Feminists Find ‘The Red Pill’ Hard to Swallow

Intellectual humility—the acknowledgement that the truth is more important than your version of it—requires you to be open-minded enough not only to listen to an opposing viewpoint but to be willing to change yours when you are wrong. It is a quality in short supply and sadly undervalued in our age of arrogance. Filmmaker and former feminist Cassie Jaye not only possesses that sort of humility but was willing to risk documenting a profound ideological transformation in her latest film, a highly controversial documentary about the men’s rights movement.

“Have you ever been through something,” Jaye begins the film, “and you don’t know what just happened, but you know it was important to go through? This was that journey for me.” That admission signals that this film is as much about her personal struggle to come to grips with her topic as it is about the topic itself.

The Red Pill, out recently via streaming services and on DVD, began as a critical look at the Men’s Rights movement from the perspective of a feminist activist. But as Jaye explored the topic she found the Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) among her interview subjects, both men and women, unexpectedly sympathetic and their complaints surprisingly legitimate. “When I decided to make a film on the men’s rights movement,” she states in the movie, “I never anticipated questioning my feminist views. But the more MRAs I met, the more I felt compelled to remind myself why I was a feminist.”

The title of the documentary comes from the cultural meme of the “red pill/blue pill” scene from The Matrix, in which Morpheus offers Neo the choice between a blue pill, which would allow him to live in the comfortable fantasy world of the Matrix, or the red pill of harsh reality.

Jaye learned that the blue pill in the context of her topic is a misandrist perspective which so dominates the culture that men’s rights concerns are scorned as privileged patriarchy and whiny misogyny. The truth that Jaye uncovered is that men are unfairly discriminated against in family courts; they are turned away by all but one out of 2,000 domestic violence shelters; and they are overwhelmingly the victims of everything from workplace accidents and criminal violence to drug addiction, unemployment, and suicide. Attempts by MRAs to bring such issues into the national conversation are dismissed.

When asked what she has to say about the points raised by MRAs, a feminist activist who goes by the moniker “Big Red” and is proud of her profane verbal confrontations with men tells Jaye, “Cry me a river.” Katherine Spillar, an executive editor at Ms. Magazine and an executive director of the Feminist Majority Foundation, flatly denies that the men’s rights movement has any validity. Rather than concede, for example, the statistical evidence that women constitute a surprising percentage of domestic batterers, she dismissed even the gender-neutral term “domestic violence” as just another word for “wife-beating, ‘cause that’s really what it is.”

The unsympathetic denial which characterizes so much of the feminist response in The Red Pill began to unsettle Jaye. The documentary includes excerpts from her video diary recorded during the making of the film, in which she tearfully confesses at one point that her feminist worldview is beginning to crumble. “I don’t know where I’m headed with what I believe, and what is right and what is wrong, and who is wrong and who is right . . .” By the end, Jaye affirms that while she does not have all the answers, of one thing she is certain—she no longer calls herself a feminist.

Once the rumor began spreading that the film would present a balanced and possibly even sympathetic perspective of the men’s rights movement, not only did Jaye have to resort to using crowdfunding to finish financing the film, but screenings of The Red Pill were met with fierce protest. The Australian premiere in Melbourne was cancelled after a petition circulated calling the film “misogynistic propaganda.” A private screening in Ottawa was cancelled after longtime patrons and a sponsor threatened to stop doing business with the theater if this reportedly misogynistic event went forward. No one who protested the film had seen it.

Sage Gerard, an executive for of A Voice for Men, tells Jaye in the film, “It’s so hard to convince people to look at men’s rights’ activism supportively without first allowing them to at least escape the stranglehold that feminism has on their minds. I do believe it is dogma, it’s zealotry.” The radical feminism which has led to such misandry, says Gerard, “is based on hate.”

“There are so many perspectives on gender,” Cassie Jaye concludes in The Red Pill, “and I believe they’re all worthy of listening to. However, the conversation is being silenced. For society to accept anything being said on behalf of women’s rights and then to shame any dialogue about men’s rights and call it hate speech, is precisely the problem.”

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  • Pewpschute

    This is possibly one of the most important films of this decade. Seriously, don’t buy the hype and hate, just watch it.

