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Hear Me Out: Reverse Sexism

Question: What are your feelings on reverse sexism?

Every elementary school had a girl who only had guy friends. She played sports during recess, wore basketball shorts, never cared what other girls thought of her and therefore earned the title of a “tomboy.” I was not that girl. However, I envied her.

By the fifth grade, I understood the social capital associated with maleness. Most of my teachers were women, but the principal was almost always men. Dads always coached my basketball and volleyball teams, not moms. I knew of so many families where the women cooked amazing meals at home, however, men worked as the head chefs in most restaurants I went to. 

As a ten-year-old, I picked up these minuscule clues insinuating my worth in society. The excruciatingly clear messages from my peers also hurt. Kids made juvenile comments such as “boys are stronger than girls” or “boys are smarter than girls.” I learned to tune out the noise and attribute these remarks to simple stupidity as a defense mechanism. 

So, I envied the tomboy because of my observations and because of the narratives we perpetuate onto young girls. I wanted the boys who played soccer and video games and rode skateboards home from school to accept me, because at the end of the day I knew they had a better chance of having a powerful position in life than I did. 

At this age, I did not understand the concept of feminism as a political movement. I did not understand the supposed radicality of advocating for equal pay, respect and basic human rights. It all seemed natural to me. However, not everyone shares this belief.

According to dictionary.com, a meninist is “is someone who believes men are victimized by feminism and that attention needs to be called to what they believe are the struggles of being a man in the 21st century.”

I have no desire to argue about feminism. If someone does not want women and men to have equal rights there is nothing I could say to sway them one way or the other. The first time I heard about meninism it made my skin crawl, but I was not surprised.

Other than meninism’s tendency to negate thousands of years of human history where men did not treat women as equals, I feel as though its primary problem is its lack of perspective.

Without attempting to understand the perspectives of people of a different race, gender or economic status it would be easy to play the victim. When people do not believe the issues of others exist in the first place, I also expect them to feel defensive when minorities receive attention because of injustice. If a person does not step into the shoes of a person less fortunate than them, of course, they would come up with a baseless movement such as meninism.

I enjoy having male friends of all political backgrounds, I really do. They provide different perspectives during discussions, a healthy dose of sports education and basic shenanigans to my life. There is an ongoing joke with a few of my male friends that I an sexist toward them which inspired this column. 

While my friends will inevitably continue to pester me, it does not matter. It would be a waste of my time and energy to spend time combatting the arguments of anti-feminists who do not have my best interest at heart. Sometimes, the best response to an untenable topic is simply to move on. 

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