused his attitude? I am thousands of miles away. He doesn’t know me. My tribe is all over the world. Dear Goddess, I must stop watching Criminal Minds.
But he’s confused about god creating us. Is he mad at god too? Wow. I’m dizzy. Am I missing something? There are women like me?
What flavour of logic concludes that there are no decent women available to good men because lesbians are turning them, leaving the nasty ones for men?
Maybe the lack of available women is symptomatic of a geographic reality? In Canada, my straight friends want to know where all the decent men are because the ones they meet are high up on the Asshole Richter Scale. And let it be said that these are straight women who have no intention of becoming lesbian.
Poor logic aside, there is something about the comment that I find quite sad. It seems he’s angry and he’s lonely and he keeps meeting with disappointment and as a result, he’s acting out like a four-year old child.
Gotta wonder why he’s meeting only nasty women. A case of like attracts like? Hasn’t he learned that carrying hate, lashing out and blaming others is not a recipe for attracting and keeping love?
Perhaps a good look in the mirror. Some honesty self-talk acknowledging that the problem is inside him. He doesn’t or can’t or won’t see himself as having any impact. He seems to believe that he is powerless in his life, and that his thoughts and behaviour have no bearing on what’s happening to him in his life. Not a good place to be. And not a thing most women want to be around. Decent straight women want decent men who accept them as equal partners. Decent women can sniff out men with issues in a heartbeat.
This hate comment comes at a time when I have contemplated what to do with my blogs, including my lesbian blog. I had thought that I have said all the lesbian words I have to say. My first reaction to this hate comment was it’s time to close up shop — with nothing left to say, goddess knows there’s no reason to keep saying the same things. I don’t need hate in my life, even if it’s generalized, impersonal hate. But writing this post helped me to realize that if I close it now in reaction to this hate from this bully, instead of in response to my own natural process, that I would be giving in to hate, that I’d be allowing myself to be silenced by it. And that is just not going to happen. I’m not going to be silent about it. And so I will rise above hate and take the high road, channel my anger into more productive activities than wishing saltpeter be slipped into his coffee.
And on that high road, I notice that Christmas and Chanukkah and Kwanzaa are coming up. I wish for him the gift of insight, the gift of humility and gifts of courage and strength to face his true self. I wish for him insight about how love comes into one’s life, how to accept difference, how blaming people is counterproductive and how changing what is not working from the inside out is often the best way to change your life. I wish for him some peace, because when all is said and done, being angry with lesbians, being filled with hate leaves no room for love, and that is hardly a good way to meet women.
This day in Canadian history: December 6, 1989: 14 women were shot and killed. Many more including some men were injured. The man who did it claimed that feminists were the reason for everything going wrong in his life and society. Out of that tragedy came stricter gun controls and more open public discourse about violence against women, and December 6th declared a national day to acknowledge violence against women. As Canadian blogger BB acknowledges in her post, that violence is coming from many places these days. Perhaps we can all do something about it.