“Meninism,” a steadily rising trend on social media, is the opposite of feminism. Though it claims to be a movement fighting for men’s equal rights, this fad is nowhere near qualifying as a valid movement for social justice.
Frankly, it preaches the opposite.
The trend gained traction via Twitter parody account @TheMeninist, which tweets about the “injustice” men endure in society and in relationships. While it began as a joke, users are now earnestly supporting the cause. Meninists, either ignorant or inconsiderate about the social conditions faced by women, claim their social etiquette roles equate to the fear and inequality experienced by women everyday.
“Why do men have to spend our hard earned money on dates, why can’t we get asked out, picked up and fed [sic]… I like free food, too,” tweeted one user under the tag #Meninist.
Inequalities cited by meninists include the loosely-enforced and somewhat antiquated social expectations to take the initiative in a relationship, act courteous to women, and maintain a toned musculature. Adherents say feminism preaches equal rights while ignoring the struggles of males.
However, this mindset sidesteps the true purpose of feminism. While these social standards may be unfair, the struggles women encounter daily warrant more attention. Yes, it is exasperating being expected to pay the bill during a night out, but is it as exasperating as the workplace expectation that women accept being paid an average of 22% less than their male counterparts? Both genders are pressured by society’s expectations of physical beauty, but are men humiliated or catcalled on a daily basis?
And how many men have a constant fear of walking alone at night? According to the Rape Crisis Center, one in four women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime. The Stop Street Harassment organization states that over 99% of women reported being harassed in public and 45% of women reported not feeling safe alone at night, compared to only 27% of men.
Women have a lot more at stake than men when it comes to inequality. Women face discrimination in nearly every aspect of their daily lives and have historically had fewer privileges and freedoms to pursue their political, economic, and educational interests. Even today, many are denied crucial healthcare and birth control rights.
“Meninism is a mockery of feminism. That’s all it is,” Valencia High School (VHS) junior Hyeji Suh, a feminist, told JSR.
She continued, “I find it hard to believe that there are people who think men are just as entitled to a social movement as women. Girls are assaulted every day and are seen as inferior. Men already have all the rights; what more do they have to fight for?”
“The people who support meninism really don’t understand what feminism is all about,” explained VHS junior Alissa Kim. “It’s not about making women better than men. It’s about equality, so that men and women can stand on equal ground and have the same respect for each other.”
Feminism continues to grow with increasing relevance because it works to support the safety and equality of a group that has been historically repressed. Meninism, in contrast, is a weak attempt to overshadow the advancements of feminism in favor of a community that does not need social justice. It is not a valid movement.