Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Anatomy of Hate

When certain media hacks recently announced Macsyna King to be "the most hated woman in New Zealand" I thought surely it was a bit of a beat up.

Not so. Apparently she is. And if you doubt it, spend five minutes looking at the Boycott the Macsyna King Book Facebook page and it's obvious that if she isn't the most hated woman in New Zealand she must be running a close second.

If “hate” is defined as “to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward" something or someone, it's clear there is a lot of hate for Macsyna King on that page. Of course, many on there will claim they do not "hate" her, that they hate what she did, or didn't do. But, trust me, 20 years as a minister and I fully understand the nuances of, and the contradiction behind the "hate the sin, love the sinner" mantra. Most of them are just afraid to admit they hate her because they feel that will somehow lower them to a standard of humanity good folks would rather not look down their noses at, let alone join the ranks of.

I don't get the hate. Sure, you don't have to like Macsyna King, or what she did or didn't do regarding the brutal death of her twin 3 month old sons. Sure, she’s hardly going to make mother of the year, or win any humanity awards. But I don’t get the depth and passion of the hatred towards Macsyna King, who has never been charged with a crime, who was NOT there when her children suffered the fatal blows, and has been a prosecution witness.

There are regulars on both Facebook pages, that is the Boycott page, and the “other” page, the Supporters of the Ian Wishart book about the Kahui murders. Women are over-represented on both pages and the boycotters seem to spend most of their online time reinforcing the stereotype of how bitchy women can be towards their own gender. Off the top of my head, between both pages, there are probably 30 or 40  women regulars, and half a dozen men. If the profiles can be believed, but the number of fake profiles that have popped up makes it hard to know with any certainty who it is you’re arguing with. That’s another story.

But it’s easy to argue that by and large the vitriol is unidirectional. We’ve had our moments on the Support page, and of course we’ve had some heated arguments and said some pretty nasty things. Not me, tho. True. And in the melee I’ve been called many many names… but generally speaking the frequenters of the Boycott page are the most vile, angry, vituperative hateful people I’ve ever encountered. The Web is a haven for every whacko, nutjob and barrow-pusher on the planet, and I’ve been to White Supremacist sites, anti-semitic sites, and feminist sites…but I’ve yet to see more vile language and the most hateful insults than what’s been directed on the Facebook page dedicated to hating on Macsyna King.

And Ian Wishart. If King is the most hated woman in the country, I wonder if at the moment  Ian Wishart is the most hated man. Either him or Michael Laws.

If the reasons for hating Macsyna King are vague, the reasons for hating Ian Wishart are even more so. He’s written a book, folks. He hasn’t clubbed any seals; he hasn’t gassed a hundred thousand Kurds; and he’s not paying Chinese children 13 cents a week to do his research or his typing. Why the hatred for Wishart?

It’s been confessed many times that King’s story is “too close to home”. A reason I would have thought to have a modicum of empathy for her. But oh no. There’s not an ounce of empathy for King, even from those who claim to have had as bad or worse upbringings. She simply should have known better, they reckon. She simply should have made better choices. Pulled her socks up and worked towards that mother of the year award. Simple. Apparently. According to the lynch mob.

Lest you doubt me, I’ve put together a collection of some of the best, a very small sampling of the most colourful comments directed at either King or Wishart (or me!). See what you think, and thank whatever gods you bow down to you don’t get on the wrong side of some of these women, or others of their pathetic and dangerous ilk.

In the spirit of compromise I have removed (11 Sept 2011) the screenshots of the hateful comments. Since this was posted, the page from which these quotes were taken has been shut down, largely due (according to reliable sources) to the threatening and defamatory nature of many comments on the page. You do the math.

There you go. Make's fascinating reading doesn't it...and this is only a small sample of the colourful opinions of those who apparently pride themselves on their maturity and their love for fellow human beings. Oh, except Ian Wishart, and, of course, Macsyna King. 

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