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What #Meninism Gets Completely Wrong

03/21/2015 11:36 EDT | Updated 05/21/2015 05:59 EDT
Meriel Jane Waissman via Getty Images

Gender equality has become a heated topic of conversation. From the far reaches of Planet Internet, men and women are talking with forked, digital tongues about the true nature of feminism and what it means for both genders. Forged by the nuts and bolts of a simple hashtag, an atomic bomb of awareness (or ignorance) has risen, readying itself to detonate at the opportune moment. Indeed, every day is a wonderful day to learn a little more about what pisses each other off.

In the spirit of "no man left behind," a new and, in my opinion, unnecessary movement has been built to boost the morale of every man with wifi access and a Twitter account. This movement is known as #meninism, a humble hashtag that has paved the way for men to talk about how unfairly they are treated in the general scheme of global awareness. The goal is this: turn the tables on the poorly behaved feminists who want equal pay, rights, and respect while bringing awareness to the horrifying double standards men in the First World nations have to face. Truly, their keyboard cries are just as urgent as those that echo the social injustices that women worldwide face. Right? (Please note the sarcasm.)

What a lot of the #meninism movement lovers don't understand is this: the #YesAllWomen movement was originally in response to the hashtag #NotAllMen, a movement that endeavoured to explain to the masses that not all men were rapists, murderers, and general swine. It was a response to the 2014 Isla Vista massacre, a tragedy which left six people dead and 13 seriously wounded. The killer, Elliot Rodger, claimed that the massacre was in revenge against women who had sexually rejected him.

From this, the #YesAllWomen movement was created to share awareness of the violence that women experience every day. From countries like India and Iran to the Canadian Rockies, all issues including sexism, misogyny, rape, murder, so-called honour killings, and domestic abuse were laid on the table and dealt its most honest hand. The discussion offered something unique to survivors of these types of violence- hope. It was only the beginning, and almost a year later, the Internet is still talking.

But like all things Planet Internet, things got misconstrued. Feminism became a nasty word once again, and many men jumped to the conclusion that women were widening the gap on a double standard. Why is it okay for a woman to ask a man's height, but when he asks her how much she weighs, he's a pig? Why should men be portrayed as tall, handsome, muscled meat-heads while the topic of women's body's is strictly taboo? Likewise, the #NotAllMen movement became a vehicle to mock the feminist attitude, and in time, the joke veered into territory that was taken a lot more seriously.

Alright, I will admit something: Men, you have a point. You're not objects either. Maybe women should hold doors open for you sometimes, and pay for your meals, and buy you nice things, and treat you with the same respect that they demand when it comes to their bodies. You're absolutely right. You deserve the same treatment that every woman expects from you, but do you need an entire movement to bring awareness to it? I don't think so.

I'm going to state the facts. The VAST majority of domestic abuse cases involve abused women. The VAST majority of physical and sexual abuse cases happen to women. In the history of humanity, women have often been regarded as lesser beings in many cultures and have endured countless centuries of mistreatment as a result. This is why #YesAllWomen exists. As a global concern, it is something that we all NEED to talk about so that we can protect our mothers, daughters, granddaughters, sisters, aunts, cousins, and friends.

Guys, I'm sorry that some feminists are jerks. Real feminism is about protecting women, not spitting on men. But let's be honest with each other, do you really believe that with all of those facts in mind, your gender has it just as bad as ours? Historically, you just haven't. I'm sorry that you've been ridiculed and rejected by evil girls, I really am, but is it time for you all to rise up and show women that you can be paid the same wage for the same job, walk down the street in the summer without being howled at, or even leave your house without your spouse's permission? Maybe. But that's a conversation we can have when I hear about 276 men being kidnapped.

Yes, the heart of #meninism might be valid, but it doesn't remotely reflect the kind of struggle that women throughout the ages have gone through. Let's work a little less on spitting on the real issues and work more on making sure that we're making the changes necessary to ensure that we never have the meninist/feminist conversation again.

Thanks for the understanding, gentlemen, and thank you for helping us tackle the problem. Who knows? You might actually be thankful for us feminists one day.

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