Monday 9 January 2017

The Red Pill - An uncomfortable but important conversation

I recently had the opportunity to view a private screening of Cassie Jaye’s controversial new feature documentary “The Red Pill”.

As it opens Cassie asks her audience if they have ever been through something after which they felt they weren’t quite sure what had just happened, but just knew it had been an important experience to go through.

This was an apt precursor for me as I watched “The Red Pill”. It is an uncomfortable experience. I found myself squirming in my seat, at times wanting to stand up defiantly and plead my case, at times smouldering in shame for the statistics and stories I had so sure-footedly dismissed.

Screenings of “The Red Pill” have been met with hostile resistance in the digital hemisphere here in Australia. I first came to know of Cassie’s film and the Men’s Rights Movement on Triple J’s Hack program (as you do). It raised an interesting debate and I was immediately intrigued. A Melbourne screening at Palace Cinemas was shut down after a petition garnered more than 2000 signatures in opposition to the documentary and the culture of “rape apology” and “hatred toward women” it allegedly espoused.

Coming from South Africa where rape culture is a very real thing and has been fuelled by cultural spiritual leaders in various degrees, I was more than eager to watch this documentary.

Upon watching the film, I was quite baffled as to how its critics had drawn from its contents charges of such against the Men’s Rights Movement and the film. This is a lingering question for me. Let me be quite clear, I have not delved into the websites that spurred Cassie Jaye into her journey “down the rabbit hole.” It’s likely that I will find some grounds for these accusations therein, but in the film itself I can assign no such ill.

What “The Red Pill” did for me was shine a light on the Men’s Rights Movement (MRM) and the issues Men’s Rights Activists (MRA) are raising.  It is a debate I believe is critical for us to engage in. Make no mistake, it’s an uncomfortable one.

Are men and boys in crisis? Do they need our help? And does The Red Pill help?

I went into the screening armed with pen and paper, determined to call out and highlight the woman-hating, counter-equity ideology these MRA’s were apparently propagating, instead I found myself deeply challenged, humbled and inspired.

One response to the MRM is that it is a backlash against feminism by white men who are starting to feel displaced because women are now sharing space with them. I have no comment on that but thought I’d leave that there with you to chew on.

The film succeeds in bringing to your attention a number of issues you may not have spent much time pondering before. That boys and men are most prone to video game addiction, pornography addiction, are less likely to go see a doctor or get health insurance, make up the vast majority of inmates in prison, high-school drop-outs, have the highest rates of suicide, mental health and homelessness.

As a journalist in Australia I was confronted by the staggering statistic, released in the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Causes of Death report in September last year, that suicide was the leading cause of death among people 15-44 years of age and the second leading cause of death among those aged between 45 and 54. 

Over a five year period from 2011 to 2015, the average number of suicide deaths per year was 2,687.
In 2015, preliminary data showed a total of 3,027 deaths by suicide of which 2,292 were males and 735 were women. Consistently over the past 10 years, the number of suicide deaths in Australia was approximately three times higher in males than females.

In 2015 75.6% of people who died by suicide were male

Why aren’t we talking about this? Why aren’t we enraged? Why aren’t we driven to action to protect our boys and men from falling into the pit?

Let me regale you with a personal story. In 2016, as the editor for The Logan Reporter I interviewed a gentleman during suicide prevention month. He had tried to kill himself after being made redundant. 

He told me how, in the face of not being able to provide for his family he had measured his worth against that of the financial security his insurance would pay out to his family and chose to take his life.

Let that sink in.

Fortunately for Justin his attempt was thwarted. He told me how transformational the words of his wife had been upon regaining consciousness in the hospital bed; “I would rather be broke and struggling and have you with us than not.” 

These words changed the course of Justin’s life and he now dedicates his time and life to getting other men to see the same. But how on earth did Justin believe the wealth he could provide his family in death could ever replace him?

That was the uneasy question that trailed me as walked away from the interview. And I’m not proud to admit that my automatic mental response was that he had looked for an easy way out of the problems he was facing. The possibility that he saw himself as disposable, replaceable by a cheque, due to a patriarchal society that treats men as expendable did not even cross my mind.

Men’s Rights Activists in "The Red Pill" are asking us to consider the possibility that throughout history boys have been taught to be disposable – as soldiers, warriors, fire-fighters and ultimately as dads. That their worth is tied to their work and traditional gendered role of providers.

Do we value female life more than we do male life?

I for one have never questioned the culture of “Women and Children first”. This position is accepted and validated in popular culture without question.

Titanic remains one of the biggest box office successes of the 21st century. A hefty portion of the film is spent on getting women and children off the sinking ship. As viewers we don’t question this bias, in fact when the character who plays Kate Winslet’s fiancé pushes his way onto a life raft, we recoil in horror and despise him for his weakness, lack of chivalry, lack of compassion and selfishness at choosing a seat for himself instead of giving it to, a woman or a child.

What message are we drumming into our boys’ minds here? That it is selfish for them to value their own life ahead of the lives of women and children? Has this notion of disposability created an oppressive environment for boys and men? Is it time for us to sit down and open our ears and our hearts to what our boys have to say. I believe it is.

"The Red Pill" and MRAs are asking us to look at these uncomfortable truths. Did our mothers and grandmothers not ask for the same when they marched through the streets demanding equality and the right to be heard?

Feminism vs Men's Rights?

Why are so-called feminists and women’s rights supporters trying to silence this film and ultimately our men’s voices? I have my own theories, but until I give adequate airtime to the women and men who oppose the movement and the film I will not jump to uneducated conclusions.

It is a pity that feminism and men’s rights have pitched themselves in opposing camps. Aren’t both groups trying to achieve the same thing? The right to have their gender-specific issues and inequalities heard and amended by society.

Is the issue today truly about advantage or is it actually about fostering dialogue about the issues men experience in a patriarchal world and just as importantly, the issues women continue to face in a patriarchal world? The feminist debate is sadly, a long way from being reconciled. Issues of pay-gaps and workplace inequality are still rife in Australia. In fact, I believe a pitiful effort is actually being made to address the enormous disparity that exists for career men and women when they become parents.