    • Malcolm Newall

      There is a reason that so many instinctively fear and hate it, sight unseen. They are at some level aware that it could completely overturn their perspective, and that of so many others.

      The issue of course, is that many men are already there, and most younger men. We can change course, or very few men will feel safe around women, especially in relationships.

      • Bob

        “They are at some level aware that it could completely overturn their perspective, and that of so many others.”

        This is why supplying people with facts often doesn’t work – they won’t read them. They are too invested in their world view being absolutely correct.

        • Malcolm Newall

          Yes, this is usually the case, until they cannot get past that something they themselves really want is in jeopardy. The presentation of men on strike, seems to have altered a lot of perceptions and brought a lot of people up short – because they suddenly had an explanation as to why they were not going where wanted. The thing is that a lot of women are not suddenly awake, and just starting to be willing to speak. However the reality is, they are being forced to change perspective, and well, when they adopt the new one, it appears to create a real awareness that their interests also lie in this direction. Cognitive dissonance is hard to overcome – but no one is as enthusiastic as a convert.

          • Eric Hamell

            Nitpick on terminology: it’s not cognitive dissonance, but practiced cognitive dissonance avoidance, that’s hard to overcome: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance I became acquainted, and fascinated, with the concept in college because, correctly understood, it can be deployed to help change people’s behavior (for both good and ill). So it was irritating that, when I first started seeing it used outside the academic context, almost immediately the incorrect usage, which lacks the dynamic implications of the correct one, came to predominate.

      • Jeff Bridges

        For me and most men there isn’t even the possibility that we would be ‘shocked’ to find out ‘X’ about women in the reverse. Why? Because all we’re told about in the MSM is about women’s problems. And now after learning all the horrifying truth about women ACTUAL behavior, none of that ‘shocks’ or surprises me either.

        There is nothing I could possibly learn about women’s issues that hasn’t been talked about ad nauseum for decades, while women are COMPLETELY IGNORANT of men’s problems, which only demonstrates just how INSANELY SELF ABSORBED women are. Including the maker of the film. I’m sorry, but I’m not in any big hurry to call someone who didn’t even know men had problems a ‘hero’ and give her accolades. Please.

        • Malcolm Newall

          I would argue, that she can be, because she managed to so utterly change her perspective, in a society, that wanted her to ignore what she found. However, the major thing is, she persisted, even when her funders pulled the money, because of where it was going. She stood up for truth, when she was told she would not get any funds if she went that way, and her career would be over.

          • m a

            She wasn’t afraid of truth, she was honest in seeking out the truth and not just confirmation of what she already believed.
            A rare and admirable trait in anyone.

        • Aaron M

          Heroine.

          And they are named as such because of where they end up, not where they started.

          • Eric Hamell

            Remember Ben Franklin’s dictum: “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”

        • VRiftist

          The director is now an outcast from her previous circles. All she had to do was stop, and all could back to normal: getting financing, accolades, kind press. Instead she pressed on to be a heretic. She did this in service to others, because it was right. Such self sacrifice is the definition of heroism.

  • Bruce

    SO, is use of the word “Feminazi” really that unfair?

    • Honordads

      A fair characterization for a few of them, yes.

      • Acksiom

        Femelitist.

    • Pakvi Roti

      I also like Femmunist.

    • CruisingTroll

      Yes, it is unfair. To the Nazis. The Nazis had the “decency” to limit directing their hatred towards less than 10% of the human race. Modern feminists, on the other hand, direct their’s at half the human race.

  • The Weary Misanthrope

    Also, there are A LOT more homeless men than women, yet more funding goes towards shelters for women.

  • TheDoctorsWife

    The Red Pill is a beautiful film that can really help open up the much needed dialogue on gender issues and hopefully force people to recognize their lack of compassion for men and boys.

  • JP

    I haven’t seen it but i would like to. I read a lot by Christina Hoff Summers who talks a lot about the mistreatment of men by feminism. If you guys like the movie, I bet you would like her work too.

  • Fielding Melish

    Feminists are another group of victims in the left’s role-play of identity politics. It’s the entire foundation of the Democrat party.

