Us Vs. Them: It's Not A Question of Gender

I've been asked more than once if I'm a man-hater.

The answer is no, I'm a rapist-hater.

When I was a kid I grew up surrounded by male cousins, a predominance of males my age in my church, and most of my close friends were males. I distinctly remember going to a birthday party in kindergarten where I was the only girl, insisting on being the blue Transformer, and generally having a blast.

Not much changed as I grew older. Yes, things changed. We became aware that we were fundamentally different from one another. There were attractions as we matured, some weird confusion from time to time, misunderstandings and miscues... all the things that make life interesting.

But at no point did I ever hate men.

And I still don't.

Some of my closest friends are male (weirdly all their names start with J), and the election cycle  brought up  a lot of conversational fodder, as you can imagine. I don't necessarily agree with them - or they with me - all the time, on every topic. But we can converse, and I've said things to them that brought women's issues into a different perspective, and they've told me things that made me understand that men also have unique fears in social situations.

So often - and especially in the current climate - we find it easier to draw a line that separates us from them. We like the simplicity of assessing a person based on their gender or race, but real life - and real humans - are much more complicated than that.

I prefer to think in terms of decency, which is a choice we all have to make every day. No matter what we've done in our past, who we voted for, or whether or not we liked The Phantom Menace, we can choose to be decent today.

So no, I'm not a man-hater.

I'm a hate-hater.