Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Men should not be left out of the equality fight

Meninism: myth or fact?

President Donald Trump was recently quoted saying, “It is a very scary time for young men in America…” He has since faced much backlash for this comment, but it has brought up the question: Do men face gender inequality too?

Feminism is a term and social movement promoting the advocacy of women’s rights for equality of the sexes. Feminism is a widespread movement, but meninism seems to not have gained as much traction until recently. Some people may use the term “meninism” as a joke or an attack on the Women’s Rights Movement (WRM), but some people avidly believe in the movement while also believing in feminism. Meninists argue that feminism and meninism share the same goal- promoting the equal rights of all sexes.

These are some of the main points of meninism:

1. Military Draft

Men of legal age can face serious repercussions if they fail to sign up for a military draft. However, women are not required to sign up. Meninists argue that the military draft is just one legal area where men are shortchanged. When and if another military draft comes up, I believe women should be required to fight. Being drafted will just mean that women are one step closer to equality.

2. Paternity

Paternity and father’s rights are a big part of the Men’s Rights Movement (MRM). While equal custody is commonly preferred by all genders, women still receive primary custody 68-88 percent of the time compared to only 8-14 percent of fathers, according to the Huffington Post.

Deciding to terminate or not to terminate a pregnancy is also another big issue. In the U.S., women have the choice of whether or not to carry out a pregnancy. While I believe in this, considering it’s ultimately her body, I think it’s also important to realize that the father or potential father will also be impacted by the decision.

Upon further research, I found an interesting viewpoint. One reason women choose to terminate a pregnancy is that the sex leading to the pregnancy was not consensual. Well, what if the male was raped and the woman ends up keeping the baby? Is it fair for the pregnancy to continue and for him to pay child support for a child conceived through sex without his consent? This is a tough one. If we required all females to terminate the pregnancy because the father claimed rape, there would be cases of false accusation. However, in cases where it was proven rape of the man, I don’t think the father should be responsible for child support.

3. Expectations of physical attributes

I have heard countless times, by my friends, that they prefer men to be taller and muscular. Of course, this viewpoint is not shared by all women, it’s just personal preference.

Women can be affected by body shaming, but the MRM brings up the fact that men can be body shamed too. They can be judged by their physical appearance just like women can be.

4. Expectations when it comes to dating

A common point of meninists is that it’s still primarily up to men to initiate dates or pay for them. It is the 21st century. Why aren’t more women sliding into men’s dms? After all, we can’t rely on men to make the first move- we might be waiting forever.

More women graduate from college and the wage gap is slowly decreasing. Why are men still expected to pay for dates instead of going ‘dutch’ and splitting the costs? The way I see it is, a date is an experience. Whether you’re going to lunch, getting, coffee or seeing a concert, you’re both taking part in that experience. Therefore, the man and the woman should either split the costs or take turns paying.

5. Domestic violence

About two in five instances of domestic violence are towards men, according to The Guardian. However, this is not often talked about or given the same importance of domestic violence towards men. Why? Violence is violence. It should always be taken seriously, regardless of the victim’s gender.

6. Suicide

The rate of male suicide was almost four times higher than the rate of suicide among women in 2016, according to the National Mental Health Institute. Why are men not receiving the mental health help they need? Why is the rate disparity of suicide between men and women so drastic? This issue needs to be given more attention.

This article was not intended to downplay feminism or female rights, but simply provide some food for thought on meninists’ views and their view on the meaning of equal rights for all sexes.

While, yes, I’m sure some men use the MRM as a joke or an attack on WRM, I personally believe that both movements have valid points.

I think that if both the WRM and the MRM truly want equal rights, then they should come together and start promoting the equalist movement more. At the end of the day, we all just want to be equals.

Brooke Martin can be reached at [email protected] or @bmartin471 on Twitter.

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  • T

    Tara Callan // Oct 29, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    I wanted to touch on how “Meninism” as a movement doesn’t have any valid points that should be considered. Meninism is made up of people who don’t understand what Feminism means and what it can do to benefit society as a whole. The first point you bring up is how the military draft is only male. Feminists have always recognized the injustice of drafting only men and advocated for change. They succeeded in 2013 when the U.S Department of Defense decided to end the discriminatory policy that banned women from combat in the military, opening up over 237,000 military jobs that were previously off-limits for females.
    Second, you are right on your point discussing men and violence, and how men can also experience things such as domestic violence and sexual assault. That’s why feminists launched the “Rape is Rape” campaign to get the FBI to change the definition of rape to include men, the definition they created hadn’t been changed since 1921. Not including men in the definition meant many types of sexual assault including rape weren’t was part of the bureaus annual uniform online report, leading to misinformed data. Thanks to Feminism, this how now changed. Lastly, the reasons men face mental health issues can be due to the societal norms that uphold the importance of heteronormative masculinity. These can be very harmful to males who feel that they aren’t allowed to express how they feel or if they are struggling because then they won’t be seen as “being a man”. Feminists reject these norms and are trying to change these social stereotypes of masculinity that are leading to these high mental health rates in males.
    Most of the things you are saying here are valid but are in the completely wrong context. Feminism can help to benefit these issues men face. Feminism can benefit everyone as a whole, Meninism will just make us harder for everyone to be truly equal.
    Also, what you said about men having a choice in whether a woman gets to terminate a pregnancy or not is just sickening. It’s her body, so it’s her choice. It’s her health, her uterus, she is carrying that child for nine months, after conception, the male is basically pointless. You suck for saying that. Byeeeeeee

  • P

    Pat // Oct 18, 2018 at 4:28 am

    No one uses the term meninist or meninism, especially the men who fight for these issues

  • G

    goodmod // Oct 17, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    One small correction: It’s called the Men’s Rights Movement, not “meninism”.

    Have a good day!

  • E

    Elektra // Oct 17, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    So women need to fulfill equal prerequisites (being in the draft) to be able to have equal rights?
    Do men have to fulfill equal prerequisites as women to get equal parental rights? This is possible. The objective value of pregnancy is $50,000 as per surrogacy. By this standard, men would need to contribute $50,000 in value to enjoy equal parental rights.

    Or do equal rights not necessitate equal prerequisites so “women should be drafted” doesn’t have a leg to stand on?

    • P

      Peter Wakefield // Oct 18, 2018 at 11:35 pm

      How is the $50,000 figure calculated? Why is would that be relevant? Formal equality requires no such prerequisites, however substantive equality tries to address a sum of inequalities. Which do you want?

  • J

    John // Oct 17, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    I agree fathers are unfairly kicked to the curb by the courts and men are marginalized. Men need a voice in and out of the courts. There are organizations like the Fatherhood Educational Institute that are working to level the playing field but until society as a whole takes notice and recognizes the importance of men and fathers in society the problem will continue to exist.