By Jenny Mason
This controversial film portrays a different approach to the search for equality of the genders.The film presents interviews with the whole purpose of seeing things from another point of view. Before I watched this film, I already had a certain sympathy for men. Not in the way that this film presents, I just had a pity for boys growing up. I really felt bad for boys at school, that they were more likely to get into physical fights.
I was happy to be a girl, as girls were more protected from violence. I have always known this. Well this film The Red Pill takes that realisation further. Men are disadvantaged in some ways and we don’t really talk about it because of the obvious advantages that also come with manhood.
I believe that by admitting this, I am not saying women are not also disadvantaged in certain ways. I do not find a conflict in this film, that so many others might.
Why can’t women and men both have real grievances? There is no doubt systematic sexism and discrimination towards women exists. However, as this film shows there is also inequality and bias towards men, for example, when handing out custody decisions.
That too is unfair. These injustices can both exist. The film makes clear that many men feel hard done by. Statistically men die younger, in general they do work harder, do more physical labour, they are killed as soldiers in war much more often, they are less likely to gain custody of children, and they commit suicide at higher rates. These are all facts and it is extremely sad.
These facts do not make challenges women face any less real. This film would often interview one of the male rights activists and they would come across as quite reasonable. The men often come across as victims, and many had seemingly valid reasons for feeling the way they do – that is that they are denied certain rights. In contrast, the film would then interview a feminist, who at times came across as unreasonable and totally apathetic about men’s problems. On the flip side, I think the film maker could have chosen to speak to unreasonable male activists and reasonable feminists and you would have come out of the film feeling quite differently.
We have all been fed the narrative that women have it tough, that women have an uphill battle, especially in achieving equal pay and positions at work. These too are facts. This film puts forward the argument that maybe the patriarchy did not create the gender roles, but that the gender roles (dictated by biology) created the patriarchy. The men in the film talked of losing children, vindictive ex-wives, being abused, and most of their stories were heart felt and understandable.
The men in this film try to put the point across that they are not treated equally in many respects and they feel that no one cares, because women are the only gender allowed to be victims.
In our attempt for equal treatment, we are constantly expecting equal outcomes, but perhaps even if discrimination was eliminated, equal outcomes for men and women can simply not ever be achieved, for other reasons.
It is certainly food for thought.
Watch the trailer here