Thursday, May 22, 2008

Haters

So, I haven't posted this past week, or since my last post received so many hateful comments that we had to close commenting for the first time. The comments were directed towards overweight people, women, feminists, and me. The comments hurt, and I've been upset all week.

But then I read this:

While trying to deal with all the challenges of being a teenager, gay/ lesbian/ bisexual/ transgender (GBLT) teens additionally have to deal with harassment, threats, and violence directed at them on a daily basis. They hear anti-gay slurs such as “homo”, “faggot” and “sissy” about 26 times a day or once every 14 minutes.

Blogging is an odd endeavor, you post personal anecdotes, opinions, and beliefs for the world to read. You may get criticized, attacked, or ignored, but, at the end of the day, you can close your laptop and go to sleep. That's not the case for these teenagers. They may be able to go to sleep, but they must wake up the next morning and go to school, try to learn with people who hate them surrounding them, and face their harassers everywhere. It isn't surprising that suicide is the leading cause of death for gay teenagers.


Hate is everywhere, and sometimes, it is so ingrained within us that we don't even realize its effects. But it does affect others. In small and huge ways. So, I guess, this is just a reminder to think, to care, and to support each other. Even if we don't agree. I know its corny, but its important.

20 comments:

FeministGal said...

well said! and sorry the haters got you down :(

Amelia said...

I love you, Kate!

dirtyrottenfeminist said...

thank you for this.

people suck.

thankfully, you rock.

KEEP ON KEEPIN ON!!!

Anonymous said...

I almost hate to be the one to say this, but, if feminists love to stress that women are NOT "more emotional" than men...

Then why is it that you can get that upset "for a week", over hearing things you don't want to hear, yet a man would simply let it roll off his back?

Kate said...

I don't think admitting that I was hurt has anything to do with women being more emotional than men.

As a person, I was upset over the hate shown towards women, fat people, feminists, myself, and the other writers of this blog.

Anonymous said...

I think it's more the admitting that you were SO upset, and for so long.

I don't let things I hear on the internet or elsewhere bother me.

Most men wouldn't.

That's why it appears more emotional. You don't see male bloggers writing up posts about how upset they were for the last week because someone said something they didn't agree with.

Also, I read some of the posts in question, and, well, I think there's a big difference between "hate" and what you're talking about.

Disagreement, argument, etcetera, are not hate.

Hate is "You shouldn't exist and I want you and everyone like you to die".

Not quite the same, really.

Kate said...

Maybe male bloggers don't write about how they have been hurt because of rigid masculinity roles. Maybe?

Also, I think most of the "hurt" came from a blog entry written by a commentor here that said that I was selfish for writing a post about fat acceptance when kids in Africa were dying. And that my chair was breaking as I was writing it and the grease from my Big Mac must have been dripping.

That was unecessary and hurtful.

So yeah.

The Great American said...

While I strongly disagree with homosexuality, there are better ways of disagreeing with it than hurting somebody, physically or mentally. One thing in the Bible that I truly try to live by day by day, is "Hate the sin, but love the sinner". I believe the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, so I hate homosexuality, but in no way do I hate homosexuals. I've met great people in my life that are gay. I also think that "hate the sin, but love the sinner" also applies to people that disagree with you. i'm not saying that people that disagree with me are sinning, but what I am saying is that you can disagree with people and have discussions with people and have different views than others, but that doesn't mean you should treat them any less human.
So when I see that somebody is feeling down, I hurt with them and I sympathize with them. No matter what how they live their life and no matter what they believe in.

Also, it doesn't really matter what a feminist believes are what someone thinks a feminist believes; men and women are built differently and have different emotions and there is nothing wrong with sharing or not sharing emotions. People deal with things in a variety of ways.

La Pobre Habladora said...

Kate, way to go for having the courage to be honest about how you felt - so many people would hide their feelings and then claim that other people's bigoted statements had 'rolled off their backs.' Of course, it is easy for people who've never had a slur aimed in their direction to claim toughness. And, although there are some people who will use any pretext to justify their stereotypes while ignoring all the evidence that might overturn them, there are many more who will listen to what you say, and truly consider it. Keep writing in defense of the people who others love to attack, your words and your willingness to oppose hateful attitudes do us all good.

Renee said...

What you said is not at all corny. Schools are supposed to provide a harassment free learning environment. Next to the family it is the largest socializer. What does it say about us that children go to school to be tormented about who they are? Whether it is racism, homophobia, abelism etc, none of it should ever be tolerated. Until we fix the issue of tolerating hatred in the education system we are going to continue to deal with these issues.

smartlikeme said...

anon,

I think you assume to think you know how most men would feel based on what you think most men would do. IF it is indeed true that "most men" wouldn't write a post like this (and that's a big IF), perhaps it's because women can be more honest and articulate about their feelings in a culture that chastises men for presenting themselves as anything other than heartless and unaffected.

Also, think about it and you'll realize you're subscribing to oppressive binary thought--this writer was upset and frustrated with the comments and you term her "emotional". Sure, I suppose being "upset" is an emotion, but I propose maybe being unfeeling or unaffected are emotions of a sort too-it's cold hearted, unsympathetic, etc. The idea of a person being "without emotion" (aka being "rational" and only dealing with things "mentally") seems like a bullshit distinction, defined arbitrarily by being associated with women. Everything we do involves emotions of some sort.

