This is not a film I would normally watch. I’ve heard about some of the issues brought up in this film, but never paid them much mind. That changed a few months ago when I found out about the film. The film is basically a documentary on the MRA (Men’s Right’s Activists), and largely focuses on how men can also be the victim of domestic abuse and receive the shit end of the stick when it comes to divorces and custody battles over their children. What makes this documentary unique is that it was made by a (at the time) feminist named Cassie Jaye, who originally intended to make the documentary to cover the MRA, and show how biased, sexist, anti-feminist, anti-woman, etc. that they really are, only to have her views changed by the end of her journey. What made the film truly worthy of my attention is being subject to the one thing I absolutely fucking despise. Censorship. The form of censorship in this case being suppression.
Time for a brief history lesson in regards to this film.
The film was originally funded from Cassie Jaye’s usual funding sources (Feminist sources), but the funding was cut off when her sources found out about the direction she was going with the film. How she changed from being a feminist with the intention of casting a light on the misogynistic (and worse) nature of the MRA, to changing her views, no longer being a feminist, and becoming sympathetic to the plight of the MRA. After her original funding sources cut her funds, she went on Kickstarter to get the rest of the funds needed to finish her film, and the Kickstarter project was successful. Once she finished the film, she tried to get it released into theaters, but feminist groups launched campaigns to prevent the film from being released in theaters. And to an extent, they succeeded, with a combination of political and media pressure through various means, including a petition. Not to mention sites like The Guardian, and various bloggers, who twist the film into being something worse than it is.
But now here we are. On March 7, 2017, The Red Pill was released on video and VOD (I used Vudu to view the film). Any film that has been subject to censorship in one form or another has my attention. And any individual or group which deems it necessary to suppress a film for no good reason will have made an enemy out of me, and will suffer my wrath. In the form of bitching about it on a blog site.
So, onto the film.
The film starts with Cassie Jaye talking about how she became a feminist. She originally wanted to be an actor, but continually got caught up in stereotypical female victim roles, had to deal with plenty of sexist bullshit in that career field, and so decided to become a director instead, and soon a feminist. She had made a few films since 2008, and she eventually found out about the MRA, heard all the terrible things about the movement, it being pro-rape culture, pro-men, anti-women, etc. So she decided to document this group and expose them for what they really are. Except it wasn’t what she expected it to be.
Flashback to September 28, 2013, Toronto, Canada. An MRA gathering for public speaking is interrupted by a large group of pro-feminists (with mostly men in that crowd) shouting, “racist, sexist, anti-gay … MRA, go away!” The film will continue to show other occasions where MRA members and supporters attempt to do other public speaking events, only to be interrupted by other pro-radical feminist groups (only these ones are composed mostly, if not entirely, of women).
Cassie conducts interviews with several MRA members and supporters, including the male who founded A Voice For Men.
“What you’ll hear is that we hate women. You’ll hear that it’s a backlash against women’s rights. You’ll hear that we’re regressives that want women back in the kitchen and making sandwiches and barefoot and pregnant.” — Paul Elam
“When we speak out, women often don’t wanna hear what we have to say. And so then we’re called names, we’re called whiners.” — Joe Manthey
“And this is the way people who don’t want men to talk about issues try to shut us up.” — Dean Esmay
A few facts to throw out there before getting too far into this.
93% workplace fatalities are men.
3/4 suicides are men.
The rate men graduate from college is down to 38%.
Men are sentenced to 63% more prison time than women, for committing the same crime as the woman.
“The idea is that men have all the rights, have always had the power. But if that’s true, why can’t men talk about their problems?” — Elam
“The garbage collector does not get up and 3 or 4 in the morning in the rain, sleet, and snow and get out to do the garbage so he can have more power over his wife. That’s power he’s losing over his life in order to make his contribution, his sacrifice, his way of living. And this has been translated into the culture of, ‘You make more than women do, you must then have more power.” — Warren Farrell
Warren Farrell, author of the book The Myth of Male Power, a book which has a premise that states, “While women are seen as sex objects, men are seen as success objects.”
The film goes on to state how dangerous jobs are comprised mostly of men, jobs such as construction, firefighting, etc. In 2013, 4,584 people died “on the job”, 93% of those fatalities being male, according to OSHA. Men are traditionally seen as disposable, in terms of soldiers in war, workers on dangerous jobs, among other things. Men are traditionally considered to be required to take on these dangerous tasks, otherwise they are useless individuals. This translates to the idea that we (as a society) value male work over female work. Mainly because men tend to take on jobs more dangerous than women, because men are better suited for those jobs, because they tend to be physically stronger than women on average. That being said, it’s also tradition to value female life over male life. After all, haven’t you heard the term, “Women and children first”? The idea being that men are more expendable than women are. This is a mindset that has pervaded American society for a long time.
