Hi, friends. Let’s talk about hate blogs.

The Forty-two Ideals of Ma’at. The Rule of Three. The Ten Commandments. Karma. There are a lot of tenets in a lot of belief systems, both religious and secular, but they all basically boil down to this: don’t be a dick. Whether you’re lying or slandering or bullying or stealing, you’re being a dick to someone, and that’s not cool. (Hey, I just summed up a bunch of long-winded religious texts for you!) I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what makes a person a positive force in the world, and more specifically how I personally can uphold Ma’at in my everyday life. To that end, I’ve been trying to judge less, to listen and empathize more, and to hold my tongue if what I want to say doesn’t contribute positively to a discussion. It’s hard, sometimes, but I feel lighter and cleaner of soul for it.

My greatest weakness online, the topic that most quickly gets my ire up and my claws out, threatening my promise to think first and speak second, is “ace discourse”. If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, ace discourse refers to an ongoing discussion within and about the asexual community – and more specifically, whether cisgender+heteroromantic asexuals can be considered LGBT. I’ve seen a very small handful of thoughtful, logical posts on the topic, and a nauseating wave of hateful, close-minded posts purposefully phrased to frame cisgender+heteroromantic asexuals as oppressors and monsters. Reading these makes me angry, sad, indignant, protective… any number of emotions that coalesce in the desire to rip people to shreds. But that’s the internet, right? Trolls gather where they’re fed. Bigots hide behind keyboards. Nothing new under the sun.

What sorrows me more than the frequency of these anti-ace posts are the hate blogs. Every time someone has attacked me for defending cisgender+heteroromantic asexuals, it has been through a hate blog. Every time I see someone spewing virulent anti-ace vomit on Tumblr, it’s through a hate blog. And all I can wonder is… why? Why did this person go to the trouble of creating this “cishet ace” hate blog, and then spend hours every day lurking on the asexual tag just to jump onto anyone with a differing opinion? Doesn’t this person have anything better to do with their time? Don’t they have hobbies? Friends? Family? Don’t they feel ashamed to waste their precious life spreading anger and hatred toward a completely innocent group of people?

It’s a testament to my recent spiritual growth, I think, that I pity these people instead of hating them. I would have hated them once, it’s true, and wished them great ill, but not now. Now I only think it’s sad and pathetic that someone wastes their time on hate. I can’t imagine what my family and friends would think if they found out I ran a blog dedicated to hating a group of people who have done nothing to harm me. I can’t imagine what my goddess would do if I purposefully contributed so much negativity to the world. I can’t imagine these things because they’re so shameful, so embarrassing. So why do others derive so much joy from hurting strangers? I truly don’t understand the thought process. Are they so empty inside, or perhaps hurting so deeply, that they want others to feel as they do?

The world is full of bullies and probably always will be. I can’t make it be otherwise all on my own. What I can do, though, is limit the amount of negativity I personally contribute and increase the amount of positivity I consciously generate. I can choose to not engage with someone who embraces their hate, and instead stand beside those who also fight for peace and equality. I can make the effort every day to uphold Ma’at, to be more than just “not a dick” to my fellow beings. That seems a much better use of my time in this life than lurking under a digital bridge.