Cassie Jaye used to be feminist, a proud one, a vocal one. But after producing and directing a film about men’s rights activism called The Red Pill, she claims she realised she was no longer comfortable with the concept.
The US documentary – which offers an alternative perspective on male privilege by exploring suicide rates, sexual assault and custody issues – has earned unprecedented backlash here in Australia, with a number of cinemas around the country cancelling screenings.
But Jaye can’t understand why.
During an interview on The Project this evening, the filmmaker said she is “curious what is different about Australia that makes this topic so polarising and so fearful.”
By way of an explanation, panel host Carrie Bickmore raised the fact that “domestic violence is really on the agenda” here – largely thanks to the advocacy work of Rosie Batty, whose son was publicly murdered by his own father in 2014.
“We’re really trying to move forward and get on a path where women aren’t dying. I think that is why your film has hit a nerve,” Bickmore said.
“It was her son that passed?” Jaye responded. “I didn’t know about that, but that is interesting because it shows there are male victims of domestic violence.”