When you hear "the red pill," what do you think of? For most movie buffs, it's the popular sci-fi film "The Matrix." If you Google it right now, however, you'll find articles to links, trailers and interviews for a new documentary, featuring one feminist's journey into the Men's Rights Movement. Cassie Jaye, the woman behind the film, has experience investigating social movements before, directing award-winning documentaries like “Daddy I Do”, investigating the abstinence-only movement versus comprehensive sex education) and “The Right to Love: An American Family”, following one family’s activism fighting for same-sex marriage rights in California.
At first, she said on Dave Rubin's "Rubin Report", she set out to investigate what she was told was an underground, misogynist hate group, thriving in the darkest corners of the internet. Throughout her journey, however, she encountered something very different. This is the subject of her newly released documentary "The Red Pill."
The title of the film is a reference to the popular subreddit, The Red Pill , one of the most popular outlets of the men's rights movement and its supporters, often referred to as MRAs. The subreddit has over 180,000 subscribers.
The concept of "men's rights" seems strange and unnecessary in a number of modern, social movements. Most feminists would have you think,
Men already have rights. What right's could they possibly need to fight for? Any man fighting for men's rights is clearly a misogynist, pushing back against equality earned by feminists over the last century. It's nothing but a hate group.
As seen in the movie, Jaye interviews feminists along with the MRAs. Most of the feminists she interviews reject the notion that men's rights is a valid social movement. Jaye said on Steven Crowder's weekly show that she thought feminism was just about equality. She said she didn't subscribe to any specific schools of thought, she just believed equality was the central tenant of modern feminism.
While making the film, she said her perception of feminism changed. She said she began to recognize the toxic elements of modern feminism and the growing regressive left.
So, small spoiler alert, Jaye no longer considers herself a feminist. She said on Crowder's show that she thought it was important to remove the label because she no longer agreed with many of the platform positions that make up the modern feminism landscape, such as patriarchy theory.
The film has been met with positive reaction from not only men's rights activists, but also in right-leaning, libertarian and anti-SJW circles. On YouTube, you'll find a growing number of channels dedicated to anti-feminist viewpoints and schools of thought. A large number of men, and more women than progressive media outlets and website would like to acknowledge, are sick and tired of the constant victim and identity politics made mainstream by the media and pop culture.
Jaye's film not only highlights the many issues facing men today, such as domestic abuse and custody rights, but also the absolute backlash it receives from feminists and other leftist social movements.
Criticism of the film has mostly highlighted the documentaries lack of criticism for some of the extreme language coming out of men's rights circles, including the Red Pill subreddit and other MRA websites.
Is the men's rights movement perfect? No. But is feminism? Of course not. See the difference in those supporting the movie and those calling filmmaker Cassie Jaye a misogynist is the role of the victim in both movements. The Red Pill does not attempt to prove men are bigger victims in today's society than women.
Life is not the victim Olympics. People, individuals, can be victims. A woman, or a man, can be the victim of an abusive partner. A woman, or a man, can be the victim of a terrible judge who lets their personal beliefs get in the way of an honest and just ruling. Today, many young boys are faced with unfair standards when applying to colleges and universities, and in some fields, there are far more men working than women.
The Red Pill documentary is just trying to highlight those inequities men face in today's society. Inequities that have just as much right to be acknowledged as any problem woman face at home or in the workplace.
A growing number of tossed the blue pill in favor of the red. As the The Red Pill movie grows in popularity, so will it's following, as well as a new understanding of the modern Men's Rights Movement.