"The Red Pill": An exercise in feminist navel-gazing

Cassie Jaye's much-discussed and commented-upon documentary, The Red Pill, popped up in my Amazon Prime list of recommended movies last Sunday, and I figured that given everything that I had heard about it, both good (from my fellow Manospherian shitlords) and bad (mostly from the ugly stupid screeching blue-haired land-whale feminists- but I repeat myself), I owed it to Cassie and her considerable efforts to bring this documentary to life to give it a fair-minded look.

For those of you who have not seen it, take a look at the official trailer:


The trailer pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the movie, to be quite honest. The whole movie consists of about two hours of a woman trying to come to terms with how men's rights issues affect her.

Let's be very clear about one thing: what Cassie Jaye has made is one of the very, very few attempts by any mainstream filmmaker to present the Manosphere in general, and the Men's Rights movement in particular, in any kind of evenhanded fashion. This is all the more remarkable given that Ms. Jaye went into this little experiment of hers as a strong feminist. (Admittedly, as our friend Adam the Gentleman Adventurer has pointed out, there is NO SUCH THING as a moderate feminist.)

It is to Ms. Jaye's immense credit that she went into the making of this film with as close to an open mind as a strident feminist can manage- and this was enough that, by the time she came out of the other side of that particular "rabbit hole", she no longer called herself a feminist.

And as she herself pointed out, "taking the red pill" significantly improved her relationship with her man, because she finally realised that her natural role as a woman became clear to her.

This is all to the good. I am truly and genuinely delighted to see another woman "awaken" and leave the mental asylum that is the feminist movement behind. Lord knows, we need more like her to walk away from the lies and insanity of that movement.

The problem with the film, though, is that it concentrates mostly on the MRA aspect of the Manosphere, without ever going very far into what the Red Pill really is, and why it is so powerful, so destructive, and so liberating.

I have immense sympathy for the MRAs. Several men whose content I watch and enjoy- such as Terrence Popp, for instance, whose book, The Warrior's Way and the Soldier's Soul, I am currently reading- call themselves Men's Rights Activists. I admire and laud their goals of attempting to rectify absolutely unconscionable abuses of justice within the family court system. They have brought to light the utter destruction of the rights of free men everywhere within our modern feminised Western societies, and for this I support them. (And not just with words- I have donated my own money to several of them, including Popp.)

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.

Comments

  1. Have you seen" MTGOW is Freedom" videos on YT? They are very good, surprised that it has not censored by Google!!

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  2. I always figured that MRA was nothing more than the STARTING POINT for the Red Pill. Not the end point. It's like making a movie called 'World War 1" that is little more than a retrospective of the events leading up to Archduke Ferdinand's death.

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