A friend of mine is arguing with me saying cishet men are oppressed and stuff. He thinks I’m insane for supporting the community I’m a part of

  • I don’t know your friend, but he may feel like he’s losing you as well. The world is burning and cishet men have trouble finding a place to be safe. We assume they don’t need one, but most of the space they have is not good.

    It’s hard to do what I’m going to suggest when you are suffering as well, so put yourself first. Forget any groups, treat you two as your community and ask what exactly is bothering him. What happens that make him feel oppressed? How does you supporting another community harm him? If anything else, his pain is real, he can’t put it into words and end up invalidated. That’s actually a point you have in common, you may start there.

    • agreed. imo cishet men (especially white men) tend to have their problems completely overlooked and invalidated by our community just because they are comparatively privileged, but that’s not right. they absolutely do have problems they have to deal with too, plenty of which are from the patriarchy, and i think that just talking to him about what he’s feeling is totally the best way to go about this.

      • As a white cishet name male, no. We are not oppressed, and the people who insist on victimizing themselves in that way are completely full of shit. It’s frankly insulting to actual oppressed groups.

        I think this suggestion that my “problems,” are in any way comparable to what LGBTQ+ people, or people of color, go through on a regular basis, is not just insulting, but potentially dangerous.

        Cishet white men don’t live a life without issues, that’s not my claim. Literally no human does. But we’re talking about two very different categories of issue, and what cishet men experience is just what people in general experience. It’s the baseline.

        The more acceptable it becomes to equate those things, the harder it becomes to actually do anything about the people experiencing actual oppression.

        • well, i disagree. i’m not trying to claim cishet white men are oppressed, i never said that, and people who do are flat out wrong. i’m just saying that, because of their privilege (which i’m agreeing they obviously do have), their problems with things like mental health are heavily overlooked and dismissed. men suffer from expectations related to toxic masculinity and the patriarchy. sexual assault against men gets laughed at and joked about, it’s not acceptable for men to show emotions or cry, and in this society men need to be strong all the time. even small things like how men should pay for dinner on a date or hold the car door open are unfair expectations placed on men alone.

          i am not trying to say that men have issues comparable to poc or lgbt folks. i’m just saying that what men go through are real problems that need to be validated, not brushed off. being brushed off is exactly what drives men to incel forums- no one else will sympathize with their struggles whatsoever. we need to be better at this.

          • It’s still unreasonable to expect the people who are actively oppressed to cater to him. If you have the energy sure. But otherwise that’s another expression of privilege. If cishet men can only sympatise with each other through incel forums maybe they themselves need to be better.

        • And I’m sure that comforts them when the mental health crisis gripping them leads to another suicide or more alcoholism or drug abuse. I know when I’m struggling with the weight of everything in dealing with I tell myself “Well, at least white people control the economy and nation.” And then all my problems go away and I continue happy knowing I can oppress minorities and women /s

        • i don’t follow. that doesn’t mean all of them are terrible? i’m sure all the men who feel like they can’t talk to anyone about their problems like sexual assault, suicidal thoughts, and unfair expectations from a patriarchal society are really comforted by the thought that it’s people just like them that cause others unbelievable suffering. that’ll really boost their spirits!

    • The pain and oppression he feels is real and it’s caused by patriarchy And capitalism. Not the LGBTQ community. Other forces have validated those feelings but pointed to gay and trans and brown people as the cause. Rather than dunking on them with “are you even oppressed bro?” Like many others here are suggesting which they admit would never work because of course it wouldn’t work who responds well to that, the best way to change someone’s mind is to talk with them validate their feelings and struggles and fears and point out that it isn’t minorities causing these issues but direct them to the real cause. I know it’s hard to empathize with people who see you as the problem but it’s the only way to actually change their mind and get them on the right path if that’s what you actually want to have happen. If it isn’t then go ahead and hit them with a “check your privilege shit lord” and go about your day knowing you just owned the patriarchy

  • As a starter, you could ask him:

    • How many countries currently have laws making it illegal to be cishet, sometimes punishable by death.
    • In the US, how many states have passed laws making cishet relationships illegal. What year were they repealed?
    • How long did it take for an American president to openly support cishet marriage?

    …but like other folks have talked about, it’s difficult to use logic to get someone out of a position that they did not logic themselves into. You’re arguing with feelings, and so long as he feels oppressed, that’s going to be the truth of his world.

      • Honestly, the best bet is probably to cut him out of your life. If he values your friendship he’ll try to make amends. If not, your life will likely improve without a toxic influence.

