On a recent episode of This Alt-Right Life, white supremacist Matt Forney interviewed amateur filmmaker Cassie Jaye. Jaye, formerly a longtime feminist — according to her story — abandoned feminism after directing and producing the pro-men’s rights movie The Red Pill.
The film debuted to only a handful of (mediocre) reviews, with Alan Scherstuhl of the Village Voice pointing out that it received substantial financial backing from the men’s rights crowd it purported to impartially document, and glossed over the movement’s overt misogyny.
As Scherstuhl wrote,
You don’t even have to put in that tiny bit of online legwork to suspect that something’s hinky with Jaye’s film. (It’s a Kickstarter job, and A Voice for Men and Reddit’s most misogynistic MRA subs were active in the campaigns.) Jaye acknowledges in the opening and closing minutes that MRAs sometimes spew nasty garbage online, but she never presses them on this in her many interviews. Instead, she lets them moan about how hard it is to be a dude in 2016, endorsing their anecdotal complaints about unfair family courts, incidents of men being tricked into being fathers, and — I didn’t quite follow this one — one father’s conviction that the women who had custody of his son were systematically trying to make the boy fat.
In her conversation with Forney, a man who has written articles advocating domestic violence and “crush[ing]” your partner’s self-esteem, Jaye denounced critics for their lack of impartiality in reviewing her film. She also went in depth about her conversion to men’s rights activism due in large part to the making of The Red Pill.
Calling Jaye’s decision to reevaluate her supposedly feminist beliefs the “mark of a pretty sound mind,” Forney the asked her to describe how working on the film changed her mind. According to Jaye, she had called herself a feminist for “about ten years” but realized that she “had complete tunnel vision” and was “always looking for any way to be easily offended.” She also learned that men “have plenty of gender issues that they could complain about if they wanted to,” but simply choose not to do so — a line of reasoning often directed at groups such as Black Lives Matter who protest against systemic racism.
“But feminist women, or just feminists in general,” on the other hand, are “very open about complaining…quickly about anything that happens to a woman that is perceived to be because she’s a woman.”
“So, my whole worldview really shifted after making this film, and I absolutely, hands-down, believe for the better. I have less resentment over my gender. I have less resentment in my relationship. I actually feel more empowered in being a woman,” she claimed. “I also think there’s a fine line where the film, well I don’t know if the film actually does this as much as I sought behind the camera, but the film does talk about women’s privilege.”
“Like, what are your observations of relationships between men and women, and what role do you think modern feminism and the men’s rights movement has in sort of fueling it or whatever?” Forney asked next.
“Unfortunately I see a lot of female empowerment speak that actually just turns into bashing men,” she replied. Citing her own relationship with her boyfriend, Jaye said that when she was “dating as a feminist” she was “very easily triggered” — judging from the conversation Jaye appears to be conflating a trauma trigger with simply being offended by something, however.
On one occasion she recalls discussing “rape culture” with her boyfriend, specifically with regard to the infamous case of Steubenville football players raping an intoxicated girl and taking photos of her limp, unconscious body. Her boyfriend, she said, “brought up some fairly rational points about, well, what was she doing going to a bar, er, going to a party late at night, and leaving her friends, and going with a bunch of guys that she didn’t know, and tweeting that she was gonna get plastered that night.” That was “irresponsible behavior” on the part of the rape victim.
This discussion made her “triggered” and “extremely upset,” but now she says she is “interested in listening to what people have to say, and trying to understand their point of view rather than immediately shutting it down like, they must be a misogynist if they’re posing a point of view that’s different from my own, or they must be a woman-hater or they must be a closeted wife-beater.” Perhaps she didn’t know that Forney has admitted to hitting a romantic partner on at least one occasion.
Jaye also said that, before making The Red Pill, she would constantly look for things to argue with her boyfriend about, getting into fights with him “once a month.” Since then, however, these arguments have ceased, prompting Jaye to joke that “maybe it wasn’t PMS, maybe it was feminism.”
H/T to We Hunted the Mammoth.