The University of Sydney in Australia has banned a screening of The Red Pill on campus following fears that the Cassie Jaye-produced documentary had the “capacity to intimidate and physically threaten women on campus.”
Following an initial approval of the film’s screening, the University Student Union has decided to rescind their decision and is now banning the film from being presented at the International Student Lounge on May 4, 2017. The documentary was set to be hosted by The Conservative Club, Students for Liberty, and the Brotherhood Recreation and Outdoor Society (BROSoc).
The USU’s decision means that the student groups are forbidden from screening the documentary on campus. According to the union, the decision was made following “a number of complaints” regarding the screening. Following an investigation, the union concluded that The Red Pill would breach a school regulation on discrimination.
xii. Club funds may not be used for any activities that discriminate or harass on the basis of sex, race, age, marital status, sexuality, religion, or disability; or defame, coerce, intimidate or physically threaten an individual or group;
It is unclear whether the USU investigation involved an actual viewing of The Red Pill. In its statement, the organization wrote: “We believe that there is the distinct possibility that the planned screening of this documentary would be discriminatory against women, and has the capacity to physically threaten women on campus.”
It’s uncertain how a documentary that chronicles the rise of the Men’s Rights movement, could incite violence against women.
“The Red Pill is purported to be a film which highlights issues specific to men in our society. The USU is obviously supportive of efforts to bring awareness to, and to combat, issues such as the higher suicide rate for men than women. The reality of The Red Pill, however, is much more sinister. This documentary is decidedly anti-feminist and anti-woman, focussing not on the ways in which the systemic issues of patriarchy may also adversely affect men, but instead placing the blame on women and feminism specifically for men’s issues.
The Red Pill is rooted in an ideology which ultimately dehumanizes women, seeing them merely as sex objects who exist primarily to purposefully negatively impact the lives of men.”
The University of Sydney Union says that A Voice for Men founder Paul Elam’s derogatory comments towards women outside of the documentary are reason enough for the organization to find The Red Pill (which features an interview with Elam) “discriminatory towards women” as it “implies the endorsement of threats of sexual assault.”