Internet generation impacts important debates, issues

Columnist and Columnist

The Internet is a fantastic medium through which we can share our thoughts and ideas with the world instantly.

It, and social media websites like Twitter, have helped us make great progress relating to and conversing with each other.

But it also allows us to witness the less agreeable parts of human interactions.

In England, Oxford University’s Student Union created the Women Campaign, which recently asked both men and women to participate in their “Who Needs Feminism?” project.

Whiteboards displaying slogans explaining why feminism is needed were held up by participators and photographed.

One woman said she needed feminism because she doesn’t “want to see half the population as a minority.”

A man said he needs feminism because, “my sister deserves the same opportunities and standards as me.”

The Twitterverse was abuzz with tweets related to this campaign, but not in its favor.

Instead, users tweeted against the campaign, using the hashtag (I Need Masculism Because) to mock it and assert that feminism is “anti-male”.

The users complained that men need men’s rights campaigns, too, and that men are the ones who are truly oppressed.

Tweets such as “hashtag (I Need Masculism Because) I shouldn’t have to pay for a dinner because of my gender” and “hitting women makes us aggressive and brutal people but when a women hits us it makes her independent and strong.”

There are many things wrong with the hashtag (I Need Masculism Because) ideology.

As one wordpress user, feministaspie, says about the tweets on her blog, the feminist movement was created in response to the harsh gender stereotyping patriarchy upholds.

Feminists aren’t working for women to be the “winners” in a “battle of the sexes”, nor are they “anti-male.”

Feminists are fighting for the equality of all genders.

Both male and female participants in the “Who Needs Feminism?” campaign said they needed feminism for life-altering reasons, such as gendered violence, harassment, discrimination due to stereotyping and double standards.

Males are affected by the patriarchy too, and feminists recognize and abhor it.

Of the more than 470 participants in the “Who Needs Feminism?” campaign, one third are male.

The issues feminists have with our patriarchal society are real and dangerous, unlike some Twitter users’ perceptions of some apparent social law that a male is forced to pay for his and his date’s dinner.

So I was delighted to see both male and female Twitter users “trolling” the hashtag (I Need Masculism Because) tag with why they (sarcastically) need “masculism”.

I was even more pleased to find that users were exposed to blogs and papers about feminism and equality due to the hullabaloo about the tag.

The fact that male and female users ended up conversing and working together over a tag that was created to divide users and spread falsehoods gives me a lot of hope for the Internet generation.

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