What’s with all the hate?

Source: eryica.org

Source: eryica.org

America, the land of the free (kind of), is a country that is founded on the freedom of speech in all forms. This includes the internet (yay, WordPress!).

Because of this freedom we have to speak our minds when citizens of other countries sometimes aren’t allowed internet access, we sometimes don’t think before we speak (or type).

Sometimes, people say stupid things. Violent things. Offensive things. No matter how vile their words, what can we do? Not much. No matter how horrific the person’s words are, he or she is exercising his or her free speech.

In some cases, people can be penalized for cyber bullying or making terrorist threats. But with these situations, there has to be plenty of proof. On the internet, there are millions of nutcases spouting hatred, so not all of them can be penalized for their speech unless they’re making obvious threats and there is evidence they are planning to follow through with those threats.

I see stupidity on WordPress every day. The theory I’ve come up with? The stupid ones spouting hatred do so because:

1. They feel threatened, and are lashing out against a perceived (but not real) threat,

or

2. They allow isolated incidents from their lives to influence their opinions about groups of people.

Recently, I’ve noticed the most hateful rants on WordPress are from anti-feminists and racists. Surprise, surprise.

Yes, these people are exercising their freedom of speech (however narrow-minded their speech may be). However, the problem is that these vicious attacks I’ve seen while perusing WordPress is that they are generalizing hatred towards entire groups of people. When this happens, and numerous people join in, there is a higher likelihood of violence. This is just how it’s worked throughout history.

Racism, sexism, homophobia, and other kinds of hatred towards groups of people still exist today. With the internet and the popularity of blogging, the world is at our fingertips. So for people whose mission it is to spread hatred, it’s as easy as clicking “Publish” on a vile post of their innermost thoughts.

Unfortunately, I have noticed that the amount of particularly sexist and racists blog posts have been increasing in the last week. My theories as to why?

1. International Women’s Day–The anti-feminists are absolutely livid that many people around the world are voicing the truth that women are still not equal to men, and that this must change. It’s clearly pissed them off.

The anti-feminists’ posts vary in their anger and sexism. But some that I have stumbled upon are simply disgusting. They write how much they hate all women, and some even state that women deserve violence.

Some anti-feminists disguise themselves as saintly Christians. One blogger left some insulting comments on my blog post, My Response to the NYC Pastor. I don’t mind the occasional debate, but this wasn’t a debate. She commented only to attack all feminists.

Her claim? That because I identify as a feminist, I am a “nasty bitch,” and that all feminists are “radical, second-wave lesbians.”

She sounds like the life of a party.

Source: memegenerator.net

Source: memegenerator.net

After I did my research, I realized that her entire blog was devoted to the evils of feminism. She claimed that every feminist is a nasty bitch. Every feminist is a radical lesbian. Every woman who works outside the home is a radical, second-wave feminist. Every woman who doesn’t set her sights on marriage is a slut who will wind up old and abandoned.

Those are her words, not mine. Don’t worry, she makes sure to widen her horizons and discuss her hatred of homosexuality, abortion, birth control, Democrats, and anyone who isn’t an American.

Thankfully, my new blogger friend, roughseasinthemed, came to my aid. She also wrote a response to the drama with our opinions being attacked out of nowhere.

Now onto my second theory of why there’s more hate on WordPress as of late:

2. The University of Oklahoma fraternity racist chant scandal–Two days ago, a video surfaced of fraternity members chanting a horrific racist chant. Racist blog posts have surfaced in light of this event, and one post I encountered claimed that the chant was “harmless.”

On the dreaded comments section of some articles about the event were just as misguided. The statement, “Does this mean that any comedian who makes fun of white people will be in trouble, too?” was the favorite comment among the racist commenters.

Here’s the problem with that statement: If a comedian tells “racist” jokes in his or her act, they are only jokes. The racist chant the fraternity members were chanting? Not funny, and not a joke to be taken lightly.

