If you’re a straight, cis guy, chances are you’ve clicked on this already frothing at the mouth and ready to put me in your sjw cringe comp. But I implore you to at least read beyond the first paragraph or even the first sentence because this is probably not going to be the piece you think it is. Calm down gamer boy.
I make pretty fast friends with a lot of random straight dudes. We both like girls and that’s a lot more common ground than you’d think it is when you’re a hormonal teen. If you’re a frat dude, we probably have overlaps in what trashy trap music we stream incessantly. If you’re a shy owo Reddit boy, we can discuss r/redditmoment or the latest serving of cringe from r/animemes. So if I have so much in common with a lot of straight guys, what’s the problem?
Well for a long time I tried to pretend there was no problem. I always thought it was okay for me to be homophobic because I am bi. I thought it was okay because I could give others the pass. It would be weird if others were to say the exact same thing but yeah you guys are cool cause you’re licensed. I’d refer to things I thought were bad or cringy as ‘gay’ and wouldn’t bat an eye at their casual misogyny, homophobia, whatever-phobia. I was two minutes away from straight up handing out slur passes. I excused bigotry that I didn’t even have the right to excuse. And we had some good times, we really did.
But I can’t be friends with straight cis dudes, not anymore. I can’t be friends with you guys because after the 69th time the attack helicopter joke gets old (seriously if you wanna be transphobic at least be original). I can’t be friends with you because every girl in visible makeup is “fake” to you. I can’t be friends with you because when trans women ever come up in a convo, you either make jokes about it being gay to be attracted to “tr/ps” or say “sh/males? Isn’t that a porn genre?” and suddenly your casual prejudice doesn’t seem so casual anymore.
I can distance myself from women and queerness as much as I want and if I’m lucky you won’t view me as one of them. But why is this a thing I have to do to be truly humanised and accepted? Why does being friends with so many straight cis dudes involve overlooking mounds of prejudice that could easily be redirected at me?
But it’s not as simple as a few bad apples, or as straight dudes being just intrinsically bad. My cousin told me about an extremely cringe encounter his touch-starved friends had with a random girl on discord. He said they would find every chance to say her name until she was so creeped out, she faked that her discord wasn’t working.
When he told this tale to my 12 year old male cousin, he said that his friends would do the opposite.
“A GIRL?!? We’ll kill her first,” he said.
Jeez guys this is all extremely cringe. Can’t you just treat girls like… other people? Why are women either mythical goddesses to be obtained or an other to be eliminated? Why do even little kids feel the need to factionalise themselves like this?
So far, this is probably what you expected to read if you’re a straight cis dude. That I would characterise all of you as uncaring bigots concerned only with vidya and objectifying women in vidya or whatever. But that brings me to my next point,
It’s not even your fault. Not exactly or entirely anyways.
There’s nothing about the biological makeup of straight cis dudes that makes them more inclined to be bigots or whatever. That’s not why I’m saying, or the majority of feminists are saying. There’s no essential male ‘badness’ is what I’m saying. Like, you’re not built different.
It’s just been hammered into you, into all of us but especially you. From birth we’ve just been thought that gay is bad, that there are two genders assigned to us via genital inspection which are irreconcilably, fundamentally different. It’s just harder to recognise when you’re all the things people say are good instead of the things people say are bad. It’s more convenient to believe that your gender and sexuality has nothing to do with your success. (Well you could say that it’s easier to believe, if you’re unsuccessful, that your gender and sexuality impairs you but you see, there’s actual material oppression to back this up so.)
By no means do all straight cis dudes have the same levels or even base levels of prejudice. Like me, you are not homogenous. As I’ve said, it’s just generally much harder to see that prejudice against women and LGBT people exist when you are not those things. And with the current cultural climate, it’s easy to feel like you specifically, are under attack.
The title of my article seems to attack facets about you you didn’t choose and cannot change. As much as it sucks being perceived as a girl and being bi, it must suck being viewed as inherently predatory and bigoted too. (But again, make no mistake, it’s not the same thing.) As for me, I’d rather be afraid than feared; and it goes without saying that I’d rather be included in the cultural zeitgeist than excluded.
It’s not your fault that you might feel this way or even that you might hate gays and wahmen. It’s just really disheartening to see that so many people refuse to accept that they have these prejudices on a subconscious level at the very least. Even the most accepting dudes I’ve met hold at least some degree of that and I don’t fault them for just having it. I think I’m pretty homophobic, transphobic and misogynistic too, because most people have those leftover conceptions. It’s not our fault that we simply have these prejudices but we must be willing to undo them.
But the thing about this is that so many straight dudes are simply not willing to do that. So many of them straight up deny the existence of misogyny, homophobia or transphobia, or believe that being queer or a woman makes you more privileged despite material evidence to the contrary. It makes me so hurt to see my most accepting straight cis guy friends mocking legitimate causes and refusing to accept that maybe, others might know something they don’t. And this, this is your fault.
Honestly, I’m sick of it. When I finally stop laughing along to tell my friends maybe, don’t say that many slurs, they don’t take it seriously. I’m not one of the good ones anymore. I’m just like the rest of the girls and gays, petty, uptight and self-righteous.
It might be ~society’s fault that you have these ingrained beliefs. But society is made of you, and when you refuse to question your prejudices and legitimise them, you contribute to the vicious cycle of bigotry. There comes a point in time where I have to take a step back and recognise that you’re kinda not poggers rn, and what you say is legitimately damaging to a group of people that includes me. And that your refusal to take accountability just feeds into the notion that people like me are whiny and demanding snowflakes with a victim complex; which eventually translates to more material oppression for us as you accept the status quo as fair and never try to challenge it.
Sometimes it doesn’t seem worth it anymore. Seems like I’ve tried everything but you’ll always be right because you’re not stupid like a girl and weird like an LGBT. Whatever. Bro I love you but you broke me.