    You have to be a member of a victim group to participate in the spoils offered by Democrats.

    Thus, if your identity is challenged, you must find yourself in another victim group or be banned from participating. You lose out on the spoils promised by the party. This is just too difficult a transition for most to deal with.

    • andrewmlale

      And that is why the Democrat party is now absolutely contrary to the spirit of democracy- equal involvement by all members of society equally. And that is why it may well have to be destroyed. There was a recognition in the mid-20th century that Communism was a cancer- that it destroyed every other form of political activity wherever it could- and it is time to recognize the Democrat party as totalitarian in the same way as the Communists were.

      • Pakvi Roti

        That’s because the Democrats are Communists. The CPUSA has endorsed their last three presidential candidates. The CPUSA also openly proclaims the Democrat Party as theirs.

    • Eric Hamell

      They do this to avoid addressing the only identity that is actually defined by victimization — proletarian. IDP is a program for systematically diverting people’s attention from class in any meaningful way, on behalf of the Democrats’ corporate funders. As socialist Chris Hedges recently put it, “It was always about patronage, not revolution.”

  • Ignatius J. Reilly

    I contributed (fairly significantly) to the Kickstarter campaign for this film. I’m glad that it is out and reaching people. Don’t just read the article, go see the film itself.

    • Singlemalt

      Well done.

  • klgmac

    If feminists are true to their calls for equality, there should be no more “women’s” sports. There should be one team in each sport, and let people compete.

    • AKM

      The sort of equality they want is equality of outcome though. They’d still expect at least 50% of the athletes to be female and for those women to win at least 50% of the time. After all, everything men can women can do better… or something.

      • George Strong

        Equalism and social justice are pure evil.

        • Cam

          So what you mean is that even the possibility that people may be judged as equals and not by ridiculous things such as gender, race or sexuality scares you in some way?

      • klgmac

        “The sort of equality they want is equality of outcome though.”

        That is exactly right on and not discussed enough. It’s the difference between Conservatives, who want equality of opportunity, and Progs who want equality of outcome, as you say.

        • Eric Hamell

          There are very few conservatives who really want equal opportunity. To achieve that, we’d have to abolish hereditary wealth. Real equal opportunity requires libertarian socialism.

          • klgmac

            And genetic modification. You are up for that right?

    • John C. Stephens

      The trannies are working on that.

    • Cam

      That would be probably a bad idea, as men and women have different biology. It’s more weird to me that most of modern equality movements refuse to acknowledge that as if it would be too harmful to the public to admit that due to testosterone levels, men tend to be stronger than women (although of course there are many cases individually that don’t follow the pattern). So it is more fair in the end to have women’s teams and men’s teams.

  • roastytoasty

    The women’s rights movement morphed from fighting chattel-slavery into just one more redistribution scheme. MSM, Democrats, RINOs, bureaucrats, lobbyists, etc. have spent trillions attempting to mold the minds of U.S. citizens into a malleable collective.That Trump exists now as President means their tactics are not as effective as they once believed. The weeping and wailing on Election night is proof of their astonishment & dismay.

    So now what? The Establishment is doubling down on divide-&-conquer. FakeNews stories abound: conflict, controversy, in-fighting & betrayal. The Collective MUST break the confidence of Trump’s supporters. If they fail to do so, millions of blue-pill people will see for themselves (whether they want to or not) how badly they have been duped, exploited & dumbed-down by “the government” they were so carefully taught to trust.

    • CruisingTroll

      The women’s rights movement morphed from fighting chattel-slavery
      Dood, (if you’re a dude), they were NEVER fighting “chattel-slavery.” Not in the US. Not in Western Europe. Anybody who tells you otherwise is attempting to sell you a stolen bill of goods. If you believe that, then you need a Red Pill refresher. There is a massive gulf between “chattel-slavery” and the status of women in the West when the “women’s rights movement” arose, a gulf that has only gotten larger.

