Feminists Petition to Stop Australian Cinema from Screening Men’s Rights Documentary ‘The Red Pill’

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 8:39 am, October 25, 2016
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The Red Pill, a new documentary film about men’s rights activists (or MRAs), is out in limited release across a few select theaters in the United States. One of the places where it’ll be showing is in Melbourne, Australia, where tickets have completely sold out ahead of its November 5th premiere.

The film’s producer, Cassie Jaye, has already met with backlash from feminist groups for taking “a balanced approach” toward the subject of men’s rights activism, which has long been vilified by social justice warriors both online and offline as misogynistic. Throughout production, Jaye was often the subject of criticism by social justice blogger David Futrelle, who runs “We Hunted the Mammoth,” a blog intended to expose misogyny.

She previously produced documentaries about marriage equality in the United States and abstinence-only programs, neither of which were anywhere as controversial as her latest production.

Today, a petition was put up by Australian feminists urging Kino Cinema to cancel the screening of the film and describing the movie in misleading terms.

“Film-maker Cassie Jaye follows members of online hate-group ‘The Red Pill,’ known to most as the sexist cesspit of the internet,” begins the complaint. “The general plotline goes something like this: ‘feminist’ Jaye decides to investigate rape-culture, opens the first hit on Google (Red Pill) and before she knows it, she has seen the light and converted to ‘meninism.’”

“Please do not associate your cinema with the kind of people who teach men how to violate women physically and emotionally. Please stand with the women everywhere, and do not promote misogynistic hate,” it says.

Much of the enmity toward The Red Pill comes from how it features men’s activist Paul Elam, who writes incendiary remarks and articles about women online. While there’s no defending much of what he has says, the film itself neither promotes his most offensive opinions, nor does it vilify women the way some feminists do to men. It merely presents MRAs in a (partly) sympathetic light.

The film is far from perfect and it omits some of the worst things interviewees like Elam have written, but it also offers an inside look at a subject so few others are willing to explore.

As Cathy Young writes for Heat Street in her review of ‘The Red Pill’ and interview with Jaye, the film offers a “thought-provoking examination of issues that rarely get an airing.”

Attempts to censor ‘The Red Pill’ and bar moviegoers from viewing it come from the same ideological operations manual that has led to the harassment of students attending pro-men’s rights talks held in universities and colleges across the United States and Canada. These efforts to harass and silence people are a major highlight of the film.

It remains to be seen whether the Australian theater will cancel its screening of the highly contentious documentary. But regardless of the outcome, calls to suppress Cassie Jaye and her production, whether in the name of feminism or to oppose men’s rights activism as an ideologically incorrect movement only prove the point of her documentary. And the so-called “patriarchy” has nothing to do with this form of oppression.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken game critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.