*Swearing ahead. And, if you have a different take on this, we welcome other mindful opinions here.
Let’s also stop fucking misogynists, homophobes, transphobes, ableists—just stop fucking anyone spreading hate.
Let’s stop rewarding emotionally-shallow, hateful people with our love and our bodies.
I recently found this video in my Facebook feed. And it reminded me of that perfect John Waters quote, “If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ’em! Don’t sleep with people who don’t read!”
Well, actually, the quote goes like this:
We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them. Don’t let them explore you until they’ve explored the secret universes of books. Don’t let them connect with you until they’ve walked between the lines on the pages.
Books are cool, if you have to withhold yourself from someone for a bit in order for them to realize this then do so.
John Samuel Waters”
And the part after the famous quote is what’s applicable here too. Don’t let racists, homophobes, asshats of all kinds—don’t let them into your gorgeous inner world, don’t let them have access to your heart or your body if they can’t have the basic minimum decency as a human not to hurt others.
So, why are we making excuses for them still?
I knew a guy once who was verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive to his ex. He wasn’t that way with me, but everyone I knew warned me about the things they had personally witnessed. But I was being love-bombed at the time, and I also had on the world’s thickest rose-colored glasses. I asked him about the rumors, and he admitted it. But then he added on “but she made me so mad.” And I thought, well there ya go…she shouldn’t have been such a bitch. And I truly believed she was the problem. He wasn’t being violent with me. Until the night I made him mad. He only crossed that line with me once, and I made excuses for that too. “He didn’t mean to hit me with the chair, he threw it at the wall and it bounced off and hit me.” Not understanding that him throwing the chair was the violence and abuse.
I was raised to be a rebel. I’m also an empath and an Aquarius, and while that probably doesn’t mean anything really…I’ve been told it’s the trifecta of needing to save the world. I’ve always been one to stand up for anyone else’s rights. I have friends who were in abusive relationships and I grew up watching abuse front and center. I wore the declaration, “no man will ever raise his fist to me!” like a badge of honor. Until I started making excuses, too.
And I’m still completely shocked and bewildered at my own glossing over of obvious misogynistic traits. I became the “pick me” girl thinking his love was more important than his character or my safety.
So, I’m not pointing fingers here, but every woman I know has been working so hard on their own emotional growth. I’m in awe of my friends who have, despite the incredibly difficult last few years, have come out stronger and more self-aware. And yeah, “not all men” blah blah blah. But many men, and most men.
We, women, are putting the work in. We’re figuring out what’s not working for us and we’re making changes and growing and that’s just beautiful and painful and hard.
But why are we still allowing our partners to be jerks? Not just our partners, but our friends and family too. Why are we staying silent or making excuses when someone makes a racist comment, or a homophobic joke? Why are we even allowing culture to be used as an excuse at all? There’s a popular TikTok video of a man being verbally abusive to his grown sons. The comment section is half “omg, he’s so violent!” and the other half “that’s the Italian in him, my dad was the same.” No. Just no. Let’s not allow these excuses to be the reason for allowing hate and abuse.
Violence is always a choice. Hate is always a choice. If someone is being racist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, or misogynistic: they are choosing to do that. It’s not in their DNA. It’s not something out of their control.
Are we also part of the problem because we allow it? Yea, probably. Even if we are conditioned to think the emotional growth of our loved ones is somehow our responsibility, it’s not. We can lead by example, and we can point them in the right direction.
But the work is theirs to do.
The work we have to do is to not allow them access to us as a reward for doing nothing to make this world and their own lives better.
We can make excuses for their upbringing, for their situation in life, for anything. But fuck that, really. Many of us had really shitty childhoods and many of us have done the work and continue every day to do work. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. We’re not out here hurting others and spreading hate. They can be funny and quirky and great in bed or whatever, but if they are spreading hate, all of that is canceled out.
You shouldn’t get to be racist and get laid.
I’m not saying to necessarily abandon the love boat completely. But if we set boundaries and our expectations, and if they aren’t willing to do the work at all—especially if they come back with a, “you’re too emotional” line or try to gaslight your feelings—run.
Run, girl, run.
Like the video states, you are not being too easily offended, you are the correct amount of offended by racism. They shouldn’t be so easily racist, homophobic, and so on.
The more we coddle these partners and family members and friends, allowing them to spread hate because *insert whatever excuse,* the more they won’t change.
Why would they? They’re getting what they want. They get to continue to live a life of privilege as a man and stay in the world “as is” without doing any of the work. And they get to continue to spread hate and violence without anyone calling them on their shit.
Like the ancient Greek dramatist Aristophanes, who, in the play Lysistrata, calls on women to stop sleeping with their husbands until they negotiate a peaceful end to the Peloponnesian War, is this what we have to do for them to evolve?
Hate is a war on all of us.
Returning to that last part of the John Waters quote: “Books are cool, if you have to withhold yourself from someone for a bit in order for them to realize this then do so.”
Let’s change that to: “Hate is not cool, if you have to withhold yourself from someone for a bit in order for them to realize this then do so.”
And let’s just stop fucking racists.