      • roastytoasty

        At this point the mighty Feminist Movement is one of many other divide & conquer tactics employed by The Collective. From what little history I’ve read on the subject, married women in America before the Civil War weren’t allowed to own property. I don’t know about the single women. I reckon their daddies looked after them until they married. Propertied men not women wrote the Declaration of Independence & The Constitution. Propertied men not women fought the war of independence and organized the government. Things have being going steadily downhill as the Voting Franchise has been steadily degraded. Now the genius California State Government is planning to lower the voting age to 16. Imagine hundreds of thousands of illegal, illiterate immigrant children “voting” in California. lol.

    • Singlemalt

      RT
      I’ve been doing this for a while (had a compuserve account). You have neatly distilled America’s politics into two short epic paragraphs. One of the best comments I have ever read.

  • Singlemalt

    This topic definitely need more mansplaining.

  • Singlemalt

    I read several years ago that 95% of all work place deaths happen to men.

    We hear about the wage gap – never about the death gap.

    • MooCow

      Be careful about those kinds of comments. The government might decide to try to fix it. I can see it now, per federal regulation, if a man is hurt at work the supervisor has to go find a woman and shoot her in the foot.

      • CruisingTroll

        No, no, no.

        if a man is hurt at work the supervisor has to go find a woman and shoot massage her in the foot. feet.

        Fixed that for ya. We can’t have the patriarchy burdening the poor strong woman with the stress of an injured coworker, now can we?

      • patriarchal landmine

        how to detect a white knight.
        they seriously believe equality will ever be implemented against women.

  • Singlemalt

    Link now resides in my Bookmark Hall of Fame.

  • Reminds me of the marginal notes in the pastor’s sermon. “Point weak here. Raise voice and bang on pulpit.”

  • George Strong

    Read Heartiste, Vox Day and Roosh, among others, to get the Red Pill.

    • Eric Hamell

      That’s “red pill” in a different sense. It has nothing to do with the men’s rights movement. Roosh, in particular, is quite hostile to the MRM.

      • George Strong

        The MRM will continue to fail until the welfare state is dismantled and men demand more from women before they marry them (like chastity, for one thing). The Alt-Right must reign.

        • patriarchal landmine

          we can’t even get women or judges to allow paternity tests in court.

        • Foster Hampton

          Is this sarcasm?

          • George Strong

            Nope.

          • Foster Hampton

            Good luck in life kiddo, you’re going to need it.

          • George Strong

            Thanks for your concern, cuck.

    • Hillarious!

  • Estoy Listo

    Anyone who’s lived through the “womens movement” of the last 60 years knows just how profoundly womens’ options and social freedoms have changed–it’s unprecedented. And yet, the men who changed in kind (as the overwheling majority of men have) remain villians. It passes strange.

    It’s important to seek justice and support for men in trouble, as we might in response to the high mortality of older men, but it’s just as important for me not to see myself as a victim or a part of a political identity group, That gives me the creeps.

  • Tom_in_SFCA

    So what you’re saying is that women are demanding, emotional and impervious to facts or reason?

    • Russell Smith

      I think it’s more that dogmatic feminists are. Women are just as reasonable or unreasonable as any man.

    • Tim L.

      Think of a man, and take away reason and accountability.

      Just kidding, ladies.

    • Mukram

      Yes… women are demanding, emotional and impervious to facts or reason.

  • Micha_Elyi

    The feminist attempts to shout down and name-call the film are an opportunity for a sequel. Working title: Rebuilding the Mound.

  • Ab

    I think the problem I have with this perspective is that true feminists have known all along that feminism in part addressed discrimination against males as well. We have many accidents of language; gender rights started in the female community, so “feminism” became the term. But the goal of feminism addresses men’s rights concerns: The right to be the primary caretaker or custodial parent, the right to be emotional, the right to court protection from domestic violence – it’s all covered in gender equality. So why would the filmmaker choose to stop being a feminist, when feminism is about gender equality?

    Other items were just weird. Men are “the primary victims of unemployment” because they are more likely to have jobs that afford them unemployment benefits.

    • Parson J

      Except feminist groups have lobbied against presumptive, rebuttable joint custody legislation and shelters and services for male victims of domestic violence.

      They have also lobbied to keep on the books antiquated laws that allow for lifetime alimony in the event of divorce.

      Not to mention feminist groups all over N. America have tried to shut down screening of this film in multiple Canadian and US cities.

