Hate visited today — this day of all days

~~~~~

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.

frankpo how very true commented on Woman declares she’s turning into a lesbian 

“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.

About FS

Toronto, Canada. Writing about slices of life, the moments and minor details of which come into awareness or out of imagination and the spaces inbetween. On hiatus from writing anywhere else but here ... at least for now.
This entry was posted in being a lesbian, lesbian, lesbian life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Hate visited today — this day of all days

  1. Erin Roof says:

    Thank you for writing this post. I know it must have been difficult. Who in the LGBT community hasn’t dealt with this kind of vitriol? But with your words, you are helping all of us deal with it.

    • FS says:

      Erin: Thank you. Yes, it was difficult. And sad on so many levels. I don’t understand it. My own bias suggests I have low tolerance for stupidity and ignorance in all forms and I have to keep a handle on it because on balance I want my life to be about being the good witch of the east with a magic wand — sans taffeta — not the wicked witch of the west who sends the flying monkeys out to kidnap cute girls who can sing and dance and carry a cute terrier dog. Oh wait: let me rethink that😉.

      You know there’s this image I’ve forever associated with the word vitriol: a brown flask-shaped bottle with a big poison symbol on the label. A black cap. The liquid inside — the actual vitriol — is a horrible bile colour and it’s the drink of choice for people who spew out vitriolic, poisonous words. I suppose it’s easier to accept that people somehow take in or ingest hate than to accept it lies resident with them.

      PS: I do hope you forgive the broken grammar rules —🙂

  2. Janet says:

    Yes, Fs, how come you’re not saying your name? Hiding from someone or something?

    • FS says:

      Janet; Nope. Not. Unless you count the witness protection program, key word protection as in from the hundreds of notes from perverts and people wanting threesomes and wanting naked photos. I’m deleting what I had originally responded with in this — so excusez-moi me if it shows up twice.

  3. I like the fact that you are educated enough to have valid responses to blow this idiot completely out of the water. And of course, with the added sarcasm and humour.

    Nothing he said actually made sense, anyway. He clearly knows nothing about human nature, or love for that matter. He blames lesbians for the lack of “decent” women? Well, as far as I know you can’t “turn” into a lesbian, nor can you force a heterosexual woman into being attracted to you as a lesbian, or have feelings for you. If there are anybody to blame for homosexuals, I’m sure they were produced by heterosexual reproduction, so they only person he can blame is his own heterosexual-ness really. Considering homosexuals are a minority, I have no idea what type of women he’s meeting. Maybe he’s experiencing negative attitudes because he’s accidently frequenting lesbian bars? Maybe he’s intentionally confronting lesbians because he believes it’s not “normal”.

    There are no external factors that one day magically turn a woman into a lesbian. I was raised the same way as my heterosexual sister, with love from both of my parents. I didn’t meet any lesbians growing up, I didn’t even know what one was. This man is obviously a pig-headed, obnoxious, ignorant fool which is exactly what heterosexual women DON’T want in a man. Perhaps if they were a religious extremist, that type of woman wouldn’t mind. From what I’ve seen in society these days, men are the gender who have disgusting attitudes, I’m sure plenty of them wish that women were still their slaves. I sure as hell know that most men consider women as subservient, so I’m sure lesbians must intimidate them, since a lot of heterosexual women CAN’T find a decent man, but this still has nothing to do with lesbians. Does it anger them that beautiful, gorgeous, feminine women can be lesbians? Not just the stereotypical butch women?

    I really hope this man doesn’t have children. The sad thing about people like this is that they give birth to children without taking on the maturity and responsibility to be a real parent. They decide to bring children into the world with no capability to love them, or understand and support them in this world. He is truly an abomination to society, not us.

    • FS says:

      Dear Poison 13 — it does defy the 15 different flavours of known logic and is hard for practitioners of said 15 flavours of logic to comprehend how someone can blame lesbians for the dearth of decent, available straight women, and actually believe it. But it’s the same kind of logic at play here in a trial going on here in Ontario, Canada where a man is on trial for killing his first wife and daughters — billed as an honour killing under Sharia law — but part of his rationale is that his daughters were cruel to him. The sad, true and utterly chilling aspect is that these men — and some women — follow that kind of logic in all situations. Not only about women’s place, not only about gay people, but about rights and freedoms and sharing in general. It manifests as countries becoming protectionist in their immigration and economic policies, and really, really awful politics that play on people’s fear of change and fear of loss of power, or losing what they have.

