It's been claimed that straight white men are the new oppressed, coming under constant attack by the PC Police. Comedian Rebecca Shaw takes a look at the war, and examines the ways in which this group is discriminated against.
Rebecca Shaw

21 Mar 2016 - 1:00 PM  UPDATED 21 Mar 2016 - 1:04 PM

I would like to start out this article by apologising to all the straight white men who are reading, if there are even any of you left out there who have been given permission by the real people in power to read websites.

For so long I have been under the apparently mistaken impression that a lot of you were in a pretty sweet position, what with all of the advantages in pretty much all realms that you hold in your hardworking hands.

But my opinions and beliefs on everything changed this morning, simply by coming across one article

Wow. I had never thought of that before. As someone who likes learning new things, I obviously clicked through to the article, and was immediately confronted with more truth.

First of all, I would just like to say that I have always been an equal opportunist member of the PC police, and have made sure to target heterosexual white men regardless of their political leanings. I am a hero, I know.

I thought it might be helpful to investigate further the unfair and unfounded attacking of these men, so I’ve put together an easy-to-read list of ways in which white heterosexual men are attacked and discriminated against. If you see any of this happening, please speak up.

By having most of the political power.

If I didn’t know any better, I would have assumed that part of the reason that ‘white heterosexual men’ are the current target for the rest of us is due to the fact that it is always white heterosexual men who are in power and making all of the decisions.

But look, it’s still unfair. You people don’t know how stressful and hard it is to have to be the ones in power. They don’t even WANT the authority and to make all the decisions and to hold the majority of political positions in most of the world, but someone has to and if not them – who? Women? People of colour? If they let that happen, what would be next? Labradors in ties sitting in Parliament?

No, straight white men have angled their way into power and continue to assist other white men to get into power for the good of all of us. We really should be sending them thankyou notes sealed with a kiss for their sacrifice.


By having and controlling most of the money.

Hands up if you are sad at having to control all of the world's financial capital.

If you thought it was hard having all of the political capital, try combining that with also having all of the financial power!

Please, everyone – spare a thought for these men. Sure, it is stressful earning not enough money and wondering how to pay your bills, but have you ever stopped being selfish and considered what it’s like earning too much money?

Do you know the stress caused by historically being employed before anyone else, by not losing your job if you got married, by being able to have family and career by relying on women to disadvantage their earning capacity and providing unpaid labour so that men can keep working and achieve great things? It’s traumatic! Also do you know how annoying it is to be reminded about the wage gap all of the time? How is a man expected to enjoy his tuna sandwich at his desk if he is constantly being reminded of inequality?

Please, give them a chance to live for once.


By being the only ones who achieve anything on merit.

According to the comments sections of any article about these topics, straight white men are the only people who have ever achieved anything on merit. Coincidentally it is straight white men who created the system they operate within and are the ones who decide what is meritorious and who is meritorious, but still.

The pressure of being the only people who are really pulling their own weight is immense. The pressure of being the only people who legitimately earn their way to a job or a power position must be almost too much to handle. Let’s give them a break. 

Look, it is probably true that straight white men have had a harder time of it recently. By harder time of it I mean that it seems like we have hit a boiling point and more and more people are coming around to the idea that this group has, in general, had it a lot easier than everyone else. The rest of the groups are fighting back against the system that discriminates and disadvantages them, and they happen to be a big and vital part of the system.  

What this means is that everyone is demanding more of these guys. Everyone is demanding that they become more aware of all the advantages they have been given. We demand they be more careful with their words and actions, and to consider others to a level they never have. We are demanding that they recognise how their voices have dominated in every field, and how they have been set up to succeed over other people. They are being asked to be quiet, to promote other voices, and to give up some of the power they hold. We are asking them to help us change the system that absolutely privileges them above others.

And that shit is hard to do. They are not used to these demands. So they will be defensive, and there is no doubt that it probably feels like an attack; because it is not a position they are comfortable being in.

As the quote (that i cannot find a source for) says, “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression”.

That’s what is happening here – what is being asked is for the group that has always had the advantages to take a step back and help ensure that everyone else gets a turn at the wheel.

But of course, the idea that white straight men are being discriminated against is actually a nonsense one. Nobody is claiming that none of these men suffer, or have disadvantages, or go through hard times. Nobody is saying they don’t deserve help if they need it.

But it's not that they are being discriminated against; they are just no longer the one and only focus, and they are being asked to change. They still hold all of the political and financial capital and positions of power. They are still the default, and so much is still catered to them. And for a group of people who complain that other groups claim victim status too often and quickly – well, they seem to be grabbing for that title as hard as they can.

Guys, you will be okay. I promise. Becoming more aware, more empathetic, losing a little bit of power – it will be fine. The rest of us have done it for centuries.