In the internet’s latest misguided social justice movement, #Meninist, Twitter and other related hashtags have arisen to bring attention to the oppressed demographic that is the white male. Supporters of this absurd sounding and difficult-to-pronounce cause identify as “meninists,” and no one is sure whether they’re serious or not.
“Meninism” has actually been around on the internet for over a year now, but it hasn’t been until recently that the term has really taken off, particularly on Twitter, although several other social media sites have been taken by storm as well. There seem to be several interpretations of what “meninism” refers to; here are the most popular ones.
Some say that meninism started as a branch of feminism dedicated to male feminists. I’m not sure why men feel the need to clarify that they are, in fact, both men and feminists, but “meninism” was what they called their campaign (even though it already had a name.)
The majority of meninists, however, are more along the lines of “Men’s rights activitists,” a movement primarily comprised of men making posts on Twitter about the woes of having to open doors for others or the pain of living without a men’s history month. Created as a parody of feminism and “obviously sarcastic,” the Meninist Twitter account and hashtags have since inspired a number of posts from people who feel they have been a victim of feminism. These posts range from petty arguments to mockery of domestic violence. Some users join in solely for the purpose of trying to get a reaction from feminists, and seem to feel validated when their sexists comments are called out as such.
There has been a tremendous backlash against these posts from people who use the meninst hashtags to mock the campaign of meninism. From photoshopping proud meninist gear to sarcastic posts, this last group makes fun of meninists for their ignorance on the feminist campaign.
Aside from a horrific show of the degree of misogyny that exists, the “meninism” campaign has only shown how little these people actually know about feminism. Many complaints about unrealistic expectations for men are issues that feminists support; in fact feminism is, the movement for equality among genders, not the female domination of society. The movement is named feminism to focus on the injustice that women face, but it would appear that many stopped reading at “fem” and are apparently incapable of grasping this concept. That’s just the thing; whereas feminism works toward gender equality and the breaking down of stereotypes for both genders, meninism seems to just be a lot of young men whining on the internet about having to pay for dates. If I had a dollar for every time I heard that, I’d have 78 cents.
When it comes down to it, this definition of meninism is just another form of anti-feminism.
Some people still might not see the meninism trend as such a big deal. Let me put it this way:
Posts like these on the #meninist hashtags only serve to further trivialize the issues that feminists fight for. Many are under the impression that feminists don’t have anything reasonable to be angry about; after all, society dictates women can get into clubs for free. And at the end of the day, disregard for bodily autonomy and political and social rights aside, that’s what really matters.