meninist

[men-uh-nist]

What does meninist mean?

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A meninist is someone who—wait for it—believes men are victimized by feminism and that attention needs to be called to what they believe are the struggles of being a man in the 21st century.

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Examples of meninist

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Examples of meninist
If she can cake on a ton of make-up and wear high heels, then I can tell her I own the rental I picked her up in. #MeninistTwitter #Meninist
@MattDonagangsta, 2013
I'm not a feminist or a meninist. I think humans are all stupid, regardless of gender, and should thus be ruled by alien cyborgs.
@WhitneyJael, December, 2013
Know Your Meme

Where does meninist come from?

The original meninist surfaced on the website feminist.com in a 2001 manifesto announcing meninist to be a “new global organization of men that believes in a woman’s right for equality in society including political, social and especially in the workplace.” The group was founded by feminist.com founder Marianne Schnall’s husband, Tom Zatar Kay, as an online space where men who were feminists (hence meninists) could share ideas and experiences, and as part of that, members were invited to send letters to be posted on the site.

Kay’s conception of meninism, sadly, never quite took off. In 2013, a 28-year-old Ti Balogun started the “#MeninistTwitter” hashtag on Twitter to satirize, as he put it, “the way feminists express themselves, which is a turn-off.” While Balogun remorsefully admitted that “feminism has it’s place in society” and that “there are clearly women that are oppressed” in a 2013 interview with the HuffPost, the term meninism was quickly adopted by men who believed that they were victims of feminism.

Meninism doesn’t have an official manifesto, but generally speaking, there is significant overlap in beliefs many meninists hold and the views of other groups in the so-called manosphere. Meninists don’t necessarily go to the extreme that Men Go Their Own Way does in their belief that men should completely avoid contact with women. However, they do argue there are double standards against men, particularly when it comes to physical appearance and social etiquette.

While the term meninism may be realtively new, many of the ideas it stands for are not. In fact, starting in the 1970s, many men’s groups were created such as the National Coalition for Men, a large portion of which were established in response to second-wave feminism.

Who uses meninist?

As Nolan Feeney of TIME memorably put it in 2015, the people who use the term meninism “generally fall in two camps: people who use the term to call out ways they believe they’ve been victimized by feminism, and people who make fun of the first group for not understanding what feminism means in the first place.”

Many of those who feel they are victims use the term to point out what they believe are unfair body standards for men, a belief that falls closely in line with the central component of incels—that certain men are completely unable to find romantic relationships due to flaws in their physical appearance.

The term’s ironic users poke fun at what they believe is the ridiculousness of the concept and those who use it seriously, as it ignores a long history of female oppression as well as contemporary sexism and misogyny.

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