Wearing T-shirts that proclaim you to be a loud and proud #meninst are all the rage these days — but Twitter isn't having it, and wouldn't you know it? They've gone and Photoshopped all those awful #meninist T-shirts to show what a lot of us realistically see when we look at them. And yes, they're as hilarious as you probably think they are. Gird your loins, everyone: We're about to enter into some unpleasant territory. But hey, at least we're going to laugh a lot while we're at it, right?
For those of you unfamiliar with the term "meninist," it's a little... well, odd, and not just because it tends to bring whiny dudes out of the woodwork. It doesn't, for example, appear to have one solid origin story; once upon a time, it was actually a term used to describe men who support feminism. But in 2013, it hit Twitter as a hashtag — and here's where the waters got murky: According to some, it was an attack on feminism; according to others, it was "men creating their own feminism" (whatever that means); and according to still others, it was a joke. These days, it's mostly been co-opted by MRAs; as TIME put it, "the people who use [the hashtag] fall into two camps: People who use the term to call out ways they believe they've been victimized by feminism, and people who make fun of the first group for not understanding what feminism means in the first place." (We can help with that, by the way; here's a handy guide to intersectionality. You're welcome.)
And now, of course, there are T-shirts, because why wouldn't there be? BuzzFeed noted that the t-shirts in question are coming from TeeSpring; there are two different designs to choose from, one of which bills itself as the "official meninist shirt." Some of the folks who have actually purchased these shirts have taken to Twitter to show them off — but Twitter, occasionally wonderful source of comedy that it is, has responded in kind with its collective powers of Photoshop. What may actually be there is a #meninist shirt; but what a lot of us see, metaphorically speaking? It probably looks more like this:
My personal favorite is the #knobhead one, probably because I find "knobhead" to be one of the most entertaining insults ever. Who says comedy has to be sophisticated to be funny? Well played, Twitter. Well played, indeed.
Admittedly, though, these crude jokes may not actually be the best way to fire back at "meninism." As one commenter on BuzzFeed wrote:
"Obviously, the shirts (and 'movement') is annoying. However, what bothers me more is how everyone's response has to deal with 'getting some' from women, implying that men should only care about women's rights because it gets them laid. Really? We have so far to go."
That's actually a good point. In all seriousness, making #knobhead jokes about #meninism probably isn't going to help matters. For that reason, I actually think the last one seen above is the most successful; it actually calls out some of the real issues with the MRA and "meninist" movements. But at the same time, I can understand the impulse to make stupid and ridiculous jokes about something which — I'll be honest — is kind of stupid and ridiculous; believe you me, I am as we speak exercising extreme restraint and trying to keep the cheap shots to a minimum. Sometimes the only way we can cope is to make dumb jokes.
So do with this what you will. For my part, posting #meninist T-shirts on Twitter certainly isn't going to call me over to the cause — but posting #knobhead T-shirts on it will at least make me laugh.
Images: Twitter (5)