      Your depiction of feminism addressing men’s concerns is completely wrong.

      • Ab

        Evidence for your claims would be nice, but of course “feminist groups” encompass a wide range of groups with various agendas. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed in these comments – comments in general – it’s a tendency to clump everyone together indiscriminately. Yes, there are abusive “feminist” groups, just as there are abusive “men’s rights” groups.

        Hopefully, your intelligence – and mine – keeps us out of groups like that, and keeps us moving towards the goal of fairness to both genders. One way to get rid of that mutual abuse, of course, would be for us (both of us) to avoid characterizing all feminist groups as being a certain way. I usually try to do that by distinguishing “true” feminism from “victim feminism” or “chauvinist feminism.”

        Our greatest enemy in understanding the other gender is stereotyping. And I certainly recognize that there are abusive people in all groups. But I hope that people who are sincere about gender equality would not engage in the behaviors you describe. I have not, and no one I know has. I know women such as you describe are out there, though, just as I know abusive men are out there.

        I hope you and I – and others on this thread – choose to support, and not abuse. Peace on you, Parson J, and I hope you will see the more just and fair aspects of feminism in a more positive light.

        • Cata Oprea

          Gender equality ? Oh that’s meninism,it means the same as feminism but it starts with “men” instead of “fem”.
          Does that bother you ?
          Feminism is a movement not about Gender Equality (Not even the first wave was) but about making women equal to men in a time when they were considered not.Women wouldn’t speak against it because they considered it normal and the feminist movement helped them see it for what it was,unfair.
          Now it’s 2017,and let me tell you,the tables have turned,women have a better life than men,if you dare say the opposite,I’m sure your morality will punish you.
          Men don’t have the opportunities the females have,because since the feminist movement the First World constantly tries to give and do more for women,doing nothing for men (There isn’t a rape line for men,because they’re supposed to enjoy when a woman,just like a man,can drug and rape them…that doesn’t sound mysoginistic at all….women can get pregnant from rape you say ? Men can get a disease that can kill them later)
          The Third World is built on the idea that Man is superior to Woman
          The Second world never needed a feminist movent because women were always considered equal and in return men weren’t demonized.
          The Third World is considered the worst to live in and is considered to be ruled by men
          The First World is considered the best to live in and is considered to be ruled by Females
          The Second World is the true equality,ruled both by Women and Men
          In a first world country that seeks to make a better life for women only,saying that “Feminism” is needed because equality is needed and women aren’t equal (Ironic) is disgusting. Even the dogma of feminism contradicts itself,just like a religious dogma.
          In Eastern Europe (Second World,live in it) the American Feminists are considered terrorists that assault America (I have no reason to lie,I’m from Romania and I’m in Eastern-European groups,feminism means terrotism to both men and women in my country)
          Basically,Feminism is not the idea of equality,it’s the idea of women being equal to men,and Modern day Feminism is the idea that women are above men,sugarcoating “equality” so men won’t shut them down,because we all know how a war between men and women would end. (That’s why the Third World offers nothing to women,because by power they can subdue them)
          I would say more,but I need to attend to my wife’s needs. (Ironic isn’t it ?)
          If you’d like evidence Google is a few clicks away from you,if you don’t want to document yourself or “search for research”,I can direct you to some official world-wide pages,not blogs or other perspective opinions.
          One more thing,if you truly want Gender Equality,don’t call yourself a feminist,just like you don’t name a ketchup you’ve made “Mustard”.
          Equalitarianism means equality,it starts with “Equal” not with “Female”,let’s not be hypocrites,right ?
          It was a pleasure.