      Your point is well taken: some people do get angry when they can’t have what they want. They blame others. Those people are what I like to call badly behaved two year olds (or 14-year olds) in adult bodies having temper tantrums.😉 Some people do lash out. Some people do default to preprogrammed behaviours that are perhaps not representative of the best side of them. It gets so complicated: good people do bad things, bad people do good things, and yet, in spite of that, and in ways we can’t predict, society moves. Who’da thunk 15 years ago that a woman marrying the woman of her dreams would ever be possible? Less than 100 years ago, women were fighting for the right to vote; were thrown in jail, beaten, force-fed when they staged hunger strikes. Men and women in the US and in Canada were of the opinion that women simply could not handle it — this voting thing. We don’t have to accept evil mean inarticulate troglodytes with poor grammar and confused thought, but we can, with patience and hard work, make them, as one commenter suggested, an extinct breed without stooping to their level. 🙂

  4. Malkor says:

    I promised myself I would never leave a comment on this blog, but here I go anyway:

    The author’s writing is inspiring and thought provoking – as always. What was written hit the nail on the head. Or at least would have, had that hate-comment been written by somebody able of a reasonable thought.

    That guy’s rant read like a youtube comment. I’m glad you won’t let some moron ruin this wonderful blog. Especially since the moron in question is obviously a troll and total loser, posting from his mom’s basement.

    When it comes to the “message” of that rant….

    I can’t comprehend how someone can think in such a direction. There must be someone about, armed with a giant funnel pouring liquid crap into people’s heads. That guy must have a mastermind, for I seriously doubt one as dim-witted as that came to such conclusions on his own.

    • FS says:

      Dear Malkor; Thank you. It’s challenging to understand how people make some conclusions. There are times when I hear or read such things that it seems like I’ve walked into the dark and disturbing side of kid logic. By the way, the image of someone wandering around pouring liquid crap into people heads is not only brilliant, it’s powerful and … ewww 😉. But as good an explanation as any.

      Oh, and because you mentioned it, I promise not ask you why you promised yourself that you would never leave a comment on this blog. Promise😉

  5. terrisitagg says:

    FS,
    Once again, you have managed to turn something hateful and evil into something positive and beautiful. Your intentions toward this misguided, misinformed misanthrope are generous and uplifting, and are encouraging to the rest of us. I can only imagine the horrors this poor, sad man must have suffered to develop his twisted, ugly view of the world. Imagine this. His hatred of lesbians (and obvious hatred of women) take up a little more than half the population of this world. If you add in all the other “hatreds” this man is most likely harbouring, (in reference to your list of “others”) his world must be very limited. How truly sad. Perhaps he was dropped on his head as a child? Thank you for writing this post, and deciding to stay the course. I think you have a lot more to say.
    T.

    • FS says:

      Dear T: Thank you. I dunno, T these days I feel at quite a loss for words. It was an emotionally eventful day as a result of that comment; a lot of sorting through and processing things that were conjured up. It would be easy to disappear and not address it, even to myself. It would be easy and to some extent, very human to demonize him, and others like him, make him the enemy. It would be easy to retreat into anger and fear, to close my door, keep my thoughts to myself. I can feel sadness at a wasted human life drowning in hate and blame. But let me be clear: however sad his story is, it does not excuse his action of hate. I’d say the same thing to his face, gently.

  6. tomboy says:

    This is why I love women, and NOT men. Maybe I get to angry to quickly, maybe I will never get over being scared and repulsed of men. None of them have done anything to me, but I still feel like I can justifiably use that big word- I hate men. I know it’s the last thing the world needs is another hater, but there you go. I hate men, I love women, I am a human being, a lesbian. And, yes, I don’t mind.

    • tomboy says:

      You should have deleted that. I am sorry. Very. I got so worked up that I had to try all my calming down tools before it worked. I drank copious amounts of milk, finished the chocolate biscuits, wrote a long email to my uncle, thought of all the men that I don’t hate, listened to Everybody Wants To Rule The World, had a daydream about Sara Quin, and breathed. Then I read all the comments for this post and then read mine. And cried. I was right about one thing. We really don’t need more people like me and him. We need more people like you and the people who wrote those comments. We need more people to forgive but use that to become a better person. The world doesn’t need another hater.