Just before Christmas I had a conversation with a man I have a lot of respect for. He said that if he were an employer he would rather hire a man over a woman, because of the “risk of becoming pregnant and having children” that women carried. I was appalled, because as a professional and a mother, I have had to watch my male colleagues overtake me on the ladder of success, while I took on the responsibility of raising my babies until they were ready to be placed in day-care so that I could return to my career.

So make no mistake, the scales are not tipped in our favour and having worked in a newsroom that resembled a boys’ club, where hard and investigative news was seen as the domain of men, while the female journalists were assigned the fluff pieces, we still have a very long way to go before we’re truly on an even playing field in the workplace.

The work by feminists in continuing to advocate for these rights is still critical to achieving gender equity

That doesn’t mean the issues MRA’s are raising aren’t valid and should be dismissed.

The film says the MRM and feminist movement disagree on men in power and invented rules at the expense of women in a patriarchal society.

It asks us to consider if patriarchy is the result of traditional gender roles and if what we call patriarchy is a system created through men giving in to the gender role expected of them - men as providers and protectors, women as homemakers and mothers. 

I think the film makes a solid point here. It certainly appears that the honouring of traditional gender roles gives rise to a variety of inequalities between men and women.

The complex territory of reproductive rights

MRA’s argue that women are granted ultimate control of their pregnancies. It’s her body and it’s her right to determine the fate of her pregnancy right? I know that is how I’ve always seen it.

But the film, in giving airtime to the MRM’s assertion that this is actually an example of the inequalities that exist between men and women when it comes to reproductive rights, asks us to really explore our culturally accepted positions on the rights and place of mothers and of fathers in present-day society.

This was probably the most uncomfortable part of the film for me and my immediate response was that Cassie Jaye was giving a very unbalanced report into reproductive rights. But then I asked myself why I needed to be presented with issues of false paternity, inequalities in the family court system and pregnancy entrapment (if I can call it that) within a broader, balanced scope, weighed up against the evils committed by men against women through forced pregnancies/abortions, pregnancy rejection and abandonment.

Would it have made the stories of women tricking their partners into pregnancy, lying to their partners about their children’s true paternity, and refusal to let their ex-partners visit their own children easier to confront? 

But Cassie Jaye isn’t tackling the complex world of reproductive rights with The Red Pill, she is shedding light on the specific issues being voiced by MRAs.

My overwhelming instinct was to stand up and point out to my fellow audience members that not all women are like that, and it is an inaccurate representation of women.

And my mind raced to formulate an argument with which I could challenge the assertions that somehow men are on the losing end when it comes to reproductive rights. But an interesting thing happened. As I whipped through the filing cabinets of my own life experience I made a startling discovery that once again challenged me to re-examine my beliefs.

I saw my friend, whose husband had dropped out of university to accept his paternal responsibilities after an ex-girlfriend rang him up to tell him she was pregnant with his baby. This turned out to be a lie. The child was not his and the woman knew it. But his life was altered irrevocably by leaving university and raising a child, only to learn many years later that the child was not his.

I saw another friend, whose wife had an affair and birthed a child conceived by the other man. The upheaval, when years later my friend would discover the truth.

Another friend who has been robbed of the opportunity to be a father and raise his only child after the child’s mother disappeared with their 8-month-old baby, whereabouts unknown.

A very dear friend who did the unthinkable of kidnapping his own daughter after the family courts granted custody to the mother and she refused him visitation rights. I will never forget the sheer desperation to see his daughter, who is the apple of his eye. He returned her to her mother and has never seen her again. It has been years.

I have two other friends who are haunted by the abortions their ex-girlfriends had, without discussing the pregnancy and the options with them first. Her body, her right.

Where are the support networks for these men? What are their rights in these circumstances? Why is this happening? Why aren’t we having these conversations?

Violence against men

My tenure at The Logan Reporter was dominated by stories of domestic violence. It is an issue that is a near-permanent news item in publications throughout the country.

Marches against domestic violence are commonplace and in October 2015 I covered a campaign wherein community members were asked to pledge "never to commit, excuse, or remain silent about violence against women or families" - #theloganpledge.

As I write this, one of the finest journalists I have ever had the privilege of working with has, on her Facebook profile picture, the words “I say no to violence against women and girls”.

In "The Red Pill" a MRA asks why the media paints only women as the victims of domestic violence.
"Because they are dumbass," my inner voice piped up.

But Cassie Jaye then goes on to make a staggering revelation that not only shuts up my inner voice  but sends me back to the filing cabinets where I encounter a deeply challenging picture.

Citing statistics from the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (USA), Cassie Jaye says one in three women and one in four men in the United States will be victims of domestic violence.

This is not the case in Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Personal Safety Survey, which was last conducted in 2012, one in six women and one in 20 men have been victims of domestic violence since the age of 15.

The film asks us to question if there is gender symmetry when it comes to domestic violence, and if domestic violence is actually a violence issue instead of a gender issue.

Sifting through my personal collection of life experience it suddenly dawned on me that among the close friendships I have had, I have only known one woman who has been a victim of domestic violence but when it comes to the men in my life I have three close friends who have been victims of violence within their intimate relationships.

My own shame

I am deeply ashamed to admit that I have been guilty myself. One night, many years ago, overcome by the acid burn of betrayal and a violent feeling of being violated I shoved my boyfriend away from me. When he approached me with apology and regret I started hitting his chest with the palms of my hands over and over again.

Of even deeper shame is that it was actually only after watching Cassie Jaye’s film that the grievous crime I had committed dawned fully on me. We grow up seeing ladies deliver a smart slap to the cheeks of men who have done them wrong on our TV screens. It’s acceptable right? But it is absolutely unacceptable for a man to ever raise his hand to a woman.