The second problem with that statement: This incident is evidently not the only time racism this severe has been witnessed by students of the University of Oklahoma campus. Again, not a joke, and not to be taken lightly.

While some may say to just ignore the stupid people, ignore the racists, ignore the sexists, I don’t know if that’s always the best tactic. Sure, we shouldn’t feed into their attention-seeking tendencies. However, the problem with online hate speech is that it’s easy to spread. The more people it reaches, the more of a threat these people are to others.

Take, for example, the Men’s Rights Movement. On the surface, some people think, “They’re harmless. Just a bunch of whiny guys who feel rejected by women. Don’t pay them any attention.” Most of their “movement” is confined to Reddit forums where they pat each other on the back and vent about evil women. Harmless, right?

When one of those men writes a 141-page manifesto and goes on a shooting rampage, the idea of “men’s rights” isn’t so harmless anymore. When this man kills himself after he murders six people, wounds 14 others, and his fellow “men’s rights activists” call him a hero? That’s dangerous.

The concern with racists online is obvious because of America’s history. In a country with a variety of cultures among our population, it’s disturbing that today, in 2015, there are so many people stuck in their racist perspectives. That fraternities spout this hate and blindly follow it. What’s more disturbing is that some people are upset that these idiotic students were rightfully punished. Racism should not be tolerated on a college campus, and especially not in a fraternity, a supposed “brotherhood” of like-minded members.

While many of us simply ignore these racists and sexists, brushing them off as “harmless nutcases,” we have to keep in mind that not all of them are harmless. Some are dangerous, and have made that evident. It’s unfortunate that the internet allows these people to publish their hate speech to wide audiences, but the entire world doesn’t hate. These people are misguided, misinformed, and angry.

Source: memeburn.com

Source: memeburn.com

Just like Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Hate cannot drive out hate.” Speaking up to the hate and helping to drive it out is the only way to attempt to erase some of the remaining hate in the world.

Advertisements

153 thoughts on “What’s with all the hate?

  1. I’ve seen hate on both sides. Some people can’t handle anyone disagreeing with them. I like the dialogue personally. We can’t get anywhere unless we are talking. And listening!

      • Hate isn’t new. It’s sad how much hate there is. It’s not good at all.

        I am relatively new to the concept of men’s rights. Not talking about woman hate… if that’s what the term automatically means to you. I love women and don’t want anything bad for any of them. But as I’ve continued to read and watch more about some of the inequalities facing men (and how people’s initial response to that is snap judgments and closing their minds) my heart has been lightening some… just being able to finally see and hear words which I can finally put to the feelings that I’ve had for many years. It’s really nice when people acknowledge and show concern for the things one is struggling with.

        I am a male… that doesn’t mean I’m going to rape you!
        I am a male… there are innate reasons for why sex is on my mind more than it’s on a woman’s mind. I shouldn’t feel ashamed for having what is common to a male. (Thoughts… not actions, mind you… again… I know how to act.. and I’m not on a slippery slope which ends in raping someone, tyvm.)
        I am a male… while girls have a tough time shaking concerns about self-image… guys have a similarly tough time shaking thoughts of self-utility. It’s in our DNA to want to be useful and to provide. Not chauvinistically, not misogynistically. But, if we’re not able to provide for someone else, it’s really difficult to handle that blow to our innate identity. I guess that is tough to relate to for a woman… just as it’s tough for me to relate to how much time a woman may spend on self-image. But I understand THAT it is something women deal with and I respect that!

        p.s. I’m not labeling myself as an MRA.. and I will aggressively try not to make negative assumptions about “all feminists” because of the actions of the extreme radical feminists. I hope that others will try not to make negative assumptions about “all MRA’s” because of the actions of the extreme radical MRA’s.

      • I respect your opinions and thoughts. Thanks for commenting. I know what you mean about social pressures and stereotypes of a gender, because both men and women experience these pressures. Gender roles are still alive and well in the world, and the media and society still try to put men and women in specific categories and roles.

