opinion

Why Lucy Gransbury is looking forward to watching a film about 'men’s oppression'.

Feminism. Men’s rights. Censorship.

Ladies and gents, it’s been a big day for the internet.

Palace Cinemas, a (fantastic) hipster-friendly cinema chain showing both arthouse and commercial films around Australia, made the decision to cancel the screening of a controversial new documentary called The Red Pill after a a petition with over 2,300 signatures was circulated, demanding the cinema not show the “misogynistic propaganda”.

Palace made the decision to cancel the Australian premiere of the film next month at the Kino cinema in Melbourne, which was to be hosted by Men’s Rights Melbourne.

First of all, ‘ew’ to that name. Members of the Men’s Rights Melbourne do not sound like the sort of people I’d invite over for a tea party.

the red pill screening queensland
Image via 'The Red Pill' trailer.

Secondly, thirdly, fourthly and etc. I actually think they should show the film.

The Red Pill film is described on its website as being a feature length documentary about the Men's Right Movement. "When a feminist filmmaker sets out to document the mysterious and polarising world of the Men’s Rights Movement, she begins to question her own beliefs. The Red Pill chronicles Cassie Jaye’s journey exploring an alternate perspective on gender equality, power and privilege."

That's right. In case you didn't know, there are groups of men standing up to finally claim their missing rights after years of oppression (SARCASM). Watching the eight-minute extended trailer gives good insight into the crux of the film; these men feel hard done by. They talk about high suicide rates and men going to war - true. They also talk about how men have been 'targeted' by women for sexual assault and domestic violence, and they always get the raw end of the deal in court cases. Apparently, as a society, "we value female life more than we value male life", and society won't 'let' these men talk about their oppression, even though "we've talked about women's issues for more than fifty years".

ADVERTISEMENT

I don't... It's... I just... Don't they realise?... Nup. I give up.

The feminist filmmaker Cassie Jaye supposedly went on a journey throughout the film and ended up an idiot  Men's Rights Activist (MRA) herself. She includes interviews and informed opinions from respected leaders of feminist groups, which, if she is a documentary filmmaker with any skill, should show both sides of the argument. However, given this petition was started because the film was seen as "misogynistic propaganda", it's supposedly lacking in balance.

Filmmaker Cassie Jaye. Image via The Red Pill trailer.

But here's the thing. Even if the film is propaganda, should we really be blocking it?

I'm thinking: no.

I would hope that any self-respecting intelligent person can watch a documentary that shows strong opinions (and/or corrupt morals) and still make up their own mind. Ask yourself: if you watched a propaganda film made by the campaign team of US presidential candidate Donald Trump, do you think you would you suddenly be on his side, hoping he wins the vote? Probs not. If you watched a documentary made by The Church of Scientology, would you suddenly be calling up your nearest branch for an Auditing Session? Hopefully not.

ADVERTISEMENT

Only idiots would fall for propaganda, right? Right. And though that is still a scary thought, given there are a loooot of idiots in the world (again, picture a Trump rally), I'd like to think that if anything, this film will give both depressing insight and fiery fuel to the men and women who want gender equality.

It's like a good debate - we take those opinions that will make us yell at the cinema screen, and then we write more articles and start more campaigns and we make our own documentaries explaining EXACTLY WHY THESE IDIOTS DON'T GET IT.

Cassie Jaye interviews a men's rights attorney. Image via 'The Red Pill' trailer.

In some ways, this petition did more damage than good, because the publicity around this film is now huge. A small screening may have gone unnoticed, but now the film has been on every news site in the country. I understand the reasoning behind the petition, I do. But people will watch it anyway.

We shouldn't be afraid of people seeing this documentary. In fact, I want to see it. It will help me form my arguments better for the dinner table. If I know exactly what the people who don't understand feminism are thinking, I can better form my explanations.

If you don't like the film, either don't see it, or watch it and use it as fuel. Fuel is good. Censorship is bad.

Feature image via 'The Red Pill' trailer.

00:00 / ???