I'm a freelance writer living in Perth, Western Australia.
Published April 24th 2017
This documentary just begs to be seen
The Red Pill may just be one of the most controversial documentaries of the year! It's been portrayed by some as inciting hate amongst genders and it's been glorified by others, for similar reasons, so when I sat down to watch this film, I honestly did not know what to expect.
To my surprise, this was not the hate-filled film I had read about in the news at all instead I found myself watching a rather non-biased look into the similar and sometimes very different worlds of both Feminism and the Men's Right's Movement. I really believe this film could open the floor for some much-needed conversations between people and could help change the world to be a much more peaceful place someday.
The film is expertly directed by and starring Cassie Jaye (The Right To Love: An American Family & Daddy I Do), who is a long-time feminist and documentary maker. Cassie opens up to the audience about her own life struggles, as a woman and tells us how she came across the online concept of "The Red Pill", which in layman's terms, means to open your eyes to the damage done by gender stereotyping.
The film includes in-depth interviews with leaders and members of some of the more prominent Feminist and Men's Right's Groups, in order to try to give viewers an understanding of what both groups stand for and they are remarkably similar in many ways. Both are striving for equality, both are striving for safe places for victims of abuse to have a safe place to turn to and both are striving for gender stereotyping in society to change for the benefit of everyone.
Director, Cassie Jaye on the red carpet at the world premiere of The Red Pill. Picture: Ian Stroud
Cassie leaves no stone unturned, as she dives deeper down the rabbit hole, to try to discover the realities of the world around us and discovers, among many other things, that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime and while there are many, many places in the U.S. which offer much-needed refuge to women fleeing these horrendous situations, there is only 1 in the entire country, which offers refuge to men. I was also absolutely disgusted to find out that out of all the women who are accepted into these refuges, if any of them have a son, who is 10 years old, or over, no matter how traumatising his experience may have been, he is not allowed to stay with his mother, who must find alternative lodging arrangements for him.
The Rally for Men & Boys in Crisis in Toronto Canada, Sept. 28, 2013
This absolutely groundbreaking documentary honestly shows how both men and women are at a disadvantage in the world and when you really look at the big picture, no gender is really above the other. This message really hits home, during an interview with Erin Pizzey, who once became internationally famous for starting up the first ever domestic violence shelter in the modern world, known as Chiswick Women's Aid in the year 1971, which is an organisation, known today as Refuge.
Erin's shelter was the first in the world, which was solely focused on removing victims of domestic abuse from their abusers, in an attempt to break the cycle and even went on to open additional shelters, despite being labelled as trouble by the local police force. The police force at the time were against what she was doing and you'd think that she would still be acclaimed today as a hero for all womankind, however, but, sadly, she is actually the subject of regular death threats, mainly from many Feminist groups!
When Erin Pizzey started the modern Feminist movement against domestic violence, she was highly acclaimed for being the first person to identify and recognise the seriousness of these dangerous situations and actually do something practical about them. As a result of her pioneering work, the entire United Kingdom came to appreciate the significance of the problem, all while she was still being prosecuted for her good deeds by her local law enforcement.
However, she was soon demonised by the findings she reported on, after the establishment of her refuge. Pizzey asserted that in many, but not all cases, domestic violence was reciprocal, with both partners abusing each other in roughly equal measure. She had reached this conclusion when she asked the women she was working with at the time about their own violent tendencies, only to discover that the majority of them were either equally as violent and in some cases more violent than their husbands. She later went onto writing a case study called "Comparative Study of Battered Women and Violence-Prone Women", in which she distinguishes the difference between "genuine battered women" and "violence-prone women"; the former defined as "the unwilling and innocent victim of his or her partner's violence" and the latter defined as "the unwilling victim of his or her own violence." This study reports that 62% of the sample population were more accurately described as "violence prone." Similar findings regarding the mutuality of domestic violence have been confirmed in subsequent studies, but much to her amazement, she found that nobody seemed genuinely interested in finding out why violent people treat each other the way they do.
No matter which side of the gender debate you are on, this documentary is an absolutely fascinating and non-biased look into the subject of gender equality. However, it really just scratches the surface of what could result in an even more fascinating discussion amongst its audience, into what our next steps as a society should be to close the gap, so to speak.
The Red Pill is rated M, as it contains mature themes and coarse language.