The Project panel was shocked into silence during an uneasy interview with a controversial, anti-feminism movie director.
Cassie Jaye was on the show to discuss her meninist film The Red Pill which focuses on the men’s rights movement, exploring suicide rates, sexual assault, custody issues and implies both genders are equally harmed by domestic violence.
The film has faced severe backlash in Australia, with many theatres cancelling screenings.
“We’ve had a lot of success in other countries, so Australia is really the only place we’ve had protests and petitions and banning like this,” Jaye said.
When asked if she could understand why the topic could be contentious, she said she didn’t understand.
“I’m curious what is different about Australia that makes this topic so polarising, so fearful to people that they actually want to shut it down and silence it ... I’m not sure why there’s so much resistance in Australia,” she said.
Carrie Bickmore explained this was probably due to domestic violence being “really on the agenda” in Australia, quoting Rosie Batty’s devastating loss as to why violence against women is “not tolerated” here.
“And it was his son that passed?” Jaye asked the hosts.
Bickmore replied: “It was his son … that was killed by his father.”
“That’s interesting, because it shows that there are male victims of domestic violence,” Jaye replied.
The entire panel paused before Waleed Aly incredulously asked: “Sorry — that’s the lesson you took from that?”
“The point I think a lot of people take from that is that the violence was perpetrated by the man in that situation — as it overwhelmingly is — particularly in cases where there’s a fatality.”
When asked if she thought making sweeping generalisations about both genders suffering in a similar way from domestic violence was dangerous, Jay turned it back on feminism.
“I definitely see generalising as dangerous and we see that very often from female rights activisits,” she countered.
“I did leave feminism after making this film, because I see feminism as having blinders on — it only focuses on women’s issues, and girls’ issues.”