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The term meninism was used in the early 2000s to describe male feminists who opposed sexism and supported women's right for equality in society, politics and at work. By the next decade, the term was used on social media to make jokes which mocked and criticised radical feminism. In 2013 the BBC reported that the hashtag #MeninistTwitter was being used on Twitter, first to share jokes about feminism, but later to share more serious difficulties facing modern men. In 2015, Nolan Feeney of Time reported that those who used meninist hashtags "generally fall in two camps: people who use the term to call out ways they believe they’ve been victimised by feminism, and people who make fun of the first group for not understanding what feminism means in the first place".
The term has partially evolved into a movement promoting awareness of issues the movement perceives are affecting men, opposition to the perceived oppression men face in the 21st century, opposition to the way some perceive that men are victimised by modern-day feminism, and occasionally violence against men. Several women identify as meninists.
According to Martin Daubney of The Telegraph, some meninists have used the term to discuss serious issues affecting men, such as domestic violence against men; fathers' rights and divorce issues; and disproportionate male prison sentences, suicide rates, and rates of homelessness. According to Radhika Sanghani of The Telegraph, the hashtag is most commonly used on Twitter to mock feminism, but has also been used as a way to draw attention to men's issues, similar to the "The Red Pill" forum on Reddit. Sanghani says that the movement's reaction to feminism is based more on the label than feminism's views. Abigail James writing for Catholic Online said that while meninism raises legitimate issues which should be taken seriously, it's heart is based on a misinterpretation of the meaning of feminism.
Mintified, an India-based media website, started the #BlameOneNotAll hashtag to discourage generalisations of men. According to Victoria Richards of The Independent, the campaign was part of the meninist movement. The campaign received backlash for shifting focus away from the victims of rape and implying that basic decency should be rewarded. In an opinion piece for The Economic Times Shephali Bhatt criticised the use of the movement and International Men's Day to sell deodorant, saying "...for an initiative to become a social phenomena, it needs to be rooted in truth. And the truth is that [men are] a sufficiently privileged gender, comparatively."
The hashtags have also been used for T-shirts and similar, with self-portraits of people wearing the clothes widely shared on social media. Several outlets reported that the clothes and images were widely mocked, and often Photoshopped sarcastically.
- "MENININST: MEN SUPPORTING THE WOMEN'S MOVEMENT". feminist.com. 8 February 2001. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Kay, Tom Zatar (2003). Out if the Box. Bloomington, IN: Xlibris. p. 62. ISBN 1-4134-1757-4.
- Goldrick-Jones, Amanda (2002). Men who Believe in Feminism. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. p. 179. ISBN 0-275-96822-7.
- Zand, Benjamin (20 December 2013). "#BBCtrending: Feminism v Meninism". BBC News. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Daubney, Martin (29 December 2014). "Will 2015 be the year of meninism?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Feeney, Nolan (19 January 2015). "This Is What Happens When You Show Off Your 'Meninist' T-Shirt". TIME. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Lynch, Alison (25 June 2015). "Women disillusioned with feminism are turning to meninism". Metro. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Sanghani, Radhika (1 February 2015). "Feminists v Meninists: The labels we could all afford to ditch". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- James, Abigail (19 December 2014). "Feminism takes a sharp hit as men fight back with Meninism". Catholic Online. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Richards, Victoria (25 May 2015). "'Don't blame all men for rape' campaign backfires spectacularly". The Independent. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Bhatt, Shephali (26 November 2014). "How meninism campaigns can explain gender inequality against men better". Economic Times. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Warren, Rossalyn (19 January 2015). "People Are Wearing Anti-Feminist "Meninist" T-Shirts And The Internet Has Responded Amusingly". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- Peters, Lucia (20 January 2015). "#Meninist T-Shirts Got a Photoshop Makeover Thanks to Twitter, and It's Glorious". Bustle.com. Retrieved 17 June 2016.