        If you don’t want to do this, because you value his friendship or want to teach him, that makes you a wonderful person and I wish you the best of luck. There’s a lot of resources out there on healthy menslib places (such as reddit /r/menslib)

        • You and I and everyone here knows it’s not caused by LGBT people. But commentators on the right have been pointing out all the problems that men face and point the finger directly at LGBT, Feminists, and POC. Just like how the Nazis did the Jews. Yeah it’s not true that it’s LGBT people’s fault. But thanks to propaganda he now believes that’s true. It’s up to OP now to decide whether this friend is worth keeping and help deprogram him, or whether it’s time to leave him and move on. And that’s a deeply personal question that OP will need to decide. There isn’t a right or wrong choice it’s just whether it’s worth the effort of deprogramming them or not.

  • Ask him if anyone will kill him for being straight. Until he’s under threat for his life and well-being for simply existing with certain biological characteristics, he’s not being oppressed. He’s being discriminated against.

    There’s a difference between being discrimination and true oppression. What your friend feels is discrimination in his exclusion from the LGBTQ+ community.

    Discrimination makes people feel bad. Oppression kills people.

    Your friend wants a space where he can commiserate about the discrimination he perceives as a straight cishet man. Your community wants a space where they can feel safe from oppression primarily instigated by straight cishet men.

    Your friend’s presence in that community, without additional context, is a threat. There are far too many stories of straight men gaybaiting the LGBTQ+ community to set them up to be robbed, assaulted, or murdered for anyone in the LGBTQ+ community to implicitly trust them.

    The LGBTQ+ community isn’t oppressing your friend, but they have good cause to be suspicious of and discriminate against him if they have no other information about him other than his demographic. He’s expecting them to express patience for him whining about his life when people from his same demographic are actively trying to harm them.

    If he wants sympathy from the LGBTQ+ community, then become an ally and actively work with them to protect those who are being oppressed. This is how you earn your place in a community and their sympathy.

  • Men deal with a variety of bullshit, women deal with a variety of bullshit, cis, trans, genderqueer, white, black, red, blue, we all deal with a variety of bullshit.

    Did we, humans, create the variety of bullshit that individuals experience on a day-to-day basis? Sure, pretty much everything that we regularly complain about are human constructions.

    Life isn’t fair, cis men may be oppressed but they are by no means more oppressed than trans people. I can’t think of a single piece of legislation that oppresses my ability, as a man, to be interested in and pursue a legally binding union with women.

    I can count, on one hand, the number of days it has been since a representative suggested that we do not allow non-cis marriages, adoption of children by non-cis married couples, and even the last time someone said they ought to be killed!

    Nobody worth worrying about has even dared suggest that we do that to cis men/women.

    Bro needs to see some real oppression.

  • Toxic masculinity does play a shitty role in how men are expected to act and behave in society especially in conjunction with how patriarchal our society is.

    Would I say it’s oppression? Not really, it does push men to be emotionless slabs unable to express themselves properly.

    But in my experience cishet people saying that cishet people are oppressed don’t mean the toxic pressures of our current society and societal expectations.

    Without knowing examples your acquaintance is citing it’s basically impossible to have the conversation.

    Does our society chew on cishet men? Yes.

    Does our society chew on queer folk? Very yes, more so than cishet men as the chewing that it does on cishet men is usually also stacked on queer folk as well.

  • (I have read your link with additional context)

    This stuff is really frustrating, I’m sorry that you’re having to deal with this stress. It can feel like we have an obligation to try and talk some sense into people who are on a harmful path, but remember that your first duty to humanity is your duty to look after yourself, to the best of your ability.

    The saddest thing is that I do think that cishet men suffer a lot under the patriarchy, and I think that’s what can make people like your friend vulnerable to the alt right messaging — they may be aware that they’re considered privileged, but without an understanding of systemic oppression means, they interpret that as “they’re saying that being a man makes things easy for me. If I’m so privileged, how come I feel so lonely and unfulfilled?”. At the core of many of these men is someone who is struggling in some way, and then struggling a bit more because the system we exist in says that they’re not allowed to be struggling. My sympathy ends when they internalise the right wing rhetoric though.

    The problem with that rhetoric is that it looks at life like it’s a zero sum game, where any player gaining “points” does so at the expense of another player’s points. They believe that nothing comes for free, and they distrust concepts like altruism, and compassion, because clearly that person is just trying to get a leg up on everyone else. If the idea of systemic oppression is even broached, it becomes a “suffering Olympics”, of who has it worse, which is a nonsensical way of looking at things. I’m cis, white and disabled, am I more or less oppressed than a black, cis, able bodied person, or a white, trans person? I don’t know, and I don’t care, because I do know that each of these people has insights that I don’t, so their viewpoint is essential for building an intersectional understanding of oppression, as is mine.

    People like your friend often talk as if they are advocating for men’s issues, but all they care about is stealing the stage from others. Being cishet is the reason why he’s not a part of the LGBTQ community, but it sounds like him being an asshole is contributing to you not wanting him as part of your wider community.