This accepted norm saw one of the men in my life endure five years of relentless physical assaults from his then-partner without ever defending himself. Not once. And when he left the relationship there was no shelter for him to go to, there was no state-subsidised counselling service he could access, no support group he could join. As he explained to me, he just had to man up and get on with it. He did so without ever fully acknowledging the trauma he had endured, he never untangled the emotional scars and tended to them with self-love, compassion and self-worth.

How often is this happening? How many men’s lives have been affected like this? How many men out there are in need of healing? Has the silence on these issues and severe lack of support structures for men created a world wherein boys and men are most prone to video game addiction, pornography addiction, are less likely to go see a doctor or get health insurance, make up the vast majority of inmates in prison, high-school drop-outs, have the highest rates of suicide, mental health and homelessness?

What is the solution?

In my own investigations into domestic violence as a reporter I met a man, entirely by chance, who works with men in the combating of domestic violence. I remember rushing home to tell my partner with feverish excitement everything Adrian Hanks had told me about his work. For the first time someone had made some sense, someone had a real solid strategy to take into the fight against domestic violence. 

Not the tokenistic pledges, marches, shock campaigns and speeches that had permeated the so-called fight against domestic violence, but a real, meat-and-bones strategy, and it was all about encouraging boys and men, in a supportive and nurturing environment, to explore their attitudes, feelings, beliefs and emotions. Adrian Hanks said self-realisation was where it all had to begin.

I do not know why a group of feminists are trying to silence the film here in Australia. I do not understand the reasons for charges of “misogynist, racist, gay and woman-hating” by those who oppose the MRM in the US.

But one thing I do know is that there is definitely, undoubtedly a need for boys and men to talk to us about the male experience. They have a right to be heard and we all have the responsibility to listen. 

These things are uncomfortable but without a willingness to look at these issues we stay in the dark and accept a status quo that serves neither men nor women.

Ok guys, we’re listening.


  1. I think feminism and white male oppression are two sides of the same coin. Whenever someone, sex or peoples group are oppressed they will always rise up at some time, often it takes generations or centuries but it wil happen. If their rising up is met with resistence it will fuel it even more and then there will always be violent shifts in reality as it is now that the white male who has for centuries dominated mankind. Womankind have never been ushered into their own they always had to fight for it. So now like in SA its a fuck up. Focusing on either side of the coin only treats symptoms of the problem unsustainably. I think anyway😉

    1. And you think wrong. Feminism has been bulldozing over men for 169 years, and only NOW you have a problem with "focusing on either side of the coin"?

  2. The superficial answer as to why feminists want to block screenings of TRP is to maintain control of the narrative. Control means no opposing ideas, no inconvenient facts and a continuing flow of money to the unquestioned ideology. To the foot soldiers feminism is their belief structure; to the organisations behind them it is their cash flow.

    1. "To the foot soldiers feminism is their belief structure; to the organisations behind them it is their cash flow."

      ^THAT hits the nail on the head. I'll be using that sentence in the future. Thank you.

  3. As far as why feminists oppose this film, I would suggest that the Patriarchy narrative is extremely effective and lucrative.

    Feminists have accused MRAs of treating gender issues as a "zero sum game", wherein if women gain something, men lose. Certainly this is true in terms of some things (reproductive rights, for example, or child custody). But in many cases, this is not remotely true. Yet someone like Michael Kimmel, in the film, has accused us of wanting to slash domestic violence services for women and close down shelters, rather than provide equal access to such services for men.

    So even in cases where we simply want men to have equal access in ways that would not disrupt access for women, they accuse us of wanting to take things away from women.

    But a friend of mine proposed that because of our perceptions of men and women, the game isn't positive sum (both parties gain), nor is it even zero sum (one party gains and the other loses). It's actually negative sum (both parties lose). She posited that we care as much as we do about domestic violence *because* we view it as primarily affecting women. If it becomes a human issue, rather than a women's issue, we will care less deeply about it.

    That means less government money, less attention and fewer donations.

    1. Although cash flow is the prime motive to the professional feminist, let us not forget that men who ask for help are perceived as sexually repulsive by women, and that a man who advocates for men getting help acquires this taint by proxy. This is the deep visceral driver in the human psyche against any vulnerable man.

    2. Touché. I mean, if feminism was about eliminating the constraints of traditional roles, surely women would have stopped discarding men that don't fit their hypergamist views of what constitutes a suitable husband, right? Suddenly, men other than alpha types would have become perfectly suitable boyfriends and husbands, right? Well, no. That hasn't happened, because too many women find it convenient that men keep on doing what's been traditionally expected of them, otherwise their worth as humans is nil.

  4. Sounds like this film had a profound impact on you. I don't know if you have taken the red pill, but what you've experienced is the starting signs of it. You look through your life with a new lens, realizing that many of the things in culture and life you took for granted were instead favored to you because of your gender. I can't speak for what life in Australia is like, but in the US, once you take that pill, you really see things more clearly.

    I'm happy that you can explore that and really ask tough questions of yourself. You're right, a woman can hit a man, but a man can never hit a woman. And yes, not all women are like this, and there are plenty of good ones, but for those women that are like this, the system really plays in their favor.

    I'm glad you got something out of watching this film, and I hope more people watch this. We need discussions happening, and everyone to have a voice, and not try to shut each other down. Right now, Men's Rights want to have that and give Feminists the right to speak, but as the film shows, Feminists have done everything they can to silence men. The ball is in the Feminist court... how long before they decide that men deserve an equal voice?

  5. "Ok guys, we’re listening."

    Oh, how big and gracious of you. Thank you so, so much. If you are really listening, and I don't think you are, here is what I have to say:

    Patriarchy theory is a lie. Completely. 100%. Stop believing it. Stop spreading it.

    Wage gap is a myth. It has been debunked A MILLION TIMES since the late 1970s. You can find videos of a very young Thomas Sowell in early 1980s debunking it.

    Even in the middle east, men and boys are raped and killed FAR MORE than women and girls. 2/3rd of rape victims, and 2/3rd of deaths by stoning are male. Pederasty (sexual abuse of boys) is common practice ("women are for children, boys are for fun"). Boys as young as 13 are labor conscripted to care for their mother and sisters if their fathers die. Close to 100% of workplace deaths, military deaths, murdered homosexuals, violent crime victims, are male. Women can take jobs and keep their income to themselves while men are responsible for them and the children financially under Shariah law. Women are always covered by a male's health insurance, men are not.

