The Red Pill Title

“We have a huge blind spot” – The Red Pill (Film Review)

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In the March of 1946, George Orwell wrote a timeless essay for the Tribune that explored the frequency with which people hold directly contradictory beliefs in their heads.  Within it comes the glorious line: “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle”. All too often, a narrative distorts the truth of the matter – even if the truth is right there for all to see. A blind spot – if you will.

I found myself confronting this blind spot recently after the release of documentary film The Red Pill made by feminist film-maker Cassie Jaye; whose previous documentaries explored LGBTQ+ issues, feminism, and sexuality.

Red Pill Interview Paul Elam

The documentary follows Cassie Jaye’s journey into the world of ‘Men’s Rights Activism’. Known infamously as a hate group, Jaye interviews various members of said group, only to find that far from being confronted with an avalanche of misogyny, she finds herself questioning her own deeply held feminist beliefs. In this sense, Jaye becomes somewhat of an unintentional protagonist in the documentary. Originally, after hearing about the Men’s Rights Movement and their alleged rampant misogyny, the documentary was going to be somewhat of an exposé on the group. But as she talked to the members herself, the ultimate intent of the documentary changed course.

Via interviews with prominent members of the Men’s Rights Movement as well as interviews with notable feminists, the film explores various men’s issues that MRAs believe haven’t been acknowledged. In terms of structure, the documentary progresses through a handful of these issues in chapters; the concept of ‘The Disposable Male’, Custody Rights, Paternity Fraud, Domestic Violence towards Men, and finally a particularly overwhelming segment with Karen Straughan about the ignored massacres of men and boys by Boko Haram; an Islamic terrorist group who, after killing thousands of men and boys over the course of three years, were finally considered note-worthy by Western media in 2014 when 200 girls were abducted – starting the international campaign called ‘#bringourgirlsback’ (a hashtag that was more catchy than the alternative #bringourboysbackwhoopstheyarealreadydeadandwedidnothing).

The Red Pill Toronto Rally

Before hearing about the documentary, I was only partially aware of the Men’s Rights Movement and still viewed the concept in that bemused way. “Why do men need a movement?”, “Haven’t men always had more rights? “, etc. However, the film contains extremely eye-opening statistics that made me confront those assumptions. For example, 93% of workplace fatalities are men, 4/5 suicides are men, men are sentenced to 63% more prison-time for the same crime as women, presumption of guilt for men accused of rape or sexual assault – to name but a few issues.

The Red Pill Cassie Jaye

As Jaye pointed out towards the end of the documentary, “Roughly 78% of suicides are men. If suicide prevention services only served men, wouldn’t we see the discrimination against women immediately?“. Whilst the slew of statistics are terrifying, the key criticism that the film successfully puts across is the cultural blind spot we have with regards to the idea of male victims. In one horrifying segment, Jaye watches footage of a baby boy’s circumcision -revealing the perturbing way in which male genital mutilation is common and almost banal as a concept and yet we all recognise female genital mutilation to be a vomit-inducing evil. (Chat show The Talk once covered a news story about a wife cutting off her husband’s penis due to him wanting a divorce; applause and hysterical laughter from the female panel and audience ensued. It’s truly a sight to see).

The Red Pill isn’t a perfect documentary. Aesthetically it occasionally utilises shots that slightly whiff of an amateur production, let alone the disappointing fact that potential confrontations between Jaye and feminists are always teased but never shown. But if you consider yourself a feminist, or are in any way interested on the subject of gender equality, you should watch this film. At no point do the MRAs in the film assert that women aren’t discriminated against, nor do they doubt the statistics or issues that feminists raise, instead, as Paul Elam says at the conclusion of the film, he just wants it to be recognised that “It’s a mixed bag. There are victims and perpetrators on both sides”. To echo Orwell once again, to see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle, and this film certainly makes that struggle less of one.

 

The Red Pill is available to rent or buy on the following online streaming services: iTunes, Google Play, Youtube Film, Vudu, Amazon, Vimeo, and Microsoft.

  • Hoppy1

    Really enjoyed the movie. Can’t fathom why people tried, and in some cases succeeded, in shutting it down.

  • Mens Rights Sydney

    “Can’t fathom why people tried, and in some cases succeeded, in shutting it down.”

