I had found it, I had turned off the lights and I was ready. Ready to watch a film that has been labelled ‘misogynistic propaganda’, a film that has been banned and protested, a film that had caught my attention. ‘The Red Pill’ is a documentary by Cassie Jaye that follows her life-altering journey into the world of the men’s rights movement. I had sought it out after reading several articles about screenings of the film being shut down in the socialist republic of Melbourne. The funny thing is, after watching it, I could maybe understand the protests and the women trying to shut it down. That is to say, if they had actually watched the film all the way through.
Because to be honest, it is an uncomfortable film to watch as a woman. It makes you question your role in the world and your perspective on the gender debate. In a more confronting manner, it made me reflect on the history of domestic violence haunting my own family. The truth is always somewhat awkward, it is often painful. It would be much easier to wrap myself up in the safe warm blanket of feminism, to shield myself in the protective thought bubble that this film is ‘evil propaganda’ funded by evil men who hate women. The truth however, is there for all brave enough to witness it.
The documentary is a balanced and well-made film about men’s issues, real men’s issues, which go unaddressed in a world that views any discussion of them as ‘hate speech’. The expectations of masculinity create challenges as real as any feminine stereotype. The film decisively reveals how mainstream culture is prone to consistently overlook men’s issues. In a knee-jerk response, zero-sum radical feminists have tried to shut down the film and the legitimate argument that gender issues are often as dual sided as gender itself.
So, unlike the protestors who choose the easy way out and cling to their comfortable world view, I encourage everyone, especially females to see this film. It may be uncomfortable but most important discussions are.
I am also proud to be hosting and organising and now announcing a screening of the film on campus. BROsoc, Students for Liberty and the USyd Conservative Club are joining together to fight censorship and open the discussion of true gender equality on campus. Click here for the event details.