#Meninist is a recent trending topic on Twitter and Tumblr. At first glance, it may be misinterpreted to be males who support feminism. It is not. Self-proclaimed meninists have taken to social media to claim feminism promotes double standards.
The Twitter account @MeninistTweet claims to have started the hashtag as a parody of feminism. In fact, its Twitter biography said it is “obviously sarcasm.” It’s true that the meninist account tweets a majority of memes and jokes mocking feminism that may be considered funny by some. However, the humor is lost on a portion of the account’s 50,000 followers who do indeed take it seriously.
The hashtag’s most popular tweets are mostly about what meninists believe to be double standards. One of the most retweeted tweets is about body image saying “I need Meninism because the movie ‘Magic Mike’ promotes an unrealistic expectation of how men’s bodies should look like.”
“Meninism sounds like a problematic backlash not taking feminism for what it is,” Tom Sarmiento, visiting lecturer in the women’s studies department, said. “I consider myself to be a feminist because I believe in equal rights between the genders. I think what we have to ask ourselves is how can we work together to promote equality instead of having multiple groups all pointing fingers at each other.”
One question to ask, however, is if meninism could be taken seriously, or if it really is just an online joke. Ashlee Wolters, senior in public relations, said she believes that men do face challenges that might stereotypically be considered female problems.
“I’m sure some men face issues like rape and abuse, but it’s not as big as the problems that women face,” Wolters said. “I think every woman could tell you a story about feeling like they were in danger or even experiencing some kind of harassment.”
However, there is still some doubt. Some believe that meninism really could just be a reaction to feminism gone awry. Karin O’Leary, freshman in animal science and industry, said she thinks that movements that go against successful movements fighting for the marginalized are usually misguided.
“Meninists, online at least, remind me of other reactions to things like civil rights and gay rights,” O’Leary said. “There’s things like white pride and straight pride that seem to just be full of people who don’t really get why we need to fight for equality.”