A couple of years ago a TV show came out that every woman and their grandmother seemed to click with. Everyone was raving about it and saying how incredible it was, what an accurate portrayal of real life it was and I was just over here thinking “I don’t get it.”
A little while later the writer of the show wrote a book. I bought it out of curiosity and after listening to a million Youtubers say that it had become one of their favourite books. I wanted to love it. I wanted it to make sense to me and speak to me in the way that it seemed to have spoken to so many other people – but it just didn’t. I spent way too much time and energy trying to work out why that was. Why didn’t I like it? What was I missing? Was I culturally illiterate and missing some bigger point or was the show/book just bad? I have since come to a very simple conclusion. The show and the book are not bad. The writer is not bad. I just don’t click with it.
And that’s ok.
In the world today it seems that you have to click with everything that everyone else clicks with. If you don’t like a show or a movie that everyone else is loving and that they feel presents an important message then you seem to become some sort of hateful creature. I find that this especially true among women. If you don’t like another woman’s work, a million women will jump to her defense and call you an bad feminist bitch who has sold her soul to the patriarchy. Maybe I am being a little dramatic but that is how the reaction can sometimes feel. It feels hard to have an opinion these days.
The big lesson that I have learnt is that their is a HUGE difference between hating someone and not clicking with them. I don’t hate anyone who is doing their own thing, whatever that may be, so long as it isn’t hurting anyone else. They are free to do them just like I am free to do me. I support that right ten thousand per cent. That doesn’t mean that I click with everybody, though. The great thing is that I don’t have to. We can all live our own lives and choose to surround ourselves with the things that we do click with, without worrying about what someone else might click with. The point is to not let not clicking with something develop into hate or into a bashing session.
I don’t have to like someone’s style of comedy to respect them as a person. I don’t have to like someone’s creative work in order to like them or marvel at their ability to create something.
Now, whenever something is trending and I don’t necessarily love it, I don’t worry that there is something wrong with me or that I am a bad feminist or that I shouldn’t respect the person who made the work – I just say that I don’t click with it and move on. No hate, no hurt, and no existential crisis.
Promote what you love, don’t bash what you hate.