By Divine Muragijimana

After spending 15 years in the US- it took my coming back to Nairobi to encounter a manist. Yes- that’s right. Feminism has a partner now. And for a movement that seems to be growing teeth, I am just encountering this…out of all the places in the world – Nairobi.

A few weeks ago, at work, I encounter a rather dapper young man who at first glance is the embodiment of a hunter. It is in his eyes, in his walk, his talk….his pride in his abilities (whatever they might be) is written all over him. Basically, if you are a woman and depending on your level of sass or confidence, the man could be the cause of your heartbreak in minutes. I wouldn’t say that there was an attraction, but I was certainly intrigued.

After a week or so, a conversation strikes up and as many men always do these days, he found that my being so open about my thoughts/ideas, and not at all “traditional”, meant that I was a feminist…which by the way I am not.  But I let him carry on the illusion, as he started telling me all about his being a manist.  I almost wish I had a mirror to see my face during the conversation. Shocked, confused, disturbed and mostly dismayed…all those reactions in a matter of a 20-minute conversation.  At the end of the day, I ask myself – What do men have to complain about really? As far as I am concerned, if they don’t have to deal with the monthly crimson wave, or birth pains, then please step back and move on.

But to give this whole idea due diligence…I went to do what I do best – I did more research on this whole “manist”movement.  According to the net, a manist is a “man believing in male superiority” which might not be a whole walk away from manism described as a “a social movement: by men, about men, and for men.” There is also the mention of manists beings in pursuit of equal rights for men. After this, I was completely excited and on board!

Say yes to equal rights for men. Let them now start giving birth to children. It’s their turn after all. I am okay with them wearing skirts (they are halfway there anyways), men should certainly feel empowered to be induced into having that monthly visitor for 5-7 days, I am all for them being equal to women.  I will give them my shoes, if only for them to find out what it means to be equal to us. (Its only fair- non?)

BUT….wait! Are men given so little attention that they have resulted to this movement? Have we (women), failed men so badly that now they want equal rights? But then the question begs to be asked- equal rights for what? One blog mentions something about stereotypes about men…and my reaction? Do we really want to have a men vs. women scenario on the stereotypes bandwagon? I have a feeling women might win this challenge.

So what exactly is this manist movement all about? Unfortunately I have more questions than answers…. so please, will the manists stand up and explain?