Any man who thinks it’s OK to live in a household where the woman does the overwhelming majority of all the housework, childcare and family admin is a woman-hater.
Thus does Bidisha toss the best part of mankind into a veritable Hades of the hateful.
If he weren’t, it would agonise him to live in such an unequal and exploitative setup.
Not – I suspect – the most valid of dichotomies. Some women choose to endure the housework, as do a lot of men. One can hardly charge their partners for respecting that. Others have it foisted on them, yes, and that’s damn shame. Why need there be “hate” involved, though? Women have been tasked with housework since the dawn of, er – houses. In some cases, even now, it’d be expected of them. This betrays a poverty of thought but no twisted loathing. One can love, like or just be mildly indifferent to another without recognising their needs or desires.
If people hated quite as much as our discourse suggests, whole lives would be spent in twitching, febrile enmity. If you don’t hate girls and gays then you loathe the Yanks and Yiddish speakers. And, as we’ve explored, mere critics are now “haters” too. I’ve thrown out this charge myself: accusing, say, opponents of gay marriage rather than engaging with their – y’know – arguments. I suspect, however, that few people really hate. All of us hold prejudices – many are quite bigoted – but true, passionate abhorrence has to be a rarer thing. Michel Houellebecq had a point when he sighed that, “You need more motivation than [misogyny] to write a novel“. We’re conflicted, egotistical and self-aggrandising; generally too flighty for the single-mindedness of hate.
Must we diminish our extremities of feeling? Just as Bill and Ted-ish teens have reduced awe to mild approval, petty charges trivialise hate’s violent resolve. So, I might claim to “hate” George Lamb but it’s really just a vague distate; I don’t sit by the television, festering with rage. It’s like dumping all forms of attraction into the catch-all “love”. It’s also the ideal argument-ender. If your opponent “hates” – with unreason that’s always implied – they’re beyond the reaches of discussion: their opinions too ingrained; hostile; dangerous, even. It goes beyond mere prejudice, let alone disagreement on the internet.