Rant about the Straights

Rants Apr 16, 2021

Why do people think it's okay to attack straight people (especially targeting guys) for being straight? These are the same people who will go posting about inclusivity and equality, and I see it on basically every social platform. For me, it's the irony of the whole situation on so many levels.

OH PLOT TWIST IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE. TOO LATE, KEEP READING.
  1. You've grouped people by their gender/Sexuality, then stereotyped them.
  2. You've used said stereotypes as a constant criticism, even (especially) in cases where they aren't true.
  3. You claim that the reason it's okay is because they're "bad people", which you've usually determined purely based on their gender/sexuality.

Sounds familiar? For a lot of people, it should. When the situation is reversed, these are the first people to "defend" the victim, and to criticise the aggressor, typically with a comment which lumps them with God knows how many others who have nothing in common except their gender/sexuality. It's sexism and homophobia, no matter which way it goes.

Sidenote: The fact that you clicked on a post titled "Rant about the straights" probably means that you're one of the people I'm talking about. I pulled a sneaky on ya, it's actually a rant FOR the straights.

This is also the reason that it took so long for me to come out to anyone (first as mspec, then as Enby). I didn't, and still don't, want to be one of Those Gays™. I have an identity, and my sexuality and gender are distinct from who I am as a person. As a result of this, the Real Gays™ have constantly criticised me (both online and in person) for not being gay enough (this is completely distinct from my biphobia rant 6 months ago). The same people who will make jokes about straights saying "why do gays make it their whole personality" are the same people who will turn around and criticize others for NOT making it their whole personality. It's this constant loop of hypocrisy that frustrates me.  

The irony is that not one straight person has said to me "you're not gay enough to call yourself LGBT", and yet so many self- proclaimed "activists" do it every day. I can't make a post about my gender or sexuality without having someone who considers themselves to be "gayer" or "less straight" question my right to do so. I don't owe anyone androgyny, and I don't owe anyone homosexuality. It's my identity and only I get to choose how I express it.

I have so much more to say about this, but l know that the people who do these things are the ones who will ignore it, so this is ultimately futile. The point is: stop criticizing people for not expressing their gender in the way you want them to. Nobody don't owes you expression, and if you think they do, it'd make the world a better place if you left them alone. People often forget, but this 100% INCLUDES straight people. If you're going to criticize a straight person for being straight, or make jokes about it behind their back, you are objectively a bad person. I know I've brought this up with quite a few people who follow me, and I know that none of them have stopped, they just do it where they think it's a secret. Spoiler alert: the internet is a thing, secrets don't exist anymore. It has long been my policy not to publicly expose people for things like this, but I think that's going to change going forward. Just something to keep in mind.

A lot of the people who see this will read the first slide, and agree. Then they'll reach the second slide, and realise "oh shit, I'm one of the people they're talking about". If that's you, good. You've done the first step: recognising a negative behaviour. That tends to be the hardest part, but it's something that (speaking from experience) you get better at with time and experience. Moving forward, please take what I've said into account. As terrible as this is advice-wise, a lot of the time, the solution is to just... not do it. In Ma Vie Dans l'Ecriture 2020, l talked about "blocking people in real life". A summarised, English version goes something like this:

When there's a behaviour you want to avoid or discourage, the simplest way is to ignore the people who participate or encourage that behaviour. It sounds like something really hard, but we do it all the time online: it's that little button that says "block" that we use on TERFs and incels and QAnons and FlatEarthers. You already do it online, maybe daily. Why not try it IRL? It takes some practice to start, but once you get good at it, you'll wonder why you hadn't done it before.

I had so much more to say about this, but ADHD is a blessing and a curse all at once, and my train of thought beckons me towards another 6 hours of Factorio. The summary version is this: don't be a dick. To anyone. People deserve a lot of things, but we have systems with the purpose of dealing with them. Those of you who chase down people on Instagram/Twitter/(insert social media here) because some "activism" page said they did something bad need to get your shit together. A lot of you need to learn that these pages are DESIGNED with the intent of getting your likes and your comments and your story posts. A 5 minute Google search will give you actual information on stuff happening in America, Canada, the UK, Australia, or any other ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRY.

HOWEVER, IF A COUNTRY DOESN'T SPEAK ENGLISH AS THE MAIN
LANGUAGE, GO FIND A LOCAL SOURCE!

(I feel like there's another rant needed here).

You want Russian politics? Go to Yandex. You want Chinese politics? Go to Baidu. You want French politics? Go to Orange. Go to a source that gives you a local opinion, because news flash: the whole world doesn't operate like where you come from. We don't all jump onto the latest Twitter trending when deciding what legislation to introduce. Learn how a country works before criticising them for being different to you.

This has gone in so many different directions, I might end up using it as a Ma Vie Dans l'Ecriture draft for this year.

TL;DR: learn to use the internet, and DON'T BE A DICK!

Thanks to Christopher Ott (@notso) for the cover photo. You can find him on his portfolio site too.

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Pranav Sharma

I’m a year 12 student at St Marks Catholic College. I specialise in science and mathematics, as well as full-stack software/hardware development. I am currently employed as a Network Administrator.

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