    Male genital mutilation is FAR, FAR MORE widespread (by hundreds of millions) than FGM. FGM is mainly in parts of Africa, and many women go through it voluntarily, and it is administered by elder women:

    Types of MGM and types of FGM ARE comparable. No, FGM is NOT "much worse." It is not.

    Are you still listening?

    1. Dude, dude, dude. This is not how you treat someone who was brave enough to confront her own cognitive dissonance and is now taking her first steps into a new paradigm. She doesn't have to be a complete convert the moment she watches the Red Pill.


  6. "Did our mothers and grandmothers not ask for the same"

    No they didn't. They asked for female supremacy. They opposed black women's rights. They wanted the vote without the military obligation. They wanted custody after divorce without the financial responsibility (Tender Years Doctrine and coverture laws). They hated men, as they declared so in 1848:

    "Aren’t both groups trying to achieve the same thing?"

    NOPE, not even close. Here is some older than 100 years feminist opposition to men's rights:

    Do you know who Karen DeCrow was?

    "in a patriarchal world"
    That's the problem. You still believe in patriarchy theory.

    "the issues women continue to face in a patriarchal world?"
    Like demanding "me-ternity" leave? The fake rape statistics? Primary aggressor laws? Mandatory arrest policies? Rape shield laws? Women receiving 62% less sentencing for the same crimes? Or the 2:1 preference women enjoy in STEM? "issues" like that?

    "Issues of pay-gaps and workplace inequality are still rife in Australia."

    The discrimination and pay gap is AGAINST MEN. Never married women are paid more than never married men for the same job. Women enjoy special quotas and as much as 2:1 preference in STEM hiring. Hell, university math departments even have "female only" job positions:

    "make no mistake, the scales are not tipped in our favour",8599,2015274,00.html

    1. Thanks for all the links. I look forward to reading through some of those.

    2. I have never understood how applying the term "patriarchy" to men's grievances does anything to help resolve those grievances.

  7. "hard and investigative news was seen as the domain of men, while the female journalists were assigned the fluff pieces"

    Did it ever occur to you that's due to WOMEN'S OWN CHOICES? Here's an example: the female dominance in the NHS in the UK is causing big doctor and nurse shortages, because women prefer shorter working hours and easier areas of medical science:

    "The work by feminists in continuing to advocate for these rights is still critical to achieving gender equity"

    "not all women are like that"

    Where did we hear that one before? Did the movie say all women were like that? You might want to read up on female automatic in-group bias:

    "I am deeply ashamed to admit that I have been guilty myself."

    NOT.GOOD.ENOUGH. As long as you keep perpetuating misandric lies like the patriarchy theory and the "wage gap".

    "I do not know why a group of feminists are trying to silence the film here in Australia"

    You have been living under a rock. As I said before, feminists have been against men's rights for more than 100 years. Here are some examples of terrorism of the suffragettes and their efforts to enforce male disposability by shaming them into joining the military:

  8. Many men are angry because they're constantly told they have a power they do not.

    This is excellent on male disposability:

    The Gender Equality Paradox
    (Has English subtitles)

  9. You started well, then you mentioned the "Patriarchy" bullshit. You need to talk to more MRA's on a one to one level, actually listen the discomfort you feel after watching The Red Pill is Cognitive Dissonance. Also the Male suicide rate in the UK hit 80% early December 2016, the disposability of men is social conditioning by women over generations. This conditioning is going to take many generations to break.

    1. Please, she did not deserve that tone...

      But to your point: it is not only about generations, it is about tens of thousands of years. In the stone age, where disease was rife, violence ubiquitous, child mortality 50%, and the average life span under 40, any society that did NOT make protecting women to allow them to bear the 4-5 children per women needed on average, would simply have become extinct.

      So true, we do not need male disposeability or overprotection of women anymore. But it takes a bit more than a few policies to undo 100,000 years of evolution and cultural programmming.

  10. Christine,

    What an excellent review, and my virtual hat off to you for having the courage and intellectual integrity to give what you heard and saw fair consideration even when it was uncomfortable.

    Doubly so if, as I gather, you're a feminist (or, at least, you accept feminist ideas such as patriarchy†)

    Thank you for listening, and thank you for that courage and integrity.

    Where do we (as society) take the conversation from there? Nothing will improve until MRAs and feminists alike are able to set aside the gender politics and work constructively with politicians.

    But that's a two-way street: for as long as feminists obstruct and work to suppress the "lived experiences" of men, the internecine political conflict between them will continue unabated. It probably won't ever stop, but perhaps at least it can become less relevant. Then, perhaps, public policy might be open to the possibility of funding men's shelters etc, and energy once put into fighting feminists can be put into helping men in need.

    † It might be that there really is a patriarchy in SA, as feminists use the term, in which case I don't blame you for bringing those assumptions with you to Australia.

    But like most or all other MRAs, I don't think that there's any good evidence for such a patriarchy in the developed West. Certainly not in Australia, the US or the UK, and although sexism (and racism etc) still exist in the developed West, such sexism as remains does not justify the political agenda still being prosecuted by gender feminists in positions of power.

    The problem with the patriarchy hypothesis, as I see it, is that it explains everything (that feminists want it to explain) and predicts nothing, so there's no way to test its validity in general or whether its application to a specific case is valid or not.

    Patriarchy, then, makes for an extremely poor basis on which to make public policy.

