Provocative Documentary ‘The Red Pill’ Provokes Critical Thinking
“The Red Pill” is a thought-provoking, intensely insightful documentary that traces child actor-turned-grown up director Cassie Jaye’s four-year odyssey into the Men’s Rights Movement. The subject matter seemed ripe for the award-winning documentarian, who had directed both feminist and LGBT films, to bite into.
Although Cassie began shooting the documentary as a self-described feminist, with the intention of doing an expose on the movement’s futility, intolerance and ignorance, she completed the film as a woman who no longer seems so sure that taking a side is logical or sane, and wondering whether feminism is really about equality after all.
The documentary has been blackballed by the establishment elite, most vigorously in Australia, where radical feminists are spearheading its suppression. Interestingly, what is being protested here is not actually the Men’s Rights Movements that Cassie documents but rather Cassie herself and the well-crafted, inherently (but not intentionally) provocative film she created, as many media outlets have pointed out.
This situation and phenomenon presents an interesting opportunity for people to begin thinking about why this bias against Cassie and her film exists in the first place, as well as the agenda behind it.
Liberals and progressives used to be all about tolerance and free speech. Yet, if you look at any major media outlet today, this no longer appears to be the case.
While you would assume that feminists would support all women—including Cassie and her right to free speech and artistic expression—instead it seems their allegiance here is to a political agenda more so than to liberating women (or, moreover, all of mankind as equals).
So, what is more important here? Advancing a people and liberty for all, or advancing an agenda and the dogma outlined by an activist group? Isn’t this kind of behavior just another form of oppression inflicted by a group that claims to fight for individuals’ freedom?
Australian "journalist" and television personality Joe Hildebrand wrote a great article at news.com.au, in which he said, "We championed the right of Andres Serrano to display his exquisitely provocative ‘Piss Christ.’ We photo shopped Jeff Kennett’s head on Michael Jackson’s body and asked, ‘Who’s bad?’ We were lewd, crude and often nude. But these days the rebels have become the self-righteous. The side that used to fight for freedom now fights to curtail it. The left has become censorious and snitchy. The hip have become square.
“We’ve seen it in the strangling of language into tortuous euphemisms that rob words of their beauty and power because of fears they could offend and trigger warnings in textbooks, because of fears they could provoke an emotional response. We’ve seen it in the oceans of indignant outrage that erupt every time someone violates, challenges or even just deviates from the set vocabulary or ideological script. We’ve seen it in the chilling Orwellian spectacle of a cartoonist being hauled before a quasi-judicial body and forced to justify his work—and the even darker sight of other journalists siding with the prosecutors."
During a radio interview, Cassie was asked for what she is advocating in her film. “Freedom to think for yourself and use critical thinking skills,” she said.
I know we all think we have the freedom to think for ourselves and the ability to have critical thought... But do we?
We are constantly bombarded with bias from the media. Bias from groups of people who might blackball us if we disagree with them. Bias from friends and family who might stop speaking to us if we simply don’t encourage or bolster their disgust and outrage over a certain issue or topic.
So, I ask again: Do we really know how to think independently, for ourselves?
How many people are familiar with or have been taught the trivium, the lower division of the seven liberal arts comprised of grammar, logic, and rhetoric (input, process, and output)? The vast majority of us have been state educated. But who controls that? Do the people funding public education have an agenda? Do they really want us to be able to think for ourselves, or do they think we will be more manageable if we are a little dumbed down, ideologically devout and follow-the-herd-like?
It's interesting to note here that the movers and shakers of the world—those financial elites behind the scenes and even some of their lackeys—are not state educated. No, they had a true liberal education that taught them how to think rather than what to think.
The most fascinating aspect of “The Red Pill” is how the film uses a single (albeit very complex) issue to illustrate the poisonous and illusory perception of “us vs. them.”
We're always the victim of group or person X, who thinks they are, in turn, our victim...and around and around the toxic merry-go-round of co-dependent hate, victimology and superiority we go.
They objectify us, so we objectify them back. They make us feel rejected or disrespected, so we reject and disrespect them back. They make us feel inferior or victimized, so we make them out to be less than human—and then everyone feels in control and powerful (in between feeling objectified and/or victimized) but ends up with stink on their hands, hearts and/or consciousness.
Are there ever winners when you chose a side? The second you step off the line and place your foot into the “us vs. them" arena, haven’t you decided to play the game—from politics, to sexism, to religion? It all has the same tragic pattern.
Our fingers have been too busy for far too long pointing out how others must change to correct the injustices we want to see when, really, all we have to do is look into the world with more compassionate eyes and correct our own behavior and perceptions with liberal, Dennis Kucinich-esque eyes that hold peace and diplomacy above all. Let’s all take a page from that old, blackballed book the "left" once loved.