    • I’m just tired of not being to talk to anyone around me. My support network IRL is my therapist and my 2 lil siblings. To be honest I fell into the pipeline too like a year ago. Being bi was sthe wake up call that I was wrong. I just don’t want to lose anyone else

      • I’ve been in your place too about having next to no social life and jeering to decide if my identity or my connections were worth keeping because I couldn’t have both. It doesn’t help that I belong to multiple minorities. In the end I decided I can’t get a new identity and nobody who discriminates against who I am can be called a friend. Some years down the line I have a very loyal cat who has never once attempted to explain to me that she really know more about autism than I do or that my gender isn’t real or that I really need to go to a church. It’s touch and go with human friendships but it’s nice to have the space in my life for nurturing relationships.

        My choice isn’t for everyone but I hope this can give you some food for thought.

  • Just pull up the Wikipedia page about LGBTQIA rights, show the anti-trans bills that have passed, the death threats against agencies that show any level of support.

    I wouldn’t even try to argue that cishet men aren’t oppressed because: A. The burden is on the person making the claim, B. You can’t prove a negative, and C. It’s irrational to think that they are.

    I’m a cishet man myself, and while I’ve experienced a lot of hate for being gay, there has never been a time I’ve received any hate for being cis. That’s just ridiculous.

  • Tell your friend to read a history book or legal precedent. Or, hell, any nonfiction book. I’m 38, so none of this is that long ago. When I was growing up, gay sexual contact was illegal in my state. In some states, when I was a kid, men could not legally rape their wives. (As in, if nonconsensual sex took place in a marriage, it was not considered rape). And I don’t remember any states ever taking cis kids away from their parents because they considered seeking appropriate medical care to be abuse. Has that guy ever feared for his life because of who he was attracted to? Friends of mine have, because they were queer. Ask him how many countries his future marriage to a woman would be illegal in? In how many countries could he be killed just because someone found out he loved a woman? The reality is, algorithms on the most profitable social media sites have been driving young, cishet, mostly white men to the alt-right, homophobic/transphobic/misogynist/dickhead rabbit hole. Your “friend” may or may not be savable, but if he is, that’s the opposing army you’re dealing with. A 24-hour bullshit cycle of the sociocultural preconditions for fascism.

      • Hey, just saw this response and wanted to reach out to you as a fellow bi guy whose been through the trenches for near half a century. You’re not bad at finding friends, and what you’re going through is really common for us, especially bi men, who are generally viewed more negatively than bi women in most spaces.

        You’re not at fault here, and it’s possible that you’re helping your friend through his bigotry. I’ve actually seen this happen with some redneck friends from high school when one came out as gay - after 30 years, they all now vote Dem and would literally shoot anyone trying to hurt him. The fact he’s still talking to you indicates that he likes and cares about you enough not to shun you.

        But I get it, hearing his bigotry hurts you, and you don’t want to continue to go through it. And you want to protect yourself from building connections with people who will hurt you in the same way.

        The healthiest way I’ve found to deal with it is to present as a straight ally and not discuss my specific sexuality unless asked, which is kind of like living in the closet with the door open. By presenting as a straight ally, it attracts people into my friend circle with whom I already know are LGBTQ+ leaning, giving me a higher probability of acceptance when and if I do decide to disclose my sexuality. It also allows me to both avoid discrimination while giving me the chance to observe what people are really thinking, because many people only reveal their prejudice when they think the targets of their disgust aren’t within earshot.

        It’s not an ideal solution, but it’s a tactically safe one. I hope it helps. Good luck, take care of yourself and don’t beat yourself up for other people’s bigotry.

  •  Nougat   ( @Nougat@kbin.social ) 
    2 months ago

    That’s just ridiculous. While men do experience unfair discrimination in some areas, in no way does that rise to the level of “oppression and stuff.” LGBTQ+ people’s experience includes many more discriminations and obstacles and outright dangers.

    Althought it’s not a contest, people with a much greater need should have their situations remedied with greater haste and attention. Even with that in mind, it’s okay to ideally want everyone’s troubles to be relieved. You (not you personally, the generic “you”) still have to prioritize efforts in practice.

  • So I read your link, and it sounds like he wants to be included in LGBTQ? Ask him which letter he wants, and welcome him on in. But do remind him that he can’t have the L unless he also embraces the T.

  • I have seen some data on that matter for the trans case because it’s something I investigated recently to rebut the transphobic propaganda in Spanish right-wing media when a pro-trans law was recently approved. But you can also find similar studies for other members of the LGBTQIA+ group in Google Scholar.
    There are four times more mental health issues like depression and suicidal ideation among trans people (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.06.012) and twice more suicidal attempts (https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2019-1183) because of what they have to go through than cis people.