Update: When I originally wrote this post I was determined to take the high road. I deliberately left out any names and instead just shared my thoughts. More than two years later, this person is still stalking my Twitter account, and now she’s harassing my fiancée as well, and gleefully mocking my fight with cancer. Therefore, I have decided to name her: She is Rachel Goodine of ACORN Canada.
What motivates people to hate others so much?
I ask this question because it has recently become clear to me that I am hated by a certain group of people for no other reason than because I have an opinion than differs from theirs.
When I say hatred, I mean hatred. Insults were thrown at me with wanton disregard for their real meaning and in such a way that I can only assume they were intended to convey hatred, and perhaps incite a reaction out of me. Threats were made. I was encouraged to cut of my own testes and film the event so that these people could watch.
And all of this un-provoked. By people I wouldn’t have even heard of had they not decided to take an interest in me. People I do not know, will never know, and never wish to know.
I won’t get into the details, but a quick perusal of my Twitter feed will allow you to see for yourself.
Essentially I made an off-hand comment supporting the gentrification of the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood of Vancouver. For those of you who don’t know, the DTES is perhaps the worst neighbourhood in all of Canada. It’s a den of drug addicts, and not much else.
At least that’s what it was. In recent years there has been a real effort to clean it up. New developments have gone up, businesses have opened, and for the first time in decades there is some light in what has been a very dark place.
But a certain group of anarchists don’t like that. They want to keep the DTES horrible. They want to make sure that the drug addicts don’t ever get help, unless that help is in the form of free needles to help feed their addiction. They want to keep anyone with an eye to improving things out, to preserve the “culture” of the DTES. That culture basically consists of drug addicts dying in the streets, but hey, to each their own right?
In response to the threat of an improved neighbourhood they have taken to smashing the windows of some local businesses, stealing the property of others (including one, a restaurant, that has a meal token program, in which diners can purchase a token and give it to a homeless person), and picketing another and harassing its customers. In short, they are behaving badly. Very badly.
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Anyway, so some wing-nut on Twitter didn’t like what I had to say, so she sent me a message or two letting me know that I was a misogynist, a racist, and that I hated poor people. Actually I think she really intended to let other people know that, and she went on to make the threats against me after I foolishly attempted a rational response to a complete lunatic. Oops, my bad.
I suppose I felt the need to defend myself. I am a lot of things. I am a hot-head, I am opinionated, and my political views are varied enough that liberals and conservatives are bound to hate me in equal measure, and I am not shy about expressing them. It can and does get me into trouble. But I am not a misogynist. At least not the way the dictionary defines it (“hatred of women”, in case you are wondering.) I certainly don’t hate women, I was raised by one, the love of my life is one, as are most of my friends. Of course she wasn’t using the dictionary definition of misogyny, she was using the crazy nut-bar man-hating feminist version which is “challenging a woman’s opinion for any reason whatsoever”. Ditto for “racist” which to these crazies means “questioning or condemning the actions of a non-white for any reason whatsoever”. I asked my fiancée how she felt about marrying a racist given that she’s not white, and luckily she seems okay with it so far.
I quickly came to my senses and blocked her, as well a few others from her gang of idiots. Then, being the hot-head that I am I proceeded to mock the accusations relentlessly by hash-tagging most of my tweets with #misogyny for the next day or two until I got bored with that activity.
And in a rational world, that would have been the end of it. Except: it wasn’t.
It seems this nut-job (who among other things, associates with eco-terrorists who seek to bring down civilization to save the world (seriously!) just can’t get enough of me and is still keeping tabs on me despite being blocked. I found this out accidentally after someone else I follow evidently got into a conversation with her, and lo and behold my name was mentioned. Indeed, she hates me so much, a stranger whom she’s never met, never will meet, and who could care less about her existence that she is still tweeting nasty things about me to other strangers she’s never met.
I just find that bizarre, sad, and fascinating.
Why would you hate a stranger? Why would you hate someone just because they don’t agree with your opinion?
P.S. I could have provided screenshots and references and so forth, but frankly it just isn’t worth my time. Twitter hasn’t gone anywhere, peruse at your own risk. And for the record, I don’t hate this person, or others like her. I pity them. Their world view is so skewed and one-dimensional, and they truly believe the hateful and ridiculous things they say are somehow noble.