  11. I am in my early 40s & made the conscious decision not to marry/have kids. I think feminism is a stain on the culture for the exact reasons you said in your post. I have been asked if I am gay and always chuckle at that question and tell them no. Then I am accused of being a misogynist. If I were a true misogynist then I would not work with women or say hello to them in general. I would not go the hair dresser. But I also noticed there is a double standard. why is it if a gay male choses not to marry, or a straight female choses not to marry, they are not labeled a mistandrist? why is it if a a lesbian choses not to marry, she is not a misogynist? why is it if a bisexual person choses not to marry, they are not labeled a misanthropist? I ask this question to people who accuse me of misogyny and they never have an answer. They have this deer in the headlights look. accusing people of misogyny and trying to embarrass them for choosing a way of life is not a convincing way to sell a product. you don't tell a person they are bad people because they don't eat scrambled eggs for breakfast do you? of course not.

  12. If you want a prime example with respects to the provision of services for DV just look at Western Australia's Department of Child Protection and Family Support.
    They have two helplines, one for men and one for women. The description of the women's helpline is "The Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline is a state wide 24 hour service. This service provides support and counselling for women experiencing family and domestic violence. This includes phone counselling, information and advice, referral to local advocacy and support services, liaison with police if necessary and support in escaping situations of family and domestic violence. The service can refer women to safe accommodation if required. A telephone based interpreting service is available if required."

    The men's helpline description is: "The Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline is a state wide 24 hour service. This service provides counselling for men who are concerned about their violent and abusive behaviours. The service can provide telephone counselling, information and referral to ongoing face to face services if required. This service can provide information about accessing legal advice, accommodation and other support services for people who have been served with a violence restraining order. Information and support is also available for men who have experienced family and domestic violence. A telephone based interpreting service is available if required.", and the afterthought about information and support for men who have experienced DV is a relatively new addition, after an outcry by MRAs. Before that it was assumed that any and all men calling the helpline were perpetrators rather than victims.

    (women's page here:
    men's page here: )

    1. In part, this is because of official government guidance. For example, pp 40-41 of "Family Violence Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework"† published by VIC state government.

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  14. MRAs and Feminists do not have the same goals. When MRAs tried to get men's studies onto campuses, Feminists did everything to undermine us. We took no similar action against them. We never attempted to block any move that was about women's equality. But in return, they have attacked all our efforts to raise awareness about male victims, etc. And they justify this by saying that all aspects of the law and culture were created by men to discriminate against women, when it is simply not true. Because if it were, there would be no discrimination against men. And then if anyone dare question Feminist theory, they blitz them with accusations of being sexist, racist, homophobes who want to turn back the clock to traditional double standards.

    And then there is their "Patriarchy" theory, which is nothing but lying my omission. Women outnumber men in the electorate, yet men are blamed when women don't get elected. And women dominate the socialization of children, yet that is never considered a source of cultural power. Imagine if a foreign nation got control of your electorate and they dominated the socialization of your children. Would you think "no big deal, they are in a powerless position." Or would you think they had so much power over your culture that they could transform it in one generation. This is the power women have, but we never hear talk about "the matriarchy."

    But then again, MRAs approach is different than Feminists. We don't go around bemoaning "the matriarchy" and blaming women for everything. We recognize that sexism cuts both ways. And we only ask for equality, not special privilege or retribution. I can't say as much for Feminists.

    And in case someone wants to point out to me that women didn't always dominate the electorate, I think they need to look at the fact that for thousands of years of human history nobody had the vote. And it didn't matter if the monarch was male or female. So this is not all a male plot. This is a progression in the culture that first started granting the right to vote to people who could be drafted into military service and it evolved from there. It was not all a male plot to subjugate women

    1. I can boil down the difference even more: to the feminist interpretation of patriarchy theory.

      If you truly believe that society has been set up for the benefit of men to the detriment of women, then all of a sudden even the seemingly irrational and insensitive feminist stances start to make sense. The problem is: our biological and cultural programming to protect women make this assumption seem perhaps exaggerated, but fundamentally credible.

    2. Women changed the US Constitution twice before they were guaranteed the right to vote. Feminist have never been able to explain to me how that fits into their narrative of female subjugation by men.

  15. I found your piece to be honest and touching. I sympathise with the MRA movement, but I am sad to read the mocking, antagonistic tone of some of the responses.

    It takes time to digest this. It took me years to question my basic assumptions, and another few years to realise why I had to reject feminism as actually practiced (rather than, say, complement it). Despite having seen DV perpetrated by women, it took a leap of faith to admit it is a systemic issue, let alone consider gender symmetry in perpetration a possibility.

    Men may seem so strong, but the fact is: in matters like this, we need women like you. There is a reason why so many prominent MRAs are women; a woman's voice is needed to lend credence to anything controversial said on topics such as gender and family. There is also a reason why so many MRAs are former feminists: both movements start from the instinct that gender roles are constraining.

    So please do not let the odd antagonistic voice create the impression of myopia or vengefulness. For me at least, to have a chance at defending men's issues among my acquaintances, I had to read scores of books on feminism - make one slip, get one fact wrong, and people will immediately dismiss you as jealous, ignorant, and even misogynist (a term that, while I understand it is used for rhetoric ends, I find deeply hurtful).

    Please tell us more about how your insights develop.

  16. Hi Christine,

    A few times in your thoughtful article you ask the question of why feminists are suppressing men's/MRAs voices. I know you are still musing on that question but I'd like to throw in a detail as someone who has studied the history of the men's movement for over a century:- this has always been feminism's modus operando, and is also the reason men cannot organize into an effective movement - because they are censured and silenced.

    Why is it? I believe it is because feminists want to increase and maintain cultural power.

    Here's a 103 year old quote from barrister, journalist and newspaper owner Ernest B. Bax:

    “When the bluff is exposed, then the apostles of feminism, male and female, being unable to make even a plausible case out in reply, with one consent resort to the boycott, and by ignoring what they cannot answer, seek to stop the spread of the unpleasant truth so dangerous to their cause. The pressure put upon publishers and editors by the influential Feminist sisterhood is well known.”

    The censorship is not limited to screenings of The Red Pill - it is a ubiquitous and long tradition.

  17. I would like to explain the angry tone of some of the above responses, because as a man who has been redpilled my whole life, I understand why they express themselves in that manner. Believe me, this anger runs deep because for us, it is lifelong. But it is important you do not take it personally, or read it as hostility or dismissal of your views. I am very aware that we risk failing the lesson we have so often accused feminists of failing: that you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar, so I would like to explain the situation you have stumbled into more fully.

