White, straight and cisgender men are not oppressed, no matter how much they want to be.
Oppression is when a system pushes a minority group down because they are part of a certain group of people who are mistreated.
Men, straight people and white people are not oppressed because they are men, straight or white. There may be other factors which make them an oppressed person, but it doesn’t pertain to one of those things. These people are given an advantage for being themselves, which makes them unable to be oppressed based on these things alone.
Oppression of women is traditionally and historically prevalent. They’ve been put at a disadvantage because of men since the beginning of time. Women are the most equal to men than they ever have been, and they still aren’t completely equal.
Women couldn’t even vote 100 years ago, which is less than half the time elections have existed in the U.S. Women had to convince the men in this country that they deserved to vote for things that directly affected them. Women all around the world aren’t allowed to vote, drive or work solely because they are women.
The fact that the wage gap still exists is an issue. Women being paid less because they are women is a great example of oppression. A man and woman doing the same job at the same quality may get paid differently. This is only possible because of the oppression of women.
Women are oppressed because of their bodies everyday. Women can’t walk down a busy street without being catcalled. Men do this because they feel they have the power to do this without any backlash from women. Men rape and abuse women because they feel they have power over them.
I’m not saying men can’t be oppressed, but it’s not because they are men. Men of color can be oppressed because they aren’t white. Men in the LGBTQ community can be oppressed because they aren’t straight. White, straight and cisgender men aren’t put at a disadvantage just for being themselves. These men can be treated poorly, but not because of their race, sexuality, identity or gender.
People are put at more of a disadvantage if they are part of more oppressed groups. Black women are more oppressed than white women, and queer women are more oppressed than straight women. However, a black queer woman would be more oppressed than all of them.
People are oppressed because they belong to a group who are oppressed. People are not oppressed individually. A lot of people are treated poorly, but that does not make them oppressed. The main part of oppression is that it is a group of people and not because of anything individually that the person has done.
White men want to be oppressed so badly they victimize themselves because they are told they aren’t oppressed. There is nothing wrong with not being oppressed, but there is something wrong with not acknowledging your privilege.
Ashlon Lusk is a 19-year-old mass communication sophomore from Houston, Texas.