Cassie Says What: The Other Side of the Meninist Coin

Most of us are familiar with the stereotypical meninist. If you've never heard of meninism, it's a repulsive, satirical take on feminism. Meninists attempt to combat feminism by claiming that men are oppressed by modern day feminism. While this is obviously obnoxious to those in the feminist movement, men on the other side of the meninist coin, or those who see themselves as some kind of champion for equality, are just as troublesome, if not worse. Check out the conversation I recently had with a misogynist disguised as a savior at Cassie Wears What. Hello, lovelies!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a sneak peak of this article. Most of us are familiar with the stereotypical meninist. If you’ve never heard of meninism, it’s a repulsive, satirical take on feminism. Meninists attempt to combat feminism by claiming that men are oppressed by modern day feminism. While this is obviously obnoxious to those in the feminist movement, men on the other side of the meninist coin, or those who see themselves as some kind of champion for equality, are just as troublesome, if not worse. 

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Obviously, I enjoy talking to strangers online. If I didn’t, blogging and managing social media accounts would be super hard for me. When randos message me, as long as they don’t send me a dick pic or say something hella creepy, I usually message back. If they end up being giant assholes, I block them. This particular article was inspired by a recent conversation with some dude.

During our conversation, I made a flippant remark about hating summer, because the heat screws up my hair and makeup. Below are the pertinent parts of the conversation, along with my thoughts. Please excuse the awkward spacing, but WordPress is being a douche, and I don’t have the time or energy to play with it.

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Okay, so this dude actually thinks that I care about his opinion on my looks? He thinks that I actually fix my hair and makeup for male attention? God forbid, a woman actually enjoys spending time on her appearance for herself! Why on Earth would a woman have fun playing with makeup, or talking about it with other like-minded women, and the occasional (typically gay) man? And oh my goodness! A man who wants to do away with high HEELS (spell it right, please)? My hero! (I sincerely hope you could hear my sarcasm). Oh lord, that was sexist.

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(I meant “with a messy bun and a naked face,” but I was super irritated, and I didn’t proofread.)

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This response from him was ridiculously long. Sorry, but I have a lot of feelings.

i just have a lot of feelings gif

Yes, makeup and heels were invented by men, but they were initially invented for men. Both were initially used as a sign of status. Cosmetics started with Egyptian men and women using scented oils and eyeliner. Heels were invented for men who rode horses. The heel helped keep their feet in the stirrups. Women in Italy started wearing heels after Catherine de’ Medici chose to wear them for her wedding. Monarchs, both male and female, loved their heels. ENJOYING WEARING HEELS IS LIKE SLAVES ENJOYING THEIR CHAINS?! EXCUSE ME? WHAT? That was possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever read.

Okay, the humanism thing? My reasons for doing what I do are my own. I don’t have to explain myself to anyone, but I do enjoy having the opportunity to educate others. If you feel that makeup, or certain clothes or accessories, would simply be a mask for you, fine! Don’t use them. I won’t judge you! However, to think that someone is somehow lesser than you are makes you a giant dick. And who the fuck are you to say that my carefully curated aesthetic isn’t art? Your lack of understanding does not discredit another person’s convictions. Do I understand Jackson Pollock’s paint splatters? Fuck no! But that doesn’t mean that Mr. Pollock wasn’t an artist.

Now, let’s address the whole concept of women not really being attracted to men. I can honestly say that I have been genuinely attracted to many men in my life, physically, mentally, and emotionally. While I am platonically attracted to women, I have never in my life wanted to have a romantic or sexual relationship with one. If I did, that would be totally fine, but I identify as a heterosexual, cis-gendered woman. To discredit my feelings and attractions as those of a silly, oppressed woman is, in fact, sexist.

As an anthropologist, I can honestly say that the idea that if we took away cultural elements that differentiate women from men, it would still be possible to tell the difference between a man and a woman. Yes, there are many men and women who don’t look stereotypically masculine or feminine. However, there are just as many men and women who are. There are specific facial features that point to one sex or the other. It’s possible to tell if a skull is from a biologically male or female individual. To claim that some hair and makeup can cover up these differences is idiotic.

To say that women perpetuate sexism by wearing certain things is textbook victim-blaming. Way to perpetuate rape culture! Really? The only way to achieve true equality is by moving reproduction out of the bedroom and into the lab? I call bullshit. How can you call yourself a humanist, if you want to go completely against human nature? I honestly have nothing to say about the whole Sesame Street idea, or the concept that saying you’re looking for a boyfriend or a girlfriend is sexist. Those ideas are just too stupid to bother refuting.

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First of all, I don’t know you, and you don’t know me. Who the fuck are you to call me “honey?” That is absolutely sexist. I highly doubt that you would have called a man “honey,” if he didn’t respond to you. What the hell do the British have to do with this conversation? Also, the fact that you do not understand how the reclamation of previously and potentially oppressive matters shows that you are not as educated or enlightened as you think. This is not only something that feminists do. Many other oppressed cultures and subcultures do similar things.

Also, the centerpiece of intersectional feminism is choice. No two women have identical experiences; however, they should all have the right to decide for themselves. This is true when it comes to occupation, marriage, sexuality, children, and, yes, how they present themselves with clothing and makeup. So no, it is not simply a matter of expression. It’s both expression and feminism.

Who the fuck are you to discount my feminism by comparing it to other feminist and civil rights movements? Obviously, those women had, and have, it worse than I do. That does not mean that the issues I face are not important. To completely discount my experiences is a total dick move. Old white men in the government want to dictate what I can and can’t do with my own uterus. Men on the streets think it’s fine to catcall at me. Hell, one of the candidates for president thinks it’s acceptable to grab women by the pussy and kiss them against their will. The other candidate has no problem discrediting and ruining the lives of women who are abused by her own husband. As I just said, no two women have identical experiences. To assume that all women subscribe to the same feminism is, again, sexist.

What is this bullshit about you “helping” women in India? Is that supposed to make me swoon? Well, aren’t you just a knight in shining tinfoil? “So essentially, I’m giving them their makeup and high heels in the metaphorical sense.” Ugh, could you be more of a douche?

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Conclusions

Yes, my final response was bitchy, but I couldn’t take anymore of his word vomit. I suppose my point is, men who consider themselves to be champions for equality actually do more harm than good. At least meninists know they’re sexist. Men who have these “knight in shining armor” delusions simply perpetuate the idea that women can’t even fight for their own equality correctly.

If you are a man who wants to actually help with the fight for gender equality, listen to the women around you. We will tell you what we need and how we feel. Don’t assume that we need you to tell us how to fight our own fight. Don’t assume that you just magically know how to fix our problems or understand our point of view. Research and listen.

Ladies, do you agree with me? Have you ever had men talk down to you about your own beliefs? Gentlemen, are you guilty of making any of the douchy claims that this guy did? Do you listen to the women around you, or do you tell them how they should feel? Let me know in the comments! xo

Gif Credits: Wikia and Tumblr
Feature Image Credit: Amanda Nazzal

  • Mrs Fancy-Pants

    How…..how did you make any sense out of anything he said? You did better than me! He just rambled on! He sounds like someone trying too hard to sound smart.

    • HAHAHA I know right? It just wanted to reach through my screen and strangle him. I can’t handle people who think they’re smarter than they actually are. I always feel the need to cut mansplainers down with my vicious words.