Yes All Men

Yes All Men

Some men say it’s hard to be a man in the 21st century. Because of this they created meninism, a movement that calls for an anti-woman outlook. Meninists believe that the injustices that men feel come from female privilege.

Meninists first emerged in early 2001 as a subset of male feminists who, in their mission statement, explained that they were “opposed to all forms of misogynist behavior and sexist attitudes.” But as time went on, they stopped talking about men’s rights in a healthy way. The social movement soon morphed into an outlet that blamed women by, according to BBC news, expressing “the difficulties of being a man in the 21st century.”

The difficulties meninists refer to include violence and sexual assault against men, disproportionate prison sentences for similar crimes committed by females, the perceived injustices of divorce courts and the resulting limitation of fathers’ rights.

The supporters of this newer adaption of meninism call themselves “men’s rights activists.” In order to make their point, they started to use social media to complain. From mimicking anti-rape posters in a negative way to mocking abortion and domestic violence, these men’s rights activists started publicizing their views in an honestly disturbing way.

PHOTO BY MANISHA RATAKONDA
PHOTO BY MANISHA RATAKONDA

But it turns out that most meninists have many of the same ideals that feminists have. At it’s core, feminism is about eradicating gender inequality and dismantling this idea of the “patriarchy.” Many meninists are confused; they think that feminism is about making women greater than men instead of its true purpose: making them equal to men. While many believe that meninists are starting a modern gender war or a sexual revolution, meninists are unknowingly fighting for the same ultimate goals that many women are.

The big problem? Many men’s rights activists don’t realize this.

One of the biggest complaints that meninists have are about the double standards that women have for them. While many women actively preach that every body type is beautiful and that women should not be objectified and characterized by their body parts, many men feel that the same considerations should be applied to them. Women often have mental checklists that contain the different attributes they want in a man, hoping to manufacture a perfect robot. Men have to be tall. Men have to have abs. Men have to be strong.

There are also a lot of criticisms of comic books and movies oversexualizing men that promote unrealistic expectations of a man’s physique. Many of the Marvel movies have faced this review due to their propensity for having extra-long shots of their actors’ bodies. While many women also face the same oversexualization, meninists want there to be more discussion about it from the male point of view.

These are valid complaints that men have, but rather than tweeting rude commentary on the feminist movement and wearing outrageous T-shirts, they should go about their social revolution in a different way.

Being negative and putting something down never gets you far in life, and it certainly doesn’t make you seem superior to anyone else. A better way to go about getting their point across would be through documentary films that spark conversation and interest. One of these documentaries would be Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s “The Mask You Live In,”  a film that explores the stereotypes that young boys grow up with–that they have to appear masculine, that they must repress their emotions and that they must act in a powerful way. A film like this expresses the actual problems in society instead of the current way meninists are conducting their project.

If meninists change their process and stop belittling feminists and women, I believe that their cause could be effective and better educate the community as a whole.

 

  • Ashna Kumar