    “People” didn’t. Feminists did. That’s your answer right there. Feminists want nobody to hear anything that counters their narrative and if you attempt to promote something that does, you WILL be censored. Feminists don’t want a discussion, they don’t want a debate, they want to flood the media with their narrative and silence and/or demonise anyone that disagrees.

    These are NOT the actions of people who have confidence in their beliefs. These are the actions of people who fear the truth getting out into the mainstream.

    I encourage everyone to check out the claims made by feminists and by the MRM and see who is relying on peer-reviewed evidence and who is relying on lies and misinformation. Check the evidence for yourself. I think many of you (i.e. those of you who currently profess to be feminists) will be very surprised indeed.

  • Karl William Liebhardt

    feminism- the sharia of gender

  • Amir

    The Red Pill 2016 Movie Review

    Before I even begin to write a review of this documentary / movie, let’s give credit to where its truly due;

    Director: Cassie Jaye

    Executive Producer: Evan Davies

    Producers: Nena Jaye, Anna Laclergue, Cassie Jaye

    Associate Producers: Jake Acer, Paul Cavanaugh, Michael Cernovich, Thomas Ingoglia, Brain and Tanja Snodgrass

    Director of Photography: Evan Davies

    Camera Operators: Nena Jaye, Cassie Jaye, Elliot Holland, Teryl Brouillette, Steve Brule

    Editor: Cassie Jaye

    Composer: Douglas Edward

    Title Designer: Chad Early

    Supervising Sound Editor: Dave Nelson

    Original Music by: Red Alpha

    All of the above did an awesome job to produce a phenomenal movie. Hats off to everyone individually. Oops, they don’t have an emoticon for “hats off” in text yet.

    As a suicide counselor for more than two decades, I can easily connect the dots between my male clients (I don’t charge them fees but still could not find a better word) and the men’s issues raised in the movie. This movement has not even grown out of its infancy stage and there are already two splinter groups i.e. MGTOW (men go their own way) and Reddit’s THE RED PILL.

    Without getting into gender politics or my own personal take on men’s rights, I’d stick to the actual review of the movie. As a feminist, when she takes a genuine look into the men’s world, it confuses the hell out of her. Throughout the movie, she continues to express her frustration between the two points of views. And in the end, she actually loses her own feminist ideology. Its not clear if she actually joined the men’s movement or pretty much decided to stay neutral towards both. But she did a great favor to the men’s rights movements by taking an initiative alognwith her awesome team of producers.

    Erin Pizzey is a living proof since 1971 how difficult it is to raise a voice for men’s issues. In one of the old video recordings featured in the documentary, the very women who took refuge in her USA’s first Women’s Refuge house, admitted of being physically violent women towards their own men. That was an eye-opener especially when it was more than 40 years old. If women were physically that abusive back then, imagine how the feminist movement since then has affected an average woman’s mind towards committing violence against men today.

    If I was a woman and I watched this movie, I’d become more forgiving towards men than following the popular culture’s lead onto hitting a man whenever I feel wronged. The whole system (including legal and social) is behind me to wrongly accuse men, after all.

    Even though Cassey Jaye’s selection of interviewees was more weighted towards men’s rights (understandably), what surprised me was her inclusion of some feminists, even extremist feminazis to present a balanced view. Unfortunately, when given the opportunity to defend feminism, none of the feminist interviewees did an impressive job.

    From the men’s rights point of view, I particularly liked the interview of Fred Hayward of Men’s Rights Inc. His was truly a tragic personal life’s backdrop that inspired him to become attracted to this new movement.

    The real gem of the whole movie is the interview of Harry Crouch, Founder of NCFM. His office actually showcases the heart-breaking pictures of the fathers who committed suicides due to biased court system and many other harrowing statistics of crimes committed against men by women. A couple of seconds view of his office truly impressed me about his dedication and professionalism into following his cause.

    Lastly, when I saw Cassie Jaye’s tears due to tragedies happening to men, an idea came to my mind. She should try to make an equally awesome movie about Feminism today. This will sort of neutralize her soul’s pain seeing only one side of the coin. Her feelings are genuine, so are her tears. I am sure those tears will flow equally the same when she will hear same sort of tragedies happening to women of today.

    I don’t know about Cassey Jaye’s audience much, but she did showcase her own growing intellectually very well through this movie / documentary. Hats off to her too (if I forgot doing that in the opening paragraph).