Over at Medium’s “The Establishment,” Katie Tastrom-Fenton published a post titled, “A Very Partial List of All the Men I Have Hated.” Over the last few years, I’ve seen similar posts pop up across the leftist blogosphere. These posts are easy to laugh at. However, the notion that it’s okay to publicly declare your hatred for a large group of people is an odd one. I’m assuming that in another time, people like Tastrom-Fenton who loudly trumpeted their hate would have been the side of the social scientists measuring human skulls in order to justify the hateful practice of owning slaves. I mean, hate is hate. If you’re willing to publicly hate one group, you’re willing to hate any group as long as doing so serves your purposes.
To be fair, Tastrom-Fenton’s anger comes out of legitimate pain and trauma. According to her post, she has been sexually assaulted multiple times, the first time when she was fourteen. She needs help to overcome her hatred, not scorn.
Tastrom-Fenton intends for the readers of her post to extend the fourteen examples of men she hates to include all men. And as I alluded to above, that’s the problem with hatred. It grows and consumes. For example, after listing off the first man who sexually assaulted her, a boyfriend who gave her STIs, and a guidance counselor who slept with students, she lists:
I hate a lot of men who pretend like I’m invisible because I am not their idea of “hot.” Since I got fat, this is most of them. I especially hate the ones who pretend like they have good politics around feminism but then can’t even remember my name after coming to my own house several times, but remember the name of the hot hairdresser girl who is probably a Republican after meeting her once.
There are so many assumptions wrapped up in those three sentences as to render them almost meaningless. I mean, how can she know what those men are thinking? I learned a long time ago that most of us are too worried about what other people are thinking about them to pay attention to other people. We’re too worried about ourselves. Chances are, many of those men Tastrom-Fenton accuses of pretending that she’s invisible are simply self-consciously worrying about what others are thinking about them. But, then again, who knows? And that’s my point.
Katie Tastrom-Fenton has allowed her hatred to fester to the point where she sees evil in others without any evidence. In her very next example, she wrote, “I hate all the legal aid men who haven’t given me jobs,” followed by, “I hate almost every man I went to law school with (for obvious reasons).”
No doubt, there are legal aid men who are examples of selfishness and misogyny. Likewise, I’m sure that she had classmates in law school who did evil things. But, hate for all in the first case and almost all in the next?
That would be like me saying that I hate all editors and publishers who haven’t responded to my article and/or book pitches. Or like me saying that I hate almost every woman I went to middle and high school with (for obvious reasons).
The scary thing about Tastrom-Fenton’s hate-filled post and the many like it is the normalization of hatred. Bad people who do bad things, like sexually assaulting women, should be punished. But we should resist the urge to allow hatred to grow inside of us. The end result will be the utter consumption of our soul and our society.
The left has painted all men with a broad paintbrush soaked in the evil of some. If unchecked, the left’s normalization of hatred runs the risk of destroying our nation.