There’s a word I’ve been hearing a lot lately: Hate.
I hate white people.
I hate straight people.
I hate republicans.
I hate men.
Hate is a really powerful word. I feel pretty strongly that blanket statements of hate don’t get us anywhere – but I especially feel that way when it comes to those of us who fall under the blanket of “liberalism”. I’ve always found myself believing that being liberal is a part of being accepting.
Where has the ability to agree to disagree gone? Furthermore, where has the ability to get along with those who aren’t like us gone? We live in a difficult political era. There are people who want women to have no rights to their bodies, there are those who say that gay marriage is a sin. There are those who don’t believe that being trans is real.
But those people have always been a reality. Since forever, there have always been conservatives, there have always been people more interested in removing rights rather than giving them to people. There have always been those who do not believe they have equals. There are always those who put down others.
We don’t need to speak in this way.
We don’t have to shriek that we hate a blanket group, just because portions of that group are difficult to live with.
I do it too. I’m trying to learn how not to hate people I’ve never met. It’s difficult to not hate the Wesboro Baptist Church, for example. Because they do things I find unspeakable. I find it difficult to not hate Mitt Romney, because to me he presents a threat to my way of life. It is difficult to not hate those who ascribe gender normativity to those who will not conform. It is difficult to not hate those who want to keep gay men and women from marriage.
But I need to learn not to. I need to learn that there are better ways to make my point known than to hate. I can disagree vehemently with another person and not hate them. Hate is such a deep-seated emotion – but the word almost loses meaning with how much I see it used today. If we all hated as much as we say we do, then I fear for the very fabric of society. I fear for feminism, because if we hate men, then we’re just falling straight into the trap of being precisely what the anti-feminists fear. Strength is not hate. We can have strength and conviction without the means of rage.
Not only that, but it hurts. It hurts when you area straight ally and don’t participate in gay bashing, but you hear that your friends hate straight people. It hurts to think that just because of orientation, you end up being lumped in with the very people you disagree with.
Hatred creates so many things. It is responsible for lynchings, for murders, for rapes, for many things which I would never do, and you probably wouldn’t either.
Stop hating. Start disagreeing. Start having convictions. Start talking rationally.
I’m not saying to stop being angry, but I want us to voice our anger differently than through hate.
Just stop hating your fellow human beings, and start talking in productive ways that change things.