First off I would like to start off by saying hashtags like “#menain’tsh*t” and “Menaretrash” do not in any way reflect the ideologies of feminism.
Like a lot of things on social media these days, anything can go viral. One of the latest hashtags that has women (specifically) speaking is #Menain’tsh*t. There are thousands of tweets with this hashtag as well as a Twitter account under the same name. Now, is this really a big deal? Should anyone really be offended by such a blasé comment categorising every single man in the universe under one definition? I personally try not to take anything I see on social media too seriously, but it makes me wonder if trends such as this should be taken as light-heartedly when they are being categorised with topics such as feminism.
We already know that online platforms create a stage for free forms of expression, which include rants, funny banter and a hell of a lot of memes etc (I’m not complaining about that one lol. Meme’s = life). But, perhaps (to a certain degree) it also advocates a lack of responsibility on the influence of what is said and how it can affect another person’s perception.
So, maybe I should start by breaking down what I mean by this. This topic first came to mind when about 4 weeks ago I was having lunch with a colleague of mine. He’s from a similar ethnic background, is also in his early 20’s just like me and educated to a university level. Now, if you know me, you know that I can be quite random when it comes to blurting out things I am thinking about in to a conversation. As we were eating, I erratically asked “Are you a feminist?” To be honest, I kind of just did this because I thought it would be funny to catch him off guard and see what he says. I smiled and waited for an answer. He seemed shocked at the question, scrunched up his face and said, “No. Of course I’m not. I’m not a crazy woman who rants and thinks that women are better than men”.
To be honest, I wasn’t even shocked at the answer. I laughed. I said, “Do you actually know what being a feminist or feminism is?” He replied, “Yeah, these women who are always so extreme and think men are just sh*t and women are so much better”. At this point I felt like I had to educate him on the truth of what it actually means to be a feminist. I relayed that it is simply a movement which supports the rights of women and equality of the sexes, not portraying that one is superior. He was taken back, he didn’t realise that this was what it actually meant. He expressed that these “extreme and crazy girls on social media give feminists a bad name” and that a lot of people (guys in particular) shared his same view of what feminism was.
Now, can all females be responsible for the incorrect definition of feminism and the fact that we are all portrayed as erratic, crazy or dramatic? No of course not. It is the select few, who through their actions and words, give that perception. It is this carelessness over social media and as I mentioned before, influence of what is said that can affect another person’s perception on a serious matter. But, the same goes for this “menain’tsh*t” hashtag. Of course, I’m sure there are some guys out there who would very much fall under this category, but does putting them all under one bracket really make us females seem smarter? Stronger? Or “better” even?
I do completely understand (by the way) that some of what is tweeted with the hashtag is just for “bants” and it really wasn’t put out there with the intention of causing offence or to be a bad influence. But, if you see some of the examples I have added in to this article, it is quite easy to understand why perhaps this act of “extreme feminism” can give feminism as a whole, a bad name.
For me, I don’t really think the two should be linked. I feel like feminism is one issue and negativity towards men is another. I can however appreciate some of the hashtags in relation to the funny side of relationships. Some of the ones I have read are pretty hilarious. For example, “When your man didn’t leave you the last bite of dessert #menain’tsh*t” or even “When you bf wakes you up so early because he’s bored and can’t sleep, so he doesn’t want you to sleep either #menain’tsh*t” (both of which I have experienced by the way which at the time were not funny but I can appreciate and laugh at now lol).
Overall, social media posts should always be taken with a pinch of salt, but let’s just not forget the responsibility we have to ourselves in terms of how our words have influence. Let’s be careful about the words we choose and what image we have created not only of ourselves, but also of the “groups” (be it social, ethical, religious etc) we belong to.
I feel like it’s only right to end this on a note of appreciation to all the good men out there haha. Be it our father, brothers, uncles, boyfriends or friends – there is always one male out there you can count on (and if you’re really lucky you’ll have a few). You really are loved.
It’s always better to create understanding if you want to see change, so let’s try and express ourselves more creatively.
Use your influence to make a difference.