When Cassie Jaye, a feminist filmmaker from California, learned about the Men’s Rights Movement, she wanted to make a film to expose their inner-workings.
“I decided to make a film about them, thinking that they were a misogynistic hate group and it would ‘make for good TV’ as they say,” Jaye told Red Alert.
However, as Jaye met the leaders of this movement, she soon changed her mind.
“I started to realize their perspectives on gender politics were much more complex and nuanced than I initially thought,” Jaye said. “They were nothing like the mainstream media was portraying them to be.”
Jaye is the director of The Red Pill: A Feminist’s Journey into the Men’s Rights Movement, a documentary film which interviews many prominent movement members — Paul Elam, Warren Farrell, Karen Straughan, and Michael Kimmel, just to name a few.
“The argument is that gender inequality isn’t as simple as saying ‘women are oppressed and men are the oppressors,’” said Jaye.
She says making the film was an “uphill battle.”
After being denied film grants, Jaye turned to Kickstarter to fund her film. With the help of over 2,700 supporters, Jaye raised $211,000, enough to see her film through completion.
“It was the only way I could have the funding needed to complete the film while maintaining full creative control,” she said.
After the film was finally produced, Jaye took it on the road to a number of small scale film screenings in the United States and Australia, where she was met with protests, petitions, and scathing reviews by film critics who often painted the film as hate speech.
One petition, which insisted the film be banned from Australia garnered 2,370 signatures and succeeded in getting The Red Pill pulled from a large theater chain in Australia. There were even efforts to get her film banned in Germany, and to bar her from ever entering Australia.
Nevertheless, Jaye persisted. And while her efforts paid off, she did more than just create the film — she learned how to be compassionate towards men in the process.
“Personally, learning about men’s issues didn’t convince me that men need help, because I was still blaming men or the Patriarchy for their own issues,” she said.
“But once I recognized I was blaming men for men’s issues, and excusing not feeling compassion for them because of this, that’s when I realized men do have serious problems,” she told Red Alert.
The film debuts today on worldwide on platforms such as iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu, Vimeo, Dish Network, Cox, Verizon, DVD, and BluRay today. You can find more information here.