“Women can not hear what men do not say. — Warren Farrell”
So these traditional roles of men being providers, and women being mothers and house cleaners, have been challenged over the years. And now women have access to everything men have access to, especially when it comes to college and education. However, men still traditionally drive semis, take construction jobs, coal mines, ditch digging, etc. Statistically speaking, there are many more men who have those job occupations than women. The expectations for men have remained the same, while women’s roles have evolved and become much more flexible. But this mindset is there that men are the oppressors, that men have created societies and laws to keep them powerful while keeping women weak. That we live in a patriarchy. This is a dangerous mindset that isn’t true in all cases, arguably not even in most cases.
It is worth noting that only 4% of all Fortune 500 companies are run by men, as is most government bodies. But it’s also worth noting that this is a result of gender roles, including that of traditions that still exist today. The idea that men produce, and women reproduce. Men traditionally got resources for the family, while women helped raise the family. Both worked together in this aspect in the past. Plus consider how much freedom and sacrifice that has to be made to run these jobs, whether being a politician, a semi driver, or a corporate leader. Plus the statistics of how often men die on the job (and commit suicide) compared to women. These sacrifices take up time away from the family, which is something many women aren’t willing to do, hence why men normally do it, plus the tradition that is instilled in men. And speaking of male politicians, just because men pass laws doesn’t mean that all laws benefit only men. Some of them only benefit women.
“Stop pretending that you’re oppressed and that men are your oppressors. It’s a lie, and it’s a hurtful lie, and it’s a hateful lie, and it’s wrong.”
It’s not violence against women that needs to be stopped. It’s violence against both men and women that need to be stopped. Period.
Of course, Cassie Jaye interviews feminists as well, who also voice their opinion on the MRA. In particular, Los Angeles, CA, in Beverly Hills, at the Feminist Majority Foundation. They mostly state that the MRA is a backlash against the gains that feminists have made. That the MRA distort data and spin facts to fit their agenda. The idea that men face discrimination is BS.
Though it is true that, on average, women only make 57-77% of what men make on jobs.
But, then the movie comes to one of two major pieces at about 40 minutes in. How women can take advantage of a man through marriage and custody battles. Fred Hayward’s story. A woman marries him, they have a child, then she divorces him and does a custody battle which she is most likely to win, and does, after 14 years. Not to mention all the cunt stuff she did during that time, how she was obese and thus used that as an excuse to make the child obese, tell the child that his father is a bad man (while in front of daddy), tease the father with the child, not show up to let the father spend time with the child on certain days, etc. And speaking of obesity, the father would try to show the judge that the child fairs worse with the mother by demonstrating that the kid ways less after he spends time with his dad. The father would do activities and put him on a diet to help with his obesity, and teach the kid to weigh himself and keep a record of his weight. The idea being that they could prove that he weighs more from spending time with the mother, and weighs less when spending time with the father. But when they go back to court with this evidence, the judge ruled that the father cannot weigh the child anymore. And he would later on give up on the custody battle after spending 5 years worth of his gross income during those 14 years on the custody battle. Some bullshit!
And according to the 2011 U.S. Census, 81.6% of women win all custody battles. And it doesn’t seem like anyone is noticing this trend in mainstream media that often. You know, I will admit that there are some things that can be improved upon for women in this country, mainly in regards to the income gap issue, since women should be paid just as much as men for doing the same job. However, that doesn’t mean one should ignore things like this. And the worst part is that that isn’t even as bad as stories like this can get. Oh no, a woman can also give the kid up to an adoption center, even if the father wants to raise the child and has the means to. And some women do this just out of spite, not because they believe the husband would be a terrible father. Now, I know there are some father’s who are terrible, and some father’s who are good who actually win the custody battles. But the problem is that many just don’t seem to admit that sexism exists on BOTH SIDES!
Oh, right, and there’s also the issue of women carrying the child, what rights they have with the child. Their possibilities vs. the men’s possibilities. The film makes 2 charts to note the differences between the options a male has vs. the options a female has.
Of course, there’s the issue of if the father is tricked into fatherhood, or isn’t the father. That’s something the film discusses in more depth than I’ll cover in this review. Let’s just say a situation arises where a man could be jailed for not paying child support for a child that isn’t his, as had been proven by DNA tests.
