"The Red Pill": An exercise in feminist navel-gazing
But they are fighting their war in the wrong way.
They attempt to change the system from within, top-down. They try to use the law to equalise the playing field and win back rights for men, so that we don't get divorce-raped by the women that we bring into our lives. This is a noble goal and I admire them for trying to achieve it, but the fact is that they are fighting a losing battle.
I do not quite agree with our friend Adam's view that the MRAs featured in the movie are just a bunch of embittered Gamma males. Paul Elam, for instance, is an articulate and wise man who has repeatedly demolished the myths that our feminised society foists upon us about women.
And I am the last man on Earth who will call someone like Terrence Popp (who is not featured in the movie) a Gamma male- because he isn't one. Gammas don't become infantry non-comms, Army Rangers, and Green Berets, then become world kickboxing champions, then start up their own businesses, and then become Men's Rights Activists.
There is nonetheless a key point here that must be reinforced:
Fighting to achieve equality within this cocked-up crazy system that systematically degrades men is not only impossible, it is madness. This is a war that cannot be won.
Better by far to fight to change the culture, as the Alt-Right insists on doing. As we are winning.
And that brings me to my second major problem with The Red Pill: it barely skims the surface of this movement and all of its various and diverse offshoots.
Ms. Jaye does make a brief effort to outline all of the various subcultures within the vast umbrella that is "the red pill". She skims over the PUAs and the MGTOW movements, and highlights the large collection of wisdom (and nonsense, to be fair) that is available at /r/TheRedPill over at Reddit. (Or at least it will be until Chairman Pao decides to shut down that particular subreddit.)
But that is all there is- a very brief overview. There is no mention of the Alt-Right, which to be resolutely fair was only just really emerging into mainstream consciousness at the time. There is no mention of the "three Rs" of the Manosphere- Roosh, Roissy, and Rollo. There is hardly a word to be found about how the Manosphere is about far more than merely the ongoing destruction of men's rights, and of how much focus it puts on male self-improvement, independence, and freedom.
The reason for this is simple. As a (former) feminist, Ms. Jaye spends a lot of time documenting her understanding of masculinity and how it is being destroyed in the West. She also gives quite a bit of screen-time to critics of the Men's Rights Movement who, quite frankly, have absolutely no idea what the hell they're talking about.
While her devotion to fairness and balance is admirable, up to a point, the fact is that the "other side" can do little other than summon straw-man arguments with no merit whatsoever. Many was the time that I found myself shouting at my own TV screen over the sheer absurdity of what fish-faced whiny feminist "Big Red" had to say, or what Katherine Spillar thought the Men's Rights Movement has to say:
There is much of merit in this film, flawed though it is. Ms. Jaye's strengths as a filmmaker are shown in the calm and careful way that she interviews Mens' Rights Activists without letting her own (erstwhile) feminist biases get in the way. She does not interrupt or belittle those that she is filming, and she maintains a civil and intelligent discourse throughout. She presents the facts and people in her documentary as they are, and more or less lets the viewer make up his or her mind about what was seen.
And Ms. Jaye has done those of us who are free speech absolutists (like me) a great favour: she has stood up for her freedom to talk to and analyse a deeply hated and misunderstood group of people who are simply trying, in their own way, to help their fellow men. For this she is to be rightly congratulated and thanked.
Even so, this movie could have been a lot better. It would have been better in the hands of a less introspective and more forthright filmmaker.
If Ms. Jaye ever does a follow-up to this film, then my respectful advice to her would be to go way deeper down the rabbit hole that she started on, and see where it leads her through the Manosphere. The beauty of the truth is that, once you start trying to find it, you'll never stop, and it will lead you to some truly fascinating places in the process.