      “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that” Martin Luther King. This was in my History exam a few weeks ago- I understand it now.

      • FS says:

        Dear Tomboy…. ((hugs)) Copious amounts of milk? With cookies? Okay you are definitely cool. Breathing is good. And you had a reaction, one of anger, that you then worked through. You are one very cool and interesting person. We — the world — need all of you: even him. Without him, we would not be having this conversation. Without him, I would not have come to see that I can’t be silent. Without that, you would not have had a process or a daydream about Sara. You would not have had the experience that helped you understand what Martin Luther King meant. And he was one loving dude 😉. Loved all the women he could find,(a man of his times, to be sure) and still stuck to his politics of non-violent civil rights. People are so…..complicated.

        I just listened to a podcast of Sara and Tegan on CBC radio here in Toronto, about their new film thing, their relationship, and the popularity of their mother.

        Thank you for sharing: I deeply appreciate that you had the courage to share your process, and where you landed with it. You are cool, ya know.

        I am still working through this forgiveness notion. I think addressing things with openness, with being clear about boundaries, and with a desire to move past, with clarity, and caring and consideration, and wanting to rise above that compulsion to stay stuck in primitive mind and tribal feuds and power plays. Not that I feel too strongly about that. Take care of you😉

    • FS says:

      Dear Tomboy; Oh, I’m so gonna be cheeky: you don’t need a reason to love women: you love women because that’s how you’re made, how you’re wired.

      That commenter is not representative of all men, just a certain kind of person who holds old, outdated and unrealistic views about women, who brooks no difference of opinion, and is about as mature as a frightened adolescent chimpanzee. Would it surprise you to know that there are women like that? Even lesbian women? Even femmes, bois, dykes and stone butches, hippie chicks and sk8r girls? Would it surprise you to know that women are not perfect? That there are women who abuse, hurt other women and who hurt and abuse children?

      If you must hate, hate social injustice. Hate unfairness. Hate ignorance. Hate trumped-up excuses for wars. Hate human violence in all forms that it manifests. Hate misinformation and intolerance. Hate immobilizing fear. Hate inaction. Hate misuse of power. Hate inequity. Hate oppression in all forms you find it. Hate the fact that we’re hurting each other and the planet and animals and the space above the earth. And work to change it: you are already changing the world by being who you are, how you are. So change the world some more.😉. Read Stephen Lewis. His anger at the world’s reaction to AIDS in Africa, actually led to real change.
      Read about non-violence. Wade through http://www.nonviolent-conflict.org/ or check out http://www.cnvc.org/

      Or become a master of an arcane martial art (Aikido is incredible mentally and physically) and address ignorance and hate wherever you run into it with all the tools your mastery will provide you with.😉

      Anger has its place, and can be a catalyst for change if used productively. Mostly people who get angry just act out, and everyone ends up getting hurt, and no one gets what they want.

      It’s my hope that at some point in the future that hate is never met with hate and that your generation takes the lead in helping to make that happen. Please..?

      • tomboy says:

        Words of wisdom as always. I always need somebody else to help me understand myself. You like the process? Here’s another. After reading your comments back, I got thinking. But, as always, I couldn’t quite put it into words. So, I listened to music. I pretended to listen to Dad talking about music, I pretended to read about the music dad was telling me about, and I listened to my own music. Then I ate a salad (yuck) and then sat on the grass looking at the moon and ate a bowl of ice cream. Lastly I watched a West Wing and sat down and read all the comments again and realized. It will probably be my downfall, but I can always forgive a women, and I find it much harder to forgive a man. For anything. Probably need to work on that. Another thing I did was play the piano. I played this song I’d made where you just sort of sing along to a basic melody, and you always have to end with ‘it’s just the way she roles’ and it’s always about me. I sang this part that I made a while back and realized that I love men for one thing. All the straight girls I’ve ever had a crush on will (hopefully) one day be happy with a guy who loves them. And, of course, straight women in general will have somebody to love them.

        As for the whole “non-violence” thing, I have been trying to understand that for a while. If you ask people at my school, they will tell you that I am always the peacemaker. I think that’s just because nobody has really said anything I don’t like. However, if somebody says ‘God hates gays’ or something stupid, and wouldn’t listen to reason, I would probably punch them or scream really loudly or kick them in the shins. Again, something that obviously needs to be sorted out. I just get too worked up, which is why I don’t talk too much. Don’t mean to frighten anybody, if you had one look at me you’d know I am as harmless as a lamb.

