We do a lot of terrible things to one another as humans. We shame people for their gender, their religion. We shame them for their sexual orientation or preference or desires. We shame people who are too thin. We shame people who are too fat. We shame people who aren’t either fat or thin. We shame them for their race. We shame them for their job, their education, their families. There seems to be no end to what we can hate people for.
For the most part, most people feel the above are unacceptable reasons to hate or denigrate others. We understand that as a people, we are all different in our own ways, and diversity in person and community is what makes the world such a wonderful place.
However, there is one hate, one shame, that people still feel it’s okay to inflict upon others. Almost everyone does this, perhaps without thinking. It tears families and friendships apart. It humiliates, it separates, and it creates such vast feelings of inferiority that it can lead to catatonia trying to live up to society’s expectations.
So let me say this, once and for all, as a cry from a sufferer of very intense prejudice:
It is not okay to hate someone for the television they do not watch.
When you tell me that my life isn’t whole for not watching Breaking Bad, I want to think you’re wrong. I want to think that I am just as good of a person for not watching a show that you watch, but the more you tell me how wrong I am, the more I believe you. The more I start to fall down the rabbit hole of despair and inferiority.
Do you think I don’t want to change? Do you think telling me how much I’m missing out on is going to affect me positively? Do you think I don’t understand my issue?
Maybe, for once, you could look at my side of the mirror. Maybe you could see that I don’t have cable and I have to wait to watch the series until they complete all the episodes and put them on Netflix. Maybe you could have a goddamn heart for once, and reach out to your fellow human and understand that we all have our preferences, and that makes us interesting and complete, no matter what.
Not watching New Girl doesn’t make me stupid.
Not watching Game Of Thrones doesn’t make me culturally ignorant.
Not watching The Wire doesn’t make me an arrogant asshole, but shaming me for it makes you one.
So next time you’re telling someone, “You mean you have NEVER seen an episode of Mad Men?” remember that you’re speaking to a real person with real feelings and a real desire to not see Mad Men based on circumstances out of your control.
Think. Empathize. Grow.
This message is for everyone who’s ever said anything about TV to anyone.