In Response to Matt Walsh: Don’t Hate the Haters

Dear Matt,

I occasionally enjoy your blog. I think you’re a good writer, and that you’re sometimes funny. I don’t agree with most of your opinions, but, despite this blog post, I don’t totally disagree with everything you said yesterday in your letter to Haters. I also know that blog posts need to be short and sweet, which means you can’t address EVERY relevant topic when you write.

Now that all the disclaimers are out of the way, I need to say what’s on my mind: your post yesterday ignored way too many of the factors that “Haters” face, and increased the odds that their need to hate will only grow.

Mrs. Kang made clear in her sort-of-kind-of apology that she herself has faced many obstacles in being fit, and so her “What’s Your Excuse?” tagline isn’t coming from a place of inherent perfection. But this isn’t about Mrs. Kang. What it’s really about is women who starve themselves, cut themselves, and even kill themselves, all because they can’t stand to be in their own skin. It’s about a society that equates fitness and beauty with importance and power. It’s about all the men who will shove the photo of Ms. Kang into their wives faces, and say, either half-jokingly or entirely hatefully, “why can’t you look like that?”

You write:

You only carry on like this because you’ve given up on yourselves. You’re running around knocking down sandcastles because you think you aren’t capable of building your own. But you can, my friends. You’re exploding with potential. It would leak out of your pores if only you’d uncross your arms and break a sweat. You can be great at something, I know it. Leave your Hating ways behind and take a step or two down the path to success. It won’t be easy, but the best parts of life are never the easiest parts.


Many women “carry on” with hateful comments not because they have “given up,” or “aren’t capable.” It’s because they cringe when they look in the mirror. Because they aren’t comfortable having sex with their husbands unless the lights are off. Because no matter what they do, even if they look like Mrs. Kang, they live in a society that tells them they are failures as women unless they have it all—perfect bodies, perfect kids, perfect home, and perfect career.

So you’re right to say they are “Haters”—they hate themselves. You somewhat address this in your attempts to “inspire,” but you go about it all the wrong way. Instead of “you can be great at something,” how about “you ARE great at something. Even when you’re on the couch in your PJs watching TV and eating ice cream, you are great. And loved. And were created for a purpose that may not include ‘kicking ass and taking names.'”

I appreciate your attempts at inspiration and motivation. It’s fantastic you want us all to be happy and successful. But I ask you to remember that a whole lot of people read your words. So as tough as it may be to keep posts to the 1000 or so words that will hold a reader’s attention, it may just be worth the extra characters to acknowledge the pressure women are under to be perfect, as well as the fact that they are already successful, just how they are.