      • FS says:

        Dear Tomboy; Sometimes, it just helps to talk things through, gain a bit of space and see how other people see things…besides; the you that you think you understand today will not be the you that you think you know at 22, or 28 or 32.

        It’s true that some things are hard to put into words because they are not things to be expressed with words: it’s more about a feeling. It is very cool that you write and play your own music. Music, tones, chords, singing, rhythm, melodies, harmonies, are perfect for expressing…what can’t be expressed any other way. You are lucky to have that available to you.

        You were outside?? On the grass? Eating ice cream?! Oh man, that is just not fair😦. It’s winter here.

        Sooo, you can forgive a woman but not a man. Hmm, let me guess: ya’ll wear your heart on your sleeve, dontchya?😉 (Okay I am chuckling — just a bit).
        It might be that the opposite of hating women is worshipping them, putting them on a pedestal. But in a way, that’s simply the other side of the same coin. And I wonder if either side of that coin actually sees the person, sees the human, how she is, who she is, for her self as opposed to the icon on that pedestal.

        Did you see the movie Avatar? “I see you…” We (people) tend to imbue the object(s) of our affection with a lot of our own wishes and hopes and what we expect and want to see, and that might not always align with who the person truly is. We see what we want to see, not necessarily what is there. Still, you do know that at some point in your life you will move beyond having crushes into the world of sharing love.

        The ethical, philosophical debates about violence and non-violence are never-ending. When is violence justified? When is violence acceptable? Is non-violence the only way to make lasting change? Evolution, revolution or a bloodless revolution? There are hotheads on all sides of the debate. Just because we have an impulse to kick stupid people upside the head, does not mean we should do it.

        May I share a secret with you? Someone who says that God hates gays is not going to listen to reason. Yours or anyone else’s. Ever. Instead of screaming or punching, you can say that you’re really happy to learn that the moon is made of cheese, turn around and go somewhere else more interesting. Or you could say that you are a follower of Gaia.

        It’s tempting to want to remind such people that God (as it states in the Bible) has a prohibition against lending money for interest, men cutting their hair, eating shellfish, and adultery. But it won’t have any bearing. Those people do make blood boil. And it’s natural to get worked up when there’s such stupidity around. Which is where smiling sweetly, breathing deeply, and heading to a boxing class is a really good strategy to blow of steam — channel that getting worked up in ways that aren’t going to hurt you. On the other hand, dear Tomboy, if you are going to fight, learn to fight well, learn to fight clean: kicking in the shins is not elegant fighting: be ninja, and be brilliant physically and psychologically. Boxing, martial arts, with a touch of ballet and fencing moves. Be beautiful to watch. Oh and to drive your opponent really mad — sing your song — it’s just the way she rolls as they try to land one on you.

        Harmless as a lamb, huh? Right.😉

  7. Jen says:

    I cried… I thought for you, at first, but the tears were for him… he is an endangered species… I promise you, soon; WE will have museum exhibits and history book entries to commemorate his kind.

    (((hugs)))

    • FS says:

      Dear J: I hope so: let this be one endangered species that we let go of and not work hard to save. Thank you for the hugs: always welcomed. 😉

  8. bookishbutch says:

    Profoundly disturbing, today of all days. Don’t let this ‘person’ get you down, your blog, your words,
    we must not be silenced. Big hug.

    • FS says:

      Dear BB: I was…strengthened by your post, you know. So thank you for that. And yes, it was profoundly disturbing, and remains so on a number of different levels. I’m sure that the guy writing the message had no idea of December 6 — but what an odd…coincidence. Thank you for the hug.;-)

  9. Valerie says:

    Dear FS,
    I applaud the courage and wisdom of your post in reaction to this appalling display of gratuitous verbal aggression. Hate serves no one, and can only lead to fear, anger and more hate… You have my sincerest admiration.
    ***
    “It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.”
    ~ Confucius

    • FS says:

      Dear V; Thank you, although I am not sure it’s courage or wisdom, just…time of life, time of season. My world’s pretty protected — a convergence of where I live, the people in my life, the laws of my city, province, country and the fact that unless I do something specific, I’m invisible, just another woman.😉. If I was THAT courageous, I’d have my full name in lights all over this blog … maybe in time 😉.

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