Matt Forney
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In Praise of Self-Loathing

self-loathing

NOTE: This article was originally published at In Mala Fide on January 17, 2012.

Accusing someone of being a self-loathing [fill-in-the-blank] is one of the most popular insults on the Internet, almost up there with Godwin’s Law in its predictability. The minute someone inveighs against a particular social class that we all know to be annoying and stupid, that someone is almost immediately called a self-loathing member of that class, projecting his self-loathing on his brethren. And in a world that worships at the altar of Self-Esteem, being “self-loathing” is a grievous sin, almost as bad as being a Nazi!

For example, a couple months back, I posted a couple of articles by Chad Daring, “The No Fat Chicks Challenge” and “Why I Hate Fat People,” in which he explained his disdain for the fatties of the world; he was a fatty himself and has spent the past few years working himself out of that hole. Both here and at his blog, Chad got slammed by fatty apologists with the “self-loathing” line, as exemplified by this comment:

There’s an error in your blog post.

The title is currently – “Why I Hate Fat People”

But the title should be – “Why I Hate Myself”

The sooner you realize that you are projecting a personal element of self-loathing and fear out on to people of size or “fat people” and, more importantly, WHY you are doing this, the closer you may become to achieving true inner peace.

The answer you are looking for (and the catalyst that is driving this post and this entire blog) might not be in the gym or the kitchen but in therapy session/s. Because right now the only battle you are fighting is one with yourself (despite what you may believe).

The same goes for anyone who opposes shameful and despicable behavior: they are immediately shamed with the “self-loathing” label. Whenever I point out that nerds are repulsive wastes of skin, some joker always claims I’m secretly a self-loathing nerd, the same moronic train of thought that also says that guys who bash fat chicks do so because they’re stuck dating them. When a homo decides he doesn’t want to be a hysterical, foaming-at-the-mouth maniac like 99% of homos, he’s labeled a self-loathing gay man. When a black man aspires to be more than a uneducated ghetto gangbanger, he’s derided as an “oreo,” shorthand for “self-hating black person.”

The “self-loathing” epithet says a hell of a lot more about the person hurling it then the one it’s getting hurled at. For starters, note the contexts in which it’s deployed. I’ve written countless articles denouncing, mocking and beating down feminists, yet no one’s ever accused me of being a secret, self-loathing feminist. The use of the “self-loathing” epithet is revealing in that it’s a tacit acknowledgment that whatever’s being discussed is inherently shameful and wrong, but the person wielding it wants the accused to shut up about it, to ignore the fact that the emperor is naked.

But this doesn’t approach the heart of the “self-loathing” insult; why’s being self-loathing so bad anyway? I’d argue that if you’re fat, socially retarded or otherwise a failure in life, you damn well ought to be self-loathing. If you feel guilty about your problems, that means you’re cognizant of them and more likely to work to get rid of them. Having self-esteem when you’ve done nothing to earn it is a sign of delusion. Since when did being proud of being a loser become socially acceptable?

Since the rise of the Self-Esteem Cult, that’s when. In our anti-hierarchical, egalitarian society, everyone is supposed to be equal, no better or worse than anyone else. By this logic, anyone who is rightfully ashamed of their lot in life and working to improve it is a blasphemer. “It’s not YOUR fault for being fat, it’s society’s fault for not accepting all 350 pounds of you! Stop blaming yourself for things you can’t control!” It’s a strictly deterministic view of the world, in which people are trapped in their social roles and unable to climb their way out of them.

And it’s a total lie, which is why the “self-loathing” line is deployed to shame people into giving up on themselves. When someone accuses you of being self-loathing, this is what they’re really saying:

“You’ve recognized that you’re deficient in some way (physically, mentally, morally) and are trying to improve yourself. I resent you for this, because your efforts make it more difficult for me to rationalize my complete failure to do the same, and it’s far easier to blame everyone else for my problems instead of taking responsibility for them.”

That’s right: the people who hate on others for being “self-loathing” are all losers right down the line. The weak always despise the strong and will try to tear them down, to drag them back into the mediocre masses. A fat person trying to lose weight, a nerd who puts down the video games and gets out of the house, a gay man who tries to integrate himself into heterosexual society; these people have more determination and willpower then all of their detractors combined. And their detractors know it, which is why they dedicate their lives to trying to destroy their superiors, so they can continue wallowing in their own misery and neuroses.

Going back to Chad Daring’s posts, the reason he was so violently opposed by fat apologists was because he demolished their most precious, their prettiest lie: that they were completely powerless to get in shape. Let’s look at another comment from one of them:

Wow… so many gene pools in dire need of filters.

You people should be ashamed, stop trolling internet forums, and seriously seek out the sunlight.

So much unnecessary hate. Whether you want to admit to it or not, you all are either related to or close to at least one person whom is overweight. Just imagine how that person would feel if they would come to learn your horrible views on fat people?

Fat or not, people are people and all deserve the same respect. I hope some of you end up in the fat pool one day, receive a dose of your own bitter medicine, and truly regret your way of thinking.

Just look at the language this heffalump used: “end up in the fat pool.” The implication is that being fat is something that just happens to you, like tripping and falling down the stairs or catching a cold, and not the result of bad choices on your part. Chad and the countless men and women who hit the gym and cut down at dinnertime are living proof that the easiest way to get over the pain of being fat is to STOP being fat. The butterballs would rather blame the world for not accepting their sweaty, disgusting selves instead of taking the initiative to solve their problems.

I’m not some 15-year old Randroid idiot. I recognize that if you’re a young, straight white man, there are incredible forces pushing against you, trying to make you fail. But these forces are not insurmountable. Sitting on your ass all day whining about how the 1%, the wimmenz, or the government are trying to keep you down is the mark of a loser, and won’t get you anything more than a shoulder to cry on. If you want to solve your problems, you have to get up from the computer and work on them yourself; no one else gives a shit about you.

And if someone accuses you of being self-loathing, laugh at them;  they’re going nowhere in life, no matter how loudly they bray at you.

Read Next: A Week of Praise: Be Like Zooey Deschanel

  • Antisemites are self loathing jews, feminists are self loathing men, policemen are self loathing criminals, monsters are self loathing angels.

    Fuck that logic.

  • MattyIce

    That is a GREAT article, bravo, truly, bravo! Victims get nothing but a shoulder to cry on, while winners go home and fuck the promqueen.

  • Theodore Logan

    @Yohami Semitic people are Arabs, not jews. Feminists are self loathing women. Men who are feminist are emasculated retards. Policemen are smart criminals, agreed no self loathing there. Some monsters could be self loathing angels, though I agree most are not.

  • bill

    great post

  • Theodore

    I agree with your point, I’m not blinded by my own delusions to have a knee-jerk reaction and get irrationally defensive.

    I also think you’re a fucking cunt who lacks empathy. And if you get upset with me for saying that, it’s not me being a self-loathing fucking cunt. It’s because you’re a cunt and I’m rightfully calling you out on it.

  • Shenpen

    Dear Matt,

    I half-agree. It is more or less demonstrated by great educators and parents that if you want to motivate people, you have to go for the middle ground between self-loathing and undeserved self-esteem: you have to praise their ability to develop. A “yes you can” attitude.

    So neither “I am a worthless bag of lard” nor “I am great just the way I am” are good attitudes. The good attitude is “I know I have the strenght to change. And I deserve change, I am worthy of a better body so I must make one.”