Now that we’ve wrapped up a year of getting straight the meanings of basic girls and how they can’t even, let’s take a moment to discuss the meaning of feminism.
It seems like some folks are having trouble with this.
Menimism started as a parody trend during which people used the hashtag #MenimistTwitter to defend themselves against stereotypes and double standards among the sexes. Menimists wanted to prove that men have rights too. If I’m not mistaken, men have always had rights.
Menimism was meant to be funny. I like to think I have a good sense of humor – I’m not going to lie and say I’ve never laughed at a joke about sexism because I have. People tweeted about how women should ask men on dates more often, or how there seem to be more female than male emojis. There were tweets and posts about double standards, and most of them obviously satirical. Then there came menimism tweets saying, “Where are men in history?” or tumblr groups being formed with the sole purpose of angering feminists for amusement.
Eventually the irony dies, the jokes stop, and people take to social media to tear apart each others’ views because there is always a devil’s advocate. In this case, it crossed a line of misogyny and misunderstanding, to the point where I can’t even.
It went from a joke to harassment, but the problem is so many men and women alike still don’t know what feminism means. People won’t identify as feminists because they are more apt to fight over who is more right than embrace equal rights. This is what one would call a step back.
A male sent me a story on Facebook last week from a military website in response to something I posted about the integration of women into infantry units in the military. The story was written by a female officer in the Marines who was against the change to integrate. I am for it.
The person who sent this to me did so as though to prove that, gasp, women can have the same opinions as men can.
As though I was unaware the sexes could share common thoughts. As though sending me this story somehow proved his point was more valid than mine because the evidence brought forth was also a woman’s opinion, so obviously I had to take heed and agree to some extent.
The thing is that’s not really how it works. Just because you have shown me that a woman has the same view as a man does not mean I should be more open minded to it. Women do not all band together and have group meetings to agree on the same thoughts and ideas. That’s like telling me I need to paint my nails more often because that’s what girls do. It’s a far too generalized way of thinking and frankly insulting. That is not what feminism is.
Feminism is the hope that everyone, regardless of sex, can see we are not all created equal, but we need to do our best to treat each other with equality. Men shouldn’t be defending themselves against feminism because men are part of feminism. They are the very key to making equality work. We’ve lived in a male-dominated society for so long that so many people are missing the point. Women have not had the chance to be as great as men can be because we’ve not been given the chance until recently.
If you are for equality, you are a feminist. It’s not a bad thing, nor should it be something we shy from identifying as. Feminism has evolved just as society has, but it still means the same thing.
Those who call themselves menimists should not be defensive – feminism is not about taking anything away but about accepting each other and working together for change.
Fighting over social media and putting others down is childish and counterproductive. What is progress if not to try? It means we work together and we try again. The only way we will truly fail at creating equality is to refuse to accept each other.