    When you watched The Red Pill, you were watching two years of Cassie's life compacted into a 2 hour movie. That's not going to overturn a lifetime of convictions that you have been brought up with, been systematically indoctrinated with throughout your school and university career, and been constantly exposed to in your workplace. Mainstream media - your workplace and career - has a massive feminist bias so to you, that has seemed normal and fairly moderate. Rest assured, it is not.

    Like you, Cassie Jay started her journey as a dyed-in-the-wool feminist. It took her, an intelligent and open-minded woman, two whole years to get where she is now. I appreciate that journey isn't going to happen in two hours for you. If you are prepared to understand the responses you have received here, if you are prepared to embark on this journey with an open mind, then your own journey down the rabiit hole is only just beginning. You've taken just a first step into the world we men have had to live in our whole lives, and it's a very long and arduous walk.

    My own enounter with feminism started when I was a 13 year old boy, when I was sexually assaulted by two girls in broad daylight in the schoolyard, yet I was the one punished because I dared to defend myself. The school principal flatly refused to believe that girls could sexually assault boys, and I was the one given "counselling" and detention over the occurrence. Since then, I have been subject to systemic harrassment and discrimination on multiple occasions. I have been charged with sexual harassment for the mere act of asking a girl at work out once (after hours and I dropped it the moment she said no.) I have been abused in public and called a pervert and a paedophile because I enjoy photography and people thought I was taking pictures of them. I have been refused jobs for which I am eminently qualified because of affirmative-action quotas, and I've been told I'm privileged so suck it up. I am now 50, so this has been happening my whole life long. And yes, I am fucking angry over this, and I have every right to be.

    Despite all this, it feels like a hopeless, unwinnable battle. It is one we have been fighting for generations, as Borabosna rightly pointed out above, for well over a century. Yet we have made zero, absolutely no headway against the established power whatsoever. While feminism has gained massive rights and privileges for women, men have been getting forced backward every step of the way. Only now, with Cassie Jaye's release of The Red Pill, are our voices even starting to be heard, and they are heard only against a shrieking backdrop of hate, shaming, and dismissal from feminists.

    1. So if you continue your journey down the rabbit hole, you need to understand that you are going to be attacked. As soon as you start revealing your discoveries, your workplace colleagues are going to lay into you like nothing you've ever encountered before. People you thought friends will suddenly despise you and belittle you unless you come back into the fold with abject apologies. It is truly Orwellian. You will be accused of having internalised misogyny. You may lose your job, or be demoted, and you may find it heard to gain employment elsewhere. You will be dogpiled on social media, and branded everything from a bigot to a traitor. You will see the dark, ugly underbelly of the political correctness machine you have been riding on top of your whole life, but with which we have had to live every day of our lives.

      This will be a perilous time for you. Like Cassie, you will find yourself compelled to seek refuge in women's support groups, to re-establish your faith and to overcome your heresy. You will be tempted to climb back on top of the machine and get back into your comfort zone. But always you will see the lie, the nagging uncertainty that men you love and care about have no recourse, no help, no support of any kind. Unless you truly hate men, even those you know, you won't be able to live the lie any longer.

      You've uncovered the workings of a massive, institutionalised engine, inserted into all walks of life - education, workplaces, hobbies, media - driven by the ruling elite and desgned to keep themselves in power. They use feminism, multiculturalism and political correctness as a tool of social division to prevent the working and middle classes from uniting against the upper class. By dividing the masses over imaginary and false issues like "patriarchy" and gender pay gap myths, they distract everyone from the massive wealth disparity that is the only real source of privilege, that has everyone working like dogs for a pittance doled out to keep them barely alive.

      I assume as a journalist you've read Orwell's 1984 so you should know how this stuff works. That's what you'll end up fighting against. Feminism is INGSOC for the 21st century. Call it FEMSOC. And you've just become a thought-criminal.

      Therein lies our anger, and the reason you have received so many harsh responses. You still believe the FEMSOC lies of patriarchy. You need to let go of it, all of it. And that won't be easy, because you're fighting against a lifetime of conditioning, and you'll be defending yourself from your social-justice colleagues who will berate and ostracise you for your thoughtcrime. But if justice is ever to be achieved, for men and women alike, it is a fight we must continue.

      To quote a scene from Babylon 5: "Though it take a thousand years, WE WILL BE FREE." Welcome to the fold. You've only taken your first step down the rabbit hole. Please don't fall on your way in.

  18. Thanks Christine for your thought provoking article. I hope the harsher, angrier responses to your article do not scare you off.

    Thank you for having the open mindedness to listen, the flexibility to challenge your own beliefs, and the courage to publish your conclusions.

  19. Christine,
    To understand where Patriarchy Theory comes from, all you need do is take "The World Wide Jewish Conspiracy", replace "Jew" with "Man" and "Aryan" with "Women". According to the Anti-Semites, the inferior Jews have a natural tendency to oppress the innocent superior Aryans, sound familiar? To understand the concept a little better, there's a text editor you can download called MenKampf. Get it and start rereading feminist literature online, after a while you won't be able to tell Women's rights apart from Fascism.

    1. If anyone thinks this is hyperbole then might I suggest looking at the subreddit r/menkampf - where people have edited comments they've found (so Jews/Jewish has been substituted for straight/white/male, and Aryan for everyone else), the whole subreddit could have been lifted straight from late-30s Germany.

  20. Most of the concepts presented in the Red Pill are frankly Old News. Non-feminist people h
    have been having these discussions for years, and you are FINALLY waking up to it.

    What took you so long?

    1. "Most of the concepts presented in the Red Pill are frankly Old News."

      Not for her. How about a welcome hug instead of recrimination for what you consider tardiness?

  21. I am afraid that it is too late for this. Though it is a noble attempt. The schism is to great. Birth rates are dropping, and universities are pushing for even more gender segregation, and strife. "Everything is sexist, everything is racist, everything is homophobic, everything is transphobic, and you have to point it all out," said the Feminist.