And then comes the 2nd significant part of the movie, which covers men who are victims of sexual assault and/or domestic violence. Having objects getting thrown at them, getting hit with said objects, getting stabbed, etc. And much like custody battles and divorces, the courts tend to side with the women on these matters, even if women can be just as violent as men. Not to mention that most Domestic Violence Shelters (state funded) are only willing to help women, not men, save for one shelter in Arkansas. Let me rephrase that, most of these shelters only help female victims and turn away male victims. Statistically, 1/3 women will be on the bad end of domestic violence by their husband. 1/4 men (43%) will be on the bad end of domestic violence by their wife. Does a huge fucking discrepancy not exist here!?
Oh, and there are women who are also men’s right’s activists (MRAs, in case you forgot). They are known as Honey Badgers.
Lastly, the film spends the rest of the time trying to come up with reasons as to why the gender environment is the way it is, mainly with the way the media portrays tragic news in relation to women vs. men. Tragic news such as how the African terrorist group Boko Haram burned a bunch of school boys to death, while they were inside the school. Killed a bunch of other men and boys, but tended to let the girls live and forced them to run away. But it wasn’t until they kidnapped a bunch of school girls that they received media coverage and outrage over their actions. Outrage that was expressed by Hollywood celebrities, and Michelle Obama. And #BringBackOurGirls. Would’ve been nice if similar outrage was expressed for the many hundreds (if not thousands) of male/boy victims in the 1+ years leading up to the kidnapping of the roughly 200 girls, which Boko Haram did to get attention by world leaders for the record. If harming boys won’t get them attention, they’ll harm a group that will get them attention.
The film basically rounds things out with a few opinions and quotes.
“Feminism has spent the last 50 years demonizing men, which is one of the problems. Feminist scholars have characterized men as inherently violent, inherently bad, inherently predatory, inherently oppressive. They have postulated that masculinity is a disease.”
“Feminists aren’t the only problem. The problems didn’t start with feminism. So when I start criticizing feminism, I want you to know that you’re just part of the problem, that they’re just part of the problem. You calling men oppressors and women oppressed demonizes men, and I believe diminishes women at the same time. It’s a way of telling men to shut up, it’s a way of telling men that they’re experiences don’t matter. You tell a man he’s privileged, therefore anything he’s going through or anything he has to say doesn’t matter. His lived experiences don’t matter because he’s privileged.”
“It’s just… The oppression dialect needs to go.”
“And this [feminism] being a movement is very very concerned about the implications of language. So concerned that if you call a firefighter a ‘fireman’, it will discourage little girls from aspiring to be firefighters. And sometimes discourage grown women from aspiring to be firefighters, by calling them ‘firemen’. But we can call the force for all oppression, we can call that essentially ‘men’, ‘Patriarchy.’ And we can call the force for good and justice women, ‘Feminism’. And that kind of language, that has no implications. We’re not blaming men, we’re just naming everything bad after them.”
“The red pill is about looking at these issues in an honest way, even if it’s uncomfortable. And these things are uncomfortable. But without the willingness to set aside the programming and to set aside the false beliefs about where power is and what women are and who women are… Part of what we do is a pretty serious critique of both sexes. It’s brutal. But critiquing the sexes is a real valuable thing. Feminists don’t want you to do it though, unless you’re portraying women as a victim, and male as the perpetrator. The red pill is about understanding men and women like everything else in life, it’s a mixed bag. You’ve got victims and perpetrators on both sides of the fence. And that’s all. It’s real simple, it’s just not easy.”
So, yeah, sexism. It’s not something that only goes one way anymore than racism is. Sexism goes both ways, against men, and against women. This rage against the idea that women can’t be sexist against men, or that men can’t be the victims of crimes women commit against them, is not a healthy attitude to have. There are cunts and dicks on both sides. Part of gender equality is acknowledging that. Failure to acknowledge that is wrong, and not healthy for society.
The other thing that isn’t good for society? Being silenced, being suppressed, and being censored. Like this film was to a small extent, which apparently had it better than some MRA speakers did.
But on another note, I’m well aware than women are capable of doing the same difficult jobs that men normally do, construction and whatnot. Surely WWII and Rosie the Riveter proved that.
But it can be a complicated issue. Life isn’t fair. There never is a real true balance. But we can only continue to work towards that balance. I believe we are closer than we’ve ever been, but I also think we’re dangerously close to taking a couple steps back.