        I think the thing about “not all men rape” is an obvious statement, and everyone knows that not all men rape. Yet I think some of the “men’s rights” (maybe the more extreme ones?” have run away with the assumption that because we are discussing rape in our society, that we are making a statement that all men rape. Just because we are saying, “You know what? Rape happens, and it’s not cool.” doesn’t mean we’re saying, “Men are evil!” In order for us to change problems in society, we have to have open discussion about the issues, you know?

        If we used the “not all men rape” mentality as an excuse to not discuss rape, we could use that as an excuse to not discuss anything. Not all women have eating disorders, so we shouldn’t talk about anorexia. Not all women have breast cancer, so we shouldn’t talk about breast cancer. Not all students are bullied in school, so we shouldn’t discuss bullying. Just because “not all” of a group of people aren’t doing something doesn’t mean we should ignore the problem or stop talking about it, you know?

        I understand the DNA and biology arguments, but it’s my belief that we can’t just blame it all on our biology. We forget how much societal pressures and the way we are raised influences how we live. I think there are more things at okay that biology alone.

      • I agree with you on the “we should talk about these things” thing. I wasn’t meaning that we should talk about rape or anything else just because of one thing or another.

        I think we should discuss rape, whenever necessary. I think you are more fair minded than the average outspoken person, however.

        You say that “everyone knows that not all men rape”, but I think maybe not everyone actually acts like they know that… I guess I just wish that I were given a bit more benefit of the doubt. I have encountered women who assume all sorts of the worst things about me because they are angry and observe that I’m white, male, christian, and conservative. I am unfortunately under a sh*t-ton of stereotypes which are based upon loads of truly sh*tty experiences that people have had with white, christian, conservative men….

        But I don’t fit in that trope. I’m compassionate, non-judgmental, open-minded, slow to anger, and concerned about others. (though I wasn’t always this way… I’ve done some growing up… and yet.. am still white, male, christian, and conservative… imagine that!)

      • I know what you mean. I was actually thinking about writing a blog post about what you mentioned with how people make assumptions based on your politics, religion, gender, and race. I had been thinking about it seems like we judge people based on their politics and assume that if someone is liberal or conservative, they have a certain list of beliefs they have.

        It’s unfortunate to hear that you are judged negatively before people get to know you. I wish that didn’t happen, because judgment is why all forms of hate still exist.

  2. Unfortunately so many who spew hatred of this or that are so firmly entrenched in their views that they will never be open to dialogue. I applaud you for speaking your mind and not allowing your voice to be silenced.

    • Thank you. I do think it’s important to voice how wrong the hatred is, even if it won’t erase the hatred we see online. At least we’re getting our voices out there. πŸ™‚

  3. A wonderful article Rebecca – many congratulations and thanks. Perhaps another reason why hate-types indulge in the ways you describe is because they need to project upon others the suppressed hatred they have for themselves, a perverse and invariably ineffectual form of purging the sub-conscious. I apologise if this sounds like so much psychobabble, though it is interesting to go into possible reasons, for they are there, after all, are they not?

    • Thank you, Hariod! And I think your theory makes a lot of sense. It seems like a lot of people who hate others hate themselves. Maybe they feel like tearing others down makes them look confident or helps them feel better.

      Thanks for the comment!

  4. Well said. I’ve found that a lot of it is really just fear hiding behind false bravado. But you can usually tell pretty quick who’s engaging in a legitimate debate and who’s just looking to stir up sh*t.
    The former involves a constructive respectful exchange of ideas, the latter just isn’t worth wasting any time on.

  5. It seems like we as a nation should have moved beyond racial issues. If Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive, what would he think? Would he not be dismayed?

    I think some people who viciously speak of others are self centered. They have difficulty seeing another person’s point of view, and cannot empathize with others.

    • I completely agree, Karen! I do wonder what Dr. King would think. It’s sad that there are still people out there who don’t want to see other’s views and are negative towards others.

