When I was in high school, there was a group of boys who said they identified as “meninists.” I even saw one of them wearing a t-shirt that proclaimed he was a proud meninist. This bothered me for multiple reasons, especially because most of them were just anti-feminism, and they sincerely believed that feminism was infringing upon their rights.
What these boys – and many people in the world, for that matter – did not realize is that they do not need to be against feminism because feminism was not going to take away their rights. People all around the world need to understand that the point of feminism is not to take away rights from men but instead to make all genders equal.
The actual definition of feminism according to the Encyclopedia Britannica is: “the belief in social, economic and political equality of the sexes.” Feminism is about eradicating sexism, not saying that one gender is more superior than the other; after all, that is the kind of world that we currently live in.
To many people, the real definition of feminism may actually be shocking. Many people all over the world believe feminism is the idea that women want full and complete power of all men and feminists hate men. This is not the truth.
Feminism is not a dirty word, and people should not be afraid of being labeled as feminists. People who are truly feminists want to fight for the rights of all people so that everyone can be equal. Yes, feminists want to advance the right of women, but not by taking away rights from men –– feminism supports equality for all people.
The plain truth is that men do have more rights than any other genders. On average, men get paid more than women. Men are usually never denied an education. Generally, men do not have to worry about walking alone in the dark. Men are usually not objectified. In these aspects, they are lucky that for the most part, sexism works in their favor.
I’m not saying that men do not face sexism at all; there are still things like toxic masculinity we must combat. What I am saying is that men do not face sexism nearly as much as other genders. Feminism is just trying to reduce sexism among everyone.
Feminism is simply trying to right the wrongs of sexism and ensure all genders are treated equally under both the eyes of the law and the eyes of society. The point of feminism is not to say all men are evil and to have everyone turn against them — instead, it is to help all genders –– regardless of race, religion, sexuality or ability –– achieve equality.
To all the meninists out there, from my high school or anywhere else in the world: Stop feeling threatened. You are privileged, and the fact that people just want all genders should be equal should not intimidate you. Feminists want nothing with your rights; we just want to be your equals. Right now, you are not being “meninists,” or whatever you wish to call yourselves — you are just being misogynists.
If you call yourself a meninist because you want to actually challenge social issues regarding men, such as the idea of toxic masculinity, then that is something different altogether. In fact, this would also fall under the umbrella of feminism, because it is advocating for equality among all genders.
Everyone who calls themselves a feminist should feel proud. We are all just trying to make the world a better place by ensuring that everyone all over the world has the same rights.
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Anika Veeraraghav is a weekly columnist for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.