Holding a microphone, a men’s rights activist in a collared blue shirt stands on an upraised platform. “Never before has there been a gathering of this magnitude to support men's’ and boys’ issues. We have got serious problems. I have been working in this area for-”
He is cut off by a crowd of protesters in the distance. “Racist, sexist, anti-gay, MRAs, go away!”
This scene from Cassie Jaye’s 2016 documentary, “The Red Pill” is just one of the many scenes that highlight the men’s rights movement and the problems they face. Recent feminist reaction to the documentary has been less than positive, as a petition which garnered over two thousand signatures effectively persuaded Australian cinema Palace Kino to cancel the documentary premiere in Australia.
Feminist supporters of the petition cited their motivations as a result of the “misogyny” and “hateful ideologies” that the documentary supposedly promotes.
Feminist utilization of free speech to suppress free speech is ironic. Especially so because feminists are historically the ones who were champions of fighting for free speech in a time when views of gender equality were suppressed.
Their actions are pointless and detrimental to the true feminist movement, as the documentary raises awareness about crucial gender issues that are generally ignored. For example, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, male suicide rates occur at a shocking 3.5 times greater rate. Thus, both male and female suicide should hold the same need for awareness.
Similarly, while the United Nations recognizes the International Day for the Violence against Women, no other day like this represents the male demographic of the world. As such, it is implied that violence against men is not an issue that deserves to be recognized. Through this, the needs and problems of male victims of violence are not voiced.
There is a definite need for those issues to be voiced. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 4 men have been a victim of violence by an intimate partner, and 1 in 7 men have been severely injured by their intimate partner in their lifetime.
Even so, very little media coverage of violence against men is even recognized as abuse. In the popular CBS talk show, “The Talk,” the female cast joked and made fun of a man whose penis had been purposely severed by his wife after the husband had asked for a divorce. The majority of the members expressed that they thought the woman’s actions were justified, and only one member indicated that the situation was unfair. All members of the cast kept their jobs, and to this day, have not sincerely apologized for their comments. In any case, if the genders were reversed, as in a male cast laughing about a husband who mutilated his wife, the members would have expected to face severe consequences or even have their show canceled.
Furthermore, Men’s rights are publicly perceived to be a sort of misogynistic movement akin to that of a “hate group.” Feminist propaganda has convinced the general public that the promotion of Men’s rights serves as a counter-feminist reaction, and therefore is inherently oppressive towards women.
What these feminists don't realize is that as activists, they have the responsibility to work towards equal rights without tearing down the rights of men. Rather, they should work to elevate both men and women on their respective issues. The same feminists who call Men’s rights misogynistic are in truth, misandrists, or otherwise known as those who oppress men.
Along with other scenarios, the feminist censorious reaction to “The Red Pill” only serves reverts progress made in gender movements. The only way for equality to truly be achieved is through awareness of the issues both genders face.
It is surprising that the feminist movement is not promoting “The Red Pill” alongside their own feminist ideals because this would truly achieve and fight for gender equality. For these so- called feminists to condemn men’s rights while promoting women's rights is betraying the movement for gender equality.
A proponent of Men’s rights is not inherently an opponent of Women’s rights; beyond the ideology, it is up to an individual’s actions to determine their stance on gender. It is obvious that women face issues in the modern day world, especially in third world countries, but this does not disregard the fact that men suffer from the imbalance in gender rights as well. Feminists and Men’s rights activists reconciling would be an enormous step forward for gender equality, as on a conceptual level, the goals of both are the same.