  6. Really well said, girl. While everyone’s entitled to their opinions, I’ve never understood why people feel the need to share theirs– or, rather, bash other people and force them to listen to theirs– on a platform that isn’t their own. Via comments on someone else’s blog, for example. Healthy discussion and disagreements are one thing, infantile bashing and condemning is another. Kudos to you for taking the high road, and not letting the haters get you down.

    • Thank you. πŸ™‚ That’s so true. A debate and conversation is fine, but tearing others down isn’t. It doesn’t help the person’s case, and it causes more unnecessary drama.

  7. Despite all of the hate there are level headed people like you continuing to blog. Keep doing your thing and know that for every vocal hater out there, there are so many people who agree with you and your wisdom !

  8. wow! I was having a good morning til I read the first part about the woman who left a harsh comment on your blog. But moving on. I always believe that every right should be accompanied by responsibility. Things like that make me get tired of social media. I guess people like them are those kinds who always wants to be better than the other, and if there is resistance, they will do their best to beat you out til you agree. Nvm, haters gonna hate. πŸ™‚

    Just keep doing what you do πŸ˜€ There are a lot of open-minded people in this world. πŸ˜€

  9. I’ll be honest the connection with IWD and flurry of feminist bashing went over my head! Even though I’d written about it. And I’d only heard about the frat chant in passing, and what I did hear didn’t make me want to hear any more. I thought the days of rascist ‘humour’ had long gone, certainly on (UK) television. But as I haven’t seen television for years, take that opinion with a bucket of salt. Either way, I wouldn’t find rascist ‘jokes’ funny, just as I wouldn’t find sexist ones funny.

    But that’s just because I can’t see the humour in poking fun at minority groups who have been oppressed for years. What’s funny about that? Because treating it as humour also weakens the message that equality has not been reached for either of these two groups. It seems to me, there is something of a backlash going on against equal opportunity movements (whether for women, LGBT, race, even non theists) and a lot of the vitriol we see, especially on the Internet, is reflecting that.

    • I agree with you about the racist and sexist jokes not being funny. They’re just not my kind of humor.

      It definitely seems like the backlash is against equal opportunity groups. I guess all the people who believe they’re superior don’t like the idea that other people will have the same opportunities. And that’s sad they feel that way.

      • I think the superior aspect is interesting, because yes, it does apply, everyone wants to protect what they have. I was also interested to read one of your commenters thinking, mistakenly, that feminism was about achieving superiority. Apart from anything else equality would be a bonus.

      • That’s true, and a good way to explain why people act superior. I agree that feminism is often mistaken for superiority when in reality it is about striving for equality.

    • It’s not just the poking fun at minority groups that shouldn’t be funny. If a thing isn’t funny toward one person, it shouldn’t be funny directed at another person… even if they’re someone in the majority.

  10. I see alot of hate on social media. I think people feel safe spewing their hate because of the anonymity of the internet. How many people would say some of the things they write. Probably few.

    • I think that has a lot to do with it. People feel brave writing hateful comments when they’re behind a computer screen. It makes it easier for people to bully others, which is unfortunate.

  11. The simple truth, hate is easier. To debate an issue requires effort, an intelligent approach, often some level of research to provide supporting data and a willingness to consider the other person’s views. For haters a jerking knee will usually suffice.

  12. It seems that the World has gone a little crazy. Everyone is looking for validation of their thoughts and feelings outside of their own minds. Human thought and opinion is easily manipulated by others when people can no longer think for themselves. Our thoughts are being both dictated and fed upon by and for those who find us easier to manipulate when we adopt sheep-like behavior and follow our individuals herds in line for shearing.

    • I totally agree. It’s easier for us to converse with people who validate our beliefs, and we feel angry with those who threaten those beliefs. It can be hard for people to think critically and independently when others are influencing their opinions. I like what you said about sheep–that’s an accurate description. People don’t always want to stand out and tend to just follow the herd.

      Thanks for your comment!

    • Yes, there is too much hate out there nowadays, unfortunately. That’s a good idea to avoid reading hateful things on social media. I try to do that as well.

