Red Pill, The [Blu-ray]
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The Red Pill chronicles filmmaker Cassie Jaye's journey following the mysterious and polarizing Men's Rights Movement. The Red Pill explores today's gender war and asks the question "what is the future of gender equality?" Cassie Jaye’s journey exploring an alternate perspective on gender equality, power and privilege forces her and others to question their own beliefs.
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Top Customer Reviews
Boy, was I in for a surprise.
I will say there are zealots well entrenched in the feminist and MRA camps, those who are clearly out to be heard the loudest. Jaye brought the entire spectrum of both movements to interview, and it painted a light how crucial these groups should be working together in promoting gender equality. Unfortunately, with the "crazies" getting the most attention in mass media with MRA, it removes people from the gender equality discussion who can and should be there. And not so we can tell them they're awful for simply having a penis or having an issue that is platformed in MRA.
The documentary is honest, thought provoking, and brought up issues I never heard about, particularly:
- Father's and a man's rights regarding children [custody[ and [unplanned] pregnancy
- The lack of compassion, understanding, and belief for men who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault
I admired Jaye's openness for describing this internal struggle she experienced, this need and desire to bring up issues she did identify with in reaction to conversations she had with MRA members. And truthfully, as every interview indicated just how far the spectrum went with both groups, there were things said I disagreed on both sides and in some cases interviewees lacked facts to support their claims by simply referring to "data" (this startled me when I noticed most of this was being done in the "feminist" camp), or referring to numbers without referencing additional variables (mostly in regards to how many man died in battle in comparison to women, but that may have more to do with keeping women out of the front line more than anything).
By the end of this journey, Jaye says to the camera "I no longer call myself a feminist." Take it for the grain of salt that it is. I highly doubt she's going to the other extreme, but it does point out fundamental flaws in how we discuss gender issues and this wave of feminism. I still refer to myself a feminist, but I can say my understanding has broadened significantly, and I clearly have much to learn about gender equality.
I will provide a trigger warning, however: there is a video of a circumcision being done on an infant toward the end. I was against circumcision before, but the video (gods, the cries) is not something I'll soon forget in a hurry.
Men aren't asking for pity. They're asking for equality. The film points out the bias of media coverage which ignores countless brutal murders of men while piling onto any women's cause, as in the case of Boko Haram massacring boys for receiving Western education but resorting to kidnapping girls in their desperate attempt to garner media attention. Father's rights are given attention in the film as well. How many of us know a perfectly good father who is only allowed to see his child a few hours a week, yet pays out huge portions of his paycheck to the mother? A close family member of mine was duped into having a child when his girlfriend lied about birth control. Why is it socially acceptable to trick men into having children?
I went through a similar journey as the filmmaker a few years ago, rejecting the dogma of feminism and opening my mind to counterarguments and transparent statistics. I had rejected the cult of the Mormon faith a few years prior to that. It takes a conscious effort and a seed of doubt to address bias, spot propaganda or detect manipulation. It's a shame we need the divisiveness of gendered movements in our day, but for now men need to push for any awareness of the present imbalance. I know firsthand that women can be just as violent as men, and if we were truly compassionate we would seek to treat people of any sex without shame-based assumptions of power.
The cycle of violence starts when a child watches either or both parents being violent or abusive. In our current paradigm, boys learn that asking for help just gets you blamed. Girls learn that they can abuse without consequence, enlisting the aid of a system which assumes men are the danger and hauls them away in handcuffs. I've seen this firsthand as well, when a nonviolent male friend called the cops on his wife who was slapping him while holding their baby. Can you guess which parent spent the night in jail?
I was at a humanist gathering a few years ago where the head of a domestic violence program spoke and passed around handouts of the Duluth Model of power and control, which is shown in this film. It was obvious by the pronouns that this was heavily biased against men as perpetrators and females as victims. In the Q&A session I presented facts from the Partner Abuse State of Knowledge (PASK), which recommends policy changes paying more attention to female-perpetrated violence, mutual abuse, and needs of male victims. "Among PASK’s findings are that, except for sexual coercion, men and women perpetrate physical and non-physical forms of abuse at comparable rates, most domestic violence is mutual, women are as controlling as men, domestic violence by men and women is correlated with essentially the same risk factors, and male and female perpetrators are motivated for similar reasons." When I asked her how they were addressing families who are under-served, like ones where abuse is mutual, she could not give me a straight answer. I was shaking with anxiety, but the male abuse survivor who thanked me afterward made it worth it.
To this day I struggle with comforting the part of me that was abused by both my parents so that I don't lash out at men I love when I'm under stress. I used dissociation as a coping mechanism to survive as a child, but as an adult it is maladaptive. If it weren't for women like Cassie Jaye who can compassionately hold up a mirror to feminists, I might not have accepted that I am responsible for my behavior just as much as men are. We are all worthy of getting help.
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