Not only to we not recognize this, but we train males to not admit to their emotions or to necessarily recognize them as such and that doesn't mean the feelings aren't felt.

Anonymous said...

Maybe male bloggers don't write about how they have been hurt because of rigid masculinity roles. Maybe?

In theory, maybe, or that could easily just be transference on your part, and they aren't actually all that bothered in the first place.

Also, I think most of the "hurt" came from a blog entry written by a commentor here that said that I was selfish for writing a post about fat acceptance when kids in Africa were dying.

Well, from that point of view, it is a little, well, off, to write about the "importance" of fat acceptance when there are peoples that will go there entire lives without even knowing what fat is.

I believe the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, so I hate homosexuality, but in no way do I hate homosexuals.

Old Testament. How do you reconcile that with the whole "Jesus/New law" thing?

I mean, I hate to repeat this, but the whole "rule" on homosexuality is in Leviticus, which is just filled to the brim with other rules and laws that Christians certainly don't follow today.

So why pick just that one?

Kate said...

Anon,
The way I view it is that they are both human rights issues to some degree. Fat people have the right to be treated as human. They have a right to respect. In the same way, to a greater degree, of course, children in Africa also have the right to be treated as human, to be fed and sheltered.

But, just because there are starving children in Africa does not illegitimize the suffereing of another marganilized group. The issues are uncomparable, but that does not mean I can't write about one issue over the other. As one of the authors of this blog, I felt that it was an important issue to address, so I did.

But, it was my choice to write about the issue, and I shouldn't have faced such harassment because of my decision. The commentor wasn't writing about starving children in Africa on his blog. He was using their image, simply as a way to contrast it with my argument. He was commidfiying the children and trying to make me look like the selfish one.

Also, I feel that my emotions are not tied to my gender. I was hurt because I have a fairly sensitive personality; I always have. Not because I am a woman.

And it would have been silly for me to hide my feelings or pretend they weren't there just because I didn't want to come off as an emotional woman. That's a werid kind of sexism.

Anonymous said...

Well, perhaps.

Still, I can't help but think that worrying about the "right to be fat" is just sort of empty compared to some people worrying about where the next meal comes from.

Anyway, yes, you're a more sensitive person, and that's fine, but in general, women tend to be.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing, or it means you're deficient, or anything else, just that it's the way it is.

Female hormones cause more emotional response. MTF TG folks on hormone therapy have reported things like that. Same with the FTMs talking about more aggressive tendencies and the like.

an.optimistic.cynic said...

@ Anon,

-"I mean, I hate to repeat this, but the whole "rule" on homosexuality is in Leviticus, which is just filled to the brim with other rules and laws that Christians certainly don't follow today."-

I do agree with this statement. One of the reasons I turned from religion. Read in the proper context, rape, murder and theft are Holy so long as it's heathens bein' raped, murdered and robbed.

-"Anyway, yes, you're a more sensitive person, and that's fine, but in general, women tend to be.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing, or it means you're deficient, or anything else, just that it's the way it is.

Female hormones cause more emotional response. MTF TG folks on hormone therapy have reported things like that. Same with the FTMs talking about more aggressive tendencies and the like."-

Just a couple of problems with this, though. Maybe it's nitpicking on my part, but unless you have hard numbers to back it up, you can't accurately state that women are more emotional.
What studies can you point to? Do those studies take culture, religion, regions into account? Now if you want to say, "it's been my experience that women are more sensitive", no problem.


http://www.autismwebsite.com/crimetimes/98a/w98ap7.htm

and

http://anoptimisticcynic.blogspot.com/2008_05_01_archive.html#361099773862904366

If aggression is a behavior related to both estrogen and testosterone, mightn't other behaviors we typically associate with one gender in reality exist in both?

Anonymous said...

you know, just because someone disagrees with you doesn't make them a 'hater'. you are not the ultimate feminist. if someone disagrees with you, they aren't automatically anti-feminist.

don't blog if you can't handle people discussing, and disagreeing, with what you write.

Amelia said...

Oh, please, Anon. If you actually read this blog, you would know that we all deal with dissent on a daily basis. It's only the intentionally nasty, personally insulting stuff that gets to us, and that's because we're human.

And I think I missed the part where Kate said that just because people disagree makes them anti-feminist. Oh wait. She didn't.

Anonymous said...

I should probably come up with a name for myself in order to be distinguished from other anonymous commenters.

Such as the one above you. Though, I'd hope my ability to use commas and capitalization appropriately would show we aren't the same anonymous. :D

Cuban Feminista said...

I have to say, it's pretty sad when you put yourself out there and write what's in your heart and in the end all people know how to do is trash you even more to bring you down. I have to wonder what they get out of it. I have to wonder if that makes them feel superior to you.

Thank you for posting this, and for posting the last entry. I just posted up on a similar topic talking about my own personal experiences with my weight from the time I was a kid as well, and it's very similar to what you've been through.

Don't let people get you down with their hate. It's not worth it.

deb said...

Kate, you have a gift and you are providing a strong voice for others still struggling to find their own. I have shared many items covered in this blog with co-workers and friends, you have many readers, we just don't always comment. Words matter and I'm sorry you were hurt but remember your words are powerful and they can bring change. Keep up the great work!!