      Thank you for commenting! πŸ™‚

      • I read that bloggers blog, well not properly but from what I read it was horrible, how can a woman think that way? And I also read her comments; telling a 13 year old she will die ‘unloved and lonely’ also calling liberated woman ‘piece of trash that no man would marry’. So judgemental and narrow minded.

      • I saw those comments, too! They were horrible. It just baffles me that someone who calls herself a Christian would say such awful things to another person. She’s bullying those people just because they don’t agree with her.

      • Responding to Elisa Z’s comment “[…] how can a woman think that way?”

        Everyone is equally capable of hate. It’s sad, but true. How we are brought up plays a HUGE part of how we form opinions and beliefs. There are reasons for why people hate. Real ones… but saddening. If you’re told the same thing over and over… you start to believe it… whether it’s a loving or a hateful thing.

        Just making clear… I didn’t read the woman’s response to Rebecca’s post, but I can tell you that I’m sure I don’t agree with anything she said.

      • That’s a good point. I agree that anyone is capable of hate. Environment plays a big part as you said. There are many psychological aspects to how people can become hateful. It’s sad, but unfortunately a part of the world we live in.

  13. We live in strange times, Becky. Technology brings us all together, but then many use that same technology to drive us apart. What sense does that make?

  14. Hello Rebecca,
    I always enjoy reading your blog posts. I disagree with some, agree with others. But I also agree with some of the posts from the un-named blogger you mention. Her blog does have some valid points, and some I disagree with. But at the end of the day, I am pretty sure she doesn’t “hate” you! Or anyone else for that matter. I only speak on what I see / read. It kind of bothers me that the liberal mindset is so quick to label anyone that disagrees with them as “haters” or “intolerant” The lgbt movement has hijacked the term tolerance over the last few years. The real meaning is to be able to accept others that one disagrees with, even though you disagree or do not approve of something, you can still “live & let live” And that is good, because we are all different. But it seems like now the “left” has changed it to mean we must not only put up with, but we must agree with it also. And that is wrong. We all should be able to put up with each other’s beliefs, but we can’t be forced to like them. Just because we dislike or disagree with something does NOT mean we hate it, as so quickly labeled as “haters” ALL people should be able to have & express their opinions, as long as it is done peacefully & civilly without any type of violence. If someone gets violent, then that’s where the line is crossed, and the wrath of the law should be imposed on them!
    You and I disagree and debate several issues, and I know some on the left have (wrongly) labeled me as a “homophobic bigot” or “intolerant” or “hater” or what ever else they care to label me as…But, I try NOT to return the favor, even though we disagree on many things. That’s fine, they can call me whatever they want. It does not “offend” me, but I wonder why some are so “shallow” or quick to label, just because they disagree with me?
    Sure, I would love to see everyone repent of their sins and turn to Jesus, (we are ALL sinners, including me!) But I will not force my Jesus on anyone that does not want Him! That is not Biblical. I know I am not perfect, so please don’t think I am trying to pass myself off as such. But, on the same token, it would be good if the Left did not try to force their beliefs on the rest of us. There are some of us that will always believe the Bible, and that homosexuality, abortion, fornication, and other things are sins, and they should be avoided. But those that disagree are free to do so, if that’s the path they choose. We will never agree on everything, and that’s fine. But we (both sides) should not be so quick to judge, or label as haters or whatever…..
    And I speak this as purely my own views, and I do not speak for anyone else………..Aloha Rebecca,
    Sailor Dale

    • Hello, Dale. Thanks for your comment. I know what you mean about “live and let live.” Usually I live my life that way, and that’s what I tend to do in the blog world for the most part.

      The situation and blogger in question had commented on one of my posts and was quite…rude. Within her comments she called me a “nasty bitch.” And that’s verbatim.

    • The blogger was unnecessary when she commented in my blog in that way. I don’t mind debate. Like you said, you and I are able to agree to disagree and still have conversations. But she was looking for a fight.

  15. With freedom of speech, people think they are entitled to hurt others. Although it is not illegal, it is nor productive nor constructive, and just plain mean sometimes. It’s best to just ignore those major a-holes. Great post!

