The movie was created by American filmmaker Cassie Jaye, who documents her journey to discovering what drives the men's rights movement. A self-described feminist, Jaye begins to question her beliefs when investigating an alternate perspective on gender equality, power and privilege. In doing so, she explores issues like the rate of suicide for men, sexual assault and custody issues.
News.com.au reports that there have been a number of cancellations of The Red Pill movie screenings around Australia, including at Kino Palace Cinemas in Melbourne, Dendy Newtown and Dendy Canberra. This has largely been driven by feminist protests and petitions against the movie's 'misogynistic' agenda.
The USU at the University of Sydney has also banned the film from being shown on union premises, and released a statement to explain their reasoning.
“The Red Pill is purported to be a film which highlights issues specific to men in our society,” the statement read. “The USU is obviously supportive of efforts to bring awareness to, and to combat, issues such as the higher suicide rate for men than women.
“The reality of The Red Pill, however, is much more sinister. This documentary is decidedly anti-feminist and anti-woman, focusing not on the ways in which the systemic issues of patriarchy may also adversely affect men, but instead placing the blame on women and feminism specifically for men’s issues.”
The USU took issue with the fact that the film is “rooted in an ideology which ultimately dehumanises women, seeing them merely as sex objects who exist primarily to purposefully negatively impact the lives of men”, and suggested that it had the “capacity to intimidate and physically threaten women on campus”.
Cassie Jaye has even responded to the statement, arguing that feminists need to hear the other side of the story.
“If you ask someone who deeply cares about gender equality to look into men’s issues, that person is going to realise that men have issues that deserve to be addressed, and that is what happened when I was making The Red Pill.
“When I decided to look into the Men’s Rights Movement, I realised that gender equality goes beyond feminism. Gender equality requires looking at the bigger picture, which includes men’s experiences.”