When I started writing about my divorce, I did not realize how heated readers would be over my essays and I am writing about a pretty amicable divorce. I actually have to hold back from hugging my ex-husband sometimes. Sure, we fight, but I care about the guy and I'm a squishy and sweet person. Call me naïve (that goes back to my squishiness) and perhaps this is due to me being raised by married parents, but the amount of hate, bitterness and ugliness that comes out of total strangers after reading a one-thousand word essay from me on divorce was shocking.
Okay, so I wasn't surprised to see the comments about people enduring heartache over their parent's divorce, their heartache over their own divorce, or their disbelief when I wrote that new women would be lucky to date my ex-husband (and no commenters, he didn't leave me with money. We are both leaving marriage broke), but the amount of internet bullying I have been subjected to was an utter shock. And it's not coming from women, although from time to time I have certainly seen some nasty comments from my own gender.
These comments are from men.
Apparently unbeknownst to me, I am a cunt, an evil Jew and I need plastic surgery. Oh yes, big time plastic surgery, especially around my eyes.
A group of supposed "Christian" men bantered back and forth under a blog written with the sole intention of saying that women divorce so they can profit off of it by writing about it and I Laura Lifshitz, am one of the most evil women profiting off her dissolved marriage. Oh and by the way, the article is categorized under "ugly feminists."
First, the comments focused on how terrible I was for writing about my divorce not only for The Huffington Post, but also for the New York Times because you know, the divorce must be my fault since I write about the experience, and I'm an evil Jewish feminist. And not only must the divorce be my fault but that I am a selfish mother who cares not for her own child and how she feels in the matter. In addition, let's not forget to add that female writers writing about divorce are a bunch of leeches set to destroy our families all in the name of money.
Because, you know, I'm just filthy rich. It's too bad my student loan lender doesn't realize this.
Then, the commenters started to focus on my last name: Lifshitz.
"Ha, Ha, Ha! Is it even a real name?" joked one commenter.
Then the other commenters joined in to bash my last name, these anti-Semitic, vile, and immature babies (I mean men).
As if it couldn't get any more anti-Jewish, one of the lovely blokes decided to announce that: "I've dated a lot of Jewish chicks in my time, and feel lucky that I never married any of them. Shebrews are the absolute worst for raping men over the coals in divorce."
Shebrews! There's a term for me?!
I will note that I am half-Jewish with the other half- Irish and Scottish, but still I am Jewish. I don't know much about Passover, I never had a Bat Mitzvah, and I don't know Hebrew, but it's still my heritage. My blood. People in my family were persecuted for being Jewish. I take this seriously.
These men ranted about how Jewish women are not only horrible because we're all feminists, but that we are the worst destroyers of marriage and get this -- women, women are destroying the institution of marriage! All on our own! Wow, not only did my brother Moses part the Red Sea, but now my Jewish sisters and I are responsible for being the spear-headers along with all other women in the supposed societal project "Let's divorce men and Make our families and exes miserable."
I was floored. Are people this ignorant and miserable?
But then came my appearance. See if I were a male writer, no one would care how I looked. They would just call me a bad writer or perhaps a hack. Since I am a woman though, the hecklers decided to rip apart my face.
"She needs a plastic surgeon with those eye wrinkles."
"Her smile is so fake and empty."
"Her eyes look all weepy, as if she's about to lose it in each photo."
These random strangers and "champions of true love and marriage" all decided to flock to my Facebook page to pick apart each public photo I had with my daughter and when there was nothing left, they decided to tear apart the one sole woman commenter in the thread telling her she was showing too much cleavage, a duck face, and had a hacky username.
I know that I am not a selfish mom and that I am a damn good ex-wife. I know that divorce is not all sunshine and kittens and that it will and has affected my daughter, but my ex and I did the best we could with what we had. I also know that while not everyone will love my writing, there are some people that it actually helps and most importantly, it helps me cope and move on. That's the best part.
What I don't know however, is why a group of men are so intent to blame women and Jewish women at that for divorce. I will never know why and that's a fact.
I will never know why some random man decided to call me a cunt under one of my articles. A 60-something-year-old man who has never met me and for the love of God, I hope never does.
I will never understand why women don't have the right to write, perform, be, exist, divorce or lead without a man feeling the need to judge, lord and criticize us at every turn only to end the battle against us with, "Oh and she's very ugly."
There are some things I cannot understand -- like internet trolls and people who hate chocolate -- but there is one thing that I do know is that I will never stop writing. I don't care if they come to my house and call me the ugliest cunt on the planet. I will never stop writing my story.