Dendy becomes the latest cinema to ban controversial men's rights film

The film claims to explore the "various ways men are disadvantaged and discriminated against,” but some have deemed it far more "sinister".

By Kate Wagner

Dendy is the latest cinema to axe the meninist film The Red Pill after a ferocious backlash and petitions demanded the film not be screened across Australia.

According to the film’s blurb, it features the “feminist filmmaker” Jaye beginning “to question her own beliefs” as she “sets out to document the mysterious and polarising world of the Men’s Rights Movement”.

“Jaye had only heard about the Men’s Rights Movement as being a misogynist hate-group aiming to turn back the clock on women’s rights,” it reads.

“But when she spends a year filming the leaders and followers within the movement, she learns the various ways men are disadvantaged and discriminated against.”

That sounds a lot like Steve Drain, the head of the hatemongering Westboro Baptist Church, who you may know from holding ‘God hates fags’ signs and crashing war veterans’ funerals. He set out to expose the fanatical gay-hating Church, but ended up joining them and eventually becoming their leader.

It also reminds me of, you know, any other cult ever.

But I digress.

The film reportedly explores male suicide rates, sexual assault, workplace fatalities, family court and custody issues and their effects on males – certainly incredibly important topics to discuss and understand.

Then why, you may ask, did the film result in a Change.org petition with 2000 signatures calling for a Melbourne cinema to ditch the “misogynistic propaganda film”?

Without having seen the film it’s hard to comment, but the University of Sydney Union deemed the film “sinister” when explaining its decision to cancel a planned screening organised by three conservative student groups.

“The Red Pill is purported to be a film which highlights issues specific to men in our society,” the USU said in a statement. “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 union felt the film was “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 feared it had the “capacity to intimidate and physically threaten women on campus”.

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“Most dangerously, the film features commentary from Men’s Rights Activist Paul Elam, who has claimed that young women ‘[have] the equivalent of a I’M A STUPID, CONNIVING BITCH — PLEASE RAPE ME neon sign glowing above their empty little narcissistic heads’ and that if he were to serve on a jury in a case related to sexual assault, he would find a male defendant not guilty even in the face of contrary evidence,” they said.

Producer of the film Nena Jaye was shocked as USU’s statement “as there certainly is no promotion or discussion of sexual violence against women”.

In an unpublished response to USU’s statement, Cassie Jaye wrote: “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,” according to The Australian

“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.”