    On Facebook the Women Against Feminism movement is growing as women who want families try to distance themselves from the source of the infection. They are attacked because their choice is not the right choice, or acceptable to the sisterhood. Yet even they cannot change the inevitable now that the event horizon has been crossed.

    Men are checking out from the society that neglects them, and abuses them. Either they choose to enjoy their lives turning their back on the rest of humanity, or they choose self-annihilation, and seek to answer the question of what lay beyond the borders of the undiscovered country. They resolve, and resign to being the ends of their lines. In so doing they are the end of the species. The Japanese have started their extinction clock. Soon the Scandinavian nations will join them. There will come a day when men will not look at you, will not socially engage with you, and if they do they will never lay one finger on you. That day has already come to Japan.

    The discussion should have happened long ago when both men and women were still talking and listening to each other. Since then the cult has become accepted political dogma. It would take a planet wide intervention, and that will never happen. The event horizon has been crossed, and humanity is at an end.

  22. Christine, I want to honour your courage in taking a first step towards gender balance, by being willing to hear men's stories. Your honesty and courage made me cry as I read your piece. You have taken some heat in the comments for not going far enough - and there is indeed further to go for you - but I regret that these commenters were unwilling to first acknowledge your integrity in taking that first step. Well done. The first step is the hardest.

    It is difficult to own up to culpable error in public, and you deserve kudos for that, not criticism for not going far enough. No one makes the journey to gender balance in one step. Conitnue your journey, make gender truth your goal, and you will get there. I recommend Tim Goldich's book, "Loving Men, Respecting Women; The Future of Gender Politics" for a comprehensive treatment of men's and women's issues in balance. Or my own, "The Hand That Rocks the World: An Inquiry into Truth, Power and Gender," which focuses more on the power that women have over men, and that has propelled one-sided feminism in our culture for fifty years now, the kind of feminism that calls "The Red Pill" misogynistic.

    Welcome to the journey, I salute your willingness to begin it.

  23. Men don't want to fight women, we never have. Even with the most crimson red pill swollowed most men still won't fight women. What men do is they walk away. They won't participate in a rigged game. They stop dating, they stop marriage, they stop reproducing and then they realize they don't need to work so hard to support just themselves so they stop working so much.

    That is the true cost of the war on men. A world where men won't do what you expect, want or need of them. They will let society crumble bit by bit through inaction rather then play a game they can't possibly win.

    Femminists say women can do anything. Well take a good hard look at the jobs women don't do. Sanitation,sewage, power, water, mining, farming, transportation, construction, maintenence and so on. Ask yourself a serious question. If men stop participating who will do those jobs? You mention the pay gap, the glass ceiling as it wer, all the while standing on a glass floor, the men below invisible to your upward gaze. Perhaps you should warn your feminist friends about throwing rocks in glass houses. Gravity is not on your side.

    So now your eyes open, perhaps just a bit. Welcome I guess. It's a cruel world this world the one you now see. As your eyes were opened you pay a the price of becoming silenced and outcast. A bite of the apple of knowlwdge carries the price of being banned from the garden of eden. You probably should have listened to your feminist friends, you would have an easier road to travel. But welcome anyway to this bitter path.

  24. " In 2015, preliminary data showed a total of 3,027 deaths by suicide of which 2,292 were males and 735 were women. Consistently over the past 10 years, the number of suicide deaths in Australia was approximately three times higher in males than females."
    To build upon that deplorable fact look at the number of papers/ studies/ hits on government health websites for men's mental health.
    I did it for 4 English speaking countries. For yours the number of papers/studies/hits are;
    Women - 8918 hits
    Men - 6582
    The same deficit was seen across Canada UK and the U.S.

    To build upon Karen's comment - GWW
    Yes the narrative of man bad woman innocent is quite lucrative. Worth about 145 million in Ontario Canada alone.
    And that is just for DV. The price per night per bed runs from $90 per night per person to just under $600.00 per person per night.
    I have to wonder what on earth could cost almost $600.00 per night and not require hospitalization.
    And this only helps female victims of DV not male victims.
    In Canada we have over 20 yrs worth of data showing parity in DV.
    But men cant be victims and women cant be perpetrators of DV according to the feminist narrative.
    This film is kryptonite to the current lucrative narrative feminism enjoys.
    Dan Perrins.
    (yah the guy who faced Chanty)

  25. simple the higher ups in feminism have burnt their bridges and they know that control of mens funding will never be in their hands for long, for every single dollar they spend on a mens shelter it will come right out of the woman's shelter system, they are not going to "double" the gender spending budget now are they.....

    and this literally applies to all funding for women, how in the name of equality can feminists stand in the way of sharing fully half of their yearly budget with men? because it "affects women more"? thats not very equal now is it this has everything to do with "jobs for the girls" as Erin Prizzey would say, men are barred from womens shelters in every way so there wont be any jobs for the girls in mens shelters in the near future, it follows that for every male support worker that will need to be hired it will put a woman out of a job on the other end in a womans shelter.

  26. Women and men can be helped in the same shelter. There is a women in my county who is doing this right now. Unfortunately, she got a lot of heat from above and none of the other shelters are emulating her. But she managed to keep her funding and is still there. The idea that men cannot be helped from within and existing shelter system is bunk. It only takes a willingness to find a solution.

    I also want to thank Christine for sharing her thoughts and inviting others to chime in. I don't think she deserves any rudeness for this.

  27. I have to say I am enormously relieved to hear you say this. In regards to your chapter "My Own Shame" I was told as a kid unequivocally "You never hit girls, never. Even if they hit you. If they try and hit you, you get out of the way", which did for me with the constant mantras from teenage girls of "girls are allowed to hit boys but boys aren't allowed to hit girls" who knew what I'd been taught. One of them even used this against me to sexually abuse me for four years, didn't even pick my life up until my mid twenties.

