By, Shelby Moring
Which sole movement promotes gender equality, destruction of traditional gender roles, and hopes to end double standards? While many of us would snap our fingers in an instant and say that “feminism” is indeed the only correct answer, we would be painfully mistaken. Recently, the emergence of a rising movement in support of equality and fair treatment among the sexes has coined the phrase “meninism.”
Meninism. The word alone seems peculiar and sounds funny to say aloud. For starters, why isn’t the movement referred to as “masculinism?” After all, femininity and masculinity coincide, and I have yet to hear anyone refer to herself as a “womanist.” Once the confusion over the choice of terminology settles down, we can discuss the origins and foundation of this intriguing movement.
After researching the original mission statement of the “meninist movement,” it is evident that this branch of social change advocates for the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. Males who identify with this social campaign should be fully aware of its platform. To put it simply, meninists are feminists.
The meninist movement, at least on social media accounts, is headed by men who post misogynistic generalizations. The primary platform of this rising movement is to annihilate the double standards that plague males as a whole. Meninists on Twitter, often falling under the “slacktivist” category, argue that men are oppressed by their excessive objectification. By lazily trolling the internet with offensive posts, many of the meninist supporters contribute to online slacktivism. However, in the process of attempting to successfully persuade people that men are dehumanized by over sexualization, these “meninists” spew misogyny.
Tweets from the “official” meninist Twitter account do not accurately represent the objectives or values of this rising global organization. We cannot take these ill-informed tweets to heart. It is important to remember that creating an anonymous account on any given social media site gives anyone power — including sexist yahoos. From denouncing sexual assault to shaming women for not reciprocating feelings, the meninist Twitter account is clearly a compilation of ignorant, illogical nonsense.
To base our judgments of the meninist movement on the offensive tweets we see on our timelines would be foolish. It is important that we acknowledge what the movement actually stands for. Contrary to what a select few have led us to believe, the meninist movement does not condone sexual assault, domestic violence, objectification, or oppression of any form.
Naturally, the ideals of meninism coincide with those of feminism. Any individual who identifies with meninism, by default, supports the feminist movement. Thus, meninism is both unnecessary and harmful to the movement for gender equality. There is no reason to divide the feminist movement among gender; feminism is inclusive. Because meninism falls under the feminism umbrella, it does not make sense to enforce this separation.
While feminism is commonly associated with man hating, recent social media accounts have given the impression that meninists are sexist. Just as the meninist movement does not intend to garner support for misogyny, the feminist movement does not encourage misandry. Neither movements’ platforms include hate of any form. Feminism promotes gender equality, not gender superiority, and it is crucial that all sexes recognize this notion. We must not let the term “feminism” turn us away because it may give off the impression that women believe they are better than men.
Because it caters to all sexes, feminism is both necessary and inclusive. In order to break down the gender roles that plague our society, we need feminism. If we want to work toward gender equality, we need feminism. The branch of meninism, while founded with good intentions, cannot stand alone.
We cannot allow the terrible two percent of extreme meninists on anonymous social media accounts to represent the meninist movement. The problematic posts by self-proclaimed meninists are inaccurately reflecting the values of the feminist movement. Ultimately, the men who truly support gender equality will have no problem referring to themselves as feminists.