16-Meninism 101

Here ye, here ye calling all single white privileged males who are trying to make #meninist happen. Take a note from Regina George and stop trying to make meninism happen. It’s not going to happen. And here’s a few of the reasons why.

  1. The simplest explanation lies within the very basic definition of the thing they are fighting so hard against: Feminism: the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. This definition is pretty much the one you will get by looking up the word feminist in any major dictionary. Ohhh yeah and it says equal to men…not better than, not superior, not demonizing men, just equal. So jokes on you meninists…either you’re actually a feminist or you believe that men are superior to women. 
  2. The photo circling the internet with a guy holding a sign that says “I need meninism because “Magic Mike” promotes an unrealistic expectation of how men’s bodies should look.” Yes sir, that movie has a lot of very in shape men…because it’s a movie about strippers! Their job description quite literally entails having their body shown off and objectified. But yes, I do agree that the media can cause men to have a negative body image as well and that needs to end. But women are objectified, stereotyped, and criticized in almost every form of media including movies, television, advertisements (print and media), and even media coverage of political candidates. When Hillary Clinton is on the campaign trail, I want to hear about her stance on the issues not whether or not her pantsuit is in a flattering color.  Women of all shapes, sizes, cultural and racial backgrounds, and income levels are constantly under pressure to appeal to an impossible standard of beauty. It’s ingrained into our society so much so that many people don’t even notice it anymore when advertisements selling cleaning products feature only women doing the household chores, when boobs and butts are used to sell everything from soap to beer, when everywhere you look there is another perfectly airbrushed supermodel trying to tell you to use this product so you can look like her. Because botox, nose jobs, boob jobs, hymenoplasties, face lifts, and other cosmetic surgery procedures are becoming more and more common. A study by Smith and Cook in 2008 showed that in a random sample of 1,034 shows for children in 2005, male characters appeared twice as often as females, females were 4x as likely as males to be shown in sexy attire, and females were 2x as likely as men to have a thin waistline/unrealistic figures. The study also showed that in the 400 top-grossing films from 1990-2006, only 27% of speaking characters were female and the two main types of females portrayed were the “traditional” (mothers, wives) and “hypersexual” (dressed in revealing attire) females. 
  3. Meninism only accounts for the issues of disgruntled first-world males that are tired of paying for dinner and holding purses while their girlfriend is shopping. Seriously. Yes, I agree women shouldn’t expect men to wait on their every need and always pay for everything. It should be an equal partnership in which both parties are treated with equal respect. But honestly these “meninists” are complaining about having to hold shopping bags while somewhere in the world, an eleven year old girl is being sold into arranged marriages with men who are four times their age. According to UN data, 52% of females in Yemen are married before they turn 18 and 14% before they turn 15. Women in Saudi Arabia aren’t allowed to leave the house without a male chaperone, drive, vote, swim, play sports, and so many other things that males are allowed to do. Now how’s that for a real problem?
  4. Meninism is partially based on the fact that men are raped and abused too. No one is denying this. It’s a real issue. But 1 in 5 women are raped whereas the number for men? 1 in 77. 91% of victims of rape are female. (Numbers according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center). So yes, rape is an issue for both men and women. But clearly something is wrong with our society if one out of 5 females or 20% are raped in their lifetime. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that girls who have a lot of sex are “sluts” and men who have a lot of sex are “studs.” Rape culture allows rapists to be written off with a simple “boys will be boys” while rape victims are berated with statements like “it was what you were wearing” and “well you must have asked for it,” as if it was somehow their fault.  We even see this issue in universities as 106 colleges and universities are under federal investigation for the mishandling of sexual assault cases as of April 2015. And I’m not saying that cases where males are the victims are of any less importance. But sexism and the double standards that feminists are trying to fight encompass these cases too. Male victims often aren’t believed because it’s a common misconception that since males want sex anyways, it isn’t rape. Obviously this is not correct and feminists are the ones trying to change that!
  5. Gender roles. Men are bullied for being weak because being weak is associated with being “girly” or a “pussy.” As if the worst possible insult that can be inflicted on a male is being compared to a girl. Women being assertive are told to stop being “bossy.” (I was once called a bitch in a debate tournament for not letting my opponent speak over me/interrupt me and then the judge commended him for “stepping up” and being a “gentleman” while I was docked points) The type of behavior or personality traits that would be attractive in a male candidate for a job are looked down upon in females, making it harder for them to progress through the ranks of an occupation or even for them to get hired in the first place. 
  6. Meninists can complain all they want about not having a voice or not being heard by enough people, but at the end of the day, over 80% of the United States legislature is made up of men. Men hold the majority of elite positions in not only government, but in every industry in the world. And women still don’t get paid as much as men. Yeah that little wage gap still is a big issue. Women still make only about 77% as much as men on average, with minority women making even less. Studies have tested for variables like the fact that women are more likely to take time off to raise children, are less likely to ask for promotions, and many other details, and yet the numbers still show that equally qualified females are less likely to make as much money as their male counterparts. In fact, when given the two of the exact same resumes with only the names changed (John and Jane), employers of both genders were more likely to hire the male candidate and even offer a higher starting salary. Now how’s that for gender discrimination? 
  7. Meninism doesn’t account for those who identify as homosexual, asexual, bisexual, transgender, or any other non-binary peoples. These people exist and they are entitled to every right that traditional heterosexual males/females are. “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” sound familiar anyone? And even outside of the United States its important to realize that people of all genders, sexualities, races, cultures, religions, etc. should have the minimum liberty of being treated as a human being, created equally. While I realize this is easier said than done, at least a lot of modern day feminists are trying to do something about it. That’s more than I can say for the self-proclaimed “meninists” out there. 

So yes, I realize that meninism was created to be satirical or as a joke, but it doesn’t negate the fact that it’s poking fun at a very real, very necessary movement. In the majority of arenas, females have been disadvantaged in major ways, due simply to the fact that we possess different anatomy (or in the case of transgender feminists, identify as a particular gender). Feminism should not be written off as a bunch of unshaven lesbians on their periods attempting to take over the world (not that there is anything wrong with any of those things), but the feminist movement is a much larger concept: it’s people who want to put an end to the social, political, and economic inequalities in today’s society. So either you meninists are actually feminists, or you’re not really fighting for the equality that you claim you are.