“Don’t make me feel inadequate because I won’t risk my life to kill that spider for you. You are a strong, capable woman. #Meninism”
What started out on twitter as a simple sarcastic response to the trending feminist hashtag, #YesAllWomen, quickly developed into several separate social networking accounts all listed under the title “Meninism,” each garnering thousands of primarily male followers just days after it’s creation, including many from Jefferson. Meninism is simply the idea of being able to turn words often cited by women’s rights activists against them, creating an effect that makes men appear to be the underrepresented sex. The original “MeninistTweet” twitter account has a biography that reads “obviously sarcasm,” and claims to be linked to similar accounts related to the same concept but with white power.
However, ever since #Meninism first found its way into twitter’s trending tags, Meninist tweets have devolved from their original purpose- comedy. The tweets aim to poke fun at feminism, which can be done in moderation, but very quickly can get out of hand as women’s rights still remains a relevant and unsolved issue in today’s society. Feminist, voted one of 2015’s words to ban by Time magazine, has now been morphed to being almost synonymous with “man-hater,” “ugly” or “annoying,” according to most popular Google search suggestions.
Meninism is referring to the double standard that is often created when many make cases for equality of the sexes, passing the judgement that all feminists just ignore it when pushing for equality. Meninist twitter accounts have successfully made a caricature out of the idea of a Feminist, providing only a small stereotype in which they claim all rights-advocating women should fit into.
Although the tweets are only meant to be a joke, and not taken seriously, they pose a real problem in they way they are received by Meninist followers on twitter. Within the last few days alone, the tweets have turned from primarily funny to outright offensive, leaning towards a more misogynistic view than anything else.
On Nov. 20, MeninistTweet posts “How come with women it’s called an abortion, but with chickens it’s an omelet? Why are women better than chickens?” along with, “All the females & feminists complaining about this account, if only they put all that passion into their cooking.”
It’s one thing to caricaturize the radical feminist in a comedic yet tasteful way, but entirely another to claim that feminist efforts should be held invalid altogether as the tweets are beginning to suggest. Twitter accounts like this only make it easier to become regressive in society’s state of mind towards the rights of women. At this point in time, females still do face significant challenges like gender wage gaps ranging from 66 to 91 cents to a man’s dollar and endless sexualization in the media. Poking fun at the issue makes it easier to simply brush off and ignore.