It’s a rare occasion that I support spamming a tag on Twitter. It gets annoying when looking for something specific (ie: Hillary Clinton’s confirmation of her candidacy in 2016) and all you see are people clogging up the tag with useless conversation and their opinions, which most of the time nobody actually cares about. However, there are certain occasions when trolling a tag is completely appropriate. As a good example, let’s discuss my personal favorite Twitter hashtag ever: #INeedMasculismBecause.
For those who don’t know what this means, think back to the late 1800’s when the term ‘feminism’ was coined in France and The Netherlands. From there, the concept spread and evolved, finally being accepted into American society in the early 20th century. While the idea was considered absurd in those times, it has exploded in our society to ensure the safety, freedom and equality of women. In response, many men felt belittled due to their lack of rights in our society. They felt oppressed by feminism and decided that they needed to fight back. With their new word “masculism” and a passion for picking a fight, the wonderful world of the Men’s Rights Association came to be. On its website, the MRA lays out its principles—most of which are pretty ridiculous from any point of view. To heighten awareness of its fight for men’s rights, the MRA started a hashtag on Twitter called #INeedMasculismBecause in response to #INeedFeminismBecause, which has had great success in outlining the major reasons why sexism is still an issue today. Some tweets found in the real tag were very serious about the topic including: “#INeedMasculismBecause many women want 20 orgasms a night like the ‘Sex and the City’ females”—@helplines “#INeedMasculismBecause Men shouldn’t be subject to women’s conflicting signals of attraction. Honesty would suffice”—@Man4Average
Thankfully, their plan backfired quickly. Within a day or so, the #INeedMasculismBecause tag became a playground for both male and female feminists. Sarcastic tweets exploded about the need for stronger feminism and women’s rights. Some comments hit harder than others, but all gave off the same message: MRA, your movement is ridiculous. One of my biggest problems with this whole situation centers around the fact that it should be nearly impossible to oppress a majority. For instance, it is nearly unheard of to say that white students on our campus are at a disadvantage because of their race. However, the current ratio of women to men actually tips ever so slightly in the direction of women, therefore making power distribution and every day rights the real controversies here. Some of my personal favorite tweets from the hashtag are also the most blunt in pointing out the flaws in our society. To quote a few: “#INeedMasculismBecause we have had way too many female Presidents of the United States”—@soulkhan “#INeedMasculismBecause I feel that my freedom to systematically dehumanize women with gendered slurs and broad generalizations is threatened”—@ponchopeligroso and my personal favorite: “#INeedMasculismBecause it’s easier to pronounce than misogynist”—@LordOfTheLosers
I want to assure you all that my goal here is not to say that men are not SOMETIMES oppressed, but much of their oppression stems from existing systems that oppress women. A man’s masculinity would not be “threatened” if femininity wasn’t already seen as inferior. My point is, despite how far our society has progressed, we are still not equal. The MRA needs to stop fighting for rights that they already have and recognize that they are not in danger of oppression. Instead, they are supporting sexism by stereotyping feminism as a concept purely based on sex and pleasing men. As someone who has been a self-proclaimed feminist since the age of 12, I’d like to clarify that the women’s rights movement is not all about sex. I want to work with men and not be judged beforehand based on my gender. I want to the opportunity to stand up for myself and for other women without being stereotyped as a “man-hating feminist.” I want my freedom as much as the MRA wants theirs. The difference is that they don’t have to fight for it and I do.
How do you feel about the use of Twitter? Do you think a masculinity movement is unnecessary? Please send all feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.