          • Ab

            Well, you put a lot of victim-posturing word salad in there, but we’ll let that go. The thing about language is, there are a lot of accidents of language: the default “he” pronoun, the word “mankind” and so on. This is just another. Let’s be adults and get over it, okay? Or not. We all make choices about it. I’ve made mine: to be an adult about the fact that language evolves and is not planned or conspired. You can make your own separate choice to whine and complain about it. People in both genders make both choices. Go ahead and feed the vicitim mentality, or be a grownup and try to put an end to it

          • Cata Oprea

            I honestly think you’re either mentally ill or you try to….seem intelligent but fail at it,yes I’m insulting you,why ? Because what you answered me with makes no sense,it has no connection to your original comment,to my comment,to anything,so which is it ? Want to be an adult and get on with it ? What does feminism do today other than crying and whining and being the victim ? Are you serious ? It’s all on TV,here,have 1000 links with feminists: demanding,asking for,wanting,waiting for,etc etc etc,again,you’re telling us we’re bothered by feminism,of course we are,being a feminism means to bother people,that’s what you do,what about the “kill all men” ? Let me guess,you’ll start talking non-sense again to avoid the question,so let me be blunt: If you were born in the middle east,you would be looking at the ground everyday not moving a muscle when your husband walks by,you wouldn’t leave the house without being fully covered,frankly you’re not,and that is NOT thanks to feminism,it’s thanks to society and men in that perspective society,be completely trigged “oh adult”.

        • Parson J

          Evidence for your unsubstantiated claims does not exist.

    • Piers

      I think it is a perverse logic to say such prominent feminist organisations such as the Feminist Majority Foundation aren’t true feminists. If most of the leaders of the feminist movement aren’t true feminists in your eyes then perhaps you should reconsider calling yourself a feminist as Cassie Jaye did

    • Alan Winter

      The most balanced and articulate comment in this thread, imo. Thanks.

    • DreadlordCthulu

      There is this thing called ‘Evolution’, and it happens to more than just living things. Yes feminism started off being something positive and needed, then when it became face to face with a world that did not need ‘feminism’, it decided that instead of changing into what the world needed it to be ‘Gender Equality-ism’ it stayed as it is and grew corrupt and festered in itself. Feminism should of died, so that it could of been reborn as a phoenix known as ‘Gender Equality-ism’ but instead, its simply the festering husk of an echo of what it was meant to be. A collection of angry and hateful ghosts thrashing about against the world while those around it still revere it to be a god. . . dess.

  • sestamibi

    Taking the Red Pill means coming to understand that feminism is nothing more than an effort to have women do to men what they say that men have done to them for centuries. It’s about power and nothing else.

    In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell’s antagonist O’Brien of the Inner Party taunted his victim Winston Smith by offering and image of the future: a boot stamping on a human face, forever. What he didn’t say was that the boot would be a stiletto heel and the face would have a beard.

  • Frank Delta

    its balanced & not misogynistic, feminists should have nothing to fear

    • svartalf

      Ah, but they don’t WANT balanced. They want to perpetuate the myth that they’re all VICTIMS. They don’t want to lose their own little privileged bullshit where they can, at the drop of a hat, **LIE** about a whole host of things and be instantly believed without validation. There’s a lot of people that’re tired of the lies, the bullshit. And it’s NOT coming from the men…

      • Alan Winter

        Sorry, you sound as blamey and absolutist as the ‘theys’ you’re pointing the finger at. Many of them don’t want that, etc, etc.

        • DreadlordCthulu

          you sound like a woman on a men’s account trying to act as if by pretending to be a man online you can convince men reading to believe you and change their world view. The moment you say “protect women from abuse” instead of “END domestic abuse” is the moment you show favoritism of one side, indifference to the other, and cease in the pursuit of equality. Then your best bet is to cry out vengeance, it would be more honest.

          • Alan Winter

            I think you posted this in the wrong comment. I didn’t say any of those things you referred to.

  • Alan Winter

    I don’t deny that we men disproportionately suffer all kinds of societal ailments, but most of these seem to me inherent in the system that WE built and fight to maintain — either as an integral part of that system, or in open rebellion to it. To claim we’re victims of patriarchy is like a drinker blaming booze when his liver blows out after 30 years of hard partying.

    • sri raam

      Oh yes, The school boys that were burnt by boko haram, the garbage man that walks on my street and the mentally ill homeless guy on my street are trying to maintain the patriarchy./s

      Why is it that people like you lack empathy? You can show empathy to battered women AND homeless men. Ever thought about that?

  • Alan Winter

    P.S. It’s amazing how many men in this conversation have just as absolutist perspective as the feminists they decry. THEY ALL WANT BLAH BLAH THEY ALL VICTIMS THEY ALL LIE yada yada.