G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School
Trigger Warning: Transphobia
Recently, popular media platforms amongst young teens, such as TikTok and Twitter, have seen the birth of a “new” sexuality labelled “super straight.” Those who identify as “super straight” express their sexuality in a harmful manner that directly affects the transgender community. These young boys identify as such because they prefer only dating women who are assigned female at birth, and yet, refuse to date transgender males because they aren’t “feminine enough,” which is hypocrisy in and of itself.
Although many users on TikTok believe the super straight movement is just young, white boys going through their “edgy” phase, it's actually more cataclysmic than it seems. The super straight sexuality originated in the depths of a Reddit thread by Neo-Nazis who express their intense antipathy towards the transgender community. Together, these people created a super straight flag that revamped the Schutzstaffel Nazi Police logo with an orange and black color scheme.
To make matters worse, many of these white-supremacist Redditors write on 4chan forums, a website notorious to spread anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ+, and anti-feminist rhetoric while simultaneously upholding conservative, alt-right values. David Paisley, a Scottish actor, tweeted out that super straight is not a valid sexuality, but rather a “far right troll campaign from 4chan” that is directly targeted towards young impressionable boys to encourage them to “associate with Nazism.” He proceeded to provide screenshots of the 4chan forums that showed anonymous users invalidating transgender women because they are “[men] LARPing as [women.]”
These boys aren’t “super straight”; they just have bottled up resentment towards anyone who isn’t white, cisgender, or heterosexual.
The question is how did so many young boys on TikTok discover the sexuality “super straight” if many of them are unfamiliar with the Reddit threads and 4chan forums?
Young boys aren’t initially given this content. Social media internal systems lead to these young boys progressively associating with extremist ideologies.
A study conducted by Cornell University analyzed the alt-right pipeline on YouTube. Researchers concluded that there are four types of media that are disseminated across social media platforms. The first stage begins with regular media, which typically slants towards more centrist or leftist ideals. It slowly transitions into the Intellectual Dark Web (I.D.W.) stage, which discusses taboo subjects like abortion, racial injustices, and gender issues. The next stage is alt-lite, which is not to be confused with alt-right, the final stage in the pipeline. The main difference between these two stages is that alt-lite rejects white supremacy while alt-right embraces it.
The study discovered that YouTube’s “algorithmic recommendations” frequently suggests I.D.W. and alt-lite videos while only recommending alt-right channels, thus proving there is an alt-right pipeline that deters young white boys away from mainstream media and sucks them into the world of white supremacy, anti-LGBTQ+, and anti-Semitic beliefs. Social media platforms need to better monitor the content that is put out by creators.
Content needs to be heavily regulated and extremist beliefs should be censored. It’s preposterous that there are hundreds of thousands of channels and videos that cater towards regurgitating extreme right-wing beliefs. There is absolutely no need for an “alt-right pipeline” to exist. It’s a toxic environment for young boys who don’t realize the adverse effects of these extreme right-wing ideologies.
While these boys remain unharmed by spewing hateful rhetoric, it comes at the expense of the mental health of minority groups, especially adolescents since they are impacted the most by social media.
Even if these young boys realize that being anti-everyone that isn’t a cisgender white male isn’t “edgy” or comical, the effects of their behavior can’t be reversed. The racist remarks towards BIPOC children can’t be taken back. Telling LGBTQ+ members that they’re going to hell for simply embracing their true identities can’t be taken back. The slut-shaming and hypersexualization of young girls that stripped them from their childhood can’t be taken back. The unlearning of extremist beliefs should not be at the expense of young minority groups’ psyches.
But all is forgiven right?