From the great woman suffragist parade in 1913, to the iconic ‘We Can Do It’ wartime propaganda poster, to Beyonce’s ‘Formation’ and Emma Watson’s #HeForShe campaign, the fight for women’s liberation has never faltered. Now on its fourth wave, the development of feminism is made even more progressive through the help of technology and media. The fight, however, is far from over.
Greatly tired of society’s double standards, men from all around the world have gathered and taken a stand to create a new global movement: Meninism. A retaliation to feminism, the men behind the advocacy pressed for the equal recognition of all genders. The movement has spawned thousands of supporters worldwide and prompted men and even women to assemble task force groups in their own countries.
Beginning of the revolution
In De La Salle University, a group of male students have assembled to form their own meninist task force in campus. Gathered in the amphitheater for a protest rally, the male students are seen carrying placards and clad in meninist propaganda t-shirts. The rallies are headed by the founder of the DLSU meninist task force group, Patrick Mañaquiz.
In an exclusive interview, he recounts a personal experience that prompted him to form the organization. “My girlfriend and I were having dinner at The Fort strip when suddenly, the reality of gender inequality dawned upon me.” Mañaquiz asks, “Why is it that when a woman decides to split the bill, she is called independent? But when a man does the same thing, he is tagged as cheap?”
After reading up on news and articles on the growing Meninist movement, Mañaquiz felt the need to respond to the call to action. To his surprise, he met a lot of other young men in his GENDERS class who echoed the same sentiments. Since then, they have been cutting classes so they can meet up in the library to look for reading materials on male oppression, and discuss the challenges the 21st century man regularly confronts.
“Even our GENDERS prof failed to see that the feminist movement has advanced the rights of women at the expense of The man. Double standards should be destroyed,” Mañaquiz continues, with emphasis on the capitalization of T on the the before the word man.
To hell with feminism
“Feminism should be destroyed because it has always been about hating and subjugating men. The name itself is ‘fem.’ If it’s gender equality, why only focus on women? Men face discrimination too,” defends DLSU meninist task force member, Lito Bustos.
Manny Nilip, another meninist task force member, adds, “Like, parang, real men have curves too. Why are there no plus-size male models? Why can’t men get inside clubs for free? The double standards are so real.”
Lito and Manny explain that the movie Magic Mike was created for the pleasure of women and other than objectifying men, it also puts pressure on them for its unrealistic and impossible standards on how men’s bodies should look like.
“Not every guy walks around looking like Channing Tatum, but women always think men should look like him. Women also think they’re entitled to have a hot man,” Lito mentions.
They also pressed that women are hypocrites for saying they shouldn’t be judged for their size. “It’s hypocritical because men are judged for being short, either in the height or junk department.”
Moreover, Mañaquiz mentions that Hollywood’s traditional portrayal of men is unfair because men are always expected to sacrifice their lives to save women.
“I believe in meninism because Jack didn’t have to die. There was enough space on the door for him and Rose. The only reason Rose lived is because she is a white, privileged woman who hates men and thinks her life is worth more than a man’s. It’s an injustice.”
Challenges and future plans
Currently, Mañaquiz and the other founding members are lobbying for the accreditation of their newly found organization. This entails having to submit heaps of documents to the Council of Student Organizations (CSO) and passing through the Accreditation Model prescribed by the Office of Student Leadership, Involvement, Formation, and Empowerment (SLIFE).
Nilip complains on the difficulty of processing documents with the CSO. “Hindi ko alam kung ano pa bang gusto nilang mga documents. Pati mga Buzzfeed articles and other relevant media to show how men are systematically oppressed, naka-attached na eh.”
When asked about their application, Ms. Kaye Ranieses of SLIFE responded by saying she does not see the clear purpose and goal of the proposed organization. She shares, “One of them even went to the office and ranted about how I failed to understand their mission simply because I am a woman. Di ‘ko talaga gets kung ano pinaglalaban nila.”
With all these challenges, the group remains unabating. Bustos shares that aside from planning future demonstrations and lobbying for accreditation, they are also crafting their major plans of action to spread their advocacy throughout the University.
“We’re working on our social media accounts and other publicity materials to encourage men to join our cause. Our research team is planning to release a mini-book entitled A Brief History of 21st Century Male Oppression,” shares Manny.