    • Thank you! And that’s true. People think that even though they’re hurting others, it’s acceptable because it’s legal and part of their right to free speech. It’s better to ignore the hate and focus on the positive.

      Thank you for your comment! πŸ™‚

  16. There is so much hate out there, it’s disgusting. I just can’t believe what’s going on with all of these police shootings and such. I hate how people instantly pick sides. I believe that we don’t know anyone’s story, because we weren’t there!!! There seems to be a rise of racism lately, especially where I live in northern Wisconsin. Well, there always has been I guess.

    • The racism is just terrible. And I agree how it sucks when people pick sides. They believe everything one side says, and disregard everything from the other side.

      Oh, I hear you about the racism in some places in Wisconsin. Where I live it seems like even though our town’s population is becoming more culturally diverse and urban, there are still so many racist people. It’s outrageous. Some people in my town just think that a town of all-white people is normal and how it should be. They just aren’t used to different cultures, which is sad.

      • It’s frustrating. I live in Oconto Falls, about half hour north of Green Bay. It’s a town of 4,000 basically all white. People up there have no idea what it’s like to deal with different cultures, let alone respect them. People claim they aren’t racist, but when you use racist terms, you are.

      • That doesn’t surprise me. It’s so ridiculous how they think they’re not racist, yet use racial slurs and say they “don’t like” people of other races. It’s like that with some people in my town, too. I live in a town of nearly 40,000, yet the majority of the population has been white. When we’ve had non-white populations moving to our town, all the racists freak out.

      • Yup small town northern WI for you. Like, how do you change someone’s attitude when it’s been inbedded in them their entire life? Our high school had one Asian and one African American family and that was it. They were well-liked, so it’s like, why do people still use those terms as jokes? You know? It’s just offensive. Everyone is so small minded and ignorant. I blame mostly uncultured and too afraid to get off the front porch and travel.

      • I totally agree that it’s probably because they’re uncultured and haven’t traveled. They like to live in their little boxes and pretend that no one is different and that anything different is bad. It’s crazy. Yeah, my high school had maybe five black students total, but we have a high Asian population. And when the people who immigrated from Thailand and Laos came to our town, our racist population was crazy. It’s insane that so much racism still exists.

  17. Good post. The ability to speak your mind has a long and important history in our country but it sure does produce a lot of hateful crap! Gotta take the bad with the good though which I think you stated, otherwise freedom of speech means nothing.

    • Thank you! Very true that freedom of speech has allowed people to say a lot of hateful things. You’re right that we have to take the bad with the good and appreciate that we can speak our minds.

  18. Pingback: Victim shaming: What’s up with that? | Humyn

  19. Good post! I have encountered a few of those unsavoury posts on WordPress and in comments on articles. What really amazes me is the amount of likes and support these rants receive. It’s unbelievable, really. What an intolerant species we have become (or maybe we always have been that way).

    • It baffles me, too. I see these hateful (at times even violent) posts, and they get tons of “Here, here!” “You’re so right!” comments. It’s just insane. I came across a post last night in which some guy wrote that he wanted to kill all women, that he wanted to inspire others to be violent, and he said that the world better watch out of he gets his hands on any guns. Like, seriously? Violent threats like that are “free speech?” That’s the type of stuff someone says before they go on a violent rampage. It just makes my stomach sick.

      • That’s awful! There is a line to be drawn between free speech and inciting hate. There is never a rightful place for hate speech. And unfortunately it seems to have become such an ingrained part of society that everyone feels that it’s okay to say whatever. It’s pathetic.

      • I completely agree. I’m against censorship in most cases because I believe that it infringes on an artist’s creativity, but in my opinion, blogging is a bit different. When someone is making real threats, that’s not “art.” They mean what they’re saying, and it’s dangerous. But people would be up in arms because it’s his “First Amendment right” to spout hatred and death threats? Give me a break.

Thoughts? Say Something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s