    And in all honesty, the feminist movement isn't solely responsible but partly responsible for frequently acting in a dismissive way towards male abuse victims, even condoning it as "payback for women's oppression" which has probably made you more enemies than you can imagine. Certainly such attitudes within the feminist community made it much harder for me personally to find help and counselling to combat the sexual abuse I'd put up with from this girl.

    Case in point:

    I think we can both agree that the article and comment section are an embarrassment to feminism, if it is indeed as virtuous as it's supporters believe.

    Having said all of that, it's good that your mind seems to have opened. Like or dislike the MRAs, concerns about children, domestic and sexual violence and suicide are legitimate male issues, no question.

  28. "Thorn" posted a comment about 13 hours before this. I received notification of it by email, but I guess it has since been deleted from the site. Fair enough, but it's a little unfortunate because it illustrated the intellectual dishonesty of some on the feminist side of the debate, and rather proved the need for this film.

    Thorn called the film a "trojan horse" on the grounds of the (unfortuate) confusion between the film's title and the subreddit of the same name. It seems that Thorn has *not* seen the film for if they had, they'd've known that Cassie Jaye briefly addressed the subject, and also made it clear that the film and the subreddit have nothing to do with one another. Nor do the main subjects (MRAs) with PUA (game) "philosophy".

    The suggestion of any such connection is that intellectual dishonesty, but par for the course for what most MRAs and especially Cassie Jaye (though for different reasons) have to put up with. A few MRAs might also identify as PUAs, but that is a reflection on those individuals, not on the MHRM (nor, by extension, the PUA community).

    Cassie began the project about 4 years ago at which time that SR hadn't come to any prominence. I suppose she could have changed the name, but evidently she didn't and doubtless had good practical reasons not to.

    Contrary to Thorn's assertion, the coincidence is by no means deliberate. It can't have been, given the timing of things, and thus there can have been no conspiracy to deliberately provoke contempt from feminists in support of an agenda Cassie does not, in fact, have. Besides, any contempt shown (regardless of cause) is entirely of their own making and exposes the ugly side of what, to be charitable, is a minority of feminists.

    If feminism is not "evil" (Thorn's word), why are some feminists trying so hard to shut down showings or discredit it when they can't? Why have so many of the showing organisers had to arrange security (for a film!) or take extraordinary measures of secrecy to protect venue staff from harassment and intimidation by the film's opponents? You can argue "not all feminists are like that" (NAFALT) if you like (indeed, not all are, including Cassie and Christine, the author of this fine article) but apparently enough feminists *are* like that, and the pernicious form of modern feminism as practised by them is hypocritical at the very best.

    Thorn goes on to suggest the subreddit r/menslib as an alternative, an SR that "focus[es] on men's issues but through a feminist lens". Isn't that so very telling? Apparently, no perspective is valid unless it is seen through a "feminist lens" or, at the very least, is not incompatible with feminist ideology. And anybody who dares stray, particularly in places like r/ML, usually get banned in short order so any discussion of the film there is incomplete because certain views are absent and unwelcome.

    Thorn acknowledges that feminism "like anything else, deserve[s] criticism". Presumably, such criticism must also be done through a feminist lens which is rather like putting the fox to guard the chickens. The supposition that feminism can meaningfully be held to account under such conditions is risible.


    1. (cont'd...)

      If there is to be any honest debate about gender equality, these attempts to control the narrative have got to stop. As Frank Hawyard (a subject in the film) said, paraphrased: if the experience of being a woman is so different that men must listen to women, it follows that the experience of being a man is so different that women must listen to men. Warren Farrell wrote a book called "Women can't hear what men don't say". Well, we're speaking but, it seems, some feminists (NB: not the same as women) don't _want_ to hear. That is their prerogative, but it's long past time that such people quit interfering with people who *do* want to listen and be heard.

      Thorn makes other points, such as "patriarchy hurts men, too", but I think the film and subsequent Q&As, particularly those after the two Norwich (UK) screenings (recordings of which will be online within a week or two, probably on Cassie's youtube channel), address that better than I can here.

      Thorn asserts that, by the purported power of the patriarchy, men do this and that and are therefore culpable at worst or, at best, already have the means to fix men's problems. This is an example of how feminists talk out of both sides of their mouths. Patriarchy doesn't blame men as a class or as individuals, except when it does. The fact is, if men had the power, as a class, that feminists allege, there would be no need for a men's movement -- and the fact that the MHRM is needed rather disproves that alleged power. Yes, Virginia, patriarchy (as Thorn applies the hypothesis) *is* a lie.

      To answer Thorn's rhetorical questions, neither Cassie nor MRAs suggest that men "must accept their true 'biological' nature [..] and dominate women", therefore those questions are moot. And you're right, those propositions don't make sense but not for the reasons you posit. Like it or not, anti-feminism already *is* a legitimate (albeit not mainstream) movement because it is a stance every bit as political as feminism itself. Neither are beyond reproach nor criticism, and the suggestion that feminism may not be questioned contributes to the evidence that it has become a religion with sacred tenets and attendant blasphemy rules. (c.f. Jonathan Haidt, "The Righteous Mind").

      Thank all available (non-feminist) deities that feminists (or MRAs, for that matter) don't have the power to rearrange society in their own image because no social order imposed by force can last. Only negotiated social change can, and that negotiation begins with honest dialogue between ordinary men and women of society when no topic or perspective is prohibited or off the table, including those that are uncomfortable and those with which one disagrees vehemently. The Red Pill Movie is another (major) step toward that sort of dialogue.

      I do agree with Thorn on one thing: yes, we should all be working together, but on a level playing field where neither side gets to impose philosophical context, terms of reference or scope of debate. That's what feminists want to do yet, with this film and other efforts, their ability to exercise that wish is weakening.

  29. Because it seems important to some people how the men's movement got started, I'll add this. The men's movement was in response to Herb Goldberg's 1976 book called "The Hazards of Being Male: Surviving the Myth of Masculine Privilege." The first MRA organizations were formed the following year.

  30. Great article, if a little long. How about you turn it into a Youtube video?