Why it’s OK to hate Anne Hathaway (and anyone else you want)

Emma Teitel explains we need to stop hating on other women for hating on other women

Anti-Hathaway is as pervasive as Kimye’s unborn child on the Internet this week. A lot of people don’t like the Oscar-winning actress, and a lot of those people, are, apparently women.

Enter Anne Hathaway’s stalwart defenders—also women—some of whom hate her just the same. New York Magazine’s Ann Friedman, for example, is confused about her anti-Hathawayism because the actress “seems smart and self-possessed, savvy and successful.”

“Hathaway and I would probably get along swimmingly,” she writes. “She’s a spokesperson for Eve Ensler’s anti-violence organization, One Billion Rising. And have you seen the clip of her shutting down Matt Lauer’s creepy questions about her upskirt moment with a measured response about the commodification of female sexuality? It is on point. Yet she leaves me cold.”

Katey Rich, writing for cinemablend.com, believes cold feelings for Hathaway are unwarranted and offensive. In “Why Hating Anne Hathaway is Boring And Already Passe,” she writes, “the reasons to hate Anne Hathaway are at best weak, and at worst sexist.”

“Why are we hating a girl from being talented and not being humble enough about it? Why are we letting our resentment of that one annoying theater star girl from high school be assigned to a famous person we do not know at all?”

And here’s Lena Dunham, tweeting after the Oscars:

“Ladies, Anne Hathaway is a feminist and she has amazing teeth. Let’s save our bad attitudes for the ones who aren’t advancing the cause.”

Ergo, in the name of solidarity, women must stop hating on Anne Hathaway because she is a woman, a nice one who gives to charities that support other women.

This is, quite plainly, the human rights issue of our time.

Please forgive me, then, while I stand on the wrong side of history. It’s OK to hate Anne Hathaway. More specifically, it’s OK to be a woman and hate Anne Hathaway—or anyone you please.

If, let’s say, Hathaway was one of two women in the entertainment industry—and the public’s antipathy toward her was clearly gender specific, then solidarity would be in order. I’d be lauding her rehearsed acceptance speeches to the moon. But she’s not. She’s one of hundreds of A-list female celebrities who face media scrutiny, and she is maybe one of five (Lindsay Lohan comes to mind) who bears the brunt of most of it. And if we do hate her because she is a successful woman, how then do you explain Jennifer Lawrence? Or Meryl Streep? Or the fact we like almost everyone else. Lately it’s been clear that women, for one reason, just don’t like Anne Hathaway. It’s not veiled sexism, or some kind of pathology. It’s simple, really.

People: either you like them or you don’t.

What is sexist in this scenario is the notion that all women must look out for one another at the peril of everything else: ideas, common interests, a profound dislike for musical theatre.

Women don’t need to stop hating on Anne Hathaway. They need to stop hating on other women for hating on other women.

Eve Ensler is a Jewish woman. So am I. Is it traitorous to say I don’t like The Vagina Monologues? Judith Butler is Jewish, female and gay. So am I. Does that bad-luck trifecta make us instant friends? No. Maybe once it did, but thankfully society has progressed to a point at which we don’t have to be friends because we both have vaginas. Equality eliminates the need for solidarity and enables you to hate your own kind for whatever reason: good teeth, bad teeth, feminist or otherwise.

Haters of Anne Hathaway, hate on.