This Is The Part Where I Hate on “Haters”
I would like for us to stop using the word “haters.” I want the whole concept of “haters” to be stricken from the record so we can all move on, comfortably, without this stupid concept haunting us.
I am over “haters.”
What about it am I over? Well, certainly not the humorous uses of it. “Haters Gonna Hate” and “Haters to the Left” gifs amuse me to no end when used comically and with an awareness of how IDIOTIC the idea of “haters” really is.
But can we talk about people who legitimately use “haters?” Please?
You know you’ve seen it. You’re talking about something, let’s say a musical artist. Let’s assume it’s a musical artist you don’t like very much. You’re not a fan of their music or their message or both. You write a well-reasoned argument, perhaps with a bit of sarcasm, about why you don’t like them/think they’re overrated/think they’re completely disgusting and don’t comprehend why they’re so popular.
And the response you get from hardcore fans? Or even sometimes for the band themselves?
Look, I’m going to say this once. I’m going to say it loud and clear:
DISLIKING SOMETHING DOES NOT MAKE SOMEONE A “HATER.”
It doesn’t mean you are someone with a grudge, someone out to dislike something for the sake of disliking it or just a negative person. It means YOU HAVE DISSECTED SOMETHING, COME UP WITH AN OPINION, AND YOUR OPINION IS THAT YOU DO NOT LIKE IT AND YOU DECIDED, IN THE INTEREST OF DISCUSSION, TO MENTION IT IN A PUBLIC SPACE.
I know this seems kind of ridiculous, but I have my reasons. The whole “haters” thing is just symptom of a world that is increasingly unable to handle even friendly critique or dissent. I have even seen adults who, when discussing something, reply with some variation of “You’re just a hater.” I have been in writing class where the point was to critique the work of another classmate and if you said ANYTHING critical about the work, you just didn’t get it.
It’s a twisted evolution of the excuse many of us were given as children as to why we were bullied. “They’re just jealous.” Were they? Well, maybe. But unfortunately, that excuse combined with a growing sensitivity about being critiqued has led to a problem where even if someone has something legitimate to say about a book, movie, song, artist, television show, etc. it turns into “The thing you are critiquing that I like can’t be bad, YOU must be what’s bad.”
Critique is often a good thing. It helps us grow as people, challenges artists and writers to do better and to re-examine what they are saying. I agree that sometimes it’s delivered in a harsher tone than necessary, but at the same time you shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells and ass kiss when attempting to critique someone.
So, here’s a few things to repeat to yourself when you want to deal with someone being a “hater”:
- Someone disliking something I like/made/wrote is not a judgement on me as a person.
- No one and nothing is perfect, including art, music and literature.
- I can like something while acknowledging it is problematic in some ways.
- Something can be beautiful/entertaining while also being problematic or deserving of critique.
- It will not hurt me to consider a new way of looking at this thing I like.
- Being critiqued is not the end of the world as we know it. Even if it was? I feel fine.
- Batman doesn’t waste his time calling people “haters,” so neither should I.
So, there you go. My justifications for being a hater of “haters.” Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to move to the left. Because that is what haters are supposed to do, apparently.