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#Meninist: the Newest Trend in Anti-Feminism

If you’re on Twitter, there’s no doubt you’ve seen a growing trend toward a movement called Meninism. It’s been showcased through countless Twitter accounts and enough tweets to get #meninist trending. But what is it and why is it happening?

#Meninist has become a response to feminism—and not a good one. “Meninism” began as a coalition of men who support feminism; however, it’s been taken over and reclaimed by the complete opposite type of men in defense of a “Men’s Rights Movement.” A Men’s Rights Movement is for the most part unwarranted because those it seeks to benefit—white, heterosexual men—do not face institutionalized oppression and marginalization solely because of their gender. It is now a blatantly anti-feminist movement operating under the guise of satire equipped with memes and attempts at jokes. As such, it’s also become a new moniker for the word misogynist (definition from Google: a person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against women). 

Its problems lie in one of the biggest debates about comedy: can we make jokes of serious subject matter? The answer is, most of the time: no. Offensive material phrased as so-called humor is still offensive. And how could that really be funny?

Common #meninist tweets take aim mostly at a misinformed understanding of double standards (i.e. women getting drinks for free at bars, women getting the door held open for them, and other similar situations that stem directly from women’s oppression), standards of beauty and representation, rape and abortion. These are real issues that result in things like the wage-gap, the glass ceiling and/or escalator and continued imbalances of power in both professional and private spheres. These are commonly known facts, but it’s not so commonly known that joking about these problems is dangerous to the progression of their eradication.

The movement is making a mockery of what feminism really is: a call for equality—FOR EVERYONE. Making a joke out of women’s oppression is not a light-hearted, innocent act because it normalizes that behavior instead of attacking it. Worst of all, it undermines the more hard-hitting realities that feminism fights against like the fact that some people are denied their basic human rights like people of color and the LGBTQIA+ community, among others.

I’ve seen the “jokes” posted by Meninist-titled Twitter accounts on my Twitter feed so many times, and it needs to stop. It has never and continues to not be all right to be anti-feminist. Those who spread meninist ideals are perpetuating that stance even if they’re unaware of it. This is my request to you to help further educate people who are joking about feminism and misogyny, whether in real life or online. The solution is to actively stand up for ourselves and not remain silent against the parody of our struggle.

Bonus: the direct definition of feminism via Google is simply “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” It has nothing to do with believing women are actually better than men or other common misconceptions.

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BA in Communication and Business Certificate in Digital Media University of Pittsburgh 2016   HC Pitt Business Manager & Social Media Manager 2015-2016 I like sleep and pop culture. @laurnace | laurnace@gmail.com *Opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect Her Campus or Her Campus Pitt as a whole nor do others' opinions necessarily reflect my own. 
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