Meninism vs. Male Oppression

Grace Griffin

In lieu of recent discussions at Franklin High via Twitter, the realities of meninism and actual male oppression must be addressed. Over the weekend and continuing into early this school week, twitter erupted in a fury over feminism and meninism, and the meaning of both became skewed.

“I tweeted a joke about meninism and it sparked this huge debate on feminism and women’s rights in general” said Parker Halliday, the Franklin High School junior who accidentally started the fight.

Halliday goes on to elaborate: “I’m glad it happened because I feel like we need to talk about things like that more often, it’s a serious topic and we need to call attention to it”.

Many argued that meninism is a joke, and while it did originate as a parody of feminism on twitter, some of the jokes have gone too far. Aside from mocking feminist values, the official meninist twitter also jokes about rape, domestic abuse, and perpetuates gender based stereotypes.

Some have argued that meninism is a response to male oppression. However, actual male oppression does not include insensitive jokes and bashing feminism. Oppression of underprivileged men such as men of color, lgbt+ men, male victims of rape and assault, etc. is a growing problem in society today.

Men of color face extreme racial biases and discrimination throughout America. Statistically speaking, black men experience racial profiling by law enforcement and 1 in 3 black men can expect to go to prison during their lifetime in America. Racial discrimination, especially where law enforcement is concerned, is just one example of male oppression.

Another instance of male oppression is the silencing of male victims of rape or assault. 1 in 33 men in the United States will be victims of attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. This all leads back to gender based stereotypes and gender roles that tell society that men must be strong and cannot fall victim to crimes such as rape like women can.

Men who are part of the lgbt+ community are also victims to numerous hate crimes, and even legislature that, until recently, prohibited them from marrying someone of the same sex.

Mental illness is also a large problem in the male community that society seems to overlook. 80% of all suicides are committed by men.

Male oppression is real and is a growing problem in society that meninism is not helping. Meninism perpetuates gender roles and stereotypes that play into discrimination.

In addition, feminist principles are inclusive of male issues, since the roots of feminism go back to equality for all. By making a mockery of feminism, meninists are in turn counteracting any form of support that underprivileged males would be receiving.

However, with its catchy name and large following, meninism could easily turn into a beneficial movement to help underprivileged men globally. Meninists could become allies of feminists with a heavier focus on the rights of underprivileged men. That being said, meninists could work to eliminate gender roles as that would be beneficial to all genders.

One of the appeals of meninism to many is the jokes, which could still be a part of the movement. However, jokes about sensitive topics such as rape and abuse have no place in any organization, whether they’re meant to be humorous or not.