On March 8, 2015, people around the world recognized a momentous day — a day of remembrance, reflection and celebration.
It was International Women’s Day, and I proudly posted my words of honor and respect to all of the women — both past and present — who have and are still fighting for gender equality and women’s rights.
We remembered Alice Paul, who led the long battle to grant women the right to vote; Carol Downer, who was the founder of the women’s self-help movement; Margaret Fuller, an advocate for women’s education; Margaret Sanger, who fought for women’s birth control rights; Sojourner Truth, who spoke strongly and bravely against both misogyny and racism in her women’s rights speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?”; and thousands of women who not only believe in equality, but who are proud to be strong and independent.
For this one day, women are granted the thanks and endearment they have deserved for centuries.
And, guess who comes along and tries to take over the day? Who do you think thought up the term “meninism?" Your clue is in the first three letters.
Now, I will carefully articulate my words here because I need to make a few things clear.
One: I am a feminist.
Two: as a feminist, I passionately believe in gender equality, meaning I believe men and women should be treated equally in all aspects of the law, including but not limited to employment opportunities, payroll, political prospects, religious opportunities and social standards.
Three: my title as a feminist does not correlate to “man hater.” I do not hate men and I do not hate people. I may dislike some people, but my dislike is not discriminatory to just men.
Four: when I talk about “men” and “women” here, I am not generalizing the terms. I understand that not all men and women feel or think the same way. Keep that in mind as you continue reading.
So, now you know a little bit about me, as a feminist. It is a little frustrating even having to explain myself as a feminist because some reason people — both men and women (sigh) — believe feminism is either a man-hating rebellion with the main goal to have women gain the power over men or no longer relevant (sigh, again).
Feminism was established, not to dominate men, but to gain equality alongside men. Yes, there are radical feminists out there who actually wish to dominate men and will picket phrases like, “All men are assh*les!” or, “Women are better off without men!”
Unfortunately, these radicals are also the loudest and, therefore, most remembered.
But, let me assure you, feminism was and still is designed to create equal rights for all people, not just women, and not just men.
So, with this new information presented to you, I can safely tread the waters of why “meninism” is both outrageous and entirely insulting to people of the world (in my opinion, of course).
First, let’s step back and review why we have feminism in our world.
Women had to fight to obtain the right to vote, the right to practice safe sex (the birth control pill), the right to an education, the right to run for political office, the right to practice law and the right to receive equal pay (we still aren’t even there yet…) — I think you get the point.
Now, why do you think “meninism” was brought into this world?
I cannot think of any other good reason why other than to make a mockery of women. Perhaps it is an attempt to ridicule women, break us down and steal away our pride so that the idea of feminism turns from an empowering movement for equality to a silly game.
“Meninism” takes the hard work and the seriousness of feminism and makes it into a big joke.
All of the blood, suffering and even death that hundreds and thousands of women went through to achieve the strength and liberation for people (not just women) is treated as if the fight for equality doesn’t matter.
Do you know what “meninism” stands for? The liberation of men. Let me repeat that slowly: The. Liberation. Of. Men.
As if men have been fighting for liberation all of these years, and how dare us, women, try and take that empowerment away through our feminism. (Oh, the irony.)
It makes me pretty sad to see that men are not the only ones who support this outlandish mockery of female empowerment.
Some women have also joined the “meninist” bandwagon, claiming, “feminism is no longer needed,” and, “We already have equal rights. It’s the 21st century.”
Yeah, not quite. When women across the globe are paid equal wages as their male counterparts, you'll have one example of where feminism is no longer needed, but only one. Even today, many women are being paid $0.84 cents to a man’s $1.00.
And, that statistic was calculated only a few short years ago.
So, the next time you think about being “funny” and “satirical” with your “meninism” nonsense, make sure you keep it a thought and not an action.
Feminism is no laughing matter, and it is completely inappropriate to make it the laughing stock of the Internet.
Have some respect for your fellow human beings.
So knock it off, people. Stop holding yourselves back from good change.