Scrolling through my Twitter feed the other day I came across a tweet from the handle @MeninistTweet that read, “My friend told me women are only good for food and sex. I was appalled. He forgot cleaning.”
Unfollow “meninist” Twitter accounts as soon as you possibly can. Seriously, before someone notices your ignorance.
For those of you that are unaware, Urban Dictionary defines “meninism” as, “a (satirical) belief showing the hypocrisy of first world feminism by flipping the sexes and complaining about men’s rights in a similar way to what first world feminists do.”
But can the “meninist” perspective really be considered satirical when the followers seem to take the messages seriously? Or is it then sexist propaganda? Because this tweet and many other found from this account go a step further in perpetuating stereotypes and misogyny. And excuse me, but “men’s rights?”
In sum, “meninism” is your typical anti-equality response to an already-existing movement that is working toward uprooting systems of inequality. It’s kind of like that #AllLivesMatter baloney. It is a movement created by men that are blinded by their own privilege, dedicated to misconstruing the intentions of modern feminism. The movement’s agenda includes proving that gender inequality does not exist, and that men are discriminated against as a result of feminist ideas.
The message of “meninism” has been spread through various social media outlets, namely Twitter, where one “meninist” account has 1.6 million followers and another has 1.02 million. The delivery of the message ranges from sexist memes to 140-character blurbs on Twitter regarding why women don’t deserve, or do not need, a movement dedicated to gender equality. So, it seems that the intended consumers of these memes are mostly male users of social media that have experienced trouble understanding the message of feminism.
The general message that resonates with this target audience reduces modern feminism to a failed evolution of a once-but-no-longer-necessary movement made up of overzealous, unappreciative women that fare far better when cooking meals for their significant others or shaving their legs than fighting for equal rights.
I almost forgot to mention that this awful “movement” has created apparel that boldly reads, “Meninist.” For $39.99 you can let the world know that you are an idiot.
So, I believe it is here that I try to clear some things up. Feminism really is about gender EQUALITY. The newest wave emphasizes “intersectionality,” the sexual objectification of female bodies, the social construction of gender and the ways in which gender harms men, among many other focuses.
Yes, feminism and related studies put an emphasis on how gender harms men. Third-wave feminism is not about empowering women to a point of dominance over men. That would be antithetical to the goal of gender equality.
Feminism isn’t intended to push that only women’s issues matter or that they matter more. It’s that women’s issues matter, too. It’s nothing to be threatened by and certainly nothing worth counterattacking with a movement based on false premises.