The Red Pill, a documentary by Cassie Jaye about the men’s rights movement, has won yet another award: the Women In Film Award at the Digital Hollywood conference for film industry professionals.
In an interview about her win, Cassie Jaye said: “We are absolutely elated. This is the first time that The Red Pill has been openly accepted and publicly recognized by a women’s organization. Although I am no longer a feminist, I still do care about women’s issues. I’m a female filmmaker who independently chooses to make a film about the Men’s Rights Movement and I’m so happy that Women In Film saw the significance in that.
“We hope this award win will be a turning point in the public perception of The Red Pill movie. It’s not anti-women, it’s about listening to perspectives different from your own and replacing bias with empathy.”
About the movie
The Red Pill movie project began as a documentary with the aim of exposing the world of the Men’s Rights Movement, which filmmaker Cassie Jaye believed was a misogynist hate-group aiming to turn back the clock on women’s rights.
But when she spends a year filming the leaders and followers within the movement, she learns the various ways men are disadvantaged and discriminated against. The Red Pill challenges the audience to pull back the veil, question societal norms, and expose themselves to an alternate perspective on gender equality, power and privilege.
She goes on to discover that the movement is different from what she expected and begins to question her own views on gender, power, and privilege. The film discusses numerous issues facing men and boys such as male suicide rates, workplace fatalities and high-risk jobs, false allegations of rape, military conscription, lack of services for male victims of domestic violence and rape, higher rates of violent victimization, issues concerning divorce and child custody, disparity in criminal sentencing, disproportionate funding and research on men’s health issues, educational inequality, societal tolerance of misandry, and men’s lack of reproductive rights.
It includes interviews with men’s rights activists and those supportive of the movement, such as Harry Crouch, president of the National Coalition for Men; Warren Farrell, author of The Myth of Male Power; and Erin Pizzey, who started the first domestic violence shelter in the modern world. It also includes interviews with feminists critical of the movement, such as Ms. magazine executive editor Katherine Spillar, and sociologist Michael Kimmel.
You can watch the official trailer below.
Director Cassie Jaye got the film off the ground with her own money as well as money from her mother, a co-producer, and her boyfriend. When it became known that the film would not condemn the men’s rights movement, Jaye was unable to find funding from traditional sources.
She instead started a campaign on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. In the end, the campaign exceeded its goal to raise a total of $211,260. One of the largest pledges to the film was by Mike Cernovich. Cernovich stated he was “not funding The Red Pill to help MRAs” but that the film will “help all men, and all women, and all children.” Jaye stated that “our five highest backers … are neither MRA nor feminist. I would say three out of five of them didn’t even know about the men’s rights movement but wanted to defend free speech,” and that the film’s backers and producers would have no influence or control of the film.
Controversy and censorship attempts
Various efforts in different countries have sought to censor the movie and ban audiences from viewing it. The Australian premiere in Melbourne cancelled a screening in November 2016 after a petition that called the film “misogynistic propaganda” gathered 2,370 signatures. But a counter-petition to reverse the decision gained over 8,000 supporters and called the original petition as an “effort to close down free speech in Australia.”
After initially agreeing to finance a student screening, Sydney University’s student union then defunded the event, claiming the film promotes violence against women. In a public post on its website, the union said “We believe there is the distinct possibility that the planned screening of this documentary would be discriminatory against women, and has the capacity to intimidate and physically threaten women on campus.”
In Ottawa, Canada, a private screening of the film was halted by the cinema co-owner, who said long-time patrons and a sponsor threatened to stop doing business with the venue if the film screening went ahead.
Not all responses have been negative, however. A review in the Huffington Post described it as a “well-crafted, poignant and insightful film.” It continues:
“Deftly inserting personal video diaries of her own trajectory, Ms. Jaye questions paradigmatic shifts in gender roles, power and privilege with a unique and refreshing sense of wonder. Ms. Jaye has a genuine interest in dispelling disingenuous misinformation about Men’s Rights Activists and allowing the audience to decide for themselves who has legitimate gripes and who does not.
“We are living in a time where identity politics is fueling national debate and civic unrest. We are witnessing massive misinformation campaigns disseminated through traditional and social media platforms. ‘The Red Pill’ is a groundbreaking documentary that measures our own level of compassion for men and boys, and expertly challenges the accepted narrative of the gender divide that some of us still feel a need to desperately cling to.
“Cassie Jaye is a truly gifted director and editor and I hope that ‘The Red Pill’ receives the recognition it deserves and begins the conversations needed to heal gender inequalities.”
The journey to empathy
In a May 2017 presentation, Cassie Jaye spoke with extraordinary clarity and humility about her own personal odyssey. In the early stages of making the film to “expose the dark side of the Men’s Rights Movement”, she came to realise she wasn’t actually listening to what men were saying, but was merely, and exclusively, seeking out justification for her own prejudices. But then she started listening to men as fellow human beings and…
“Something… difficult for me to face was: if you start to humanise your enemy (men), you in turn may be dehumanised by your community (women). And that is what happened to me… It wasn’t learning about Men’s Rights Issues that made me part from feminism, but actually learning about feminism that made me leave feminism.”
You can watch Cassie Jaye’s presentation below
“If you start to humanise your enemy (men), you in turn may be dehumanised by your community (women).”
Despite being the #1 selling movie on YouTube, beating blockbusters such as Disney’s Moana, Guardians of the Galaxy and Rogue One, The Red Pill was declined for inclusion by Netflix.
You can access The Red Pill on the following digital platforms:
- Rent / Buy on Amazon US
- Rent / Buy on Amazon UK
- Rent / Buy on Vudu
- Rent / Buy on Hulu
- Rent / Buy on Vimeo
- Rent / Buy on Google play
- Rent / Buy on YouTube
- Rent / Buy on Microsoft Xbox
- Rent / Buy on Fandango Now
- Rent / Buy on iTunes US
- Rent / Buy on iTunes CANADA
- Rent / Buy on iTunes UK
- Rent / Buy on iTunes Ireland
Alternatively, you can purchase the movie on DVD or Blu-Ray from the online outlets below. All DVDs and Blu-Rays are ‘Region 0’ and will play on any player in the world. All DVDs and Blu-Rays have Closed Captioning in English.