On November 1, 2016, GotNews ventured out to the People’s Republic of Berkeley to watch the premiere of Cassie Jaye’s The Red Pill. In many ways, Jaye is doing God’s Work. She pursues truth at the cost of political in-correctness, and, in the process, brings to light many of the problems that men face in contemporary western society: men are treated unfairly in divorce and in child custody battles, men are on the receiving end of domestic abuse no less often than are women, men’s issue are summarily derided and dismissed. Basically, being a man in the modern western world sucks.
Jaye herself is a sympathetic narrator. She’s blonde, neotenous, and one gets a sense that she’s trying really hard to be a good girl. She’s also highly emotive so watching her wrestle with cognitive dissonance and doubt as she de-transitions from feminism makes for a satisfying emotional arc.
Here’s what we learn from The Red Pill: the feminists have demonized men and feminism has succeeded as a female supremacy movement. The Feminist Cult of Victimhood has enslaved us all and our masters aren’t very nice. Nothing Jaye says is untrue her heart bleeds all over the celluloid. Several times, we witnessed Jaye fight back tears as she was confronted with some of feminism’s pernicious lies.
But therein lies the problem: is this sympathy desirable? Have modern men relegated themselves to passive victimhood? Is our future one in which men run crying to domestic abuse shelters after being battered by their wives? Is it one in which we throw women and children out of life boats? Is it one in which we send our women to the coal mines and watch them die on the front lines of war?
In the past, men aspired to to greatness. Our heroes embodied courage, power, integrity. Now we lavish praise on a pretty young girl who lets us cower behind her skirt while she consoles us: “There, there”, she says “I’m sorry that those mean feminists hurt you”. This scene is an appeal to pathos; it is literally pathetic.
The solution to feminism is not more victimhood and more feminism, er… I mean, Men’s Rights Activism. The fact that victimhood is the universal hammer that we apply to oppression’s nail hints at the notion that our problems run deeper than the emergent phenomenon of women’s liberation.
Prior to the European Enlightenment, western mores were governed by Aristotelian teleology and its corollary, virtue ethics. From a teleological perspective, purpose is derived from function. The heart exists to pump blood. The brain exists to control the body. People exist to make more of our own kind. Gender roles exist in order to fulfill our purpose as humans and we are duty-bound to follow them.
After the Enlightenment our cultural focus shifted. We rejected Aristotelian teleology and its concomitant concepts of duty and virtue. Instead, we embraced naive consequential-ism and the concept of individual “rights”. This led us to libertarian-ism, moral relativism, and set the stage for the idea that we’re all victims of our rights being violated. Thus we arrived at the slippery slope of feminist thought: women should be given total freedom to pursue their sexual imperatives because anything less is an assault upon personal liberty. This feminine imperative, sometimes euphemistically known as “whimsy”, is fully expressed as:
- The complete abrogation of personal responsibility
- The ability to divert resources for selfish purposes and at will
This is the logical endgame of the feminist movement and the we’re not far from reaching it.
Perhaps, then, the prescription lies less in thinking in terms of rights, less in the way of men finding their own flavor of victimhood, and more within the realm of duty and responsibility. Living in a passive-aggressive society that eschews responsibility in favor of victim culture, where something is always someone’s fault, is a society that gets nothing done. It’s a society that can only exist for a fleeting moment in time and is subsequently displaced by an order that actually works.
A society whose members see themselves as stewards and not victims is a society that gives everyone a place under the sun. The duty of a steward is to elevate not to oppress. Within this frame, there is no room for victimhood. In short: the scourges of victim culture and feminism could be eliminated if we stopped being so god damn selfish.
The Red Pill is an emotional catharsis for the Men’s Rights activists and if you’re a unicorn of the open-minded, rational feminist type who can set aside her disgust at watching misshapen, lumpy men whining, then perhaps you left the Red Pill screening questioning your beliefs.
Jaye displayed courage in making this movie and should be commended for doing so. That said, dispelling feminist tropes is a good start, but unfortunately it doesn’t address our underlying cultural pathology. Perhaps Jaye’s next movie will.