A crisis of Masculinity – Is ‘meninism’ the answer?

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Old-fashioned ‘masculinity’ is under thereat from the crushing blows delivered by feminism. The days of wolf whistles and “Oi oi gorgeous!” bouncing off the rooftops are drawing to a close. In case you ever thought it was OK to help yourself to a handful of a woman’s backside in a bar, you’ll rapidly find out it’s not. Possibly with a slap, but more likely with a Twitter hate campaign against you the next morning.

So faced with a critical need to evolve beyond leering and jeering, the general male consensus needs to head in a new more considerate direction. But where?

Enter the creatively named antithesis to feminism; meninism, obviously. Because as the faceless world of the Internet would have it, that has been allowed to become a thing.

This movement has been rumbling under the surface of the gender war since last winter, providing men who feel constricted in the grip of feminism and stifled by 21st century expectations of them with their very own outlet to moan and groan.

The movement erupted on Twitter under #MeninistTweet and hosted a variety of quips, parodies and vitriol; sparsely decorated with the odd considerate remark.

Some light-hearted quips prod fun at feminism, but ironically lacked any understanding of what feminism’s definition. One reads “Why can’t she open the door for me?” whilst another says ‘Why can’t you ask me out on a date for once?’ The stereotypes referenced here are in fact the same ones feminism oppose based on the fact it is a movement in favour of equality, not a flip-reversal. But nice try anyway.

Another man holds a sign saying “I need meninism because the movie Magic Mike promotes an unrealistic expectation of how man’s bodies should look”, whilst another mocks the female obsession with height saying “My under six-foot brother needs love just like your fat friend does.” Within these murky depths of humanity, it is unclear what is genuine and what is parody.

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Whilst the odd remark worthy of consideration pops up, unfortunately, the majority are dumbfounded.

The cries of these ‘meninists’ are horrendously childish; like a child’s piercing screams after they have been sent to the naughty step. These men are being forced to reassess the idea that screaming ‘get your tits out for the lads’ is not just a cheeky bit of banter, and feminism isn’t something they can control. So out go the toys from the pram.

Of course, not all men are guilty of such vile behaviour, and we hope our lovely male readers aren’t. Let us not forget the opposing Twitter trend #NotAllMen, which represents the nicer segment of the male population who claim they are not guilty of all that feminists accuse them of. Although the accusations point deep into the conditioning of how even the sweetest of men treat women, so maybe all men are unwittingly guilty.

Once upon a time, a meninist was in fact a male supporter of feminism, quite the opposite of the monster that has reared its ugly head now. It was decided that these wimps were cock-blocking misogynists from their chance to ‘put ’em in their place’, so the term was re-appropriated as anti-feminist.  All this has done is perpetuate the laughable irony of providing even more bait for the very movement they wish to shun. You can’t fight fire with petrol.

Feminism was born out of the fight for women’s right to vote, their right to an education, to equal pay and the right to be heard in a male dominated world. What has meninism been born out of? A pocket of ill-educated men retaliating to a small minority of overly-zealous feminists.

If we judged every movement according to its lunatics, there would be no movements for anything, ever. It is important to screen the fanatics out and focus on the original message. Feminism in its true form promotes gender equality in what is clearly a male-dominated world – not the death of all men. An earnest intention that needen’t be attacked, I’m sure we agree.

As much as this might so far seem biased in favour of feminism, we need to maintain balance. Women who parade every nuance of popular discourse on social media as a way to blame men for the entirety of the world’s problems also need to take as much of a step back as the ‘meninists.’ Remember the plan; this is a fight for equality, not domination.

Perhaps in a more evolved society, meninism could be a movement for a new wave of considerate men who are conscious of their behaviour and can maturely raise the issues they face as 21st century males. A rise of the sensitive man; the thinking man. But for now, it is restrained by the men who are using it to bitch about women, ironically guilty of exactly the attitude they berate.

Although a movement like this has the potential to pull men together so they can leave their blind objectifications and crude behaviour in the dust, it is instead a gathering of men who are pissed off that they can no longer tell a girl to get her coat because she’s pulled.

If this version of meninism is any kind of counter to the perceived tyranny of feminism, it isn’t working. It does nothing more drive a wedge even further between men and women. It is not only counter-productive, but completely toxic for our future prospects of gender equality.

So that brings us back to the original question. In the face of the feminist expose on ‘masculinity’, where do men go from here? Not meninism, clearly.

An interesting article on The Sun’s recent Page 3 debacle says, “The upheaval of a dominant discourse and the shattering of a patriarchal structure that has plagued societies worldwide will take more than this; entire generations will need to die out before the dominant modes of thinking are altered.’

Although this might diminish your hope at first, let’s not forget that all great things start out small. Perhaps even the tiniest step we can take is a call for everyone to try and understand the true definition of feminism before they attack it for being something that it’s not, and to revise our behaviour towards the opposite sex. Generally speaking, stop hating, start loving.

An obvious but often overlooked fact: equality only works if you treat everyone like your equal.

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